Producer’s Corner: So, You Wanna Be a Filmmaker

So you want to make a film.  What do you do?  Gather friends and strangers together and just do it?  Well, what if someone fell and cut their leg?   What if an actor broke their arm? Did you have contracts to protect yourself?  Did you get the insurance needed? Did you sign a contract protecting the business or home owner from such accidents?  Uh oh, do you even have a business license?

Oh sure, there are websites telling you that in four easy steps, you can become a filmmaker.  Yep.  It looks glamorous does it not?  Who doesn’t want to be an actor or a filmmaker?  It is easy work right?  Hmm.  Let’s take a look at what you really need to become a filmmaker.

This information is the difference between professional and doing a film as a hobby just for fun – and there is nothing wrong with that but, you really should protect your hobby too.  A car collector still has insurance and owns the title of his valuable cars – you should too for your films. So you hobby filmmakers should sit back and read too.

BUSINESS LICENSE

The first step you need to take is getting a business license from your state.  For Washington filmmakers: http://bls.dor.wa.gov.  The site will seem hard, but it really is not.  Just take your time and answer the questions – it sometimes helps if you know someone who has done it before.  You can take it one step further and make your business an LLC (Limited Liability Company – click on link to read up).  Huray!  You’re now on your way to being a business person!  After this – having a business plan is all up to you – another time, another blog.

TAXES – DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

Be wise.  Be smart.  Here’s a load of information on the Washington Filmworks page about the Department of Revenue.

WASHINGTON STATE MOTION COMPETITIVENESS PROGRAM (TAX INCENTIVE)

It’s going to be easier to send you to Washington Filmworks website to follow up with and learn about the incentive.  You ARE going to need this information if you start making films with a budget.

With one of the industry’s most competitive incentive programs, Washington Filmworks provides funding assistance of up to 30% of in-state qualified expenditures (including Washington-based labor and talent). And we’ll cut you a check within 30 days. We’ve got millions in incentive funds to give away this year, offering you the opportunity to significantly cut costs without sacrificing production quality.

To qualify for our 30% return in 30 days incentive program, your production company must meet the following in-state spending thresholds:

  • $500,000 Motion Pictures
  • $300,000 Television (per episode)
  • $150,000 Commercial

CONTRACTS & OTHER FORMS

Alrighty!  So you have a script and you are in the big Producer/Director chair for your own film.  Now you want to hire crew and actors – or you might need a contract to buy a script from a Writer. Well, you need to come up with a contract that protects you, the actors, the crew, and the location you are filming in.  So – here is a list of BASIC contracts.  There are more websites out there showing basic contracts if you do an internet search. You can modify them but remember, it may still be a good idea to get an attorney to review it.
By the way – include Non-disclosure forms and a bunch of others into this category.  Yes, all the more reason to hire a person who knows how to do things – that person is called a Producer.

PRODUCER

What in tarnation is a Producer? Well, in short – they are the face and voice of your film.  Here’s a link to a blog I did – “What is a Producer?”  The Producer must have excellent and genuine customer service, marketing, administrative and business skills and knowledge. Without these skills, one will look disorganized, unprofessional, and will cause your film to be canceled, delayed or worse.  Hire a good Producer.

INSURANCE

This isn’t secret squirrel knowledge.  You can contact ANY insurance agency.  If they don’t have it, they will refer you to an agency that does.  You are looking for film insurance and a quote.  Shop around – it’s like car insurance, you want the best you can get for a good rate.  They will give you different options and you choose what’s best.

PERMITS

Unfortunately, we do need film permits and for all sorts of things.  Yes, you can swear all you want at “big brother” but it won’t get your film going any faster.  Please be professional and courteous with those who you’re submitting the permit to.  Here is a great link for Washington State Film (Washington Filmworks) to find what kind of permit you need.  For permits within Seattle, you can get them at the Seattle Office of Film & Music.  From the words of Seattle Producer/Director Kris Boustedt:  “I also want to add, re: permits. To any prospective readers/filmmakers: don’t be afraid of them (especially in Seattle). :-):-) The Seattle Office of Film and Music makes the process really simple and painless. They rule.”

