Category Archives: Lighting Technician

IMG_0663

I have been working in Boston and New England for over 30 years in various capacities doing lighting and camerawork. I’ve been through good times and bad in this business and raised two children with my wife Claudia, a former filmmaker herself. Now my daughter Magda is an educator/filmmaker who just finished college at Hampshire and my son Will, a sophomore at Lexington HS, just completed his 5th short and a fundraising movie for his old elementary school.

What is happening in my family is possible because I have been able to make a living at what I love, film work. When I mentioned the good and bad times I meant this: good when there is work, i.e. tax incentives are in effect, bad when there is no work, no tax incentives. It is that simple: with incentives the movies come here, without, they don’t. It’s black and white. I have lived through both situations.

I guess what I’m getting at is that in their own way, the incentives are helping create a new generation of filmmakers and film workers in our lovely state. And that is good.

Me-Jo

My name is Peter D’Angelo. In 1984, I got my first job in the film business, producing animated trailers for movie theaters (“And now, our feature presentation,” and the like). After seven years of that, I decided I didn’t want to spend the rest of my working days in a small, dark, windowless room. From 1993 to 2008, I was employed at High Output, New England’s largest grip and lighting rental house; I worked as one of their field technicians in a grip truck with a mounted 1000-amp generator, largely on TV commercials. In 2008, I decided to try the freelance market, after being offered the job as best boy rigging grip on Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which filmed at the Burlington Mall. I have worked on many feature films since, including Surrogates, Grown Ups 1&2, That’s My Boy, RIPD, Edge of Darkness, American Hustle, and the soon-to-be-released The Sea of Trees and Joy, to name just a few.

1935181_154436868898_993920_n

My name is David Provenzano, and I have been working as a set lighting technician in Massachusetts for over a decade. My job allows me to provide for myself, and to stay close to my ailing father and my imminently expecting sister. (I’m so excited to become an uncle!)

A repeal of the film tax incentive would adversely effect the income of thousands of residents of our beautiful state. Additionally, it might force many of the men and women I work alongside on project after project to “follow” a tax incentive to another state that is benefiting from the huge amount of economic stimulus that film production can provide, such as Georgia or Louisiana. While those are both lovely places, they are not my home. Waltham, MA, is my home. I hope to live here, and make movies here, for a long, long time.

Thank you so much for your time, attention, and consideration.

11163936_10102128165625839_2476790989369652625_n

11193241_10102128165066959_1615504704184287865_n11178315_10102128165161769_7535698411087684453_n

My name is Fritz, and I have been working in film and TV production since 2004. I grew up in Massachusetts after moving here from the Philippines in 1993. I still live in Massachusetts with my wife.

I have worked in numerous departments, but have focused on working as a grip/lighting technician. I have worked in grip and electric/lighting rental houses around Massachusetts to learn about the craft. I have traveled all over Massachusetts and discovered the wonderful locations that this state offers, thanks to the film and TV jobs that come here. A lot of productions come to this state because of the film tax incentive. There are very talented actors and crew who live in Massachusetts, whom I have been honored to work with.

It would be a pleasure to continue getting jobs in my home state of Massachusetts so I can go back home to my wife at the end of the work day. If I work here, I will spend money here for gas, food, equipment, etc. If the film tax incentive is eliminated, I will be forced to work in other states and will spend less time and money in Massachusetts. Please keep the film tax incentive so the cast and crews who live here don’t have a mass migration out of Massachusetts to other states. #SaveMAFilmJobs‬

20150122_190717

My name is David Rudolph. I live and have been able to work in Chelsea, MA, my home town, on a number of feature films since the film incentives were implemented. I’ve been able to care for my 92-year-old aunt, Angela Panarese, and my 84 -year-old mother, Ida Rudolph, since my livelihood has been made in Massachusetts.

Before the Massachusetts film tax incentives, I had to take up residence in New York City for my income and health benefits.

The Massachusetts film tax incentives are working for me and my community. Since the incentives were implemented, my film industry income has allowed me to rehabilitate and maintain three properties in Chelsea.

The city of Chelsea has benefited through additional police details; paint and lumber supply stores have gained long-term clients as they have showcased their expertise; and social clubs like the Polish Political Club have rented their halls for catering film productions. All this will go away if HB 62 is passed.

224972_470459292968946_225110854_n

My name is Ryan O’Donnell, and I am a native of Massachusetts. I studied film production at Emerson College in Boston. While most of my peers planned to head to New York or LA after graduating, I hoped to remain in the area (I’m kinda in love with Massachusetts) and make a living freelancing. Since I left college in 2011, I have been fortunate enough to do just that.

