MPA News News

MFO gets new Director

2013 MFO Branding



Jenell Leonard, of DeWitt, MI is the new director of the Michigan Film Office.

Leonard replaces Margaret O’Riley who has now taken on the role of vice president of corporate affairs at Michigan Economic Development Corp, .

“Jenell is dedicated to Michigan’s reinvention and brings extensive state government experience to this position,” Snyder said. “I look forward to continuing to work with Jenell in this new role and thank Margaret for her service to our state.”

Leonard is director of external and strategic affairs for Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, where she has worked on initiatives related to good government/state employee engagement, employment disability, autism, mental health and the New International Trade Crossing. She also organized the 2013 Council of Great Lakes Governor’s Summit on Mackinac Island and previously served as legislative staff in the Michigan House of Representatives. Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Thomas Edison State College, a master’s degree in public administration from Walden University, and is an alumna of the Michigan Political Leadership Program.

Leonard’s appointment is effective Feb. 9.


The Michigan Film Office revealed it's operating plan at MPA's October meeting. MFO Director Margaret O'Riley discussed the plan she called their "Operating Plan" and provided copies for those attending. We are providing a link to it for your review. It should also be available on the MFO website. While MFOAC's minutes indicate that this "OPERATING PLAN" was "WELL RECEIVED" at MPA's October meeting That was not the case. We were hoping for a STRATEGIC PLAN outlining how the film office would help the film industry grow. 

MFO "Operating Plan"

Film Grid Updated again!

Hello Members!

New feature films have been added to our film grid. The grid has become smaller as a result of changes to the program. New additions are marked in RED.

Visit MPA's Film Grid - ONLY for MPA members!



MI Governor Signs SB569 - Applications to be accepted after Jan 1

Snyder signs new film incentive program, battery production tax credit into law Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday signed legislation that will help the advanced battery manufacturing and film industries grow while ensuring that economic development incentives awarded by the state are used to create jobs.

"The goal of these changes is to make sure that economic incentives result in job creation," Snyder said.

Senate Bill 569, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, replaces film credits that are currently hidden in the tax code with a $25 million budget appropriation for the new Film and Digital Media Production Assistance Program, which the Michigan Film Office will run. To qualify for funding, an eligible production company must have direct production expenditures and/or Michigan personnel expenditures of at least $100,000.

Under the new legislation, the Michigan Film Office must also create a publicly available performance dashboard, which will include specific measures including the amount of each incentive dispersed for each state-certified qualified production.

Gov. Snyder today also signed S.B. 855, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, which authorizes the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) to enter into agreements to provide incentives for the construction of advanced battery manufacturing facilities, but scales back the amount of incentives that can be offered and requires jobs to be created in order for companies to receive the incentives.

"As we work to bring new investment and create jobs, it is vital that we leverage Michigan's rich and varied asset base," said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. "The advanced battery and film production sectors offer significant opportunities to take advantage of our high quality talent. These credits will enable us to continue to attract major projects in both sectors within a targeted and fiscally responsible framework."

S.B. 569 and 855 are now Public Acts 291 and 292 of 2011.


In A Nutshell Cash Incentive Program

SB 569

  • To be eligible, projects must have expenditures of $100,000 or more.
  • Percentages
  1. 27% of direct production expenditures (goods and services purchased in the state)
  2. Michigan Personnel Expenditures (resident above and below the line)
  • 32% through January 1, 2015
  • 27% after January 1, 2015
  1. Crew Personnel Expenditures (non-resident below the line)
  • 25% through January 1, 2013   (2012)
  • 20% through January 1, 2014   (2013)
  • 15% through January 1, 2015   (2014)
  • 10% after January 1, 2015         (2015 and beyond)
  1. Qualified Personnel Expenditures (non-resident above the line)
  • 27% through January 1, 2015
  • 12% after January 1, 2015
  1. 3% for expenditures at a qualified facility or postproduction facility
  2. Payments for MI producers shall not exceed 10% of expenditures, 5% for non-MI producers
  • Not less than 5% of the funding awarded shall be awarded for postproduction expenditures for qualified productions.
  • Application fee equal to .2% of the funding request (minimum $200, max $5,000). REFUNDABLE
    • The Film Office must process the application within 21 days after the application is complete as determined by the office.
    • Participants receiving production assistance funds will be required to include an acknowledgement provided by the Michigan Film Office that promotes the Pure Michigan tourism campaign or any successor campaign.
    • Funding may be reallocated at the end of each fiscal year from unclaimed certificates of completion.
    • For interactive games, eligible production company need not possess ownership or legal control of intellectual property rights.
    • A television show may submit an application for no more than two successive seasons, notwithstanding the fact that the successive seasons have not been ordered.
    • The Michigan Film Office must disclose the identity and amount of all gifts, grants and other donations on its website.
    • The Film Office must submit a quarterly status report to the Legislature.
    • Commercials are not eligible.
    • Sunsets September 30, 2017.

