With the first two "High School Musical" productions proving to be big hits, a state board is putting out a $2 million incentive to make sure a third installment also is shot in Utah.
Meeting in Price, the Governor's Office of Economic Development Board approved several economic development incentives Friday, including the package for High School Musical 3 Productions Inc.
If the film company selects Utah, it would receive the state's biggest production incentive ever. An offer of $263,000 was approved for "High School Musical" and another for $500,000 was earmarked for the sequel.
According to board documents, the film's budget is $13.3 million, and 99 percent of that would be spent in Utah.
The production would involve 190 crew positions at $1,875 per week; plus $58,498 for stunt performers; $15,000 for Utah casting directors; and $472,640 for about 4,000 Utah extras.
The production would take place over 41 days, starting April 21.
Popularity of both "High School Musical" films has prompted people from across the country to visit East High School to see where the films were made.
To capitalize further on that fame, East High students put on several sold-out performances of the "High School Musical" play as their fall musical. The production's popularity was expected to gross more than $25,000 for the school. The school's popularity rose sharply following the second film's release to the public. School leaders estimated over the summer 40 to 50 people would wander the building to see areas where the movies had been filmed.
The board also approved a rebate incentive of up to $581,459 for Bronco Pictures LLC to shoot "Gentlemen Broncos." The film's total budget is nearly $10 million, and about $9 million would be spent in Utah.
The 50-day production schedule calls for shooting to start March 3. The film will be distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Producers Jared Hess and John J. Kelly have worked on "Napoleon Dynamite," "The World's Fastest Indian," "Nacho Libre," "Into the Wild" and "The Black Dahlia."
Another incentive approved Friday was for Barnes Bullets Inc., which would get up to $200,000 to help offset the costs of moving its operations from Lindon to Mona, retaining 53 jobs and creating 42. Half the incentive would be granted upon the completion of a new building and the start-up of manufacturing at the new site, and half would be granted upon creating 40 jobs at $25,000 per job.
The company would be required to pay 40 percent above the Juab County median wage. Board documents indicate the pay for new jobs actually would be 60 percent over the county median and the retained jobs would be 69 percent above the median. The state incentive is subject to a local incentive of at least $100,000 in infrastructure improvements and access to $350,000 in revolving loan fund availability at lower-than-market rates.
Barnes Bullets had sought a $900,000 state incentive. Utah is competing against South Dakota and possibly Wyoming and Idaho, board documents show.
The board also approved a change in an incentive approved in April. Malnove Inc. of Utah was approved for a tax rebate of up to $286,000 for a relocation and expansion. The change would allow the company to remain at the Freeport Center in Davis County or move to Ogden, and adjusts the average salary requirement to at least 50 percent above the Weber County median or 40 percent above the Davis County median.
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