My name is Christian D. Chapra, and I am the sole owner and proprietor of W & C Pictures, a Massachusetts production company. I am not a “fat cat.” I have lived all over the United States, but since the end of 2010, I have called Massachusetts my home. I began my film education in 1991, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. My father decided to pay for my education, as a kind of compensation for being an absentee dad. Halfway through, he reneged on our agreement, with no warning or explanation. I spent the next three years trying to earn enough money to finish my education, but Boulder was not a hotbed of job opportunities. I scraped by before eventually giving up. I spent the next 14 years pushing my hopes and dreams from my mind.
When my father developed heart disease, I found it in my heart to forgive him, and moved closer to where he lived: Weston, MA. I discovered a satellite school of Boston University in Waltham. Everything missing from my education could be learned from this school. My wife agreed to put up the money, and I completed my education. I have produced several short films, and hope to shoot a feature this summer.
Repealing the tax incentive affects people like me most of all: people who are trying to start out in the business; people who call Massachusetts home, and want to make this the next Hollywood. For whatever reason, we don’t want to move to New York, or LA. Does it add to the glory of our commonwealth that a tax incentive that creates Massachusetts jobs for Massachusetts families, helping to create films that show off the natural beauty all around us, should be removed, making it more difficult for little people like me to start our careers? I have already lost 14 years of a career to a whim of fate. I found my second chance here. I want to show my gratitude by making Massachusetts a part of my films. Revoking the tax incentive will make that much more difficult, and potentially force me, and thousands of others like me, to move. This commonwealth was once a hotbed of artists. We are on the verge of becoming a serious rival to New York City as a filming mecca. Don’t take that away from us.