Monthly Archives: January, 2017

Behind the Olympia Curtain – January 2017

January 31st, 2017 Posted by blog 0 comments on “Behind the Olympia Curtain – January 2017”

This year we wanted to pull back the political curtain and give our community a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in Olympia. While it may sometimes seem like there’s not a lot of activity on our bills, there’s actually lots (and lots) of activity happening in district and at the state Capitol. Read on to get an insiders look at how we worked together this month to KEEP FILM IN WA!

 

Senate and House Bills

The week of January 23rd, the Keep Film in WA campaign announced House Bill 1527 and Senate Bill 5502, prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (3, D) and Senator Randi Becker (R, 2), respectively. Both bills maintain the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP) at its current level of $3.5 million per calendar year with a sunset date of July 1, 2027.  The bill also allows for a one-time allocation of up to $3 million for a major motion picture production with a total budget of at least $20 million that portrays a significant historical event in Washington.

A full list of sponsors for HB 1527 can be found here, and SB 5502 sponsors can be found here.

 

Hearing in House Finance Committee

After HB 1527 was introduced a hearing in the House Finance Committee was immediately scheduled on Friday, January 27. An extraordinary group of 8 people that work in and work for the statewide industry testified in support of the bill. We want to thank the 30 people that responded to our call to action and attended the hearing in Olympia. We give a special shout-out to the dozen people who boarded a bus and left Spokane at 1am the night before to make it in time for the hearing.

You can view the testimony on TVW here starting at 52:31.

 

 

VR Work Session in Olympia

There are so many reasons why renewing the MPCP is important, not the least of which is that Washington Filmworks (WF) is thinking about how to keep the film industry working today and in the future. On January 10, WF curated a panel of leaders from the VR and AR community to talk with the members of the Technology and Economic Development Committee about the future of film in Washington State. Panelists spoke at length about Washington’s unique storytelling and tech assets that can be leveraged to not only reinvent entertainment content but also change the way that companies do business in the global market place.

Thanks to Geekwire for covering the panel, read their coverage here. And if you’re interested, you can hear the incredible line up of speakers here starting at 8:18.

 

Town Hall Event in the 36th Legislative District

As we like to say at the Keep Film in WA headquarters, all politics are local! Elected officials care about what their constituents have to say and we were so glad to see that more than a dozen film professionals that live in the 36th legislative district responded to our call to action and attended the in-district Town Hall event on Sunday, January 29. The green shirts and Keep Film in WA buttons were hard to miss and despite the heavy-hitting topics of federal immigration bans and education funding, Representative Noel Frame did acknowledge the group in attendance. Thanks to those that came and if you hear of an in-district town hall event in your area let us know by emailing us at info@KeepFilminWA.com

 

Association of Washington Business Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Amy Lillard and Julie Daman from WF attended their first AWB Hill Climb in Olympia on Tuesday, January 17. This event brings together business leaders, legislators and special guests with one message – to keep businesses’ priorities top-of-mind with elected officials. In addition to a full day of content, the Hill Climb gives attendees the opportunity to take their issues and concerns directly to their legislators on the Capitol Campus.  While on the Hill, Amy and Julie had a chance to reconnect with Representative Macri (D, 43) to reiterate the importance of the legislation to renew the MPCP.

Our friends at the AWB created a highlight reel from the event and you can check it out here.

Coming Up in February

  • Art & Heritage Day in Olympia (February 8, 2017)
  • Senate Hearing on SB 5502
  • Save the Date For Film Day (March 13, 2017)

Announcing Senate Bill 5502

January 26th, 2017 Posted by blog 0 comments on “Announcing Senate Bill 5502”

It’s been a busy week for the Keep Film in WA Campaign.  We are pleased to announce Senate Bill 5502 (SB 5502) has been introduced in the Senate.  SB 5502 mirrors the bill that was introduced in the House earlier this week

Prime sponsored by Senator Randi Becker (2, R), the bill maintains the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program at its current level of $3.5 million per calendar year with a sunset date of July 1, 2027.  The bill also allows for a one-time allocation of up to $3 million for a major motion picture production with a total budget of at least $20 million that portrays a significant historical event in Washington. If no such production is secured by July 1, 2019, the allocation will be returned to the general fund.