MPA Activities

MPA activities traditionally slow as summer work increases! We will be planning sessions for Sept - May in July.

Stay tuned for sudden social opportunities though!

MPA Keep 'Em Rolling Film Incentives PSA

Production Community and Industry Members!

We are fighting for our industry in the halls of the Senate and in the Media. The latest tool we have is MPA's Keep 'Em Rolling PSA.

Directed by Mike Chait Produced by a team including Teresa Liming, Ellen Finn Mark Adler this spot is going out over the net and broadcast channels.

Watch it, send it, talk it up!


MPA's Keep 'Em Rolling PSA

Dr. Stan Williams' Economic Turbine

Dr Stan William's economic turbine demonstrates the ripple effect of film incentives business


NEW GUIDELINES for MFO Applications approval




The Michgian Film Office has finally released their guidelines which will be used to select projects for appoval. Many of these "weights" have been used and have been in the CURRENT law.

Thank you for your patience while we worked to establish the process and guidelines that we will utilize to approve applications currently in our pipeline and for the remainder of 2011.


As previously stated, the Film Office is operating under the directive of the governor’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012.  Given that we have finite resources to work with, it is our intention that every project approved by the state be one that will be a good investment for our taxpayers.


To that end, we will be rigorously employing the criteria in the current statute to guide us in our decisions.


Preference will be given to projects that best meet the following criteria:

1.       The production company is financially viable

2.       Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, film labs etc.)

3.       The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production

4.       Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state  as a tourist destination

5.       Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan



The applications will receive a thorough review for economic benefit by a MEDC committee comprised of the Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications, the Senior Vice President of Policy, the Vice President of Business Development and the Director of the Michigan Film Office. This is true of applications across the board, regardless of where they may be in current review process.


This program continues to be jointly administered by the Michigan Film Office and the Department of Treasury and any project approved must be approved with the consensus of the state treasurer.


With the process and guidelines now in place we expect to convene our review group and move forward with approving 2011 projects as soon as possible.  However, these guidelines could be impacted by any bills that may be in development by the legislature.


As always, please let us know if you have any questions.



Carrie Jones, Director

Michigan Film Office

Phone: 517-335-7197

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Stamp your Support

MPA has created a stamp to show support for film incentives. The idea is to stamp it right onto checks, envelopes, (cash). It says


Its a $36 dollar BIG RED Self inking stamper through MAX Printing in Novi.


Find them at reference MPA and customer number 2600 XL2-12S


This way everyone will be using the same wording and word will get around!



Compiling Information - MI Crew Depth

Hello my friends,


MPA has been collecting lists from crews who have worked in Michigan since 2008. The goal is to compile the names and positions of Michigan based crew members. We want to get a better idea of just who is working in which positions to measure crew strength. Just what is the 'depth' of our crew OR how many films could we staff locally! Thanks go out to all the MPA volunteers who have completed the tedious task of capturing this data. It WILL truly be a valuable resource for filmmakers and particularly those who are MPA members!


We will continue to need crew lists and people to compile info onto spreadsheets listing positions and then add names from our vast collection of crew lists. Please let us know if you would like to take this on! We will provide guidence and direction in the task.


Thank you!


M Adler


AICP Sponsors MPA Events

Written by mpa
Wednesday, 2010 Feb 10
aicplogo.jpgThe Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) continues to sponsor MPA events such as our signature Production Algebra P.A. Bootcamps which are typically offered bi monthly at various locations.
Last Updated ( Friday, 26 Feb 2010 )

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