"Gone Girl" last to receive state tax incentive

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COLUMBIA - Major film production companies may skip over Missouri when scouting for a new place to film a movie.

The state's film production tax incentive program expired last November. David Fincher's "Gone Girl" is one of the last movies made in Missouri to receive the tax rebate.

Twentieth Century Fox received about $2.3 million from the state after spending almost $8 million filming in Cape Girardeau last fall.

Local filmmaker and associate professor at the University of Missouri, Brian Maurer said letting the rebate expire is a mistake.

"I think that it's vital that we have a tax incentive to bring bigger productions into Missouri, we've lost plenty of productions because of the lack of incentive," Maurer said. "A lot of people are going down to Louisiana and Mississippi and some really great work is being done down there."

Maurer said he's afraid the future of large filmmaking in Missouri is at risk.

"When I speak to my students and talk about where they're headed, or where they can get good work, I typically try to get them in on smaller projects here in town or in the state because it's a good place to start," Maurer said. "But once they start seeking for long term employment or career paths inside the industry they need to look elsewhere."

Thirty-nine other states offer some type of rebate incentive. Representative Kathy Swan is working to bring the incentive program back to the state.

"Due to the fact that we just had 20th Century Fox here, I've seen what can happen," Swan said. "They employed local people, bought goods and services from local merchants, and caused economic development that will continue to benefit us as a city."

The program was cut in order to save money, but Swan said the benefits of large-scale productions pay back over many years.

"I'm a business woman so that's how I see this," Swan said. "It's an investment just like a company buying a piece of equipment that will be used over time."

Swan said she plans to revise a bill to present next year.