The amount of production brought in by the Massachusetts film tax incentive has provided me with a consistent and an increasing amount of work. Even as a newer member of IATSE, I am getting a chance to work on movies all over the state because of the current work available. I hope that future graduates of local colleges can realistically choose Massachusetts as a place to settle once they have finished studying here. I also hope my decision to remain in the Boston area will not have to be reconsidered in the near future.

11081229_819001251518137_1235224095473354157_n

My name is Patrick Hines. I am a lifelong resident of Massachusetts and have been working as a electric and grip for three years. I am relatively new to my profession, but since I started, I have been able to work with and learn from many talented people who have been able to stay and develop in Massachusetts due in large part to the state’s film tax incentives.

I recently got married, and my wife and I would like to eventually purchase a house here in the state where we were both born and raised. However, if the film tax incentive is phased out, I fear we will be forced to move away in hopes of finding work somewhere else.

The Massachusetts film tax incentives do not simply funnel money into the pockets of so-called “Hollywood elites,” as some would have the public believe, but instead encourage comprehensive investments to the state economy by luring larger-budgeted films to the area, which in turn provide work for hundreds of people at a time. If the incentives go, so will the films, the jobs, and the secondary and tertiary spending for the state and region’s economy.

image11

My name is Jenny Ciaffone. I feel fortunate to have worked on several film projects in Massachusetts. This is where I was born, and where I choose to live. Working in the film industry here has been a game-changer for me and for many of my friends and coworkers here. I have watched people buy houses, start families, and spend countless dollars on tools, fuel, and meals, locally. It would be a tragedy if the tax incentive went away.

11083593_10153200485858631_2521292088143722672_n

My name is Ryan Pray, and I am a set lighting technician. I love what I do. I love the incredibly talented, dedicated, and hardworking people I get to work with on a daily basis. I love seeing the results of what hundreds of extremely diverse people can accomplish together — it truly is amazing. But mostly, I love the fact that I can start and support a family in a profession which I genuinely care about.

I’ve lived in Massachusetts my entire life and, until recently, I’ve never considered the possibility of living elsewhere. If the film tax incentive is eliminated, I will most assuredly be forced to, in order to continue my career. The film tax incentive is the reason these big productions come here. If it is taken away, our careers, our livelihood, and our foundation will be taken away, too.

10868148_10153013235774664_2124096828515446240_n

My name is Ben Heald, and I have been working in the New England film industry since 2007. I was born and raised in New Hampshire, but moved to Massachusetts and joined Local 481 in 2013. I have worked as a grip and electric on movies like Ted 2, and am currently working on an HBO pilot. If projects weren’t constantly choosing Massachusetts over other states, I’d never have a chance to grow within my chosen career.

Over the years, I have personally seen how the film tax incentive has helped my industry grow by bringing in productions that hire hundreds of locals and spend thousands or even millions on local restaurants, lumber yards, car rentals, hotels, and more. My income is solely from working on film, so without the film tax incentive in Massachusetts, I’m afraid I’d have to move to a state with a more competitive incentive program.

I love New England and I love living in Massachusetts. Films and TV shows shot here help generate tourism for our region, and local businesses benefit immensely from both production expenses and the personal purchases of the crews. I hope the film tax incentive will continue so that our industry can grow to rival any other and our community can continue to reap the benefits for years to come.

save luc

My name is Luc Richard. I grew up and live in Leominster, MA. I graduated college with a degree in film and television production and, instead of moving out to California or New York, I opted to stay local and work in Massachusetts.

I have now been working in the film industry for the last nine years from location, grip, and electric departments; for the last four years, I have been able support myself working full-time in the Massachusetts film industry, thanks to the tax incentives. Currently, I work for a lighting and grip rental house, and various freelance jobs for films and commercials in the state.

Without the tax incentives, my job would disappear, and I would be forced to find another field or another state to work. Thousands of workers, and many small business, would be affected by this change.

save-ma-film-jobs_0078

My name is Alexander Jay Nelson, and film is my passion, my muse, and my livelihood. I’ve always loved movies and, until very recently, I had assumed that to pursue a career in film, one had to move to Hollywood. I graduated film school in 2010, and while I was working three jobs to save money for the move out west, I realized I didn’t have to. Before I knew it, I was making movies. I entered the local union as a set lighting technician faster than I knew was possible.