COMMUNITY GUIDELINES

Yeah, it helps being professional at all times.  You are a contracted business and you are hiring people to work for you – even if it’s for pro bono.  Oh and just a note – don’t BS people by saying they get an IMDB credit for their work.  That only happens if you submit the (short) film to festivals and it gets accepted. Don’t say that.  So if it is pro bono (free) work – they are doing it for their own experience, to help you out (and you better return the favor), credit on the DVD and they get lunch/dinner.  That’s it.  Anyhow, here is a good guideline from Washington Filmworks about Filming Guidelines.  I also wrote a blog about safety for new crew/cast to film.

WASHINGTON STATE – CODE OF CONDUCT

I want to make sure you all understand The Code Of Conduct should be attached to the filming notification and distributed to the neighborhood.  I can’t say it any better than this:  “You are guests and should treat this location, as well as the public, with courtesy.  If we do not all work toward building a good relationship with the local communities in which we work, we will see less production, resulting in fewer jobs for us all.  Please adhere to the following guidelines.”

WASHINGTON STATE – LABOR AND INDUSTRIES             

I want to make sure that everyone understands that you are NOT exempt from City, State, or Federal laws just because you are a “filmmaker.”  Sexual harassment can happen anywhere.  Unfair treatment can happen anywhere.  Here is a list of Workplace Rights – know them.  Hiring children under 18, there are specific laws about it.  Read it.  Know it.

OSHA, WISHA, and DOSH – OH MY!

How do OSHAWISHA, and DOSH relate? What about RCWs and WACs?  I’m going to just let your read up on it all.  Safety, safety and more safety – by law, you are required to follow the rules and provide safety to cast/crew and yourself.
OSHA – federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration
WISHA – Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act of 1973
DOSH – Division of Occupational Safety and Health
I’m going to also point to my safety blog.

FIRST-AID KIT & EMERGENGY

Do you know what to do in an emergency?  Did you know you are by law to have a medical kit on set?  OSHA standard 1910.151 (b) also states an employer must have “adequate first aid supplies…readily available,” although specific first aid supplies are not listed.  Here’s a great emergency list to check out and follow.  I’m going to also point to my safety blog.

NOT A DATING SERVICE

Sorry to step on some toes here but film is not a dating service and if you’re using it as such, please read this.  For actors – You don’t need to do anything to get ahead other than audition.  Harassment in the Workplace – know it too.  The Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60) also prohibits sex discrimination in employment, which includes sexual harassment.  Under this law, individuals may file a lawsuit in state court or file a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission.  Do not call someone hun, honey, baby, or other cute terms.  They are your colleagues and again, just because you’re not at Microsoft, doesn’t mean your exempt from the law.  Protect YOURSELF.

SAG-AFTRA

Do you even know what that means?  Lol  Don’t panic!  A lot of people don’t know this when they start making films.  Here’s your chance to learn and look them up on your own time.  Whatever you do, don’t ever feel pressure from anyone to know everything all the time.  SAG-Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA is American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.  I know, I know, a long title.  It represents over 150,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide.  So – here’s the website to review them a bit more.  When you hire UNION actors, you will be going through SAG-AFTRA.

FI-CORE

Financial Core is the bastard child that no one wants to talk about.  Because I firmly believe that everyone should be given all information to make their own decisions – I’m posting this information.  FYI – by posting this, it does not mean I am anti-union.  In fact, I am vested in a union already.  I will not post anything about this – leaving you to read and decide ON YOUR OWN.  Do NOT let anyone intimidate or manipulate you one way or another.  Actors like Jon Voight, Gary Graham, Dennis Hopper and more are/were Fi-Core.   Both John Voight and Gary Graham explain why they chose this route as actors.  By the way – it’s not just actors who can go Fi-Core – Directors and Writers can too.

