‘Bug Bites’ animated TV series awarded incentive from Michigan Film Office

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New animated television series, “Bug Bites,” is eligible to receive an incentive of $791,490 from the Michigan Film Office

LANSING, MI – A newly created animated television series, “Bug Bites,” is eligible to receive an incentive of $791,490 from the Michigan Film Office. The first season of the show, which includes 26 episodes, will be distributed by American Public Television to Public Broadcast Service.

The incentive will assist the Southfield-based production to hire 29 workers through the end of the year equating to 24 full-time positions. The project is expected to spend over $2.2 million with Michigan vendors and businesses.

Michigan residents Christopher “Topher” Putman and Adam Lazarus are co-creators of “Bug Bites.” While living in California, the two along with Michigan native Chloe Bailey worked with executive producer Jeff Stern to refine and produce a pilot program, which they’ve decided to anchor in Michigan. 

“There are great opportunities for artists throughout the creative industries here in Michigan, and ‘Bug Bites’ is a testimony to what’s possible within our state,” said Jenell Leonard, commissioner of Michigan Film Office.
“More than ever, we must be committed to fostering a creative community and elevate the state as a place of innovation and creativity, especially for Michigan students aspiring to launch rewarding digital media careers and businesses at home,” said Leonard.

“Bug Bites” aims to educate viewers through science lessons, interesting facts about bugs and the wacky adventures of host Adam Lazarus and his animated sidekick -Gilbert, the cockroach. The animated series will extend beyond the screen and be complimented by downloadable educational activities.

“Bug Bites” is the latest of approved incentive projects from the Michigan Film Office.

Recently announced projects include “My Soul to Keep,” “Swish Master,” “Golem” and “The Pickle Recipe.” Total approved incentives, including “Bug Bites,” amount to $2,601,173. Of that amount, a projected $7,439,178 is estimated to be spent collectively in Michigan by the five productions with an anticipated 247 workers to be hired and 56 full-time jobs created.

Disbursement of state funds by the Michigan Film Office is contingent on verified documentation of spending submitted by the production company.

By its nature, the film and video production industry is distinct from many of the industries that make up the Michigan economy. The workforce consists of a range of self-employed and freelance workers in diverse fields, including production designers, actors, sound engineers, graphic designers, talent agents, equipment rental operators, extras, carpenters and electricians along with other skilled-trades workers.

The Michigan Film Office was established in 1979 to assist and attract production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s film industry. The office administers the incentive (cash rebate) program for film, television and other digital media production in the state.

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