ORLANDO, Fla. - In Orlando’s upscale community of Dr. Phillips, crews are building sets for a TV show with close ties to the Queen of Talk.
Film crews are working to build a school set that will be seen in a television series airing on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
The network has not released much information about what the show is about or when it will air.
While the community is abuzz with talk of the show, it’s a far cry from the amount of television and film work that once came out of Orlando.
Florida stopped giving tax incentives that encouraged Hollywood to set up in the Sunshine State, claiming it was “welfare for Hollywood.”
“It’s difficult to see our students leave the state of Florida,” said UCF film professor Gary Rhodes. “What was once Hollywood East is not anymore, and we’ve got to get back to that again.”
Just across the state line in Georgia, the film and TV industry generated billions of dollars last year.
Production for the blockbuster film "Black Panther," which was filmed in Georgia, was a huge hit for the Peach State.
“They basically have jobs that mimic every aspect of society, and "Black Panther" spent $84 million in the state of Georgia,” said Kris Baqwell from EU Studios Georgia.
When it comes to tax breaks, the film industry is such a money maker for Georgia that it does what few topics can do: unite both Republican and Democratic state lawmakers.
Channel 9 asked Florida’s two candidates for governor if they plan to bring some of the show business back to the Sunshine State.
Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum supports more films coming to Florida.
“This could have been us, Florida. When I’m governor we’re going to bring film tax credits back,” Gillum said in a tweet after learning how much money Georgia made for the production of "Black Panther."
This could have been us, Florida. When I’m Governor we’re going to bring film tax credits back. https://t.co/osA3S9q52S— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) February 11, 2018
Lobbyists for the film industry in Florida have met with Republican candidate Ron DeSantis to talk about their struggles in the state, citing the number of film students educated here but move to Georgia for work.
DeSantis did not respond to Channel 9’s request for comment.
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