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 (email@example.com) and social media (#keepfilminwa)—and most importantly with the elected officials that represent you in Olympia!
Name: Ronald Leamon
City: I live in Seattle and have since relocating here in 1987
Describe your work: Costume designer
Time in Industry: 37 years
Talk a little bit about your work
I provide the looks you see on all the on-camera talent. I’ve costume designed for film, television, commercials, and corporate industrials. I’ve also done personal styling for some of our well-known local corporate leaders. My budgets range from $1.5 million, for a mini series, to $2000, for a corporate video, and every dollar I spend, from socks to dry cleaning, goes back into the local economy.
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do? About being on set?
I love the hands-on nature of the work I do, the camaraderie of the film crew, and the joy I get from working in the local community.
How has the incentive program played a part in your career growth?
Because of the incentive being provided to the industry, my career continues to grow, in the sense of meeting new clients and new crew base.
What kind of financial benefits have you seen or experienced in your greater community?
The film incentive can only mean increased sales in the local communities where filming takes place, and at the same time it keeps the industry crew base gainfully employed within their trained field.
What would you like legislators to know about the incentive renewal?
Renewing this legislation is not a tax burden or gift to the corporate world. It’s further investment in a constantly changing industry, which is contributing to the development of new technology within our own state.
What would happen with your film career and life if it were to go away?
My film career will continue to flourish, but in a different state. Though I would continue to live here, I would unfortunately be paying taxes and spending my film budget in another state.