My name is Brian. I have worked in film, TV, and video for 20 years.
I was born in Boston. I grew up in Massachusetts. I have lived here for most of my life. I received a BA from U-Mass Amherst. I have lived in Somerville Massachusetts for the last 10 years. Some day I hope to start a family in Massachusetts.
I tried living in Atlanta GA for 4.5 years when I worked for CNN, and in Harford CT for 3 years when I was a photojournalist at a local station there. However, after almost 8 years in news, I decided to move back to Boston Massachusetts because it is HOME to me.
I have been freelancing mainly as a Director of Photography / Camera Operator / Video Journalist, and also as a Field Audio Recordist, Field Producer, and Video Editor since I moved back in 2005. I have worked on all kinds of productions including documentaries, “reality” shows, docudramas, concerts, feature films, independent films, network news, corporate videos, events, etc, etc, etc…
I don’t often work on feature film sets, yet the Massachusetts Film Tax Incentive is crucial to my career, and those of my colleagues. It means there is more work over all. Having higher end work come to the state has also greatly increased the quality of the work done here. Higher quality (usually) = higher wages. More work = more people employed = a growing industry.
The money I earn mostly goes right back into the Massachusetts economy. I rent and purchase much of my equipment locally at places like Talamas and Rule Boston Camera. I buy a lot of lighting equipment from Kaye Lights and Barbizon (both in Woburn MA). When I need something fixed, I take it to Macie Video in Dedham. I also pay for a lot of parking in garages all over Boston and the rest of the state, I buy a lot of gas from local stations, I buy many meals when I’m working from all kinds of restaurants, I pay tolls on the Pike. The producers I work with who come in from out of town stay in the hotels, rent cars, hire taxis, buy meals, etc, etc.
I hire sound recordists, gaffers, camera assistants, production assistants, editors, etc etc. When I am too busy to do a job that has been requested by a client, I always recommend other local camera people, sound recordists, gaffers, grips, assistants, editors, etc who can fill the client’s needs.
If you get rid of the MA Film Tax Incentive, A LOT of work will disappear, and with it jobs. At the last hearing at the State House, a representative from Disney (which has shot at least a dozen films in the state) who testified was asked directly if Disney would still come to Massachusetts to hire the crews and locations that they have for so long even without the credit. Her answer was a simple, unequivocal “NO.”
The money doesn’t go to Hollywood stars (who have to pay Massachusetts taxes on what they earn) or to big companies. It goes to local Massachusetts residents like me, and my colleagues. It helps to grow this industry here. It is spent in YOUR town at YOUR businesses. You will be killing small businesses in YOUR community. Any money allegedly saved by stopping the incentive will be immediately balanced by the cost of the costs unemployment help that will be needed by the thousands of people in the production business here in Massachusetts that you will be putting out of work. Please don’t be foolish enough to end the Massachusetts Film Tax Incentive.