•Here’s what SAG has to say: http://www.sag.org/getthefacts/ficore2.html
•Here’s a great pro-fi-core article: http://www.coalminecanary.com/SAG.html

Now you are well informed as you should be.

PRODUCTION NAME

Make it something that is identifiable and don’t rip someone else off – for Google’s sake, make it professional.  Two Dogs Humping Productions is NOT going to get you jobs by the vast majority.

INVESTMENT FUNDING

This is where you will have to do a lot of research on your own.  Do NOT trust just anyone who says they are going to invest in your film.  Do NOT fly to meet with this person if they do not have a legit website, email address, phone number and can talk the language of finances.  There is no magic wand that will make money appear before your eyes to get your (hopefully) feature film.  Short films – either you all just do this for experience or if you feel the need, go to all the crowd funding sites and raise some disposable cash. That’s all short films are = disposable cash.  You will never make money from them but you can get funding for your future feature films if they show some good quality work.

You will have to work for this – unless you hire a Producer.  Here’s another thing – do not expect anyone to just hand over their investor contacts.  No one will and once you’re up and running – you shouldn’t either.  Yep – I’m telling you to protect your work, your investors, yourself, your crew and your cast in this whole entire blog.  I will warn you this – Investors know bullshit.  Don’t try to bullshit them or you will be out the door.

COMMUNITY – COMPETITOR

In every city, there are filmmakers just like you wanting to make money and build a great community.  The one piece of advice is to remember that while you’re building great relationships – never give out your project information.  Why?  Well it can be many things: a) you tell someone something, they forget it and six months later they have the same project because you put it in their subconscious b) they deliberately beat you to the chase and ripped you off c) it’s just not wise.  Don’t mentor.  Oh sure, you can do it, but once everyone has picked your brain to death, you’re left standing like a Zombie. Never give out what studio job you have sent your resume to.  Why?  Your community is your competitor too.  They want the same job because they want to be paid as well.  It’s not wrong – it’s business.

OFTEN COPIED – NEVER DUPLICATED

If you’re someone who’s really sharp and on the ball, be prepared for the copy-cat syndrome.  Just remember that you can be copied but never duplicated.  Smile with that.  This is another reason to keep a lid on your projects.  Yeah, yeah – they are going to watch you and do what you do.  People see through it.  What works naturally for you will not work for them.  Be thankful that you are in touch with yourself.  Look, no one can be you or repeat what you have done with your production company, your films or your acting style.  There is one Peter Jackson, Brad Pitt, and Sigourney Weaver. Heck, there’s even just one Megan Fox.

SHINY NEW TOY

A person on the move is a person that many will see as a shiny new toy.  Some of you will rise very fast and some a little slower and more calculated.  While it is great to network, socialize and all that pretty stuff – just be cautious who you let into your production. You’re going to have sycophants around you and that’s up to you to decide who they are.  You’ll be told how awesome you are and you won’t know that the last shiny new toy was told the exact same words six months and two projects earlier.  Just remember this – you’re not in this business to gain more “family” members, you’re here to make film and either do it as a career or to do it as a hobby.  This happens in any town or city, so don’t feel you need to move from Atlanta to LA or Austin to Seattle.  It just happens.  People want to get ahead at any cost.

COMMUNICATION

I’ll just send you over to this blog about communication.  Read it. Communication is a huge problem.  I repeat – Communication is a huge problem.

CREW/CAST RESPECT

Again – sending you to another blog about respect.  You better know it and do it because word gets around fast.

RESPONSIBILITY & CONSEQUENCES

Responsibility:  You are responsible for the safety and well-being of all your crew/cast that you hire along with the business and homes you use.  Professionalism is the best practice.  Always be courteous and helpful.  If it is too much for you, hire a Producer that can be a voice for your film.  While we are on “Responsibility”, if you screw up, step up and take responsibility for it.  Running away and hiding won’t build you any peace bridges any time soon.  It’s about being professional.
Consequences:  If someone is injured on set and you do not have insurance, you are running the risk of being sued. If you treat people badly, you run the risk of burning your own bridge with your local film community.

