How to Measure Economic Impacts

The Economic impact is never confined to one city or town. Any production will have impacts beyond the city, town or region.

Measuring impact is an attempt to estimate the spending that occurs as a result of the production. The following should always be built into the development of an economic impact assessment:

• Build a model for analyzing the industry that you can easily use and adapt to different situations;
• Create a methodology that is easily understandable by the film office staff, and easily understood and justified to elected officials, the community, and the media;
• Remain flexible in your approach to the level and quality of the data will vary from production to production;
• Avoid the “garbage in garbage out” syndrome. In other words, make sure your data is of good quality and justifiable, and remain objective about what is possible.

The first questions most people ask are, “What should be measured?” and “How should one go about doing an EIA?” There are many things to measure, including:
1. Employment: Determine how many jobs a production created during the course of the project. These are direct jobs on the film production.
2. GDP (Gross Domestic Product): Review the GDP, which is the sum of wage, income, and profit brought to an area.
3. Wages and Salaries: Review aggregate wages and salaries. What is the personal benefit as the industry grows and how does industry benefit from multiple large projects or commercials?
4. Wealth Brought to a Community: Look at the increase in property value, i.e. small communities might see an upswing in home buying or an influx of buyers or tourists due to the filming taking place. What wealth was generated as a result?