Benefits of state’s film tax credit touted during ‘Gilded Age’ event

Updated at 6:31 p.m.

STEVEN FEINBERG, left, executive director of the R.I. Film and Television Office, Julian Fellowes, creator of "Downton Abbey" and "The Gilded Age," and Trudy Coxe, CEO and executive director of The Preservation Society of Newport County, discuss the state's film tax credit Tuesday at the Marble House mansion in Newport. PBN PHOTO/AMANDA GRAY

NEWPORT – At a press conference Tuesday at the Marble House mansion, Julian Fellowes, creator of “The Gilded Age,” discussed filming the period drama in Rhode Island and his love for the City by the Sea.

“The Gilded Age,” a top 10 series on HBO, has confirmed that it will be filming its second season in Rhode Island again, and state officials are hoping the increased state film tax credit will entice more production companies to do the same.

Fellowes was joined by Trudy Coxe, executive director and CEO of The Preservation Society of Newport County, and Steven Feinberg, executive director of the R.I. Film and Television Office. Coxe and Feinberg presented those gathered Tuesday with a copy of a study by Industrial Economic Inc. touting the benefits of the state’s annual Motion Picture Tax Incentive and with letters supporting the increase. 

In June Gov. Daniel J. McKee signed a $13.6 billion budget for fiscal 2023 that increased the state’s film tax credits by $10 million and raised the overall cap to $40 million.

- Advertisement -

The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, alongside Connect Greater Newport, worked with Industrial Economic Inc. to conduct a study examining the impact film and television production has made in Rhode Island. The study considered the benefits of the state’s Motion Picture Tax Incentive and whether or not it generated economic activity and increased tourism. 

The study analyzed the figures related to the filming of “NOS4A2,” a horror/drama television series based on the novel by Joe Hill. The show filmed two seasons across the state starting in 2018 and received $17 million in distributed tax credits while producing $93 million in economic activity. The report showed that every $1 invested in the film generated $5.44 of economic activity throughout the state. Economic activity defined by the study spanned a wide range of sectors, including real state and equipment rental, transportation, hospitality and construction.

“NOS4A2” created approximately 1,532 “full-time equivalent jobs” through production activities the study found. 

The study also evaluated potential outcomes of hosting “The Gilded Age,” estimating that when a scene from The Ocean State airs, it’s “equivalent to spending $45,000 to reach a similar audience through a 30-second commercial promoting Rhode Island.”

This promotion is expected to increase the influx of tourists who travel to Rhode Island, lured by what Discover Newport CEO Evan Smith referred to as “film intrigue,” in his letter of support for increasing the state’s film tax credit.

With more heavy-hitters like Fellowes, also creator of “Downton Abbey,” coming to Rhode Island to take advantage of the state’s well-maintained history and natural beauty, Feinberg wrote that supporting the film industry is a way to ensure a bright future for Rhode Island, both “culturally and financially.”  

(CORRECTS spellings for Julian Fellowes, Trudy Coxe and Evan Smith.)

Purchase NowWant to share this story? Click Here to purchase a link that allows anyone to read it on any device whether or not they are a subscriber.

No posts to display