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Michigan Making Movies

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced on Tuesday Michigan’s aggressive film production attraction efforts will create 5,993 new jobs in Michigan, including 4,066 new film, animation and programming jobs. Three companies, Wonderstruck Studios, Motown Motion Pictures and Stardock Systems, plan to invest more than $156 million in Detroit, Pontiac and Plymouth locations.

“We are working hard to build a diversified economy and create good-paying jobs in Michigan,” Granholm said. “As a result of our aggressive film incentives we are not only bringing new investment to Michigan, we are laying the foundation for an industry that will support long-term job growth for our citizens.”

The three projects announced today are:

  • Wonderstruck Studios LLC – The new venture, to be known as Detroit Center Studios, will produce computer-generated (CG) visual effects and animated content. It plans to invest $85.9 million to create a digital pipeline, used to pull in numerous CG and digital animation projects, in downtown Detroit. The project is expected to create 700 new Michigan jobs, including 413 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $16.9 million over 12 years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in China and Korea. In addition, Infrastructure Development Film and Digital Media incentives totaling $11.7 million have been approved to help support the project. The city of Detroit is considering abatements to support the project.
  • Motown Motion Pictures LLC – The new business venture, which will be both a film studio and a production services company, plans to invest approximately $70 million in a 600,000-square-foot development with nine sound stages in Pontiac. The project is expected to create 5,139 new jobs, including 3,600 directly by the company. Based on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority board (MEGA) approved a state tax credit valued at $101 million over 12 years to help bring the project to Michigan. In addition, Infrastructure Development Film and Digital Media incentives totaling $12.9 million have been approved to help support the project. Job training assistance through the MEDC and Renaissance Zone designation by the city of Pontiac are also under consideration.
  • Stardock Systems Inc. – The software developer and publisher will invest $900,000 to expand at their current location in Plymouth Township to allow for the implementation of a new PC game. The project will create 154 new jobs, including 53 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $1.2 million over 10 years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, Infrastructure Development Film and Digital Media incentives are under consideration and Plymouth Township is considering abatements to support the project.

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