HOLY CRAP

I know what you’re thinking by now.  “Holy crap Gina, I don’t know if I want to make films after all – there seems to be so many laws and guidelines.  I just wanted to make a movie.”  Well, the answer is this – it’s called show business for a reason.  It really is a business and accountants, attorneys, auditors, tech editors, etc are all involved eventually.  It is a great industry to be in but you also have to treat it as a job and be responsible as well.  Just remember, you are representing yourself as a business.

MAKING A MOVIE

Go forth and make a movie.  Don’t forget about hiring crew/cast and that can mean pro bono as well.  Make sure the script is good, you have great lighting and actors.  You are now on your way to being a filmmaker!!!

OTHER RESOURCES RIGHT OFF THE WASHINGTON FILMMORKS SITE:

Resource Downloads
Business Seeking Work in Film Industry

Community Filming Guidelines

Excemption Certificate

Funding and Grant Resources

Guidelines for Private Property Owners

History of Film-TV in WA

Market Your Community to the Film Industry

Statute 6423

Statute 6558

Talent + Extras Cautions and Guidelines

Things to Consider when Location Scouting

WA State Code of Conduct

 WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION

Well as stated above, you can get the information from Washington Filmworks and Seattle Office of Film & Music.

I am no expert but I take the time to read up and I have fantastic mentors of years in Hollywood, Vancouver, New York, London, Washington DC, and those that fly back home to Seattle. If anyone would like me to add anything more to this – email me at:  officialginalockhart@gmail.com

Cheers.

Gina Lockhart
Producer/Director/Writer

Producer’s Corner: Respect, Praise and Payment for Crew & Talent

Producers – you are responsible for all the action or lack of action that goes on your self with pre, mid, and post production.  You are the rudder of a ship and you have the choice to take your project out to sea or run it into the rocks. It is you that is the business person, not Dad or Mom of a crew. Your crew are people you hired as a contracted filmmaker to get a project completed in some cases, you bond with many and return over and over which is a nice compliment by the way.

Like in my last blog on describing what a Producer is – not everyone is cut out to be one. You can’t be a land-shark in this industry either. If you’re out to make the big bucks on your own project but pay your crew with dog stool dollars, you’re hurting yourself in the long run – remember?  You are responsible for all the action, feeling, thoughts and energy that goes on with the production.  Here – read what a Producer does just in case you don’t know or need a refresher course.  Producer’s Corner: What is a Movie Producer.  Make sure you’re seeking to be a Producer for the right reasons.

Below are some topics that I borrowed from a previous blog I wrote last year that always seem to be an issue with the film industry.

DISCLAIMER:  When I write blogs, they also teach me a lot of things.  So when it seems I’m pointing fingers at people, I am a firm believer in looking in a mirror.   So my blogs also teach me things to better myself as a human being above all, to keep me from being an egotistical narcissistic nightmare, a better fillm maker, friend and colleague.

Crew Titles
Give credit where it’s due and don’t take advantage of people who may have more knowledge but are hired for something lower – like someone is normally a Producer but volunteered or paid to be a Script Supervisor and you start picking their brain for information. That’s not what you hired them for and it’s not cool. Crew – protect yourselves with contracts. A Director is a Director – not a PA. An AC is not a PA. A PA is not a 2nd AC. If they have to switch gears on set, be sure to give them full credit for what they did. I don’t care if it’s an independent film – there are plenty of people out there who are willing to help out for experience so hire them – stop with the ‘tight ass’ crew syndrome.  Know the difference between a UPM (Unit Production Manager) and an LP (Line Producer).  That’s research for you.

