Category Archives: Set Construction

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My name is George McEachern. I am 58 years old and I have worked and payed taxes in the state of Massachusetts since the age of 15. I work in the film industry and depend on this job to pay my bills and mortgage. I have raised three children and put them through Massachusetts schools; I have also instilled in them the importance of getting a job, working hard, and paying your way in life. If the incentives are eliminated, it would have a major negative impact not only on my ability to support my household, but on thousands of others’ as well.

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My name is Al. I have been working in the film industry since 2008. When I came on, I was struggling to support my family. This career has given my family stability that was needed.

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My name is Harvey McNutt. I hadn’t had a steady job with insurance, health, and retirement until I joined IATSE Local 481 to work building sets. Now I have some retirement and steady work since the film incentives.

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My name is Josh Walsh. I have only been working in the film industry for about a year now. Before this job, I could barely support myself. The Massachusetts film incentives have given me hope and helped me gain confidence as a worker.

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My name is Cris. Less than two years ago, I lost my mother tragically. In my deepest darkness, it was my co-workers who burned a guiding light. The wake had barely begun when a pair of my union brothers came into frame. The following months were filled with the work and camaraderie that I needed to keep myself together. This past Christmas, I was blessed with a baby boy. I have my industry and the community surrounding it to thank for his happiness and health. My ability to provide for my growing family is dependent on the Massachusetts film industry. If my industry dissolves, not only would my family’s income be challenged, but the community that made my family possible would be lost.

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My name is Gary Alioto. I am a resident of Massachusetts. I’m very happy to say that I work in the motion picture industry and have seen how it benefits ALL of us that live here. Films have helped save local jobs and keep companies in business. If the tax incentive is no longer in Massachusetts, it would be devastating to the economy.

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My name is Jack Thompson, and I have been working in the Massachusetts film industry for the past four years. I grew up learning residential construction from my father and, after high school, I worked in the field for a couple years. After dealing with the uncertainties of being a subcontractor and talking with the veterans of the profession, I decided there had to be a more secure way to make a living. At that point, I went to the North Bennett Street School in Boston for my bench jewelers certification. Although I enjoyed the experience at North Bennett Street tremendously and really appreciated the job security of a skilled tradesman, the industry itself was, in my experience, quite monotonous.

As you can see, becoming a prop maker for the film industry was a bit of a journey for me, as it was for most of my fellow brothers and sisters. But it is precisely because of that journey that we appreciate and value our jobs so highly! With retirement and health insurance paid for by the production companies, we have a level of job security rarely found these days — a true middle class! This, in turn, means more money going back into the local communities where we live and work, raising the standard of living for everyone involved. Too often the film tax incentive is portrayed as having a very limited range of influence and favoring the big shots in Hollywood. As one of the thousands of people in Massachusetts who depend on it, I can tell you with certainty that nothing could be further from the truth.

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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.

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My name is Zachary, and I have been working in the film industry here in Massachusetts for the past five years. It has been an incredible opportunity for me. If the incentive is taken away, my job will go with it, and I will be forced to work outside of Massachusetts.

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My name is Nelson Durango, and I work in the construction department in the Massachusetts film industry. Thanks to my job, the quality of my life and my family’s has increased markedly since I started.

I’ve been working for approximately eight years. I have seen the huge number of individuals and families who benefit from working in this industry.

For the benefit of our families and for us, I hope the film tax incentive will continue so that we can continue filming movies in Massachusetts.

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My name is Luke Bellamy.I have worked as a carpenter on three movies in the last year.

Working in the film business has given me the chance to provide a better life for my fiancée, Anna, and our three-year-old daughter, Domenica. As a result of my working in the film industry, my fiancée has been able to return to the workforce, because we can now afford to send our daughter to preschool. At preschool, our daughter gets much-needed interactions with people other than her parents, which are important for an only child.

We have increased our spending budget by 50%, which means more money returning to the economy. Finally, after working full-time since I was 20, we are now able to eat better, healthier foods, and enjoy an overall better quality of life.

My own American dream, home ownership, is finally within reach. This has been made possible by working long, hard hours in this fun and exciting business.

Keeping the Massachusetts film tax incentives intact means everything to my family and me — and to all the families of the men and women with whom I work.

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My name is Joseph Elwell, and I have been a resident of Massachusetts for the past 43 years.  I am happily married and have two wonderful daughters.

I have been in the construction field for more than 20 years. It has always been a struggle to make a decent living. Once my family began to grow, I found myself searching for a more secure future, benefits, and more opportunities. Joining the film industry eight years ago has provided me with all of this and more. I now have a retirement plan, which I had not had before.

