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Kokomo firm taps state tax credits to make animated film

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A Kokomo-based startup founded by a children’s book author and an illustrator plans to produce an animated film in Indiana with the help of state film tax credits, economic development officials announced Tuesday.  

Bach Morris Technologies Corp., founded in September 2009 to develop interactive children's toys and media, will spend $2.4 million on “Whoever Heard of a Herd of Fird?” a movie based on author Othello Bach’s 1984 best-seller “Whoever Heard of a Fird?”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it offered the company up to $111,245 in assistance through the state's Media Production Expenditure Tax Credit program, which provides movie-makers as much as a 15 percent tax credit on in-state production costs.

Bach Morris' film project is estimated to create more than 20 high-skill jobs including artists, animators and programmers, among other positions.

Ball State University's Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts will provide production and design services for the project through a commercial spinoff, Immersive LLC, expected to launch this fall.

Production is scheduled to begin early next year and the film—Bach Morris’ first—is expected to be ready for release in the second quarter of 2012.

Bach Morris is developing a line of interactive toys based on characters, like Fird and others from its stories. The company also will launch a website with downloadable games and stories.

“Whoever Heard of a Herd of Fird?” is the latest film to choose Indiana for at least some of its production. Recently, “Transformers 3,” “Public Enemies” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” were filmed in-part in northwest Indiana.

Approved by lawmakers in 2008, Indiana's 15-percent tax credit is an effort to beef up the state's film-production industry.

It took industry backers years to get the tax credit on the books, as bills passed the House but not the Senate. When a measure calling for the 15-percent credit finally passed both chambers in 2007, Gov. Mitch Daniels vetoed it, calling the credits overly generous. Eventually the Legislature overturned the veto but capped total credits at $5 million per year.

Despite the progress, Indiana still lags other states. Michigan gives film productions there a 40-percent tax credit, for example, and Illinois offers 20 percent.
 

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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