Monthly Archives: April, 2017

Join Us in Seattle on Thursday!

April 19th, 2017 Posted by blog, get informed, get involved 0 comments on “Join Us in Seattle on Thursday!”

The current legislative session in Olympia is ending on April 23, so we thought it was a good time to update the community on the current status of the film bill—decidedly not dead—and raise a glass to the inevitable start of the 30 day special legislative session!

If that’s all already starting to sound too dry and wonky for you, don’t worry! We’ll break it all down and explain exactly what this means in practical terms for the “Keep Film in WA” campaign. 

There’s still a lot we can all do to help this bill get passed, so please join us on Thursday and find out how you can get involved! For those film fans not in Seattle, stay tuned to the Keep Film in WA blog for breaking news about events in Olympia.  


Seattle – Thursday, 4/20/17
Washington Filmworks Legislative Update

Join us as we toast the end of the end of regular legislative session (April 23) and celebrate the launch of the inevitable 30-day special session! Amy Lillard will give an update on our progress in Olympia and give our Seattle-based advocates a roadmap of how to get involved.

5 pm – 7 pm – Saint John’s Bar & Eatery
719 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

Entertain, Engage, Educate!

April 17th, 2017 Posted by blog, get informed, get involved 0 comments on “Entertain, Engage, Educate!”

You don’t have to be following the news that closely to have heard that funding education is a big issue for our state this year. What may not be as obvious is the instrumental role our state’s creative community plays in the classroom. Interactive content, much of which is developed by Washington’s creative professionals, is an indispensable staple of today’s curriculum. Educators draw on this material to enhance student engagement, inspiring children and effecting quantifiable results in performance. 

A renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program does not just provide support for the film industry, it also ensures that a broad-based creative talent pool can take root in our state, and continue to develop content and technology with far-reaching applications, one of which is providing educational content that can reach every child across the state. 

Thanks again to the students and faculty of the Seattle Film Institute for their hard work on creating this public service announcement (PSA) for the “Keep Film in WA” campaign. It’s part of a series that they’ve produced for the campaign—if you missed last week’s video, Free Billy, check it out right here


Call to Action:

Share this PSA with your legislators and ask them to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program and maintain a vibrant local creative industry.  Remind them that the film bill has effects that extend far beyond the silver screen, that this program creates a foundation on which a statewide creative community can build and grow. 

Introducing: Free Billy!

April 13th, 2017 Posted by blog, get informed, get involved 0 comments on “Introducing: Free Billy!”

 

So does Billy ever come to the floor for a vote? Does he get passed and become a law?

Well, we don’t know yet. But while we wait for this cliffhanger to be over, enjoy Free Billy.

This delightful Public Service Announcement (PSA) is the first in a series produced by the Seattle Film Institute (SFI). Huge thanks to the students and faculty of SFI for bringing a much-needed dose of levity to the tense (and, yes, sometimes a little dry) proceedings in Olympia. A special thank you to SAG-AFTRA, as well, for their support in the production of this PSA.

Free Billy profiles the plight our real life Billy—HB 1527 in The House and SB 5502 in The Senate—which both remain in their respective finance committees. It has never been more important for us to make the case for this bill. Without its passage, the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program and the state film office will expire on June 30. As the regular legislative session draws to a close, the future of film in Washington State hangs in the balance. 


CALL TO ACTION:

 

Share this video with your friends on social media, especially with those whose lives and livelihoods are affected by this legislation.

And please send Free Billy to your elected officials and ask them to free the film bill—HB 1527 and SB 5502—from committee and make sure it is part of the final budget. Beyond being a great showcase of in-state talent, the PSA also reminds audiences about some important things about the production incentive program, reminding legislators that:

• For every $1 spent by the film incentive program, approved productions generated an estimated $10 of economic activity in the statewide economy.

• Washington State’s film incentive is smart – and designed so that no money gets paid out of the program until after the jobs are created for local workers and after production has spent money with local businesses.