If the tax incentive is eliminated, I would be unable to contribute to my retirement and would face the fear of not finding another job in my field that would provide one. Without the tax incentive, my family will lose the financial security this industry has provided us. There are few job opportunities in my field that would give my family the same financial security as the film industry does.

Not only would losing the tax incentive affect my family, but it would also affect thousands of other families and local businesses who rely on the additional income when a movie is being filmed in Massachusetts.

Let’s keep the film industry in Massachusetts going strong and keep families and business owners employed.

 

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For me, the film industry means earning a living wage doing what I love most — making the “magic” in entertainment. My name is Catrin Evans, and I work in the construction department as a scenic carpenter and welder.  I recently came to the film industry through the theater and event freelance businesses, trying to piece together day- or week-long gigs without benefits. Now, because of the work the Massachusetts film industry has created, I have benefits, I bought my first car, I have access to professional training, and I spent the holidays with my family instead of working. I am just one of the many artists and craftspeople who depend on the film tax incentive to earn a living. In turn, all of us depend on local materials suppliers, rental houses, restaurants, hotels, clothing stores, hardware stores, and countless other business to do our jobs. Support Massachusetts business by supporting the film tax incentive.

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I am a new member of Local 481. In my short time in the film industry, I have realized the number of jobs and departments involved in creating any production. Even before working in the industry, a film tax incentive always made sense to me. Films will always be made somewhere, so why not create local jobs? If the production is filmed in another state, there is zero financial gain for Massachusetts and the movie and tax money go to another state. This is not to mention the countless dollars brought to local economy and tourism.

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My name is Jim Houlihan, and I have worked — thanks to the Massachusetts film tax incentive — since 2008, starting on Shutter Island. The work came at a great time for me with the recession of ’08 looming, especially in the construction sector. I love my job, I get good pay with benefits, I work in a safe atmosphere, and I am treated with respect. Isn’t that what the American Dream is all about? I have no illusions that if the tax incentive is dissolved, this will all go away.

The movie business in Massachusetts has affected the local economy enormously since its been here. I have seen so many intangible dollars being spent that you just can’t record on a graph. Hotels, local mom-and-pop restaurants, and lumber yards, just to name a very select few businesses, have benefited.  Any time we are on a location shoot, we see to it that we leave the location in better shape then when we got there. This is a great industry with local people. pPlease do not take the incentive away now after nine years — it will hurt countless families directly and indirectly. Thank you.

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While I may be considered relatively new to the film industry, I feel like I am suited to the job. I spent most of my career as a residential carpenter who also volunteered my time as a set builder and designer at my local community theater, The Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain.

I am currently working on my third production, with more projects lined up. This is my livelihood. My wife and I have been saving and are eagerly anticipating buying our first home in the coming months. I would hate to think that the elimination of the film tax incentive might put that goal in jeopardy.

I truly love what I do and have been lucky to work with people who are so dedicated to the craft. The job can be demanding (it’s certainly not as glamorous as those outside the industry might think), and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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My name is Stephen, and I have been working in the Massachusetts film industry since 2008. Before I started working on movies, I was a self-employed general contractor building new homes and additions. When the economy crashed, so did the work. Working on films has allowed me to stay working when construction jobs were not available.

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My name is Oscar W. Casas. I am a member of Local 481 New England Studios Mechanics. I’m a carpenter and work in the construction field in the movie industry. I have two sons, a daughter, and a beautiful granddaughter. I have been working in this industry for over seven years now and I can’t express enough how my family and I have benefited from the film industry. I’ve put a son through college and provided a beautiful and stable home to my family. The film tax incentive is beneficial to many people (and families) like me. On top of that, it feeds our local economy and helps local businesses grow.

It will be devastating and a big mistake to lose this incentive and drive the film work out of state. I ask that you please take a close look and really see what’s at stake here. It’s families, jobs, homes, and much, much more.

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My Name is Ted Suchecki. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and am a lifelong resident. I attended UMass Amherst and have a bachelor of science degree. I started working as a PA in 1989 for Cablevision and I currently work as a construction coordinator.

Early in my career, it was very difficult to make a living in the film industry. Shows would come to the state, bring most of the department heads and staff from out of state, and hire from the then-small local crew. As time went on, though, our brothers and sisters rose up to fill these positions. Also, many started businesses in their respective crafts to supply the industry while existing businesses began to benefit. Then, in 2006, the state enacted the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit law. The film industry boomed because of it!

