As most of you know by now, last night the legislature adjourned without the House voting on Washington’s Motion Picture Competiveness Fund, effectively ending any future funding for the program. As an office that advocates and supports film production in Seattle, this is a very disappointing outcome. For a variety of unique reasons, Washington (like Oregon and British Columbia) is well leveraged to be a successful film production center for this international industry. Over the past four years of the incentive program, the success of this program has been demonstrated by a sharp and continued increase in production on both sides of the state. Seattle alone has seen a 34% increase in production since the incentive program was put in place. Additionally, this program has seen strong support from labor and business, and also received a thorough audit by JALARC who recommended the continuation of the Fund to the legislature.
With this kind of momentum and demonstrated success, accepting the failure of the bill this session is difficult. However, as we learn more about what happened we will use what we learn to put ourselves in a better position as we approach next steps and work to improve our message for future opportunities to grow film industry jobs. We will also continue developing and marketing Seattle as a film destination and working to support our partners at Washington Filmworks. This is a setback for our local film industry but not the end of the great progress made over recent years. Seattle is, and will be, open for film business.
Director, Seattle Office of Film + Music
Filed under: Film | Tags: film incentive, Motion Picture Competetiveness Program, olympia, SSB 5539, washington filmworks
From Amy Lillard:
Late last night the legislation to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program was voted out of the House Ways and Means Committee after being amended. Representative Ross Hunter introduced an amendment to to reduce the size of the fund to $1.75M per year (from the proposed $3.5M annually). The bill is scheduled for a a full vote on the House floor today.
We urge you to CALL AND EMAIL your Representatives to ask them to restore the fund to $3.5M per year and to vote in favor of SSB 5539. Please remind your Representatives that the budget that was released this morning and agreed upon by both the Senate and House budget negotiators has the program included at $3.5M per year.
To find your Representative visit the following link:
The Special Session is scheduled to end tomorrow, so it is critical that your Representatives hear from you today!
Filed under: Film | Tags: bill, film incentive, House of Representatives, olympia, Ross Hunter, SSB 5539, washington filmworks
From Amy Lillard:
We are pleased to announce that the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing today at 5:00pm for SSB 5539, the legislation to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. This is a critical day for the legislation as it must be voted out of committee before it can be considered for a full vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. There are two important ways that you can support the lobbying effort.
Attend The Hearing
If you are available, please consider joining us in Olympia at today’s hearing. Given the busy Committee schedule, it’s unlikely that you will be able to testify at the hearing, but you can sign-in to support the legislation. To have a group of film industry professionals signing in on behalf of the legislation will speak volumes to committee members. The hearing will take place at 5:00 pm today in Senate Hearing Room 4 located in the Cherberg Building. For driving directions to Olympia and a Capital Campus please visit the following link:
If you do plan to attend the hearing, let us know by sending an email to Info@WashingtonFilmworks.org.
Write Your Representative
If you are unable to attend the hearing today, we urge you to write your Representatives TODAY. In writing your Representatives, make sure that they are aware that SSB 5539 is scheduled today for a Hearing and Executive Action in the House Ways & Means Committee. Ask them to support the renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.
To find your representative, please follow the link below.
If you receive a response from your House members, please let us know by forwarding it to Info@WashingtonFilmworks.org. With the Special Session scheduled to end on Wednesday, it is critical that you write TODAY.
Flashback to the early ’90s. Music and Olympia were synonymous. There was an explosion of artists and labels that created the Olympia we know and love. Music geeks were having their day. From the renown K Records to the Riot Grrl sound. Even Sub Pop started as a cassette/fanzine at The Evergreen State College. But the decline of grunge hasn’t hampered Olympia’s independent distribution scene. The city has recently seen an increase in indie labels that thrive on internet savvy. Calvin Johnson, father of K Records, comments on this new generation of labels. “It’s the healthiest it’s ever been. It’s very active. Records are coming from everywhere.” These new labels are able to survive a harsh economy by utilizing the internet to distribute across the globe. “People overseas are interested in our music because it’s good and partly because of the history and reputation of the Northwest,” said one label owner.