We are High Output and Charles River Studios, New England’s premier lighting and grip equipment rental house that is also home to three studios. We serve the majority of the feature films and commercials that shoot in Massachusetts and are proud to work side by side with the fine crew base that has developed in the area. Founded by local gaffers John Cini and Jim Hirsch, we made a modest business serving local commercial, independent film, and documentary film clients for many years. However, when the Massachusetts film tax incentive came into being, everything changed. We’ve seen our film business grow exponentially over the past several years, due entirely to the incentive.
Although feature films always get the most press, we can tell you firsthand that there are also a ton of television programs, commercials, documentaries, and other projects that are also being produced in Massachusetts as a direct result of the film tax incentives. These projects have multiplied over the past several years as studios and production companies have become more comfortable with Massachusetts and have experienced the resources we have to offer. Producers are very quick to let us know that the reason, often the ONLY reason, they come to shoot in Massachusetts is because of the tax incentives we offer here.
As a growing local Massachusetts business, we utilize other local Massachusetts businesses to keep us going. We buy all of our aluminum and steel for our grip equipment from local Massachusetts companies. We have 13,500 square feet of studio space that needs to be repainted upwards of twice a week (depending on shooting schedules); we use local Massachusetts labor to do it and we buy all of the paint from local Massachusetts companies. We buy all of the lumber for our wood shop and grip trucks from local Massachusetts lumberyards. We have a fleet of over 40 trucks and trailers, all of which are serviced by local Massachusetts mechanics and technicians, at local Massachusetts garages and shops. The list goes on. The film and TV industry is not just one industry — it’s several industries strung together to create an intricate, collaborative network. Eliminating the film tax incentive will not only cripple a lot of individuals and families, but a lot of businesses as well, including ours.
The film tax incentive has allowed High Output & Charles River Studios to grow, and, as a result, we’ve continually hired new people to accommodate the growing business. We now currently employ more than 60 full-time staff members in our Canton office. All of them are everyday, hardworking people — they are not “Hollywood fat-cat types” like many opponents of the film tax incentive will lead you to believe. Eliminating the film tax incentive will be cutting the lifeblood of our business, and we have too many employees depending on us for that to happen.