• And approved productions have spent money in every legislative district!

Keep an eye out for more PSAs from our partners at the Seattle Film Institute, which we’ll be releasing here and across social media in the coming weeks.

 

Faces of Film: John Lavin

April 11th, 2017 Posted by blog, Faces of Film 0 comments on “Faces of Film: John Lavin”

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: John Lavin

City: Seattle

Legislative District: 46

Job title: Production designer working in film, commercials, music videos and photography.

Years in the industry: I’ve been doing this kind of work for 20 years, but I first worked on a feature film about 8 years ago.

Describe your work

I am in charge of the sets and props, and creating the look and feel of a shoot. In simplest terms, I’m in charge of all the stuff you see on screen that isn’t the actor. In a large production, I’m the one that puts together and heads the crews for Art Department and Props. That can include builders, buyers, painters, greens people, prop makers, graphic artists, and more. In some projects, it’s ten or twelve people. In others, it’s just me. I design and build sets, make props, paint, and move a lot of furniture.

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

I am lucky to get the chance to be creative for a living. I work in a collaborative business with a lot of interesting, talented people. I like working on a set because it brings such a range of people together with varied and complimentary expertise. A film set is a team, made up of people with really diverse expertise, who bring their skills to bear toward a shared goal. Besides the director and the actors, there are camera people, electricians, technicians, artists, hair and makeup people, wardrobe people, accountants, truck drivers, lighting experts, sound recording experts… the list goes on and on. It’s impressive and inspiring to be around skilled and creative working people.

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

I have been the production designer for many film and commercial projects that were supported by the film incentive over the years, including Laggies, Lucky Them, Touchy Feely, 4 Minute Mile and others. By bringing projects to the area, the incentive program helps to keep crew members at work here in the Northwest. These are people who would otherwise leave the state to follow the work. 

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

When a project is supported by the incentive, the money goes to support middle class, often union, workers from Washington State. A good portion of any Art Department budget always goes to buying materials and supplies, so that’s money that ends up directly in the local economy. When we recently shot a film in Granite Falls, we were at the local hardware store nearly every day. Crews need to be fed and housed; props are purchased; trucks are rented. The knock-on effect of money spent on film production is truly felt by the community, and production happens all over the state. Support for the film incentive is direct support for middle class jobs and communities in Washington.

Keep Zombies in WA!

April 5th, 2017 Posted by blog, get informed, get involved 0 comments on “Keep Zombies in WA!”

Washington Filmworks recently announced that Z Nation will return to shoot Season 4 here in Washington, and that is great news for the state’s film community and its economy. 

Securing an episodic series like Z Nation has always been a priority for Washington Filmworks. The presence of a such a production in our state encourages investment in infrastructure and provides long-term, sustainable work for Washington film industry professionals. 

The map below shows how this series has reached communities across the state. Each pinpoint represents a shooting location, a business where Z Nation production spending took place, or the hometown of a cast and or crew member from the show. 

 

CALL TO ACTION:

The infographic below is stacked with information about the real-world impact that Z Nation has had on our state, ranging from testimonials of small business owners to hard data on production spending. It’s an effective illustration of the widespread positive economic impact that film and television production has in cities and towns across the state. Share this infographic on social media, with the film community, film supporters, and especially with those of your friends who can only absorb data after its been adequately girded by zombies.

And most importantly, please take a few minutes and share this infographic with your legislators and ask them to support the renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, set to expire on June 30 of this year. Remind them that it is because of this program that Z Nation has been able to keep production spending flowing into a variety of Washington businesses and communities across the state. 

Join Us in Bellingham, Spokane, or Seattle!

April 5th, 2017 Posted by blog, get informed, get involved 0 comments on “Join Us in Bellingham, Spokane, or Seattle!”

