When Alaska Senator Johnny Ellis introduced a bill to subsidize film and television production in Alaska, no one thought then Sarah Palin could be a recipient. On June4, 2008 she signed the film subsidy into law. I wonder if producer Mark Burnett of Survivor fame has been offered such a deal.
The Anchorage Press reported this week:
Initial reports last week said Palin's appearance fee for a soft-documentary TV show featuring Alaska stories could be between $1 million and $1.5 million, per episode. Zoinks!
It's not quite as expensive as it sounds. The state of Alaska's film subsidy program would allow Burnett, or anyone who hires an Alaska resident as a talking head, to get back 40 percent of those wages, or $400,000. Production companies that shoot between October and March qualify for an additional two percent, and there's a two-percent rural shooting bonus. So if a company pays an Alaska politician--or an Alaska fifth grader--$1 million to travel to Barrow and chatter in front of cameras about the first sunrise of 2011 next January, the production can qualify for $442,000 in state tax credits. Hedges the bet a just little, eh?
It boggles the mind when you think how Alaska has been used as Sarah Palin's personal ATM.