I moved to Lowell to be closer to the work I love, but if the choice is made to prematurely end the film tax incentive in Massachusetts, I will likely follow the work to New York or somewhere else more favorable to the industry. I understand how, for the uninitiated, the film tax incentive can look like a giveaway to the Hollywood well-to-do. But with a firsthand perspective, it is easy to see that filmmaking is possibly the most effective form of stimulus available, with ancillary benefits far beyond the salaries paid to Massachusetts residents like me — benefits that extend to all kinds of business, from hardware stores to high end hotels and roach motels, from movie theaters and antique shops to grocery stores, gas stations, and truck and heavy equipment rental facilities.

Films routinely pay overtime to police and firefighters; they pay towns, businesses, and homeowners to use locations and shut down streets. The tax incentive helps hedge against inherently risky investments that directly spend across sectors of the economy and across the socioeconomic strata.

The film tax incentive supports the arts, small businesses, towns, and vendors both general and specialized to the industry. The incentive supports thousands of middle-class jobs entirely or partially, in a time where well-paying jobs are hard to find. The incentive supports people like you and me.

image8

I’ve lived in Massachusetts for over 25 years, working in the electric department in the film industry. I work on motion pictures, television shows, commercials, and other types of productions. My wife and I have two daughters. We choose to live and work here because we love it here and enjoy the quality of life this area offers.

We’re just regular, hardworking, tax-paying people like many others in this state. It’s important to note that, without the state’s film tax incentive supporting it, our bright and thriving production industry will most certainly be threatened, which will affect not hundreds, but thousands of people who live here in state and depend on this industry to make a living.

That would mean lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, and lost taxes for the state of Massachusetts. I am 56 years old. Should this tax credit disappear, so will my opportunity to co-provide for my family. Starting over in today’s job market at my age would be a difficult hardship placed on my family.

image7

Born in Worcester, MA, I received a degree in film and headed out to work in sunny LA. I got to California only to find that, because of the tax incentives, all the work was back in Massachusetts.

I moved home, bought a house, found myself a lovely lady, and started to put down roots. Now this is all under threat.

EdLalli

 

My name is Ed Lalli, and I work as a lighting technician. I wanted to work on movies since I was a kid, and the Massachusetts film tax incentive has made that possible. I have invested in the state I love and bought a house in Quincy directly because of this incentive. I love what I do and equally love the people I work with; it’s been a dream come true for me. I invested everything into this and will continue to do so, but if this incentive is eliminated, I could lose everything — including my home.

My parents and some close family members are getting older now and have always supported my love of this growing industry in Massachusetts. It’s not an option at this point to move somewhere else and start over. Please don’t do away with the film tax incentive. I put my entire life into this and couldnt imagine doing anything else. It’s not an option for me.

save-ma-film-jobs_0063

My name is Lee Ayrton, and I am a set lighting technician, often as gang boss or best boy. I generally work in the pre-rig crew, laying out the power distribution system and setting lights in advance of the shooting crew. The hours are long — I’ve generally got 40 hours on the clock by the time most people are having their Thursday morning coffee break — but I’m not complaining. I love the work that I’ve been doing for more than 20 years.

The film tax incentive is essential to film production in Massachusetts. Motion picture production in Massachusetts has grown over the past two decades from a few hundred workers to over a thousand making an honest working-class living. We aren’t the “Hollywood fat cats” that some want to paint us as; ours are median income jobs. Without the film tax incentive, those jobs will go out of state.

Along with the benefit of our paychecks and the taxes that we pay, motion picture productions inject cash directly into the local economies. I’ve spent thousands of dollars in petty cash on consumables, tools, hardware, shipping supplies, meals, water, coffee. I’ve requisitioned equipment rentals — man lifts, boom lifts, fork trucks, generators — amounting to many tens of thousands of dollars, and this is just a fraction of the total spending of a movie in town. Without the film tax incentive, those dollars will go out of state. Without the film tax incentive, WE will go out of state. We will have to because there will be no work for us here.

save-ma-film-jobs_0068

My name is Andy Boucher. I went to Emerson College and I have lived in Massachusetts my entire life. I have worked at High Output, a Massachusetts-based production services provider, for the past ten years. During my time as production manager there, I have seen the positive impact the film tax incentive has had for our company in increased revenues, which has in turn caused an increase in spending to support our customers. We’ve put more equipment, vehicles, and people to work because of it. I know this is true not only for High Output, but for the entire local community. It is amazing to think about the scope of the growth that has occurred over the past few years since the incentive was put in place. From the services and equipment for which productions used to have to go out of state now being offered locally, to the increased size and talent of the local labor offerings, the Massachusetts film community has really stepped up to be a first-class production hub.

During my time at High Output, I have also worked on location as an electric — not only on feature films, but also on commercials and television projects, many of which I know would not have shot here if it weren’t for the film tax incentive. There are so many Massachusetts-based companies. Wouldn’t it be great if they all shot their commercials in Massachusetts? If the incentive goes away, so will many films, television shows, and commercials. The damage would be real. Real revenue. Real businesses. Real jobs.