Crew Praise
You didn’t make that film. Your crew and cast did – this is the biggest pet peeve I have experienced and won’t ever tolerate this self-glory crap again. This is why I set the standard of everyone seeing on movie fan pages that I’m the Producer on to see ALL crew/cast members.  Yes, it’s the Director’s vision but without crew/cast – wouldn’t have happened.

Crew Respect
“I’m working as hard as I’m getting paid” said a DP once on set as he was receiving no pay but being ordered around to hurry and such by the AD/Director. At the time, it might seem disrespectful, but a couple years later, I clearly understand why the DP made that comment.  We could pick this apart by saying that the DP should be working hard no matter if it’s volunteer or paid but there is a different attitude when you’re paid. Now, if the DP was working for close colleagues, I’m sure he would have done everything possible to bust his hump, but was he out of line as he uses a $2,500 camera outside when the production has no equipment insurance to protect the gear? I don’t think so.

However, there comes the factor that we are all our own contracted business and how hard we work reflects on who we are. Personally, I give 100% to any gig – paid or non-paid because it’s just right to do so for the best interest of yourself and of the film. What if due to your slacking off on a non-paid gig that YOU volunteered for caused the film to look like crap and what if the whole crew had the same attitude? Nothing would get done.  What would have been better for the DP above is to pull the AD, Director and Producer to the side and gave a piece of his mind for some resolution about the lack of planning.

I will point out that if you’re volunteering on a flaming ship that is sinking due to the Producer/Directors on board, there is nothing, not one thing you can do – it’s your choice to jump ship or keep going if you really need something on your reel.  If you stay, just do the best you can at your job – you owe it to yourself.

Paid gigs are the priority – absolutely! I am a firm believer of paid gigs and family is a priority over a pro bono gig.

Payment – Contracts
It’s one thing to do a pro bono gig for close colleagues and another thing to do something for experience, but when a production company has full intentions of sending their movie to a film festival in hopes for it to be bought and made into a feature film or have full intentions of the movie going into distribution – crew, protect YOURSELF. Make sure that the contract you sign has the language of at least deferred payment with a base pay and a percentage depending on your position. Cast – this goes for you too.

Payment – DVD
This is the biggest complaint I receive on the Seattle Area Filmmakers emails or hear from colleagues. Why is it so hard for productions to just squeeze out a copy of the DVD for their crew/cast who have worked so hard to make ‘their’ dreams come true? Shelved or not, give your cast/crew a copy of the movie they worked on and save your reputation. Give them something so they can use it for their demo reel – you OWE it to them no matter what.  Otherwise, don’t be so shocked when they won’t return or others won’t work with you.  Word does get around fast – no matter how good of an excuse you create.

Payment – IMDB
Please don’t promise this unless you have full intentions of going to film festivals or DVD distribution. Oh and by the way – that’s IF a festival considers the film to get an IMDB credit – must be submitted AND considered in order for them to validate your work. It’s a really lame excuse for payment as well and I would never offer it as a serious form of compensation. It just shows a filmmaker clearly know nothing about how the industry works and screams amateur.

Payment – Experience
Just because they work on your production, does not mean they get treated like the new kid to haze or make them bust their hump harder. There are a lot of people who would like to work in film – give them a chance to fill in a position. Don’t forget about interns from colleges. Treat them good!

Payment – Volunteer or Intern
Let’s look at it this way, you apply to a job at Microsoft or Boeing an they ask you one of two things: 1. What is the lowest pay you will accept or 2. Can you work pro bono for this job. Huh? You mean they don’t do that? Oh that’s right they don’t because as a legal/licensed business within the State of Washington, they follow the legal guidelines for hiring people.

What’s the legal guidelines you ask – here it is:
WA State:
See (d) for volunteerism. If they are working for IMDB credits and a DVD – you might want to give it to them. But we should all take a look at the few lines before (e) – for profit. This is an eye opener for us all.

http://www.lni.wa.gov/workplacerights/files/policies/esa1.pdf

http://www.lni.wa.gov

I talked with the Labor and Industries to make sure of what I read and what I posted above IS correct information. If a filmmaker is seeking to profit from the film (distribution), then people can’t volunteer. They suggested that a filmmaker (with a business license) pay something to their volunteers and also with their Industrial Insurance to get Volunteer coverage as well to protect their business because volunteers have grounds for small claim suits and file worker right claims.

