Loose Lips

“Greedy” House of Cards Proves a Cautionary Tale for Motion Picture Office Execs

With Councilmember Vincent Orange's mayoral campaign winning less than 2 percent of the vote in last week, his hopes for bringing Netflix's House of Cards to the District are about over. Driving the point home today at a hearing on Vince Gray's budget, Orange's complaints about proposed cuts to film incentives budget earned only smirks from Gray and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins.

There's another reason for Orange to lose hope, too. Maryland—once so proud of their middling online-only series—looks set to give in to the show's producers over tax credits, and the District's own Office of Motion Picture and Television Development is starting to consider what the fight means for the future of throwing money at Hollywood.

In emails obtained by LL through a Freedom of Information Act request, MPTD officials lament that the District can't keep up in terms of tax breaks for filmmakers.

“This just goes to show that we never stood a chance with getting House of Cards to do any major filming here,” MPTD communications director Leslie Green wrote to agency director Pierre Bagley and other officials on Feb. 21 about a Post article about the tax credit fight. “Such a shame how greedy they are…”

“Absolutely….!" Bagley wrote back. "It’s a game DC can never win…Someone, somewhere will always pay more…For the time being! Let’s create a game that’s sustainable, and that we can win!"

MPTD didn't respond to a request for comment. But with the cuts proving uncontroversial in today's budget hearing, Orange's objections aside, any plans to bring more House of Cards to the District look as dead as one of Frank Underwood's victims.

Graphic by Carey Jordan

  • Block Party

    Orange will not get anything passed for the duration of Gray's term MARK MY WORDS.

    The Mayor might as well go on sick leave and hire Dikembe Mutombo to take his place.

  • Moving Target

    This is about jobs that are going elsewhere while DC fiddles. It's not about Vincent Orange. It's not about Vincent Gray.

  • Cecille B.

    "fair to midling on-line series" you are kidding right? Try popular and critical
    triumph drives a whole lot of viewers to Netflix and millions of dollars in direct spending to Maryland.

    The only things fair to middling if that are Pierre Bagley's resume and qualifications and Will Sommer's knowledge of television.

    Isn't this Greene person the daughter of the infamous Lorraine Green? Seems like Vinnie has sandbagged that office once again.

    What pray tell is a game we can win Pierre?

  • Cecille B.

    Vince Orange is to be commended.

  • Will Sommer

    @Cecille

    SEASON 1, Episode 3: The Peach Water Tower Difficulty

    FRANK: I say, confound that peach.

    And scene.

  • Joe

    I'm really glad it went to Maryland, what an incredible waste of money it would be. There is literally no benefit to throwing tax breaks at TV shows to film here. Every singe VO project is about him; this, that stupid waterpark at RFK idea. He's just an insane egomaniac trying to build things we don't need and that waste money to put his name on. There are millions of ways that money could be better spent that would actually show economic benefit for the district, and VO has never proposed any of them. I can't wait until that turkey gets voted out in two years.

  • King Auteur

    Typically this Bag person fails to see what is happening in Maryland as an opportunity but rather an excuse for lack of vision and further downsizing expectations. The primary qualification for this hiring (and the pussy whillow wielders went out of town for this hack) seems to have been not to make Crystal Palmer look bad.

    Secondly, this Green person is related to the shadow campaign maven which suggests they are trying again to make this important economic development tool into an obscure backwater to create lifetime sinecures for cronies.

    I suggest you dig deeper. You are being fed a lot of bs. Interesting too that I can't remember a case where you Will have editorialized so blatantly and then you got defensive.

  • Tight Lips

    @Joe VO will not be voted out in two years. Regardless of what you may think of him, there aren't many people who have a better record than Orange. You have a better chance unseating the other At-Large councilmembers.

    You would have a better chance of unseating Anita Bonds than unseating Orange.

  • beth b.

    Let Maryland have the House of Cards jerks. After this bullshit move no one should watch that show http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bs-md-arts-funding-budget-20140406,0,5007289.story?track=rss

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