Keep the financial and job growth in Massachusetts — support the production incentive!

Holt_Family_Composite_sm

My name is Guy Holt, and I am a gaffer (chief lighting technician), father, homeowner, and Massachusetts taxpayer. I started working in film in Massachusetts in the mid-1980s. At that time, there was no film industry in Massachusetts to speak of, so I waited tables and worked in sales for several years while I built a lighting business — first out of my basement and then in the coal bin of an old mill in Arlington. I would have to go to the Dunkin’ Donuts to use the restroom or return pages. I eventually began to find regular work, lighting historical recreations and interviews for documentaries produced by or for WGBH. I was able to buy a house and start a family, but then the economy tanked and the amount of production dropped off. There were many times that I thought I would have to uproot my young family and leave the state in order to continue to do the work I am passionate about and support my family.

But then the film tax incentives were implemented and the local creative economy took off, which has enabled me to put my first two children through college. I won’t be able to give my youngest the same educational opportunities the other two had if Gov. Baker is successful in eliminating the incentives.

From my perspective, what has been missing from this debate thus far is the recognition that the incentives also support the production of quality television programming here in Massachusetts. The qualifying threshold to earn film tax credits was set low, at $50,000, so that local documentary and educational television production companies could benefit from the incentives as well. WGBH locally produces the “best television on television,” including such lauded programs as Masterpiece Theatre, American Experience, Frontline, Nova, and Antiques Roadshow, as well as children’s educational programming like Postcards From Buster. If we include production companies producing for The Learning Channel, The History Channel, The Nature Channel, and HBO, nearly three million dollars of tax credits went to supporting a vibrant and nationally recognized educational and documentary production community in Boston in 2013 alone. Without a doubt, the film tax incentives have made WGBH the flagship station of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and have helped create Boston’s image nationally and internationally as the Athens of America. I feel that is worth supporting.

IMGP1269My name is Jack McPhee, and I have worked in the Massachusetts motion picture industry as a lighting technician for over 25 years. I am a lifelong tax-paying Massachusetts resident and homeowner with a soon-to-be college-bound daughter.  The Massachusetts film tax incentive has allowed me to remain in Massachusetts earning income that is immediately recirculated into the local economy when my family and I buy local goods or services, be it through food shopping, an occasional dinner out, or replacing a damaged hard wood floor. All that will change if I am forced to seek work out of state.

Please consider the incredible ripple effect that the Massachusetts film tax incentive has on the local economy. Motion picture equipment companies, lumber yards, dry cleaners, office supply stores, restaurants, hardware stores, florists, prop houses, garden stores, and antique shops are just a small sampling of local businesses that benefit from movies being shot in Massachusetts.  Please don’t take that away.  Thank you.

save-ma-film-jobs_0004My name is Robert Beinhocker. For the last ten years, I have worked as a camera operator/cinematographer and a lighting technician. I was born and raised in the wonderful state of Massachusetts, and the film tax incentive made it possible for me to stay and make a living here while caring for my elderly mother.

I’ve witnessed how the tax incentive changed the industry here from a small dedicated core of folks scraping by to a large community of highly-skilled craftspeople who are able to offer services on par to what productions expect in LA and NY. There were more Massachusetts-based stories that came out during the film tax incentive period than any other time in our film history. I can’t imagine The Fighter, Finest Hours, Black Mass, or any other film rooted in local lore to be made in another state or country. But they could be. This is something that Massachusetts should be proud of; our historic state deserves to be on the A-list of storytellers in our country.

While filming for a television series or lighting on a feature, we relied innumerable times on local vendors for our gear, on hotels and office spaces for production offices, and on the many restaurants and coffee shops who, after a while, knew our names. Learning how the film Zookeeper helped save the landmark Franklin Park Zoo made me feel grateful in the impact these productions have in our community. Best of all is when my friends and colleagues share the news that they are able to buy a home and start a family with the money earned in Massachusetts-based productions. If the sign of a healthy economy is defined by how well the money circulates within all areas of the community, then the film tax incentie is a good investment. Come by a film set, see us work, talk to us when we’re free, and get to know our stories and the hard work we do.

save-ma-film-jobs_0003

I am Travis Trudell. I, like many other people, work in the film industry here in Massachusetts. My wife and I moved here ten years ago because it is where we wanted to pursue our careers as filmmakers. We have since raised two wonderful children and have supported them with the money we make in the film business in Massachusetts.