Payment – Food
Some people got PB&J food for lunch and most people are pretty cool with this if they know ahead of time. There’s also a problem with this that many of you didn’t see already.  It’s legally in your best interest to ASK your crew about dietary restrictions (not requests).  If someone has a peanut allergy, someone is Jewish and you serve pork, someone is gluten free, someone has seed restrictions, etc – you have to be aware of these things as a someone in the production team.

Burning Bridges
Burning bridges in this town, in this town…..please. Listen, no one is big enough to screw your career up. The only person who can screw up your career is you. You can do that by how you treat people. First of all, no one is on the level of Mr. Lucas or Spielberg and even then, they are not jerks about their status either.

If people turn their back on you because you can’t work on their production for some reason various reason – you don’t need to have those people in your database.

If they don’t like you because you don’t booze it up and take a line with them – you’re not screwing up or burning bridges, you’re looking out for your career.

If you did any of the above things like not paying crew when it was a paid gig, not giving their DVD (raw or completed), lie, cheat, steal, or not giving their credit where due – expect a cold shoulder and no referral with good reason. Don’t expect those crew people to be pleased to see you.  That’s a legitimate reason that you burned your own bridge.

There are people who have bailed on me over and over but their reasons were legit – I don’t shun them for it. Who am I? Just a filmmaker in an area trying to get my work out. No one controls any area – no one is the boss of film in any city.

I don’t see Mr. Spielberg acting like a 15 year old kid claiming to be the King of Hollywood. It doesn’t matter if you’re broke or wealthy trying to do film – do it! No one owns you, no one controls you and this is a free country with a lot of filmmakers. Just always remember, treat your crew/cast with respect.

Be upfront with your crew/talent. Most people are pretty understanding about things but hate being lied to.  Do the right thing in the first place and it will help you in the long run.

Things need to change.  They need to change fast.  We are a city that is trying to look as professional as Hollywood, Atlanta, New York City or Vancouver BC – so, start acting like it.

Cheers!

Send hate mail to:  officialginalockhart@gmail.com  Yep – have a chat with me through email or call me if you don’t like what I said above.  I’m not an expert but I’m doing my best to learn as I go.

What ALL Washington State residents should know about SB 5539

This is a personal request for support to all my friends who work just as hard as I do.  Boeing, Microsoft, Real Estate, Media, Retail, Graphic Artist, Game Industry, Musicians, State Employees, Teachers, Union and Non-Union – Yes, there are Union and Non-Union jobs within the film industry.

WHAT’S THE DEAL GINA?

Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program gives a refund of up to 30 percent to movies, television shows and commercials filmed in Washington (providing the budget is over $500,000).

SB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program,  was voted out of the House Committee on Community & Economic  Development & Housing on Monday with a vote of 8 to 1. Representative  Santos was the single no vote on the committee. We are working with  Representative Santos to address her issues with the legislation and  we hope to have her vote when the bill comes up on the floor.

SB 5539 will now be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee chaired by Representative Ross Hunter and we will likely have a hearing scheduled  this week. As a reminder, Representative Hunter put an amendment on  the bill during the 2011 legislative session which cut the funding for  the program in half so we expect it to be a tough committee and will  need your support.

OKAY, BUT WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THIS?

Well it helps keep myself and other filmmakers here in Washington so that we provide you all with work too and it brings Hollywood/International Studios back to Washington State to film the ‘real’ Washington vs. going to Vancouver BC or Portland…or worse, a recent film called “Chronicle” was filmed in South Africa to be Seattle. They even used Seattle as the cover for their movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706593/

Chronicle
Budget: $12M (estimated)
Opening Wknd:  $22M (USA)
Gross: $83.9M (Worldwide)

If they had really filmed here and only 10% of that budget went to Washington State – it would be $1.2 million dollars.

