Monthly Archives: March, 2017

Faces of Film: Alex Terzieff

March 30th, 2017 Posted by blog, Faces of Film 0 comments on “Faces of Film: Alex Terzieff”

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: Alex Terzieff

Town/city: Ballard, Washington

Describe your work: I arrange and coordinate stunt sequences for TV and film as well as hire the stunt performers and stunt doubles to pull the scene off safely.

Years in the industry: I have been in the industry 16 years.

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

I have enjoyed a good living the last three years in Washington. I have invested a lot in equipment and managed to bring a fair number of Washingtonians into the business. 

One of the reasons I initially got into the movie industry is because we had several movies coming into Washington in the ’80s and ’90s. The only stunt man to ever win an Oscar for his work was a man named Yakima Canutt, a native of Colfax, Washington. I always viewed the film industry as an American industry, since we pioneered the vast majority of it. 

What would happen to your film career or future work prospects if it were to go away?

If the incentive goes away, I will have to move out of the state for sure. That’s not an easy choice for a third generation Ballardite, but I just have too much gear and overhead at this point and would have to go to an incentivized state. 

Photo Credit: Daniel Schaefer

Behind the Olympia Curtain – March 2017

March 28th, 2017 Posted by blog, get informed 0 comments on “Behind the Olympia Curtain – March 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!

Let the Negotiations Begin!

 

Over the past two weeks, the Senate and House released their proposed two-year operating budget for the state. The proposals released from each chamber reflect the priorities of each party, with the Republicans having majority in the Senate and the Democrats having control of the House. Once the House passes its proposal, the negotiations for a final budget will begin in earnest.

What does that mean for HB 1527 and SB 5502? The fight continues!

The Keep Film in WA campaign did not expect or anticipate that our bills would be included in either budget. As Representative Marcus Riccelli (3, D) suggested on Film Day, our bills are considered NTIB (Necessary to Implement the Budget) and are alive until the very end of session. Tax incentive programs are generally an end game negotiation, so it just means that we have to keep the pressure on!

Film Day 2017

On March 13, for the third year running, we rallied hundreds of filmmakers from across the state to make the trek from their various hometowns to Olympia, where they convened under the Capitol dome for a full day of lobbying. For hours, constituents met with legislators in their own offices across the Capitol grounds to make the case for maintaining the film incentive.

It’s rare that an industry shows as much enthusiasm and dedication for representing their own interests as the Washington film community has, and though our professional lobbying efforts are incredibly important, there’s no substitute for the kind of grassroots support we saw on Film Day this year. 

In addition to the lobbying efforts, Film Day 2017 also included virtual reality and augmented reality demonstrations, giving legislators and attendees alike a glimpse at today’s ascendant storytelling media and clearly demonstrating the need for Washington State to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. And of course, no Film Day would be complete without zombies, as you can see in King 5 Film Day special, embedded above. 

For an exhaustive rundown on the day’s events, including a whole ton of pictures, read our full report right here

Town Hall Events in March 


Attending your legislators’ in-district Town Hall event remains one of the most effective (and easiest!) ways to lobby. When making one’s case to an elected official, there’s really no substitute for an informed and in-person appeal, especially when it’s backed up with your own personal story.

Thanks for those that attended your local events – and a special shout out to those constituents in the 3, 6, 22, 36, and 43 legislative districts who followed up with the Keep Film in WA campaign to tell us what their local elected officials had to say about the Film Bill.

If you have any information about Town Hall events scheduled in your district, please email us so we can help spread the word—info@keepfilminwa.com

Keep Film in WA in the Community

During the campaign the Keep Film in WA staff spends time in the community talking to film professionals about how they can be involved. This month, Washington Filmworks Executive Director was invite to rally the troops at a few local events including Filmapalooza and Share Grid’s Launch event.

Think of Filmapalooza as a sort of 48-Hour Film Project World Cup, where winners from all the previous year’s contests around the world compete against one another, in a long weekend of screenings, parties, and networking.

 

Keep Film in WA is also happy to welcome ShareGrid to Seattle! ShareGrid is a service that brings the sharing economy to the film industry, providing a platform for filmmakers to rent out their idle film and photography equipment-cameras, lenses, risers, lights, and yes, even drones. With a built-in insurance policy, the arrangement can be a win-win for both the owner and the renter. 

In April, Amy Lillard will be participating in events in both Bellingham and Spokane – come and visit!

The World Premiere of Our Washington-Produced Public Service Announcements

In March, we also began releasing this season’s Keep Film in WA’s public service announcements. We’re launching them one at a time (so no, you cannot binge-watch all of them right now, sorry) and so far only the first has gone live, The Spokane Film Project’s Fil-Bill, which takes a closer look at where all that in-state film production money actually ends up. It’s an edifying microeconomics primer for both legislator and layman. Give it a watch, if you haven’t already, and watch for more PSAs in the coming weeks. The next PSAs we will be posting were produced by the students at the Seattle Film Institute, so stay tuned!
As we debut these videos, please share them with your peers and your legislators. Not only do they do a good job illustrating and breaking down key details about the film incentive, they’re also all great examples of Washington State talent. 

