My name is Jill Tufts. I am a camera assistant. I came to Massachusetts in 1988 for college and stuck around after graduation to make a go of it in the city I’d come to love.
In the 90s, very few locals in the camera department would ever be hired to work on a big movie. I wound up traveling for ten years on documentary shoots. Colleagues left town for work on movies in New York or LA. For a long time, we didn’t see anyone new seeking careers in camera.
The tide shifted drastically about ten years ago. The tax incentive helps producers understand the value of hiring and filming here for the full duration of a project. As a camera guild steward for the region, I’ve witnessed our roster increase by leaps and bounds ever since. Super talented young people are finally pursuing camera work RIGHT HERE. Our members qualify for health insurance through work, rent and buy homes in the region, and, most importantly, stay close to their families.
My work has settled to be primarily Massachusetts commercial shoots, now benefiting from the film tax incentive. I’m able to be at home most evenings to tuck my daughters into bed, and to catch up with my husband, Patrick, who is also a cameraman in the business. We realize, firsthand, that if film tax incentives disappear, one, or both, of us will have to hit the road to work on projects shooting in states WITH incentives. That translates to less time with our family, and less time and money spent in Massachusetts.
Please consider the livelihoods that would be sacrificed for this misguided budget proposal.