Twilight is another example but this time, it is a HUGE franchise that  – filmed in Louisiana, Oregon and B.C with a few establishing shots needed to remind the viewer that it’s based in rainy Washington.   Let’s quickly take a look at the financial figures:

The first movie - Twilight:
Budget: $37M (estimated)
Opening Wknd:  $69.6M (USA)
Gross: $351M (Worldwide)

The second – New Moon:
Budget: $50M (estimated)
Opening Wknd:  $143M (USA)
Gross: $710M (Worldwide)

The third – Eclipse:
Budget: $68M (estimated)
Opening Wknd: $83.6M (USA)
Gross: $695M (Worldwide)

The fourth – Breaking Dawn P1
Budget: $110M (estimated)
Opening Wknd: $41.7M (USA)|
Gross: $662M (Worldwide)

TWILIGHT’S BUDGET AND WHAT COULD HAVE GONE INTO THE STATE:

Breaking Dawn P1 & P2: Filming began on November 1, 2010 and wrapped on April 15, 2011. They are the only two installments of the franchise not entirely filmed on location in Canada. Filming took place on location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Rio de Janiero, Brazil as well as in Vancouver, Canada.

So adding up the budgets (since part 2 info isn’t out yet, I made the budget equal P1) it comes to $375,000,000.

IF only 10% of that money went into Washington State’s economy – that would be $37.5 MILLION dollars.  Corry’s Cleaners, Production Assistants, Extras, Taxis, WA State Ferry system, restaurants, hotels, hardware stores etc would have benefited from it.

OKAY, SO WHAT DOES IT BENEFIT FOR WASHINGTON STATE BUSINESSES?

The first thing to remember is that this is not about Seattle. Filming has gone around the entire State of Washington for decades.  From Snohomish to Spokane to Oak Harbor to Seattle.

Filming in Washington State means business for you by productions using: Hardware stores, SeaTac, restaurants, catering services, Attorneys, hiring security, taxi/van services, Macs, grocery stores, night clubs, gas stations, Adobe products, PCs, local musicians, graphic artists, clothespins for god sakes, and much more.

It also means tourism which means revenue for businesses as well.  Had Twilight actually been entirely filmed here in Washington – imagine the tourism revenue like what Northern Exposure and Twin Peaks did for North Bend and other places.  The very airport runway that I used for filming the “Carrera” car race was the same airport that Northern Exposure used.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, is one of the bill’s sponsors. She says the bill’s focus is on jobs and points out that projects don’t get any incentive money until they have gone through a rigorous review of their spending, including wages and benefits, in the state.

FOR WASHINGTON STATE FILMMAKERS & ALL OTHERS – WRITE IT UP

For all film industry professionals, write your Representatives to urge them to support the renewal of the program. It is especially important that members of the Ways and Means Committee hear from constituents in their districts.

For all others such as businesses and people who just want to support, please contact them and explain why you support as well.  For a full list of members on this committee visit the following link:

http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/WAYS/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx

EASY WRITING OR YOUR OWN WORDS

Our friends at IndieClub have designed a wonderful online resource to  make writing Representatives fast and efficient.

http://www.indieclub.com/wasupport

OR

If you prefer to write in your own words or directly, click on your Reps name and then their email address.

http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/WAYS/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx

MAKE IT PERSONAL

As always you are encouraged to personalize your letters and tell your  representatives how this program has impacted your lives.  This is a critical week for the legislation. We have a series of blog  posts scheduled to publish this week to encourage the film industry to get involved. Please remind your team members to check the blog regularly for the most up to date information about the status of the  bill (www.blog.washingtonfilmworks.org).

CALL

Legislative Hotline Operators: 1-800-562-6000
Just remember, it’s only one minute of your time to call as well.

Thanks for your continued support!

Gina Lockhart
Producer/Director/Writer