The new roof on my house? Paid to a local contractor with my earnings as a rigging electrician. My children’s pre-school? Paid for with my earnings as a rigging electrician. Groceries? Dentist? Cars? Home? Plumbing? Even my own electrical work has been paid by my paycheck that I make on film work here in Massachusetts. If the film work goes away, so do all of these jobs that I have helped support in my local economy. If the work goes away, I am not going to move, I am going to be standing next to you at the unemployment office or competing with you for the few jobs that the governor is promising. I don’t want to compete with you.

I want to do my job, go home, and kiss my kids good night. What more can any working family hope for?

save-ma-film-jobs_0021

I am John Gates, born and raised right here, a lifelong resident of Massachusetts. My entire adult life has been spent working in the motion picture and television industry, lighting a wide range of projects.
The Massachusetts motion picture production incentives have allowed me, my wife, our children, and our grandchildren to create the life I am proud of, right here where I grew up.

These extremely successful incentives allow me, my friends and co-workers, to work and live here in our hometowns — we don’t have to be gypsies, traveling out of state, from job to job.

Before the incentives became law, too many of us spent more time out of state, where the work was, than at home.

Before the incentives, too many of our young people moved away after graduating college to find work in the creative economy.

Before the incentives, there were very few businesses that had the range of equipment and services our work demands.

The Massachusetts motion picture production incentives have changed all that. Life, and work, is better now for literally thousands of working families like mine.

save-ma-film-jobs_0242

My name is Phil Reilly. I’m a taxpayer, homeowner, and lifelong resident of the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston. I have a career as a set lighting technician, now in its 25th year. My trade has allowed my family and me to have health insurance, a roof over our heads, and food on the table.

The wages I have earned over the years haven’t ended up at Foxwoods, or Disney World. Nearly every dollar that my family spends on goods and services goes towards Massachusetts purchases. Those dollars have stayed local, because I’VE stayed local — that’s “microeconomics.” The “macro” is that with a film tax incentive (or Film Tax Credit – FTC), films are more likely to stay within the US, rather than go to Canada or move offshore. Remember HBO’s John Adams before the FTC? Entirely shot in Canada, not Massachusetts!

In addition, I am continually impressed with how motivated the Massachusetts film community is with regard to technical training. Throughout the year, my crew mates volunteer their weekends to attend intensive training sessions that help make Massachusetts crews the best in the country — and the safest, complying with national safety standards. Bravo!

Why move to California or Canada when, thanks to the film tax incentives, we’ve been able to cultivate a thriving film industry of our own?

 

save-ma-film-jobs_0071

This is the first tree, in my first home that my wife and I purchased thanks to my career in film and the MA film tax credit. The middle stocking is for our dog Josie. We hope to celebrate holidays for many years to come, but without the tax credit, selling and relocating would become a very real possibility.

 

save-ma-film-jobs_0217

My name is Meghan. I’m 31-years old, a wife, and a theater/event freelancer. My husband Fred is a light board programmer/best boy electric.

People outside the entertainment industry think that it is filled with glamour. If I ask a random person what they think of when they hear “Hollywood,” they usually answer, “Glitz, beautiful celebrities, and a date at the movies.” When I am unloading a semi-truck filled with road cases and truss for an event, or my husband is sitting on his film truck eating breakfast at 5pm, people come up with star-struck eyes and ask what we are working on. They ask which stars are in the movie, or what the event is for. What the general public doesn’t see is the 18-hour work days, the not seeing your family for days because you are working all night and sleeping for a few hours during the day, the not truly knowing when you will be off of work for dinner, or the worry about planning a vacation because you might be missing out on the big job that is coming to town three months from now.

So why do we do it? Because of a love and passion for our craft and industry. I currently work part-time as a technical supervisor for the City of Boston-owned Strand Theater, and I freelance for events to fill in the work gaps. After working a week of 14-hour days on a theatrical show, when I see the audience jump to their feet in applause, it makes it all worth it. My husband is also a freelancer in the film industry, but — due to the high volume of movies shooting in Massachusetts because of the film tax incentives — he might as well have a full-time job. I can’t watch a movie anymore without looking at the different camera angles or the color tone of the light in each scene, because my husband excitedly loves to point them out to me.

With the film tax incentives, we have been able to make a happy life for ourselves in Boston. We love our city and its support of the arts. The “glamour” of this industry in Massachusetts has nothing to do with celebrity sightings, but with the jobs the film tax incentives create, the extra money the incentives bring to the state and local businesses (especially those that benefit from a movie shooting during their “off season”), and the families that that can live happily in Massachusetts. Taking away the film tax incentives will take the movies away, hurt our local economy, and snuff out the passion of its workers. People will have to uproot their homes and leave Massachusetts, or work away from their families for months at a time in a different state that does offer film tax incentives.

