The mission of the Film Business Development Program is to market the St. Petersburg Clearwater area as a film production destination that supports financially viable and high-production-value-film, television, music videos and digital media that contribute to the county's tourism industry and local economy.

This local incentive program pays up to 10% of qualifying local spend. There is no minimum spend. A review of local expenditures will be done to determine the final incentive amount.

Recent films to utilize this incentive are Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Epiphany, The FavoriteRandom Tropical Paradise, and Paying Mr. McGetty.

Recent digital projects to receive the incentive are Rescue Clearwater, Smarter Every Day, Hovering a Helicopter is Hilariously Hard, Running with Violet, BTS, Barry Baker Aspiring Serial Killer, We the King's "Sad Song."

Testimonial Videos from Past Productions



  • Attract filmmakers to Pinellas County
  • Increase the number of local hires
  • Increase the length of stay of filmmakers and out-of-town crews
  • Increase the number of room nights occupied by crews
  • Generate a favorable profile of this area among decision-makers within the filmmaking industry and media content creators. The county and a production company will evaluate destination exposure, direct spending in the area, and how the area may be promoted as a filmmaking region. Upon agreement, and a contract, the county will pay the production company the agreed upon amount.

Destination exposure may be evaluated partly or entirely upon the following criterion:

  • Portrayal of the destination
  • References to the destination in the story
  • Featuring natural attractions, landmarks or significant key locations
  • Citing in the film's credits, as agreed between the film commission and film producers
  • Appearances or testimonials from film or TV principals on behalf of the area for use on our website 
  • Video testimonials or discussion of the destination to be hosted online by director, producers and/or talent
  • Partnerships on joint public relations campaigns for film promotion
  • Film premiere marketing and hosting opportunities
  • Social media promotion 

To apply, contact Tony Armer.

How It Works

Here is how the St. Pete Clearwater incentive works;

1.    Fill out our business development marketing program application, contact [email protected] for an application.
2.    We determine the amount of funds we will offer and give you that information.
a.    10% base Incentive is based upon local spend above and below the line.
b.    The business development marketing funds can increase based on marketing value of social media and traditional media promotion by the production. A 3rd party agency evaluates and gives the film commission an estimated media value.
3.    The fund amount is contingent upon a contract with the county and a completed expense report (FilmSPC provides the form) that includes invoices and receipts.
4.    The Program pays out only after 
a.    Filming has completed, 
b.    A review is done on the local expenditures, 
c.    And the deliverable items in the contract have been fulfilled,
5.    The deliverable items are marketing based and are negotiable, for example;
a.    Testimonials from above the line cast, producer, director about the area. (i.e. Tim Burton interview here). Great example here for BBASK.
b.    Highlighting exterior locations by filming there; i.e. beaches, and other visually unique areas. 
c.    Film Commission permission to use the production’s Key art and promotional images in our marketing.
d.    Thanks and logo in the credits.
e.    A local media day or junket.
f.    Permission to do a behind the scenes social media campaign.
g.    Special local screening of the film.

Timeline for payout of Grant
1.       Look over the agreement and communicate and questions, comments or changes.  The last page is the deliverables.
2.       The company name on the agreement is the name the check will be made out to and the address is the address the check will be mailed to.
Here’s the timeline;
1.    Production company completes filming.
2.    Production company provides all receipts, invoices and line item expenses. 
3.    Production Company reviews the agreement and informs the film commission of any changes needed or that it looks good.
4.    Film SPC submits to the Visit St. Pete Clearwater CEO for review.
5.    VSPC submits to the County attorney for review.
6.    County attorney approves, Film SPC sends it to you for signature
7.    Agreement is sent to the Pinellas County Administrator for signature
8.    Agree upon remaining deliverable item details (date, location of screening, wording for credits, etc.)
9.    Production Company signs, submits a W9 or W8 for foreign projects and invoice requesting payment.
10.    Film SPC assembles completed expenditures form with invoices and receipts, all proof of deliverables, signed agreement, internal memo, completed form showing local expenditures, review invoices and receipts of local expenditures.
11. Production Company receives payment within 45 days from acknowledgment of all completed items and invoice turned in to finance department.