Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Commentary on incentives

From Geoffrey Shrewsbury:
"incentives" mean that hollywood could come and tax our limited resources to their advantage. sure, locals would get some work. but if you speak to residents of louisiana, they'll tell you that all of a sudden there was more work than they could handle. and the positions were filled with people from out of town. and for our sake, let's look at what we currently have: with craig's movie there are key personnel from LA, and set mechanics from nashville, alabama, new york, and elsewhere. so if we can't even fill our 'hometown film' crew roster with locals, what will it be like when there's dozens of productions here from out of town all at once? indeed, it will be cheaper for the executives, but what will that do for us? we're already being taken advantage of for being cheap. do we honestly need more of that?

the closest thing i've heard to a reasonable plan was from craig: give the incentives to directors and producers from our state, and not to random people with no intention of promoting our region for what it is: special.

i am currently in new york garnering interest for a documentary and planning a narrative production of my own with some of my teachers at nyu.


Geoffrey Shrewsbury


Anonymous said...

Hmm...interesting, the hometowner incentive. Is this given to films that specifically profiles Tennessee? If your film makes no mention of being located in the state do you still qualify?

I've heard that "Hollywood" complains about the lack of skill & expierence in Louisiana film crew members. Thus, they bring their own crew in. So to get a job on a production in Tennessee the best thing to do is leave the state & get expierence elsewhere?

What I would like to see as well would be studios being built in Memphis so that films can keep an entire production here and not just get the "in the field" work here. I'm sure the empty Coliseum, Pyramid, & Millington Air Force Base could work.

EJ said...

It should never be the position of the legislature to decide who tax cuts and incentives are offered to so long as they are offered to those whose endeavors stimulate the local economy by providing jobs to local residents and income to local businesses.

The cost, both financial and timewise, of training people on the job to work at professional levels in film production creates a decisively prohibitive set of circumstances for filmmakers to operate under. With all due deference to the extremely talented people in Memphis with whom I have worked, there are some for whom no amount of training can prepare them for the job of creating a feature film.

The responsibility should lie within the structure of feature filmmaking's hierarchy to determine which positions can be offered to local workers and which must be outsourced to professionals from Los Angeles, New York, etc.

There is also the important delimiter of union concessions, and these concessions are what play most figuratively in the amount of local hires that occur.

The difference between independent features and budget-heavy features will always play a role in the types of hiring that occur. If I have worked with a core group of people in whom I can place my trust, I am more likely to want to work with them again in the future no matter where the film is being shot. That's smart thinking, the kind designed to protect the investment at any level.

However, some type of control should be in place to prevent abusive misuse of that reality in order to bring opportunity to the local economy with feature films.