Hi. My name is Eric D’Amario, and I’m an executive producer at Redtree Productions. I live in Holliston, MA, with my wife and two children. I was raised in Springfield, MA, graduated from Fitchburg State College’s film/communication department, and landed an internship at Redtree, which turned into a 15-year (and counting) career. From a personal and business perspective, I have seen firsthand how the Massachusetts film incentive has positively impacted the state and the film community as a whole.
For a local production company like Redtree, we are able to bring projects that would normally shoot elsewhere to Massachusetts, because there is an incentive in place which enables us to offer more “bang for the buck” — a ten-hour day that becomes a twelve, or a two-day shoot that becomes a four-day package. The incentive also brings in production companies from other markets, including New York and Los Angeles, because they too realize the savings they can extend to their clients, and because we have the tools and infrastructure to produce large-scale work with local assets. The crew, equipment, vendor, actor, and post-production base that exists here enables us to deliver a product of the highest level across the board. While there has always been commercial production work here, there are now many more projects and work opportunities because of the incentive.
It’s not only “Hollywood” that benefits from the film tax incentives. Sure, they come for the incentive and added profits, but they leave the majority of the money behind, spending it HERE. If the Massachusetts film tax incentive goes away, Hollywood will be just fine. They’ll move along to the next state that wants their business and understands that it’s an investment more than an expense.
We are ones who will suffer: the Massachusetts residents who rely on this work to pay our bills and feed our families; the freelance crew that may have to consider moving out of state to follow the work or consider a complete change in career; the local businesses, retail stores, hotels, and restaurants that will see their businesses hurt by the drastic and sudden loss of business and likely be forced to reduce staff as a result. It’s not as black and white as the press is making it out to be, and I can only hope that the “big picture” is considered, as well as the impact on the state as a whole.