My name is John Whoriskey, Jr., and I am an assistant location manager. I was born and raised in Massachusetts. After high school, I moved to Orlando, FL, to go to college. Orlando was of course known as a major production hub in the 90s and early 2000s. By the time I began school, production in Florida was dying. The world-famous Universal Studios was basically a tourist attraction and Panavision (now gone completely) had only a handful of employees. All of this was a result of Florida placing a cap on their film tax credit (just placing a cap, not even eliminating it).
Upon graduation, I moved back to Massachusetts to be closer to my family and work here. This was a year that tested our local industry. Gov. Patrick merely proposed capping our FTC and it completely scared studios away. I was fortunate enough to get my first my first job rather quickly on the movie Sunny Side Up (now known as The Love Guide) through the help of the amazing Tim Van Patten at Central Booking Service (which has proved invaluable to countless productions and crew members in this state). I connected with the locations department on that movie and never looked back. Every year after 2010, we have had more productions come in. Our business is rapidly growing in Massachusetts.
Working in the locations department, I have seen directly not only the number of people that actually work on a movie (crew, extras, etc.), but also the amount of money that is constantly being dispersed to neighborhoods, towns, cities, and countless other businesses and services. This list goes on and on, and the benefits are both tangible and intangible. On top of every single person on the payroll paying directly into Massachusetts income taxes while on the clock, we are — while off the clock — eating at local restaurants, buying clothing to survive a 16-hour day in a torrential downpour from local retailers, or going to the movies to see the results of our hard work and dedication to our industry.
I’ve been fortunate enough to continually work in the industry that I went to college for and the one that I grew up dreaming of being a part of. All of this has been made possible by the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit. If there is NO film tax credit, the studios WILL go elsewhere. It happened in Florida. It happened in California. None of us can afford for it happen here.