It created thousands of new jobs and, all of a sudden, we couldn’t find enough people to fill them. Concurrently, new businesses sprang up overnight that directly support film, such as VFX, editorial, and post-production facilities. In states where tax incentives have been eliminated, film production has stopped. Businesses have closed, people have lost well-paying jobs with health benefits, and ultimately tax revenue from the industry has been lost. I urge you all to fight to keep the tax incentive in place. Reach out to your state senators and representatives. Give them the real economic data and tell them your story.

Please support and continue the Massachusetts film tax incentive!

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My name is Lauren. I feel so thankful to be a part of such an interesting industry and to have been given the opportunity to grow and learn from so many talented folks who are also a part of this industry. I have been very fortunate to have steady employment since becoming a member of IATSE, but I can remember back to when the last governor threatened to cap the tax credit and family and friends who had been in the business for many years did not work for a year or more! I can speak personally about how the movie industry helps small business when they are filming here.

Before becoming a part of this industry, I ran a small, old-time country store in Gloucester. We had our share of up years and down years, but every time a movie would be filming in Gloucester, business was booming! We would sell muffins and coffee like crazy. I even baked a birthday cake for Sandra Bullock! I have many friends with small businesses in the area, and they too are so grateful for the extra business when a film comes to town. Please keep our industry growing! Thank you.

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My name is Eric. In the last 25 years, I have watched the film industry grow and be able to compete internationally because of the incentive program in this state. At least 75%of my work in the industry has taken place in Massachusetts, which allowed me and many others to make a good living. It should be noted that film is no longer a “cottage industry” in Massachusetts, but a vibrant economic force employing thousands of people.

Families have moved to Massachusetts from many parts of the country to lead productive lives and earn a good income for themselves and their families. Tax incentives for film provide many jobs and revenue for the state and should remain in place as this important industry continues to grow.

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My name is Christopher Egan. I’m a longtime Massachusetts resident, taxpayer, and homeowner. I love my job in the construction department in the film industry. Over the past nine years, I’ve worked on approximately 28 movies, including, most recently, The Judge, Black Mass, and The Finest Hours. Prior to my career in the film industry, I struggled to find work that paid a livable wage, much less a job with benefits. Now I earn a good living and have health insurance and other benefits. Instead of just eking out a living, I can now contribute to the local economy by keeping my family’s home and property in good shape and buying the goods and services we need.

I’ve watched the Massachusetts film industry develop and grow on so many many levels. And it’s been good for more than just jobs like mine; it’s been good for the local building materials supplier and the tool rental businesses routinely patronized by our crews, the local bakeries and delis where we eat, and an array of other businesses that benefit when a movie is being built or filmed nearby. For example, one time we were building outdoor sets on Cape Ann. The weather was foul — cold rain and high winds. One crew member found a small shop in Gloucester that catered to the fisheries trade. When we saw how warm and dry he was in his new heavy duty rain suit, many of us went there and got similarly outfitted, for about $100/suit — a nice windfall for a local business trying to stay afloat during challenging times in the fishing industry.

If the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit is abolished, my family’s livelihood will be directly and negatively impacted. At best, I will join the rest of my crew in the unemployment line. At worst, we will have to sell our house and leave Massachusetts. It doesn’t make sense to give money to working families by taking it from other working families.

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My name is Jack Coyle, and that is my son Desi with me in the photo. I have been a Boston resident for 40-plus years and a member of the film community for more than 25 years. Prior to the implementation of the film tax incentive, I worked on one or two films a year in Massachusetts, if any at all.  Most of my time was spent in NYC, away from my family.

I now plead with Gov. Baker and the entire state legislature to maintain and expand the film tax incentive. The film community is in its infancy and it provides solid middle-class jobs to families who raise their families, pay their taxes, buy homes, and vote.  Please look into the eyes of the people on these pages and see the faces of their children.

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My name is Raul Cintron, and I work in set construction. I live in Roslindale with my wife and daughter. Four years ago, I had the opportunity to work on a film here in Boston, and it’s been my full-time job ever since. I work alongside some of the state’s hardest working and most talented people, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

The kind of work the film tax incentive brings to the state has allowed me to support my family and plant roots in our community. My wife works for a nonprofit in Boston, and our daughter is about to start kindergarten in Boston. If the tax incentive goes away, it will impact not only my family, but all of the families and local businesses that depend on this industry. Please help support this amazing community and save Massachusetts film jobs!