Washington Filmworks Executive Director Amy Lillard is hitting the road next week to participate in a handful of community events around the state. Come mix and mingle and learn how you can get involved with the campaign to Keep Film in WA.


Bellingham – Tuesday, 4/11/17
Virtual Reality Panel & Mixer 
Hosted by Bellingham Film and 
Cascadia International Women’s Festival

Amy Lillard moderates a conversation with Mischa Jakupcak of Mechanical Dreams, Bellingham filmmaker Avielle Heath, and Sandy Cioffi of Fearless 360° about an ascendant storytelling medium of our time: virtual reality. There will be demos, so you can experience some of the VR work that has been created already.

6pm – 9pm – Pickford Film Center
1318 Bay St, Bellingham, WA 98225

Spokane – Thursday, 4/13/17  
2017 Get Involved Open Meeting
Hosted by Spokane Film Project

Celebrating the return of Z Nation to Washington for its fourth season is at the top of the ticket tonight, but there will be plenty of time for Spokane Film Project to give a general preview of their plans for 2017 and for Amy Lillard to update attendees on the current status of the bill. 

6pm – 8pm – Hamilton Studio
1427 W Dean Ave, Spokane, WA 99201

Seattle – Thursday, 4/20/17
Washington Filmworks Legislative Update

Join us as we toast the end of the end of regular legislative session (April 23) and celebrate the launch of the inevitable 30-day special session! Amy Lillard will give an update on our progress in Olympia and give our Seattle-based advocates a roadmap of how to get involved. 

5 pm – 7 pm – Saint John’s Bar & Eatery
719 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

Faces of Film: Mia Yoshida

April 4th, 2017 Posted by blog, Faces of Film 0 comments on “Faces of Film: Mia Yoshida”

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: Mia Yoshida

Town/city: Spokane, WA

Describe your work: I have been working on the television show Z Nation as a day player for two seasons. I have worked as a Production Assistant, Set Decorator, Grip, and Electrician on the show.

Years in the industry: 2

Why is Washington State a great place to film?

Washington State is a great place to film because of its incredible versatility. We are able to create any kind of scenario from urban to rural life. Z Nation’s story takes place across the country and we are able to shoot all of this in Washington. This show allows us to showcase the state’s versatility in film.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do? 

What I enjoy most about the work I do is that I am able to meet incredible and talented people doing what they love to create something that can be shared across the country. Working on set I am able to see the passion my crew members exhibit. I am able to learn from their experiences and make my own excitement for film grow.

The incentive program has played a big role in making Z Nation possible. How has this program of bringing more productions into the state benefitted or played a part in your financial or career growth?

Having lived in other countries and states, nothing compares to Washington State. No matter where I go, Spokane has and always will be my home. I studied Digital Technology and Culture at Washington State University and majored in Visual Communication Design at Eastern Washington University. There I learned parts of the post production aspect of film. After an internship with Z Nation Season 2, I was able to work on set where I could see hands on what it takes to make a television series. I immediately took to all aspects of creating a show. I loved it! This new experience helped me find opportunities to build my own career. With these connections, I am able to find work easily and collaborate with others in film here in Washington.

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

While working as a Set Decorator I went to numerous local businesses for the supplies we needed. What always surprised me was how the owners of these local businesses would be excited when we would stop by for our scavenger hunt for the perfect set decoration. They would get involved and help us with anything we would need. That kind of support from the community made making this show even more meaningful.

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

Including myself, the many people I look up to in this industry would lose their jobs if we lost this incentive. What better way is there to showcase our state than with film? With film we are able to grow our community and bring many more business opportunities to Washington.

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

The film incentive means that I am able to pursue my dream career of storytelling. Financially, I would not be able to pursue this dream if future work prospects were to go away. Having work opportunities in Washington means that I am able to work with the many talented people I have met in this industry. I look forward to working more with these people to create meaningful, exciting, and inspiring stories.

Photo Credit: Daniel Schaefer