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Dale Gordon, executive director of Film Tampa Bay, resigns

Four years after taking over as Hillsborough County's de facto film commissioner, it's a wrap for Dale Gordon.

Gordon, 41, resigned Friday from her position as executive director of Film Tampa Bay, a branch of Visit Tampa Bay, the county's tourism board.

Efforts to reach Gordon on Monday were unsuccessful, her voicemail box refusing to take messages.

Film Tampa Bay director of operations Tyler Martinolich said Monday that "everything is status quo at the moment." Although not officially named as interim replacement, Martinolich already handles location scouting and city permit requests that film productions require.

"We don't know yet what will happen with legislative or fundraising (strategies)," Martinolich said.

Gordon's tenure leading Hillsborough's film and video industry was hampered after Florida's entertainment incentives program ran out of money. Subsequent efforts failed to persuade the state Legislature to replenish the fund.

Attracting new productions became what Martinolich deemed "a Sisyphean task."

"She was beating her head against the post for a while there," he said.

Gordon arrived in Tampa in 2013 after directing the Metro Orlando Film Commission, charged with raising the county's profile in attracting film, television and advertising productions.

In those days, Tampa Bay basked in the economic and cultural impacts of Dolphin Tale, Spring Breakers and Magic Mike, all prominently filmed in Pinellas County. Each of those productions benefited from the state incentives program before funding ran dry.

Without state money to entice productions, Gordon and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan led efforts to use county funds as incentives.

The plan worked to bring 2016's true crime drama The Infiltrator to Tampa Bay, sweetening the deal with $250,000 in Hillsborough County funds. However, a similar effort failed to land Ben Affleck's 2016 gangster drama Live by Night despite its primary setting in Ybor City. Affleck took his adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel to Georgia, where state incentives are available.

Contact Steve Persall at spersall@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

Dale Gordon, executive director of Film Tampa Bay, resigns 10/09/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:23am]
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