My name is Megan Blake. Growing up in Los Angeles with both parents working in the film industry there, I knew I would someday do the same. In 2008, I moved to Boston to go back to school after having worked in the business in Los Angeles for five years. As graduation approached, I assumed I would move back, but my parents encouraged me to stay here and look for work, since the jobs in California had dried up a bit (no tax incentive). I started getting jobs as a graphic designer on shows being filmed here in Massachusetts. That was three years ago, and in that short time I was able to help my then-boyfriend, Ryan Blake, get started in the business in the production department. He has been able to move up in that department and work on smaller films as a film composer, his dream position.
Ryan and I are now married with a six-week old baby boy. Having work here is essential for our family and life. Ryan grew up in Massachusetts and has plenty of family nearby. Without the film tax incentive, we may be forced to uproot our budding life and move away from family and friends in order to stay gainfully employed in this creative industry.
Working in production, Ryan has learned about the numerous vendors that have a lot to gain from movies shooting in town. From restaurants serving up their biggest customer of the day — our production office — to office supply companies bringing in weekly gigantic orders (WB Mason, Staples), grocery stores, printing offices, shipping companies, rental car agencies and audio/video rental facilities (Rule, Talamas, etc.), there are scores of businesses that thrive when films are shooting in Massachusetts. Our business grows businesses.
One of my top vendors, Cambridge Reprographics, has told me they love it when a film is shooting in town because their production and revenue skyrocket. They have expanded and purchased additional equipment to keep up with the amount of work our projects send their way. If Hollywood stopped sending projects to the wonderful, versatile Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it would not be only the local crew members and their families that would suffer. The plethora of other establishments where film productions spend money locally would also be drastically affected. The economy of all of New England would suffer tremendously, and there is no denying it. By having the film tax incentive in Massachusetts, we are all able to thrive economically.