 

save-ma-film-jobs_0209

My name is Brian Dwiggins, and I am a set lighting technician. I went to film school in Waltham, MA. I then got a job at High Output, a film equipment rental house located in Canton, MA. It was there I met the people that were living and working in the Massachusetts film industry. They all told me, “You don’t need to go to LA or NY. We just got this new tax incentive and there’s a LOT of work.”

I left High Output to pursue working in motion pictures in 2007, and it’s been good to me. I am working-class, but I make a respectable wage. I have health insurance and a retirement fund. I run cable in gutters, move heavy objects, work 16-hour thankless shifts, and get absolutely abused sometimes. It’s not always glamorous but there is an art to it. I’ve worked with Oscar-winning cinematographers, actors, and directors. I feel fortunate to be part of this talented work force.

image001My name is Dave MacLean. I moved to Massachusetts in 2010 to fulfill my aspiration to work in the entertainment industry.

Even from this brief two-year period, I’ve seen what a huge impact the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit has had on the economy throughout Massachusetts. It attracts large- and small-scale film productions to the area that would otherwise go elsewhere. It employs tens of thousands of hardworking Massachusetts residents and puts food on their tables and a roofs over their families’ heads.

The tax incentives are the key to providing sustainable jobs for many people throughout the state, as well as for strengthening the Massachusetts economy. This income goes well beyond just the film industry employees in Massachusetts. It extends to hotels, restaurants, gas stations, marinas, police, EMTs, and so forth. The list goes on forever.

Eliminating this tax incentive will directly lead to a loss of jobs in the tens of thousands and will cripple our industry.  This incentive doesn’t lose the state money. It strengthens its economy.

save-ma-film-jobs_0202

My name is Michael Cambria, and I have been a lighting technician in Massachusetts since 2006. While going to college at the University of Connecticut, I would work during the summer at Red Herring Motion Picture Lighting, a Massachusetts lighting equipment rental company that catered to the film industry. It was here where I started to become familiar with the gear and enamored with the mystique of “show business.”

And what a business it is! The more I worked on set, the more I realized this “Hollywood job” was not as glamorous or glitzy as it seemed. What WAS apparent was the legion of hardworking locals, coming together in every different department to accomplish a common goal. The early wake-ups, the long overnights, the blisteringly cold weather, and the savage rainstorms could not deter this moviemaking army of New Englanders. This was a network I wanted to be a part of, and I moved to Boston a few days after graduation to work in this industry.

I instantly fell in love with this city; its history, its culture, and its strongly opinionated (sometimes loud-mouthed) people. I am so happy that the film tax incentives have provided me with a job as well as an opportunity to live in this city I adore.

This is a real business! It employs thousands of Massachusetts residents, bolsters local economies with crew and production expenditures, generates immeasurable publicity, and boosts tourism for Boston and its surrounding communities. All of this goes away without the incentives, and THAT would be a terrible business decision.

It takes a village to make a movie, and there’s no village I’d rather be in.

save-ma-film-jobs_0192

My name is Wayne. I have been working in the film and television industry in Massachusetts since 1983 as a set lighting technician, gaffer, and lighting director.

My wife and I bought a house in Marlborough and put my son through college in good part due to the work I’ve done on major motion pictures that shoot in Massachusetts. There have been lean times, but since the tax incentive began, I’ve seen a huge upswing in not only the quantity of work done by my local co-workers in the film business but also the quality and professionalism.

The work we do is highly specialized, and it takes years of experience to build the skill set we currently possess. We have built a strong crew base here and producers know it and depend on it, and they like not having to bring in skilled crews from other states. I would hate to see large numbers of skilled people lose their careers or have to move out of Massachusetts because of a policy change.

save-ma-film-jobs_0191

My name is Teresa. I have been in the film industry for ten years. I moved to Massachusetts from New York five years ago for work because of the tax incentive here. I love this city. I got married here. I’m a taxpayer here. My husband and I are looking for a house to buy in Massachusetts. I absolutely love my job, and love being able to work right here in Massachusetts. I travel to New York for work on occasion, and am beyond happy to come back to Massachusetts for the next job. This is my home now.

The thriving film industry that we have in Massachusetts is because of the tax incentive. I have had the honor of working with some of the highest skilled craftsmen here. It’s inspiring to work alongside these people that have worked so hard for everything that they have. They have contributed to building the film industry in Massachusetts to be one that production companies consistently come back to.

