Researched and written by Lauren Folden
Maine is both a cost-effective and convenient place to film for a production with a small budget. Not only do most locations not require permits, but a production will also save money from not needing police assistance for crowd control. With a plethora of scenic byways and quaint coastal villages, Maine’s rugged landscape and antique charm are unique to the state. From the seemingly untouched grandeur of its shoreline to its brackish, nautical sophistication, Maine is sure to reward adventurous filmmakers.
Maine is an excellent choice for a film that demands spectacular natural beauty. Thickly wooded forests, hilly terrain, and a craggy Atlantic coastline make for a film location brimming with raw, natural splendor. For a production looking for a historical nautical setting, the Pennellville Historic District of Brunswick, former home to the extensive twentieth century shipping yard, is a perfect choice. Although many remnants of the shipping yard remain, the area is now most notable for its stately 18th and 19th century captains’ mansions, and is often touted as the most beautiful residential area of Maine. The state is also home to at least 12 popular and well-preserved historic lighthouses, including the Portland Head lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, which was commissioned by George Washington.&nbs;p
Although the State of Maine government does not require a general filming permit, productions must fill out a Maine Media Production Registration form and fax it to the Maine Film Office before starting to film in-state. Exceptions to this rule are Acadia National Park with requires a special use permit and the City of Portland which also requires permits.
Police assistance would largely be unnecessary in Maine except in situations in which filming impedes traffic.
The Maine Film Office requires that all productions (film, video and still) have a certificate of insurance on file at the Film Office prior to shooting in Maine.
To be eligible for tax credit, a project must spend $250,000 or more on production related expenses in Maine and the production first must be certified by the Maine Film Office before taking part in these incentive programs. Productions are also encouraged to take advantage of Certified Media Wage Reimbursement, which grants companies a reimbursement of 10% of the amount paid as wages for non-Maine residents and 12% of the amount paid as wages for Maine residents.
MPBN Maine News 07/24/2008 Filmmakers Say Maine Needs Action
Profile of the Maine Film and Video Association Forum on Film Financing, 12/04
Profile of the 2001 Maine International Film Festival, 7/01