Name: Rebecca Cook
Describe your work: Professionally, I worked in wardrobe for 8 years and am starting my third year as an assistant accountant on Z Nation. I’m also an actress, a voice over (VO) actor, and I direct and produce short films. I also teach VO and basic film classes. I am an Executive Board Member of IATSE Local 488, a board member of Spokane Film Project, and am the Spokane Community Coordinator for WA Filmworks.
How long have you been in this industry? I’ve been working in film for 11 years (theatre for 20 years).
Why is Washington State a great place to film?
Washington State is a great place to film because of our talented crew base, our diverse (untapped) locations, our film friendly city policies, our four seasons, and our film incentive! I also like that I can live at home and do my work, instead of having to go on location across the country.
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do? About being on set?
My favorite part of the film industry is the people. We work in close, intense conditions, and in Spokane we get to work with the same crew frequently, so it feels like family. I also have to admit that I will forever be drawn to the magic of bringing stories to life. It’s so invigorating to get a script and envision how to bring it all to life! I love the problem solving that happens on set when you’re in a pinch.
How has the incentive program played a part in your career growth?
The incentive is the reason I have a career in film. Before the incentive, I was working multiple jobs in theatre and VO and anything else I could find so I could have meaningful work in my career field, but since the incentive was born, I’ve been able to have full time work with benefits. I bought a house and paid off a car. It’s also brought quality filmmakers to the area, so I’ve been lucky to work with and learn from some pretty amazing pros over the years. I’ve grown so much as an artist by working alongside experienced and innovative filmmakers.
What kind of financial benefits have you seen or experienced from the incentive in your greater community?
Financially, I own a home. My car is paid off. I have health insurance and a pension. I’m able to fund some of my own projects because I make a good living wage. I’m also able to spend time between projects teaching classes, speaking to high school and college students, and nurturing less experienced filmmakers in our community.
What would you like legislators to know about the incentive renewal?
I want legislators to know how vital this program is to our community. It brings in revenue and jobs in unique and diverse ways. It brings out some of the great undiscovered talents of our people. It gives people a special kind of pride to see our city or state on a screen – whether big or little. It’s more than just the big bucks it generates, it’s also a source of our civic pride.
What would happen with your film career and life if it were to go away?
If this program goes away, then I have two options – change the career path I’ve carved out or move. I have no interest in doing either one, but when we lost the incentive for a year previously, I didn’t have work for a year and a half. I simply could not afford to go through that again and I am certainly not alone.