Faces of Film: Megan Griffiths

March 21st, 2017 Posted by blog, Faces of Film 0 comments on “Faces of Film: Megan Griffiths”

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: Megan Griffiths 

City: Seattle, WA 

Legislative District: 43

Describe your work: I am a writer/director working in film and television. 

Years in the industry: 16

Why is Washington State a great place to film?

Washington’s landscape is stunning and incredibly diverse, which allows filmmakers to depict practically any region a given project calls for. But for me personally, if I had to cite the reason that I love shooting here, it would be the people. We have a film community that is truly special. I feel supported and valued here, and that environment of trust makes my work stronger. 

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

I love the collaborative nature of a film set. As a director, I’m working with the big picture constantly in mind, but there are all of these other people surrounding me who are focused on all the specific elements of the project, and with that singular focus often comes deep thoughtfulness about story and character. When you really embrace individual contributions of the creative minds on your set, you open the door to so much texture and richness. 

How has the incentive program played a part in your financial or career growth?

Before I was working exclusively as a writer/director, I spent many years as a crew member, most notably as a first assistant director, which is the person on set who disseminates the information and ensures that the production runs on schedule. I was able to work year-round as a freelancer only after the incentive came to our state. With it, the incentive program brought better paying work, benefits, and larger budgets. The crews began to grow more diverse and more talented, and the work that came out of our state improved immensely. It laid the groundwork for me to be able to make the films I ultimately have made as a writer/director–I was able to assemble a team that had learned and grown with these incentive projects, and that knowledge in turn has made my films better.  

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

I have personally benefitted by being able to work and make a living here at home (and not have to constantly travel to industry hubs to make ends meet) but I have typically been more on the spending side of this equation. My films have spent millions not just in Seattle, but in the central part of the state (where we shot Eden) and in the mountains (where we shot parts of Lucky Them). Money has flowed from these productions to all manner of businesses, from hotels to restaurants to hardware stores, groceries, furniture shops, thrift stores, gas stations, airlines, equipment rental houses, and probably most importantly, the bank accounts of our great local actors and crew members, which then goes to pay their own living expenses and support our statewide economy. 

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

This program benefits so many people. Its reach far exceeds the boundaries of the film industry because film is a medium that utilizes so many resources and puts so many people to work. And, looking beyond the bottom line, I believe the kind of work championed and made possible by this program enriches our state’s cultural value. Supporting creative expression is vitally important.

What would happen to your film career or future work prospects if it were to go away?

Without an incentive program, I believe our industry would lose momentum overnight. Everything that we’ve been building would vanish—we’d lose qualified crews and actors to the surrounding states with incentive programs, and by extension it would become incredibly difficult for me to stay and make future films here. I don’t work alone. I need a skilled industry around me to make my work possible. Without our incentive, Washington would lose a great many jobs and opportunities, but it would lose something harder to quantify as well—a cultural mouthpiece for all the diverse voices who call Washington home. 

Izzy the Camel Explains the Film Incentive

March 16th, 2017 Posted by blog, get involved 0 comments on “Izzy the Camel Explains the Film Incentive”

 

Thanks to our friends at the Spokane Film Project for marshaling their talents and creativity to create this short public service announcement on behalf of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. Besides reminding us all about that delightful in-state camel, the video also tells a side of the story that people need to hear: like where all that production money goes (Spoiler Alert: It gets spent by film crews on everything from food to gas to location rentals, benefiting local economies, and, through taxes, it actually reenters the general fund). 

A common misconception among those unfamiliar with Washington State’s film incentive program is that this spending benefits a narrow subsection of the economy. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, only 5% of direct spend on a production is with businesses that are unique to film. Film shoots have a diverse array of needs, and the entire economy stands to gain from the presence of an active film production in their community.


CALL TO ACTION:

 

Everyone: Share this video with your colleagues. Everyone needs more Izzy the Camel in their life. 

Film production crew members: Share this video with your elected officials and tell them where you spend money while woking on a film set.

Let’s remind legislators of all the ways that production dollars enter the local economy and benefit the general fund through taxes.

  • Be specific with the details of your your job and the type of spending you regularly do in the course of your work on set. 
  • Highlight the spending which might not be apparent to the public. People know money is spent on camera and equipment rental, but do they realize how much is spent on food, gas, lodging? 

Ask your legislators to support the legislation—HB 1527 in The House and SB 5502 in The Senate—to extend the sunset date and increase the funding for the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program during this legislative session.