Without the film tax incentive, we will lose these connections that we have tirelessly worked for. This has happened in the past. We need to continue to attract this business. The crews on these productions are blue-collar citizens that love this state and have committed to putting roots down here, to raise families and build their lives.  This is only possible if we can continue our careers here.

save-ma-film-jobs_0188

My name is Mark Price and I have lived in Massachusetts my entire life. I grew up in Amherst, MA, went to college at Fitchburg State University, and received a bachelor of science in communications/film. When I left school in 2004, I thought that I would have had to move away to make a living, but due to the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit, I was able to find a great job out of college and begin to develop the career I’d spent so long working towards.

For the past ten years, I have worked hard building a viable film industry here in Massachusetts. I have been one of the thousands of people able to make a living wage, enjoy a satisfying career, and have the ability to lay down roots in the place I love.

The timing of the news of Governor Baker’s budget proposal was particularly hard as my wife and I are expecting our first child; it had never entered our minds that we might not be raising our child in Massachusetts.

My name is Mark Price and I am for the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit.

save-ma-film-jobs_0173

My name is Brian Pitts. I am a Massachusetts film worker and taxpayer.

Born, raised, and still living in Massachusetts, I have more than 32 years in the motion picture, commercial, and industrial industry in the commonwealth. After graduating from Boston College, a contact got me started on my career in the film industry. It was very glamorous: loading trucks.

I am a 25-year member of IATSE Local 481, where I work primarily in the set lighting/electric department as a best boy, generator operator, and rigging gaffer. I am fortunate to have made my entire career in my home state with more than 80 credits and thousands of TV commercials and industrial films (and never having even been to Hollywood).

While my family, neighbors, and friends think that I have a “cool” job and “it must be fun,” they are also cognizant of the great sacrifices it takes in time and commitment. I have become involved in my town as a member of two committees, including the Westford Cultural Council.

By the mid 2000s, my future in Massachusetts was beginning to look bleak. It was becoming increasingly obvious because of changes in the advertising and feature film industries that I may not be able to continue my career in Massachusetts.

The new Massachusetts film tax incentives have allowed me to not only stay in Massachusetts near family, but but watch as thousands of new faces make a career in the film industry in the Commonwealth. If the Massachusetts film tax incentives are eliminated, I am looking at the distinct possibility of relocating to a more film-business-friendly state with a stable business environment like Georgia, Louisiana, or — the horror — New York!

I deeply appreciate that the film tax incentives have allowed me to continue my career while also providing me a well-paying job with healthcare and a retirement.

save-ma-film-jobs_0184

We’re Jesse and Aimee, a pair of native New Englanders who’ve built a life together in Massachusetts over the past decade thanks to the thriving film, television, and commercial landscape.

Aimee works in the prop department, shopping all over the state. Part of her job is to take the money allotted to the prop department and spend it at local businesses. Over the years, antique stores, fabricators, and a large assortment of other Massachusetts vendors have benefited directly from just her job.

I, Jessie, work in the electric department. I studied film at Boston University and never thought I would have the opportunity to build my dream career in Massachusetts. I’ve worked my way from the rental house floor to gaffer thanks to the opportunities the tax credit has created. It’s given me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and still be close to my family.

We met on set in Cape Cod back in 2007. At that time, we both lived in Rhode Island. When Rhode Island decided to cap their incentive, all of our work went away. So we turned to Massachusetts. We moved and made a home here. If it weren’t for the tax credits there’s no way we could stay here in Massachusetts, close to our loved ones. We’ve seen firsthand the transformative effect the FTC has had in our lives and the lives of the thousands of others local film industry supports.

save-ma-film-jobs_0182

My name is Chuck Rudolph, and I grew up in Winthrop, MA. At the age of 12, I started making TV shows at Winthrop Community Access Television. I went to Fitchburg State College for film and video. At the age of 18, I got a job as a production assistant. Since the film tax incentive was put in place, I have been working as a lighting technician in New England for nine years now. I have two uncles, an aunt, and a father that work on films.

There is no city in the world where I would rather live than Boston. But without the film tax incentive, I would have to leave my home, family, and friends to continue my career.

11043020_10206306789377067_3255889118853314676_n

My name is Robert Clark, and I have been working as a set lighting technician for almost 20 years. I was born in Boston, and grew up in Massachusetts. The film tax incentive has brought in so much work for me, and the thousands of people that I have been working with for years. This work has enabled all of us to stay in Massachusetts and work. It has enabled us to earn a good living, to buy homes, and to start families.