Similar to the House bill, the legislation is supported by a geographically diverse group of Republicans and Democrats. Keep Film in WA would like to thank the following sponsors:

  • Prime Sponsor Senator Randi Becker (2, R)
  • Senator David Frockt (46, D)
  • Senator Michael Baumgartner (6, R)
  • Senator Joe Fain (47, R)
  • Senator Christine Rolfes (23, D)
  • Senator Ann Rivers (18, R)
  • Senator Andy Billig (D, 3)
  • Senator Hans Zeiger (25, R)
  • Senator Jeannie Darneille (27, D)
  • Senator Karen Keiser (33, D)

Call to Action:


WRITE YOUR SENATOR

Write your Senator and ask them to support SB 5502, the bill to maintain the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.  If your Senator has sponsored the bill, thank them for their support. Don’t know who your legislators are? Find out here.

ATTEND THE HOUSE FINANCE COMMITEE HEARING TOMORROW IN OLYMPIA

HB 1527, the companion bill in the House, is having a hearing tomorrow at 8:00 am in the House Finance Committee.  Join us in Olympia to sign in support of the bill.  More details can be found here.

Join Us in Olympia on Friday!

January 25th, 2017 Posted by blog 0 comments on “Join Us in Olympia on Friday!”

Come one, come all – to the House Finance Committee Hearing!

Friday, January 27 at 8:00 am in Olympia

 

Our team in Olympia has asked us to rally the troops and recruit our local cast and crew, business owners and film supporters to join us in Olympia at 8:00 am on Friday, January 27th at the House Finance Committee Hearing.

There will be a panel of film professionals testifying on behalf of HB 1527, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. But we also need to fill the room with Keep Film in WA supporters who will sign in on behalf of the bill and be present at the hearing.

Yes, we know it’s an early “call time” and that Olympia is a journey for most of you, but it is so very important that the members of the House Finance Committee feel the passion of this industry. We’ve got one shot to make a big impression!

So caravan, carpool or take public transportation – just PLEASE meet us there!

House Finance Committee Hearing

  • Friday, January 27, 2017
  • 8:00 am
  • John L. O’Brien Building

RSVP: Info@KeepFilminWA.com

If you arrive early, join other attendees in the cafeteria located in the Pritchard Building on the Capitol Campus.

About HB 1527

Prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (3,D), HB 1527 maintains the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program at its current level of $3.5 million per calendar year with a sunset date of July 1, 2027.  The bill also allows for a one-time allocation of up to $3 million for a major motion picture production with a total budget of at least $20 million that portrays a significant historical event in Washington. If no such production is secured by July 1, 2019, the allocation will be returned to the general fund.

Town Hall Event for the 36th Legislative District – THIS SUNDAY!

January 24th, 2017 Posted by blog 0 comments on “Town Hall Event for the 36th Legislative District – THIS SUNDAY!”

The elected officials from the 36th legislative district – Representative Noel Frame, Representative Gael Tarleton and Senator Reuven Carlyle – will be hosting an in-district town hall event THIS SUNDAY.

At the Town Hall event, the elected officials will report on the state-of-the-state in Olympia, and there is time for constituents from the district to ask questions about particular issues.

The Keep Film in WA Campaign is putting together a group of local film professionals from the 36th to attend the event and remind them how important it is that the production incentive program (and the film office) get renewed this legislative session. We need to remind them that the program sunsets June 30, 2017, and the time to act is NOW!

Here are the details for the event…

Sunday, January 29

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Ballard High School – Library

1418 NW 65th St, Seattle, WA 98117

 

To RSVP email Info@KeepFilminWA.com.

Once we get your RSVP, we will get back to you with additional details.

Please join us!

