Collecting Data

The first thing you need to do is to develop a system to track all the production activity that takes place in your area. The film industry in general tends to be transitory in nature and not all production might come to the attention of the film commission. If you require permits or have an active incentive program, you will be able to track production more easily. If not, you will need to keep a record of everyone who contacts your office for information in order to contact them during filming to determine how much they spent. You can use client tracking software, create a computer tracking system for yourself, or devise any other organizational method that works for you.

The AFCI has developed an Economic Impact Tracking System document which contains general formulas for determining economic impact. This will be demonstrated later in this chapter.

The information needed to create an economic impact report includes the type of production, production days and amount of money that was spent in your area. The type of production and production days are relatively simple to determine. The amount of money spent is often more difficult because many companies do not want to release what they consider to be confidential information. You should still ask for this information. In some cases, the companies will provide it, particularly if they are certain that you will keep it confidential.