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My name is Eric. I joined the union in 2006 when the tax incentive program was started. Since then, it has provided a living wage for me and my entire family of four. We use the health insurance plan and I am also earning money towards a pension plan, which will be extremely helpful when I get older as I have worked as an artisan my entire life and have no future financial plans other than this established pension.

The movie industry helps not only the film workers but all the other local companies that provide services to us. It is a positive addition to the Massachusetts economy and has made a dramatic improvement in my family’s security and stability. Without the tax incentive, the movies will leave, and I will be left again a skilled artisan with no health insurance, no pension, and no good job prospects.

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My name is Jason Joubert. I am a single father of three wonderful children whose well-being is supported by my career in the film industry. If the Massachusetts film tax incentive is eliminated, my ability to provide for my children will be in jeopardy.

The naysayers of the film tax incentive would lead you to believe it just fattens the pockets of actors and production companies while it hurts Massachusetts and its citizens. On the contrary, I am a prop maker and carpenter who works in the construction department. I am one of many blue-collar workers whose livelihood depends on the film tax incentive. It’s not just the workers behind the scenes of the movies, TV shows, and commercials who are affected. It’s local businesses, such as gas stations, coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, hotels, lumberyards, steel companies, hardware stores, paint shops, etc. All of these businesses will be affected, which will in turn impact their blue-collar employees.

If the film tax incentive in Massachusetts is eliminated, thousands of jobs, either directly or indirectly, will be lost or negatively affected. This will put Massachusetts residents on the unemployment list or will make us residents of another state!

IMG_20140619_172033_619My name is Nicholas Bellofatto. And before August of last year I was having difficulty properly supporting my family. When I got a job building sets for movies being filmed here in Massachusetts I couldn’t believe my luck. Since the film tax credits have been offered to the movie industry, business has been booming and I once again can live life without worrying where my next paycheck is coming from.

I hope the proposal to deny this tax credit does not come to fruition. Denying this tax credit would not only harm my family and many other MA constituents, but would also unnecessarily take business away from the hotels, restaurants, hardware stores and many other industries in this state. I hope the notion of dropping this tax credit is dissolved. Thank you for allowing me to go to work every day and do something I love.

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My name is David Parsons, and I have worked in movie set construction for the past eight years. Being a foreman in the mill shop, I am aware of the thousands of dollars spent in local businesses for construction materials because we work closely with them to supply our construction needs. In 2007, when I started in this industry, the downturn in the economy was significant, and the opportunity to work in film construction positively impacted my ability to provide for my family and send my daughter to college.

Additionally, two movies (Labor Day and The Judge) have recently been filmed in my hometown of Shelburne Falls, MA. I saw firsthand how our local businesses in our small town benefited financially from this opportunity, which spread goodwill throughout the community. Please help save our jobs.

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My name is Isaac Nadreau, and I work in the construction department. I love what I do, and it provides a solid foundation for my wife and three children. It is an incredible job that opens the doors to excellent opportunities for my family and me. I have been working in the construction field for more than 20 years, and have done everything from labor to management. Construction is a major contributor to the economy not only in Massachusetts, but all over the country.

Since I have been involved in the motion picture industry, I have witnessed firsthand the impact that it has on local businesses and distributors, not to mention the cities and towns where filming takes place. It is exciting to be a part of this industry, but even more so to watch a film in the theater with my family and know it was filmed here and I had a part in it.

I truly believe that if we remove the tax incentives from Massachusetts, we would be forcing production companies to look elsewhere to build and film their shows (especially when there are so many other states that offer an incentive, with more jumping on board as the years go by).

I appreciate your time and support and look forward to continuing to attract new films into our state to support our economy.

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My name is Zachary Zablocki. I am 21 years old and I was born and raised in Massachusetts. When I was 17, I graduated from a vocational high school at the top of my class as a metal fabricator and welder. I joined the local film union that covers set construction when I was 18. I mostly work in the construction department. My background in welding and metal fabrication has made me a valuable asset on film construction crews, yet I keep learning new carpentry skills as I work. During the last three years of my life, I have met many great and intelligent people who have been a pleasure to work with.

It is a great threat to my job to propose taking away the Massachusetts film tax incentives. If this happens, the local community will be negatively impacted. You may not think you’ll be affected by this but people who surround you will. The film industry contributes to the community in so many great ways. We buy a great portion of our products and building materials from local businesses, which keeps the money in the local community. Vendors hire additional help to meet this demand. In the long run, the state profits through increased sales and employee taxes. Please support the Massachusetts film tax incentives.

