My name is Benjamin Regan, and I have been working on films since 2006. I have worked as a carpenter, welder, prop maker, greensperson, and set dresser. The Massachusetts film industry has provided me with a career and hopefully a future as a studio shop mechanic. Before joining IATSE Local 481, I was a typical construction worker, struggling to pay rent and living from paycheck to paycheck. This job has presented me with countless opportunities and a fair living wage.
In my nine years as a member of Local 481, I have seen firsthand the effect of the film tax incentive and the direct impact it has on our industry. In 2009, I made the most money I had ever made in a year. In 2010, however, following Gov. Deval Patrick’s mere proposal to cap the tax incentives, I and many of my union brothers and sisters struggled on unemployment or were forced to work outside of the film industry to make ends meet. Legislators don’t often understand the ripple effects of their actions. Make no mistake, producers only bring films to Massachusetts for the tax breaks. Take Vancouver as an example: there used to be a booming film industry there, but when their government revoked the tax credit, the film industry dried up. It is basic economics: the incentive brings money from wealthy investors/producers to this state; without the incentive, they would simply spend their money elsewhere.
Supporting the film tax incentive directly supports working-class families all around Massachusetts. Without the incentives, there would be no film industry in Massachusetts. Without the incentives, most of my coworkers would be unemployed and in need of state assistance. I would like to urge Governor Baker and his fellow legislators to continue to support the local people making a living in the Massachusetts film industry. FILMS = JOBS