Behind the Olympia Curtain – May 2017

May 25th, 2017 Posted by blog 0 comments on “Behind the Olympia Curtain – May 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!

The Status of the Bill

On Tuesday May 23rd, Governor Inslee called the state legislature into a second special session, immediately following the adjournment of the first. This means the negotiation of Washington’s 2-year operating budget will continue for another 30-day period, and pressure will be on elected officials to finalize the budget by June 30th in order to avoid a partial government shut down. 

As before, the legislation to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP) is considered Necessary to the Implementation of the Budget (NTIB) and thus remains on the negotiating table and in play during this special session. Programs like the MPCP are often negotiated behind closed doors, sometimes in the last days of session, so it’s likely that our campaign will be going down to the wire.

This month the Keep Film in WA campaign will be issuing several calls to action. When you see them, please ACT on them-the clock is ticking.

Launch of Production Spotlight

You may have seen that in addition to the Faces of Film campaign highlighting the individuals that make up Washington’s film community, we’ve now launched Production Spotlight, which aims to shine a light on the many productions that have shot across Washington State. 

In this campaign, we highlight one production from each and every one of Washington’s 49 legislative districts. Whether it’s a car commercial pulling off a breathtaking helicopter shot over one of Washington’s winding roadways, an indie film making use of some gorgeous local scenery, or an Animal Planet show about cats being rescued from trees, film production has occurred in every corner of this state. For an industry sometimes best known for its few high profile productions, we thought it was important to remind people of that in fact the scope of the film industry is quite broad, with production happening all around us and taking on many forms. 

Through targeted outreach, we’re encouraging constituents to share their district’s profile with their legislators to remind them that film production occurs at home in their district too. As we continue to move the Production Spotlight around Washington, please keep an eye for your district’s profile, and when it’s published, help us get the word out by sending a link to your legislators!

Getting Creative

It’s no secret that we spend a lot of time writing our legislators in the course of the Keep Film in WA campaign, so we thought it was time to freshen things up a little by adopting a new method of communication.

Acting on inside intelligence that Speaker of the House Frank Chopp has a soft spot for Junior Mints, we devised a plan to incorporate the treat into a mailer campaign, with the goal of making our message completely irresistible to him.

Pairing each box of Junior mints with a photo of a film industry constituent and a short, handwritten note from that constituent about our campaign, these little care packages to Speaker Chopp are sort of like edible Faces of Film profiles.

We have 30 days to make a lasting impression on legislators, so use this crafty communication as inspiration to get creative!

Press Coverage in May

As our campaign continues through the special session, constituents have been energized to advocate for the Keep Film in WA campaign by writing letters to the editors of their local papers.

In the last month, we’ve been pleased to see letters in support of the film incentive appear in the pages of the The Spokesman Review, The Everett Herald, and the Tri-City Herald. If you’re interested in writing to your local paper, but don’t know how to go about it, we’re happy to give pointers. Please email us at info@washingtonfilmworks.org and we’ll be happy to help!

In addition to the positive mail, our campaign also received attention in the Yakima Herald. Washington Filmworks Executive Director Amy Lillard spoke with reporter Donald Meyers for a piece that focused on the film production in the Yakima Valley. Read it online right here