Here's a note from the Screen Actors Guild to its members in Tennessee, but this is essential info for all of us, SAG or not:
Screen Actors Guild Members: Support the Film/Television Arts Industry in Tennessee
Your emails, phone calls and/or letters are urgently needed to support the Visual Content Act of 2006.
The current legislative effort involves two facets:
1. Passage of the Visual Content Act 2006 [Senate Bill 3513 / House Bill 3356], which would provide a mechanism for the Tennessee Film Grant Committee to administer funds both to incentivize major out-of-state productions, and to support Tennessee filmmakers;
2. An appropriation of funds to state Economic and Community Development that would enable the Tennessee Film Grant Committee to have the monies necessary to provide both incentives to out-of-state productions and support Tennessee filmmakers.
The Visual Content Act 2006, itself, is basically a mechanism to establish the Tennessee Film Grant Committee, involving ECD, Tennessee Film Entertainment and Music Commission, Tourism, Finance, and representatives from the three grand divisions of the state, and therefore has a very small fiscal note [cost to the state]. Because of this, according to both state Senators and Representatives, the Visual Content Act 2006 is expected to pass fairly easily.
The uphill battle is regarding the appropriation of funds. The effort to secure this appropriation will continue until the very last days of the Tennessee legislative session, which is anticipated to end within two-to-three weeks. Success here is dependent upon the triangulation of support in the House, the Senate, and ultimately the Governor's administration. There are many worthwhile groups and causes that are all vying for a piece of whatever funds are available this session, as with all other sessions.
While we have very strong support in the House, strong support in the Senate, and growing support in the Governor's administration, nothing can be taken for granted, and it is absolutely critical at this time that the film/television community of Tennessee send friendly communications to all Senators, Representatives and the Governor's office in support of the appropriation for the Visual Content Act 2006.
Your personal phone call, letter or email is therefore critical at this time. It is also important to note, however, that we have been informed that mass, spam-like emails actually generate negative response from both the administration and legislators. Therefore, if you can pick just the Representatives and Senators from your area, and write a brief note in your own language in strong support of the appropriation for the Visual Content Act 2006, that will have very dramatic effect when multiplied by 1000 or more people across the state.
To determine the Representatives and Senators from your area, go to www.legislature.state.tn.us
Under Senate or House of Representatives you will see Members—click there and you will find your local legislators, their emails and phone numbers.
Yes, this involves a few minutes of work, but it is now or never. If you are a film or television business, film or television professional, indie filmmaker, actor, writer, director, producer, aspiring filmmaker, student, or supporter of the film arts in Tennessee, the time for your phone calls and emails is literally now, as appropriations are being determined this week. You truly can and will make a difference at this moment.
For further information, please go to www.filmnashville.com.