Here’s What Happened at Film Day 2017

March 15th, 2017 Posted by blog 1 comment on “Here’s What Happened at Film Day 2017”

Film Day 2017 kicked off under the domed ceiling of the Columbia Room in the lower level of the Washington State legislative building, where, by 9 am, hundreds of film professionals from across Washington had already arrived. After an hour of check-in, the day officially commenced with opening remarks from Washington Filmworks Board Chair, Don Jensen, and Executive Director, Amy Lillard, as well as from prime sponsors of the bills to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP), Senator Randi Becker (2, R) and Representative Marcus Riccelli (3, D).

After everyone had received their meeting assignments and, as needed, a dose of caffeine, the crowd dispersed and attendees began their different routes through the circuitous passages of the Legislative Building or across campus to other buildings which house the many legislative offices where the day’s meetings would take place. It wasn’t long before the entire Capitol was buzzing with activity from the film community, and no matter where you found yourself in each building’s web of hallways and stairwells, you were never far from another “Keep Film in WA” t-shirt or pin. Our presence at the Capitol was undeniable.

Rainy weather failed to dampen proceedings on the Capitol steps. On the contrary, virtual reality demonstrations, which headlined the outdoor itinerary, were probably the perfect antidote for a dreary late-Winter’s day in Olympia. In between meetings, attendees and legislators alike lined up to experience the three different VR compositions, participate in several Augmented Reality (AR) demonstrations, and witness a team of makeup artists transforming unassuming constituents into brain-hungry zombies. 

Around lunchtime, the Columbia Room’s lights were dimmed for a screening of short films by Washington filmmakers, curated by the Seattle International Film Festival.

By 4:30, most legislative meetings were wrapping up, and the general consensus seemed to be that some cutting loose was in order, so zombies and humans declared a truce and retreated to Fish Tale Brew Pub for an ale or three. Unconfirmed reports from unnamed sources indicate that, for some, the carousing in Olympia may have lasted till long past traditionally observed bedtimes. 

After every Film Day, you may feel an anti-climax. The “now what” moment. Film professionals travelled to the Capitol, shared stories, made a case for Washington Film, and may have changed minds, but there are no next-day results. No quantifiable index of the progress made. The fact of the matter is, the bill may not be passed tomorrow or the next day, and we still have work ahead of us. The effort to maintain the film incentive cannot end here.

Though we made a strong case on Film Day, legislators have a million things on their plates, and unless we keep this bill on their radars, we risk losing the momentum we worked so hard to create. If you met with legislators, follow-up: Call them or write to them to thank them for the time they spent talking with you. Remind them of your story and of the importance that this bill has to you and your family. If you didn’t have a chance to connect with your legislator for a meeting, write to let them know you’re sorry you missed them, but that you hope you can count on them to Keep Film in WA. Reach out to your legislator’s office and see if they are planning any in-district events where you can connect with them on your home turf.

Thanks again to everyone who made the day such a huge success, and in case you weren’t able to join us, here are some snapshots from throughout the day:

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Krys Karns

 

Photo Credit Krys Karns

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

 

Photo Credit Jeff Lillard

Didn’t RSVP for Film Day? Show up Anyway!

March 10th, 2017 Posted by blog, get involved 0 comments on “Didn’t RSVP for Film Day? Show up Anyway!”

 

There are just a couple of days before hundreds of creative professionals arrive at the state Capitol to meet with their state Senator and Representatives and deliver a unified message: “Keep Film in WA!”

This year’s Film Day is the most important ever. Unless we succeed in lobbying legislators to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program during the 2017 legislative session, the program will end on June 30, jeopardizing the livelihoods of countless in the state. We cannot allow that to happen!

The event will include a virtual and augmented reality demo as well a SIFF-curated screening of short films made by Washington State filmmakers, but the main event is lobbying legislators to Keep Film in WA. Don’t worry if it’s your first time. We’ll be pairing up newbies with veterans as well as running a crash course on how to be the perfect film advocate.

Whether you had a chance to RSVP or not, we’d love to see you in Olympia on Monday! Just swing by the registration station on your way in, and we’ll take care of the rest. And don’t forget that Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday morning! 


Film Day Details:
Monday, March 13, 2017
Registration Opens at 9:00 am
Advocacy Training and Tips at 10:00 am
Meetings from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
 
Where:
Legislative Building
Columbia Room
416 14th Ave. SE
Olympia, WA 98509

Questions? Concerns? Please don’t hesitate to email info@keepfilminwa.com
Thank you for all your support so far—we’re almost there! 
Let’s continue the effort to KEEP FILM IN WA!

Our List of Every Legislative Town Hall Happening This Week

March 7th, 2017 Posted by blog, get involved 0 comments on “Our List of Every Legislative Town Hall Happening This Week”

Senators and Representatives from more than half of Washington’s 49 legislative districts will be holding in-district town hall events over the course of the next week; most are scheduled for this coming weekend, March 11-12. By attending, you get the opportunity to make the case for Washington film to your elected officials in person and to remind them of how important it is to support the industry by renewing the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP). 

