Doubling for six of the planet’s seven continents and offering a recently revamped incentive programme, it’s tough to pass up this American city as a filming destination
Orlando is a city in the central region of the American state of Florida. The Metro Orlando region covers Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties and the City of Orlando, extending over 4,012 square miles.
Metro Orlando’s diverse location backdrop duplicates six of the seven continents and includes rolling hills, wild swamps, lush jungles, unspoilt pastures and great bodies of water, which paint a diverse landscape that can fit almost every location needs. There are urban pockets, quiet suburbs and winding roads leading to rustic, small towns. In the midst of it all, palatial estates, ranging from Georgian to Mediterranean, outline well-manicured golf courses and great bodies of water.
With the ability to film year-round – the average temperature is 82.0 degrees Fahrenheit – it’s no wonder that Central Florida’s community has flourished into a nationally recognised location destination. Metro Orlando is one of the finest locations one has to offer.
The city is best known for the Walt Disney World Resort located approximately 21 miles southwest of Downtown Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, founded by the Walt Disney Company in 1971. It is also known for the Universal Orlando Resort, which consists of two parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. There are other attractions including City Walk. Orlando is also home to the SeaWorld theme park, Gatorland, as well as Wet ‘n Wild Water Park. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive.
Orlando’s climate is transitional, with many characteristics of a tropical climate, even though Orlando is technically situated on the southern fringe of the humid sub-tropical climate zone. There are two major seasons each year. One is hot and rainy, lasting from June to late September. The other is the dry, warm season, extending from October through May, bringing less frequent rainfall, yet still with warm temperatures.
During the height of Orlando’s humid summer season, temperatures rarely fall below 21 °C, and daytime highs average in the 32-37 °C. The area’s humidity acts as a buffer, usually preventing actual temperatures from exceeding 38 °C.
State Incentives for Filming in Florida
Effective July 1, 2010, the State of Florida passed $242 million in transferable tax credits over five years to encourage the use of Florida as a site for International production.
This revamped incentive programme is great news, allowing Florida to compete on a more level playing field for both film and entertainment (including digital media) industries. The appropriation provided in last years has been replaced by a new entertainment industry tax incentive programme totaling $242 million over five years. $53.5 million in transferable tax credits will be authorised for distribution during the 2011 fiscal year. Qualified projects will receive 20 per cent to 30 per cent back for qualified Florida expenditures.
Florida Entertainment Sales Tax Exemption
In Florida, any qualified production company engaged in the production of motion pictures, made-for-television motion pictures, television series, commercial advertising, music videos or sound recordings may be eligible for an exemption from sales and use tax on the purchase or lease of certain items used exclusively as an integral part of the production activities in Florida. The production company must apply for a certificate of exemption to be presented to a registered Florida sales and use tax dealer when making purchases and rentals of qualified production equipment.
The motion picture, television production and sound recording industries are afforded the following exemptions from sales and use tax:No tax on the sale or lease of motion picture, video and sound recording equipment. This exemption applies to film, video and recording equipment.
No tax on the rent or lease of real property used as an integral part of a motion picture production. Renting sound stages, studios, lots, buildings or any other real estate is exempt. No tax on labour to produce a motion picture.
No tax on artistic or copyright material on master tapes, master films, master records and master video tapes.
In most cases, there are no processing fees to pull permits in Metro Orlando unless city, county or state services are required. These services include use of off-duty officers or fire employees and equipment, metered parking and some public parks.
The city, county or state reserves the right to collect those fees before production begins. There are a few jurisdictions in the Metro Orlando region that have fees associated with shooting in their community. They are as follows:
• Altamonte Springs: $50 per permit processed
• Celebration: (a privately-owned community) $500 per day to film
• Maitland: $100 per permit processed and $75 per day to film
• Oakland: $500 per day to film
• Seminole County: $75 per permit processed
• St Cloud: $25 per permit processed
• Windermere: $100 per permit processed
• Winter Park: 100 per permit processed and $500 per day to film
Films Shot In Orlando
• Beethoven (1992)
• The Reel Story (1994)
• Ace Ventura 3 (1994)
• The Waterboy (1998)
• Never Back Down (2008)