Announcing House Bill 1527

January 23rd, 2017 Posted by blog 1 comment on “Announcing House Bill 1527”

Hearing in House Finance Committee Scheduled for Friday, January 27th

 

We are pleased to announce that House Bill 1527 (HB1527) has been introduced in the House of Representatives.  Prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (3,D), the bill maintains the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program at its current level of $3.5 million per calendar year with a sunset date of July 1, 2027.  The bill also allows for a one-time allocation of up to $3 million for a major motion picture production with a total budget of at least $20 million that portrays a significant historical event in Washington. If no such production is secured by July 1, 2019, the allocation will be returned to the general fund.

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The bill is supported by a geographically diverse group of Democrats and Republicans across the state.  We would like to thank the following sponsors:

  • Prime Sponsor Representative Marcus Riccelli (3,D)
  • Representative Ed Orcutt (20, R)
  • Representative Jeff Holy (6, R)
  • Representative J.T. Wilcox (2, R)
  • Representative Brandon Vick (18, R)
  • Representative Mike Volz (R, 6)
  • Representative Vincent Buys (42, R)
  • Representative Joan McBride (48, D)
  • Representative June Robinson (38, D)
  • Representative Monica Jurado Stonier (49, D)
  • Representative Shelly Short (7, R)
  • Representative Bob McCaslin (4, R)
  • Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self (21, D)
  • Representative Terry Nealey (16, R)
  • Representative Jeff Morris (40, D)
  • Representative Jay Rodne (5, R)
  • Representative Melanie Stambaugh (25, R)
  • Representative GaelTarleton (36, D)
  • Representative Sharon Wylie (49, D)
  • Representative Cindy Ryu (32, D)
  • Representative Gerry Pollet (46, D)
  • Representative Larry Springer (45, D)
  • Representative Nicole Macri (43, D)
  • Representative Mike Chapman (24, D)

The House Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for HB1527 on Friday, January 27 at 8:00 am in Olympia.  The hearing will take place in Hearing Room A in the John L. O’Brien Building.  The bill must be heard in committee (and voted on) before it can make its way to the House floor for a vote.

Call to Action:


WRITE YOUR TWO REPRESENTATIVES

Write your two Representatives in the House and ask them to support HB1527, the bill to maintain the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.  If your Representative has sponsored the bill, thank them for their support. Don’t know who your legislators are? Find out here.

ATTEND HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE HEARING

Attend the House Finance Committee hearing on Friday, January 27th at 8:00 am in Hearing Room A located in the John L. O’Brien Building.  Here is a link to the Capitol Campus Map and Parking Information. If you have one, wear your Keep Film in WA tee-shirt.  If you haven’t had a chance to buy one yet, just wear something green. If you plan to attend, please email us at Info@KeepFilminWA.com to let us know you’ll be there.

Faces of Film: Tess Laeh

January 13th, 2017 Posted by blog, Faces of Film 0 comments on “Faces of Film: Tess Laeh”

Welcome to the Keep Film in WA Series – The Faces of Film!

This series aims to shine a spotlight on the people behind the films of Washington State, using portraits of them at work to remind the public and legislators the lives (and livelihoods) that are at stake if the incentive program disappears on June 30. Along with each portrait, the cast or crew member will share in their own words the important role that the incentive has had in creating their career and why it is important to have a vibrant film industry in Washington State. We hope that these photographs serve as inspiration, and that you share your story with us (info@keepfilminwa.com) and social media (#keepfilminwa)—and most importantly with the elected officials that represent you in Olympia!

Name: Tess Laeh

City:  Spokane Valley

Legislative District: 6

Describe your work: Makeup Artist/ Special FX Make Up Artist

Years in the Industry: 3 

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do? About being on set?

I enjoy the sense of community the film industry brings. Everyone looks out for one another, no matter if you are at the top of being a producer, or at the bottom of being a background extra. I’ve had the pleasure of working on both sides of the state, and we always try to be as respectful to the area as we can. And in turn, it has been mutually beneficial. 

