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fund on film-related purchases. Ultimately, they settled on a 15 percent “Shamrock Rebate,” up to $7,500 total, upon completion of the film.
Lucinda Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, said a film incentive is “a great economic development tool because, as the city or state, you don’t have to make investment up front. You don’t have to spend anything until economic development has occurred so there’s no risk.”
She noted that no other city in the state, regardless of size, has a program similar to the “Shamrock Rebate,” though the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota now incents up to $500,000 in production costs per film following the success of “North Country” in 2005.
Municipal and regional incentive dollars can be used in conjunction with Snowbate, a 15 to 20 percent rebate administered by the Minnesota Film and TV Board.
“It just makes us more competitive with other states,” Winter said. “It’s unusual for a little town like Maple Lake to have an incentive, but it’s great. We promote it on our website and in our newsletter.”
The board will be filming a location trailer in Maple Lake and has also produced a promotional video, “The Case for Snowbate 2013,” which includes comments from Maple Lake Mayor Lynn Kissock.
In the short, Kissock said the filming of “After the Dawn” in Maple Lake, “was such a good opportunity for our community to kind of come together and enjoy being part of the film. Also, it was a benefit to several businesses in town, giving them exposure because they were on camera and, also, because money was spent there.”
O’Loughlin agrees with Kissock, especially if Maple Lake becomes a landmark for even one movie or show.
“For the Mary Tyler Moore Show, they just filmed exteriors but everyday people go by that house to stop and take pictures,” O’Loughlin said. “If we could get something like that in Maple Lake, that continues to attract and get our name out there. Once our name is out there, maybe someone would want to put a factory or another business here.”
He acknowledged Maple Lake’s limitations –such as a lack of hotel, grocery store or city scenes –but also pointed to many of the positive attributes Kruex and her crew appreciated.
“There is a specific need we can fill well because of the beauty of the town, the friendly people, the lake and a clean downtown,” O’Loughlin said. “We have all these things that are assets.”
Kruex and her colleagues were so impressed that they plan to film a larger production, featuring
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