Campaign Update: Film Works Wins Awards, MPAA Chief Speaks to Hollywood, Massachussets Film Incentive Disaster
Film Works is Now an Award-Winning Campaign:
On November 9, FilmL.A. and the Film Works campaign received a PRism Award for best logo and an Award of Excellence for best public education campaign. The PRism Awards is an annual awards ceremony conducted by the L.A. chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This year, PRism Awards were given to winners in 59 different categories, which recognize outstanding achievements in public relations throughout greater Los Angeles.
MPAA Chief Talks About Importance of Film & Television Industry at Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Luncheon:
Yesterday, Film Works staffers attended the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Entertainment Luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa in Hollywood. The popular annual event was heavily attended this year, as the keynote speaker was MPAA head and former U.S. Senator from Connecticut Christopher Dodd. Dodd was selected for the high-profile position earlier this year. In his speech (which was only his second public speaking engagement as MPAA head), Dodd said that movies and television were not just important to American culture, “but they also matter to our economy”:
Movies and TV matter to our nation’s culture. But they also matter to our economy. And behind Hollywood’s red-carpet image lays a blue-collar reality. Most of those 2.2 million jobs are held by middle income families and small business owners, men and women whose names will never appear on a theater marquee, but whose efforts are critical to the production, distribution and exhibition of our product.
When a movie or TV show is produced, it’s not just the studio or the actors who play a role. There’s the local lumber yard that supplies the material for the sets…the catering company that feeds the cast and crew…the car dealership that provides the vehicles. All in all, vendors and suppliers—predominately small businesses—nationwide earn over $38 billion from the film and TV industry each year, money that is plowed directly back into their communities so that it generates even more returns.
Particularly pleasing to Film Works was Dodd’s emphasis on making it his “mission” to help inform all Americans and policymakers about the “economic benefits of this creative and innovative industry”:
I’ve made it my mission as head of the MPAA to inform all Americans—including policymakers—that, just as the emotions evoked when watching a film in a movie theater experience are contagious, so too, are the economic benefits of this creative and innovative industry.
If you’d like, you can click to read Christopher Dodd’s entire address.
Production Spending in Massachusetts Plummeted 82% in 2010; Cost Per Job Created Under Incentive a Mind-Blowing $712,568!:
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) recently released its fourth annual report on the state’s film tax credit program. The DOR reports are considered by many experts, including some Film Works staffers, to be among the best studies concerning the effectiveness of film tax credit programs because they are so comprehensive. According to the latest Mass. report, in-state production spending fell from $333 million in 2009 to $58.4 million in 2010, a decline of 82%. The DOR attributed the steep decline to a drop in the number of big-budget movies relocating to Massachusetts.
Even more staggering than the decline in production spending was the average cost-per-job under the program. In 2010, the DOR estimated that each Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) job had a net cost to the state of $712,568!! Ouch! The cost is so unbelievably high, it almost seems too impossible to be true. So, just how did they do the math?
Under the Massachusetts film incentive, there is a lag between the time credits are issued and the time they are redeemed. For example, if $100 million in tax credits was issued in 2006, it could take several years until all of those credits are redeemed. In 2010, almost $91 million in tax credits issued in previous years were redeemed. This $91 million cost to the state in 2010 was much higher than the $58 million in production spending the state raked in that year.
But, there’s another twist to this. Since Massachusetts only generates between 5-15 cents in tax revenue for each dollar of production spending, the $58 million spent by productions in 2010 only generated $800,000 in state tax revenue. Since the state had to forgo $91 million in tax revenue to redeem the credits issued in prior years, and took in only $800,000 in tax revenue in 2010 to cover the cost, the cost to create a single job exploded. In previous years, the cost-per-job in Massachusetts under the film incentive program averaged from $75,000 to a little over $140,000.
In short, L.A.-based industry workers lucky enough to get jobs on Massachusetts-based productions are costing Bay State taxpayers a hefty chunk of change.
Film Works Bumper Stickers Back in Stock:
As reported last week, the popular 10-inch Film Works bumper stickers are now back in stock (and now made of waterproof vinyl). Don’t wait until we run out again! To get one sent to you, simply email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s just that simple!