One example—we went to the small town of Index, WA. The town heard that we were coming out, and when we arrived we saw “Welcome Z Nation!” signs in all the store fronts. There was a bakery that had made zombie donuts and cookies, and our crew loved the idea so much we bought them out!

The incentive program has played a big role in making Z Nation possible. How has this program benefitted you or played a part in your financial or career growth?

Z Nation has been the biggest stepping stone for my career and my personal finances. I have been able to pay off my car, credit cards, and make a dent in my student loans. I am finally nearing a point where I can look at purchasing a house. If there were enough incentive for one more production like Z Nation to come in, I would have full time work all year round.

What kind of financial benefits have you seen or experienced from the incentive in your greater community? 

I do the accounting for my department, and I can safely say more than half of our budget goes into the communities we are stationed at with buying our supplies alone. Then you account for all of the crew’s rent, utilities, groceries, gas, expendables, and traveling on both sides of the state. It’s hard not to see where the money is being spent in Washington.

What would you like legislators to know about the incentive renewal?

If you look at every other state with bigger film incentives, you will see they are flourishing. Look at what it has done for Atlanta, and this state has more to offer than Georgia. The potential is there, you just have to recognize it. 

Photo Credit: Alexander Yellen

The 2017 Legislative Session Launched 1/9: Learn How You Can Get Involved TODAY

January 12th, 2017 Posted by blog 0 comments on “The 2017 Legislative Session Launched 1/9: Learn How You Can Get Involved TODAY”

The legislative session opened on Monday, January 9.  This year is a longer session, 105 DAYS (at least), so it’s important that legislators continue to hear our message: that the incentive program keeps film – and dollars – here in Washington State. Look for specific calls to action during the course of this session, to receive updates via email please join our mailing list or check our blog regularly.

The bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program is being drafted now and the details will be announced shortly.  But don’t wait for the bill info to get involved — here are FOUR WAYS you can get involved RIGHT NOW to help Keep Film in WA:

 

1. GET INFORMED: 

Did you know that for every dollar awarded in funding assistance, the approved incentive production generates an estimated $10 of economic activity in our statewide economy? That’s $10 of benefits for every $1 invested! Or that over the past three years, projects approved for funding assistance have spent money in every single legislative district in the state?

Read our Fact Sheet and arm yourself with valuable information to present to your legislator and the public about why it’s important to Keep Film In WA. And check out all the different ways you can learn to lobby to make your points the most effective they can be.

During the course of the session, we may issue calls to action that include contacting your legislator or district representative. Don’t know who your legislator is?

Find out here.

2. SIGN AND SHARE THE NEW KEEP FILM IN WA PETITION

We are asking film professionals and supporters across the state to sign the 2017 Keep Film in WA petition encouraging elected officials to renew the production incentive program. We will use this petition on Film Day as another reminder to elected officials that film is important in Washington State!

Sign the petition here.

3. SIGN AND SHARE THE NEW KEEP FILM IN WA BUSINESS LETTER OF SUPPORT

Last year we had over 200 Washington businesses sign onto our Business Letter of Support. Hearing from businesses and communities that are positively impacted by the incentive is what gets legislators’ attention! So, if you own a business (or work with a business) that supports the film industry, please sign onto our  NEW Business Letter of Support.

Business owners can sign onto the letter here.

***PLEASE NOTE that even if you signed onto the petition and/or the business letter of support last year, you MUST sign it again to be added to the 2017 letter.

4. GET THE TEE SHIRT AND SAVE THE DATE FOR FILM DAY! 

Wow! The Keep Film in WA tee shirt (featuring our new logo) looks great! Purchase your tee shirt now to wear around town and at our 2017 Film Day! This year’s Film Day in Olympia is on March 13, 2017. Last year’s Film Day was a huge success, drawing over 300 film professionals and supporters that had the opportunity to meet with elected officials from their home districts. We have some really fun and innovative events planned for the day so stay tuned, and please join us for this year’s event – more information and how to RSVP will be posted soon.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email info@keepfilminwa.com.

Thank you for your continued support –  let’s jump start the effort to KEEP FILM IN WA!