My name is Robert. Originally a mechanical engineering undergraduate at UMass Lowell, I ended up graduating with a bachelor’s in graphic design after realizing that engineering was just not a good fit for me. Through my senior year internship at Barbarian, a local web design company, I met a local set designer by the name of Larry Sampson. Soon after the internship, I started an apprenticeship with Larry; that was the start of my film career nearly eight years ago.
Through those years working in the Massachusetts film industry, I’ve come to realize that it’s made up of an incredibly diverse mix of professionals from many walks of life — from freelancers and contractors, to tradesmen, designers, carpenters, laborers, painters, seamstresses, caterers, teamsters, electricians, grips, gaffers, lighting designers, gardeners, welders, and so many others that go unseen. They’re all local, and they all represent our town and what we, as a city, have to offer to the rest of the national film community.
It’s not just the direct impact of employing hundreds of local tradesmen and crafts people. Films also spend a great deal of money and time on local vendors that wouldn’t normally see this huge volume of work. The construction department alone spends hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing wood, steel, hardware, and other goods from local Boston vendors such as Burnett and Moynihan and Central Steel; the catering department spends thousands at local food suppliers to be able to feed our large crews; the scenic department spends thousands at local paint shops for all their supplies — not to mention the money spent renting out local warehouse space and office space to house the actual production.
How about all the local restaurants, markets, hotels, and entertainment establishments that benefit from the huge influx of workers that come here from out of state to film their movie? And what about the publicity the city of Boston gets having it be the backdrop to great films, past and present?
I think I speak for everyone in our local film industry when I say that we take great pride in the work we do and great pride in the state that we call home. I think one would be doing Massachusetts a great disservice by jeopardizing the local film industry that we have worked so hard to nurture into the blossoming industry it’s become.