The Bay State is scorching with stars as Summer twenty-eleven unfolds. So let’s indulge in these hay days of film and remind ourselves about the state of the Massachusetts Film and Tax Credit.
There’s proof that Mass is boiling with Boom. Our inbox’s have been filled and the streets sparkle with celebs. Thanks to Hollywood Filmmakers like Mark Wahlberg and Adam Sandler who continue to send good vibrations to New England.
We know first hand how ultra-cool our state is with the newly awesome Stanley Cup, an endless talent pool and Whitey captured. And hey, with the next chapter in the Whitey Bulger saga underway, perhaps we’ll see a sequel to The Departed. No matter how much film is rolling, producers return for the incentives. Everyone wants to save some green, so let’s go green together and continue to recycle our livelihood.
Twenty-ten was the slowest year for production since the credit’s debut back in 2006. The governor leaked a rumored cap and it sent out a message that the state of the MA film and tax credit was trembling, sending messages to filmmakers to stay away from the unstable Bay State.
The shake of Summer twenty-ten had its aftershocks with the release of the MFO executive director, Nick Paleologos. But it’s a new year, new agency and certainly a new STATE of mind.
The MFO has been revamped under a new bill passed last summer. This face lift resulted in the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) and a new captain at the helm, Lisa Strout was recently announced.
Just last month, the new agency met at the Dedham Community Theater, one of the committee’s first stops on a public listening tour to gain a better understanding of the film industry and the growing effects of productions.
The stage was set for the MOTT committee to hear testimony from individuals in the biz including the Office of Travel and Tourism Executive Director Betsy Wall, President and Co-founder of Powderhouse Productions, Tug Yourgrau, Certified Public Accountant Irence Wachsler, and IATSE Local 481 Business Manager, Chris O’Donnell. We were there listening as well and heard the message load and clear that studios are needed.
“As a result of the tax credit, our firm has grown much quicker than I anticipated. We were a 2-person, mother daughter full-service CPA practice. We have outgrown our home offices and just opened an office in Norwood,” Wachsle said. “In addition, we hired two people to help us with the credit. In order to take the industry to the next level, I support the efforts to establish studios. More commercial work will give local Massachusetts residents more opportunity to work and fine tune their skills. This, in turn, will provide them with the necessary experience thereby helping them to grow into the `top’ roles,” she added.
Powderhouse Productions Yourgrau and Waller of Brickyard VFX were also fashionably representing the film communities stomping grounds. Both stood tall and remarkably linked the benefits their companies have experienced as a result of the credit and the desirability of Massachusetts.
The morning certainly painted the Commonwealth’s commitment to the industry. Studios, sound stages and episodic television are the sketches lingering to keep the film crews rolling and Hollywood East connected to a sunny future.
With the recent reveal of Lisa Stout, the STATE of the MA film and tax credit seems secure. The Lexington native has come full circle starting her career right here in Boston over 30 years ago. Since 2001, Stout has been making it happen at the New Mexico Film Office managing a total of 156 major film and television productions throughout her tenure.
Our credit is protected and is looking golden in twenty-eleven. We have the force on our side and the film crews to prove it. We must continue to work together as a community to boost the film industry, and move to the next level by supporting world-class studios in Massachusetts.
We don’t need all the bells and whistles that the infamous Plymouth Rock Studios tried to build. We need a movie studio that will provide the walls of endless possibilities and bedazzle the future productions here in the Bay State.
The State of the bill is cruising and we are on deck. Don’t forget to wear SPF and put on your shades this summer. And stay connected with Hollywood East Connection on FB!