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“Nebraska” movie being made without new incentives

By   /   December 14, 2012  /   2 Comments

Filmmaker Alexander Payne at the Governors Ball following the Academy Awards in February. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)


By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

Nearly a year ago, award-winning Hollywood director Alexander Payne went to the Nebraska Capitol to lobby lawmakers to start giving moviemakers subsidies to film in Nebraska.

The Greek filmmaking god – he’s the man behind movies such as Sideways, The Descendants and About Schmidt – told state lawmakers he’d like to make his next movie in Nebraska (the movie is, after all, called “Nebraska”) but might not because the state didn’t offer any film incentives.

Payne is a Nebraska native who has filmed three movies in Nebraska already, but he told lawmakers he was being pressured to make “Nebraska” in… Kansas, which already had film incentives.

“Frankly, I am hard pressed to offer resistance,” he told lawmakers.

The bill sailed through the Legislature, authorizing cities to reimburse businesses for giving discounts on film production purchases.

Fast forward to today: Payne is filming parts of the movie in Nebraska, but he didn’t apply for the incentives.

Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash, a lawmaker and sometime actor who sponsored the incentives bill, said because the bill didn’t become law until summer, “He needed to get started filming and didn’t have enough prep time to get the materials he would need to apply.”

Instead, Coash said one community gave him a $5,000 gift certificate to use for supplies, and businesses were making “a lot of in-kind donations.”

“Everybody cut him a deal,” Coash said.

Contact Deena Winter at [email protected].

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    Once again, businesses get the benefits while PEOPLE get the shaft. When will our Unicameral realize that the ONLY beneficiary to give aways to business is the business themselves, NOT the people of Nebraska? Oh, that’s right, they won’t.

  • Les_R

    All those people that ARE benefiting…. someone doesn’t want you to.