If you don’t know what legislative district you live in, simply consult this handy map, and don’t forget to equip yourself with our equally handy fact sheet before heading to your town hall. It contains key points about what the film incentive has accomplished for our state. 

Included below are only the most basic details of each event—to get the full scoop check out the spreadsheet on our website here.

District 1

  • Sen. Palumbo, Rep. Kloba, and Rep. Stanford
  • Sunday, March 12 at 2:30 pm

District 3

  • Sen. Billig, Rep. Riccelli, and Rep. Ormsby 
  • Saturday, March 11 at 9:30 am

District 5

  • Rep. Rodne and Rep. Graves
  • Saturday, March 11 at various times

District 6

  • Rep. Holy
  • Saturday, March 11 at 2 pm

District 11

  • Sen. Hasegawa, Rep. Bergquist, and Rep. Hudgins
  • Saturday, March 18 at 10:30 am

District 16

  • Rep. Nealey and Rep. Jenkin
  • Tuesday, March 14 at 6 pm

District 21

  • Sen. Liias, Rep. Ortiz-Self, and Rep. Peterson
  • Saturday, March 18 at 2 pm

District 22

  • Sen. Hunt, Rep. Dolan, and Rep. Doglio 
  • Saturday, March 11 at 2 pm

District 23

  • Sen. Rolfe, Rep. Appleton, and Rep. Hansen
  • Saturday, March 11 at various times

District 27

  • Sen. Darneille, Rep. Jinkins, and Rep. Fey
  • Saturday, March 11 at 10 am

District 28

  • Rep. Muri and Rep. Kilduff
  • Sunday, March 12 at 4 pm

District 29

  • Sen. Conway
  • Saturday, March 11 at 10 am

District 30

  • Rep. Reeves and Rep. Pellicciotti
  • Saturday, March 11 at 10 am

District 31

  • Rep. Stokesbary and Rep. Irwin
  • Saturday, March 11 at various times

District 33

  • Sen. Keiser, Rep. Orwall, and Rep. Gregerson 
  • Saturday, March 11 at 10 am

District 36

  • Sen. Carlyle, Rep. Tarleton, and Rep. Frame 
  • Saturday, March 11 at 11 am

District 37

  • Rep. Pettigrew and Rep. Santos
  • Saturday, March 11 at 10 am
  • Sen. Saldaña
  • Saturday, March 18 at 10:30 am

District 41

  • Sen. Wellman, Rep. Senn, and Rep. Clibborn 
  • Saturday, March 18 at 10 am

District 43

  • Sen. Pedersen, Speaker Chopp, and Rep. Macri
  • Saturday,  March 11 at 1 pm

District 44

  • Rep. Lovick
  • Saturday,  March 11 at various times

District 45

  • Rep. Springer and Rep. Goodman
  • Saturday, March 11 at 12 pm

District 47

  • Sen. Fain, Rep. Sullivan, and Rep. Hargrove 
  • Saturday, March 18 at 11 am

District 48

  • Sen. Kuderer, Rep. Slatter, and Rep. McBride 
  • Saturday, March 11 at 10:30 am

42nd District Town Hall Announced for This Weekend!

March 3rd, 2017 Posted by blog, get involved 0 comments on “42nd District Town Hall Announced for This Weekend!”

For those of you that live (or have businesses) in the 42nd legislative district (north Whatcom County), Senator Doug Ericksen (42, R) is holding a Town Hall event TOMORROW. Please attend and share with Senator Ericksen how important it is that he support SB 5502 (the Senate bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program) and that the bill gets passed this session. Without it, the vital MPCP will sunset on June 30, 2017. Click here to check out our official MPCP fact sheet. 

What: Town Hall meeting with Sen. Doug Ericksen (42, R)
When: Sat, March 4, 10:00 am–12:00 pm (noon)
Where: Meridian High School, 194 W Laurel Road, Bellingham, WA
Notes: No large bags, umbrellas, signs, food, or drinks are permitted at the town hall event.

Please wear your “Keep Film in WA” T-shirt—or dress in green to show solidarity if you don’t have yours yet!

Wondering when YOUR legislators are holding an in-district town hall?

Many more town hall events will occur the weekend of March 10, so if you aren’t an LD 42 constituent, stay tuned! We’ll be publishing an extensive list next week. Please attend these local meetings and talk to your elected officials about the importance of supporting HB 1527 and SB 5502.

Do you know the details of your local town hall event? Please share them with us at info@keepfilminwa.com—don’t forget to include:

• Legislative district
• The name of the representative(s) or senator who’s holding the meeting
• The location of the meeting
• The date and the time of the meeting
• A link to the official announcement