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My name is Robert Valley. My crafts include construction, grip, and now greensman (placing and caring for the live and replica vegetation on the set). My family and I thrive only because of the tax incentive. This is the career I love and wouldn’t want to start over.

I shop, eat, and live in the community where we shoot, as do my co workers. We all pay Massachusetts state taxes. Eliminating the film tax incentive would not be wise.

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My name is John Larson. For the last seven years, I have worked in movie set construction on 25 films. My film industry job arrived at a key moment in a bad economy, allowing my son to return to college and finish his degree.

On several films, I have worked as the tool man, requiring me to purchase thousands of dollars worth of tools, replacement parts, and maintenance materials from local hardware stores and vendors. On one show, we spent $1,000 a week for ten weeks at the local hardware store, giving them a large boost in revenues.

Please help save our jobs.

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My name is Adam McClain. I live, own a home, and vote in Massachusetts. For the better part of ten years I have been working building sets for the film industry. I started a few years before the film incentive was introduced. It has been amazing to see the industry grow and develop in that time.  Two of my responsibilities are to hire crew and order materials. The number of carpenters and welders in the set construction arm of the film industry has doubled since I have been around. At any given moment in the last few years I have had 50-200 people working with me just on constructing sets. Each of those jobs is a fair-paying wage with medical and retirement benefits (paid for by the production company). They all pay income tax.

Films will not come here without an incentive. Many states have similar incentives. Film and television productions will go to those states, make no mistake about it. This is my career. Without the tax incentive, I can no longer work near my home in Massachusetts. I, along with many other people, will be either be jobless or will need to leave the state.

 

 

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My name is Wilfredo Usuga, aka Willie. I work in the construction department and the grip department. I am a labor foreman, and part of my job is receiving and handling the lumber and materials that we use to build the sets that make the movies happen.

I have seen and unloaded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of materials — materials that come from many different local vendors who rely on our business, who have grown with us, and who feed the local economy.

By eliminating the film tax incentive, the state would negatively affect not only the film industry, but the vendors, the employees, and the families of many, many local people who profit from us.

My family and I depend on these film tax incentives because my work on films is my source of income. Without this income, I will just be another digit to add to the now-high ranks of the unemployed. I can assure you that I would much rather be counted in the working class.

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My name is Steven Blaney. I grew up in Haverhill, MA, and still reside here. I worked on my first movie, Shutter Island, at the age of 21. At the time, I had no car, I was working a dead-end minimum-wage job, I was on the verge of being evicted from my apartment, and I was expecting my first child.

I borrowed tools from a family friend. I was fortunate enough to have my father let me use his car for work. After a couple weeks, I was able to pay the landlord, return the borrowed tools, and buy my own. After a couple months, I was able to buy my own car and my father no longer had to take the bus to work.

I have worked on numerous films, including The Fighter, Knight and Day, Here Comes the Boom, Grown Ups 1 & 2, R.I.P.D, The Judge and Sea of Trees as a carpenter and a rigging grip. I have learned so much and created many lifelong friends along the way.

I have personally seen local businesses flourish due to the incentive. We rent from local rigging companies. We buy from local lumber yards and steel yards. We eat at local restaurants and stay at local hotels. None of this would be possible without the Massachusetts film tax incentive.

I am now a single father. I have my daughter full-time. My daughter is seven years old and in second grade. I am very grateful to have a career that allows me to take care of my daughter and provide her with health insurance. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have family and friends to help me with my daughter while I work to support her financially. I am currently working on a project that is possible due to the tax incentive. My roots and support structure are here in Massachusetts. I don’t have the luxury of just packing up and moving to where the work is. My dream is to own a home here in Massachusetts and put my daughter through college. I don’t know what I would do if they stopped making movies here.

My name is Steven Blaney. I live here and I work here. I am the face of the Massachusetts film tax incentive.

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My name is M Quinn, and I am a special effects, welder, and construction worker for the motion picture industry. Thanks to work I’ve had through the Massachusetts film industry, my quality of life has greatly increased. I love what I do!

I am able to afford decent health coverage, and got myself in a financial position to start saving up for my future. I have begun putting money away for my niece and nephew’s college funds, and now have the security in knowing that if anything were to happen to my parents, I would be able to help support them. The tax incentive means I get to spend my money at local businesses instead of turning to often cheaper alternatives of shopping online or at major chains.

If the tax incentive is eliminated (or even threatened), my work and the work of hundreds of others will disappear. The money I am able to spend locally will be nonexistent. And there will be no financial security for my future, preventing me from being able to provide for the futures of my loved ones.

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