Two major motion pictures taking place in the Bay area may soon be backing out for lack of tax credits.
Hollywood producers have been scouting the streets of Ybor City for an upcoming Ben Affleck film called "Live By Night." Filmmakers for a second major motion picture called "The Infiltrator" are clamoring to shoot in Tampa, too.
But the Bay area may lose out on the opportunity.
"There are no more tax credits," said Dale Gordon, head of Tampa/Hillsborough's Film and Digital Media Commission. "So these projects are not able to commit to coming to our market until they have some sense of security over whether our tax credit program is going to be refunded."
Lawmakers in Tallahassee are planning to talk about pouring millions more into the incentives pot to lure film and television companies to Florida. But movies like "The Infiltrator" can easily film elsewhere, in states that offer better deals.
"At the end of the day, this is a business," said Gordon. "They have to do what fiscally makes sense."
But the Tampa/Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission says it's not just the international spotlight Tampa receives by taking part in these big budget films.
One study showed for every $1 a movie receives in state tax incentives, $5 gets pumped back into the local economy.
For example, "The Infiltrator" is slated to receive $5 million in incentives, which could mean $25 million for Tampa.
Gordon says film crews have to spend money on hotels, restaurants and local workers to make these pictures happen. She says it's a missed opportunity to not take advantage.
"Dolphin Tale" is an example of a film that has an unusually high return for the local investment.
A USF study estimated the film raked in $580 million for the area in 2013. The study says 800,000 visitors passed through the area just to see Winter and vacation in the area.
Hillsborough County Commissioners called lawmakers to the capitol to help.
"What I want to do today is send a letter to the governor, senate president, speaker to support additional funding for Florida's entertainment industry financial incentive program," said Commissioner Ken Hagan.
Both "The Infiltrator" and "Live By Night" are scheduled to begin production before lawmakers can approve the money in May.
Local leaders are racing now to see what they can do. Hagan suggested pulling together a local incentive program for the films if the state money doesn't materialize.
Gordon says if the state funds $50 million in incentives this year, the movies should be a go.
Florida's incentive program is one of the most fiscally responsible in the nation. It only gives credits after the films spend locally. The money also only goes toward the film's Florida-based work force, and Florida-based expenditures.