The film tax incentive is essential in bringing film and TV work to Massachusetts. Without it, there will not be any more movies coming to Massachusetts for production. In addition to working on movie and TV shoots, I also work at Emerson College, which is located in the heart of Boston. Emerson teaches film, TV, video, and radio production; photography; and many different performing arts such as acting, dancing, singing, etc. The students often ask me for advice about what they should do, or where they should go after they graduate. Many of the students are also New England natives, born and raised here. They want to stay here when they graduate. I tell them that Massachusetts is a great place to stay for film work, a great place to stay and start a career. These students are the future of this great state and the future of film and TV production. It would be a shame if they had to leave their homes and their families and go to other states to pursue their goals.

 

11028965_613622275502_920646174915984624_n

My name is Harry Pray IV. I am a freelance cinematographer and lighting technician. I have lived in Massachusetts for my entire life. Solely because of the film tax incentive, I am able to remain in Boston and support my family.  When I graduated from MassArt in 2006, I was close to joining the great migration to New York City or LA. What kept me in Massachusetts was the film tax incentive. Over seven years, I have amassed more than 42 credits on local productions. That number would be zero without the film tax incentive.

If the film tax incentive is eliminated, my wife and I will uproot and move to New York City or Louisiana. I love being near my family in Massachusetts. I intend to fight for my right to live here. If you eliminate the film tax incentive, you will 100%, absolutely kill the film industry in Massachusetts for good. 100% of zero is zero.

save-ma-film-jobs_0177

My name is Phil Nason, and I’m a set lighting technician. I live and WORK in Massachusetts and I couldn’t be happier about it. Many people hold the misconception that everyone on set flew in from Hollywood, and that when the show wraps all the money flies back. The truth is, I work with thousands of skilled technicians from all over Massachusetts who count on the film tax incentive for their livelihoods. My families (real and movie crew) love Massachusetts. We’re passionate about our careers and we want to be a part of what makes Massachusetts one of the best states on the planet.

save-ma-film-jobs_0176

My name is Geoff Dann. I am a rigging gaffer and set lighting technician. I moved to the area in 1999 to take a job at a local lighting equipment rental house. Since the inception of the film tax incentive, I have seen an enormous increase in the volume of motion picture work in Massachusetts. It was this increase in volume of work that allowed me to leave my full-time desk job to become a full-time freelance lighting technician. I am blessed to have enough work to provide my family a middle-class lifestyle doing a job that I love.

Without the film tax incentive, there would not be enough work. As a rigging gaffer, I spend my budgets at many Massachusetts vendors for lighting, trucks, aerial lifts, hardware, food, and other production support. I watch my friends and colleagues spend thousands on lumber, cars, radios, cameras, and more at Massachusetts vendors.

Without the film tax incentive, that business will go away, which will adversely affect thousands of workers and many small businesses that are both directly and indirectly involved in motion picture production.

save-ma-film-jobs_0175

My name is Eric Goddard, and I have been in the film industry for almost 30 years. I have worked as both a vendor for Massachusetts companies and as a technician on individual motion pictures. The film tax incentive has enabled me to work locally and see my family during time off.

If not for the film tax incentive, I would be traveling to the work and missing out on what’s most important.

I own a home here and have children in college. I have deep roots in this state and I love my work. As retirement looms closer, the thought of relocating and starting over weighs heavy on my heart and worries my children’s minds.

11013182_10152869236379930_4649253387194457238_n

I have been very fortunate to be employed as a project manager for the last 12-plus years by a local lighting equipment rental house, one of the many companies in Massachusetts that relies on the business that the motion picture industry has brought to our great state. Doing away with this tax incentive would financially hurt thousands of hardworking individuals and their families.

10945401_10205256850794562_6151934579991840516_n

My name is Jennifer Nickerson. I have worked as a grip, electric, and occasional set dresser since 1997. This is a picture of me on the set of Zookeeper with Crystal, one the nicest actors I have ever met.

Since the tax incentive came into existence, the increased amount of film production has helped our region pull through some tough economic times. I have seen so many people become able to buy their own homes due to increased employment in the film industry. I have seen our local crew expand to the point where we can staff an onslaught of film production.

Producers have come to respect and value our members because of the quality of work they see on set. People that have worked in the industry since the 80s and 90s can all attest to the fact that the tax incentive has made a huge economic impact. People who might have moved to New York or LA have stayed here instead, paid taxes, bought homes, and otherwise invested in the local economy. Without the tax incentive, film production would significantly decrease and it would send a lot of families into an economic meltdown.

10987338_10152697111154212_6196092887473638165_n

My name is Gordon Manson. I am a lighting console programmer, rigging gaffer, and best boy. I have lived in Massachusetts for 39 of the 45 years of my life. I have worked in live entertainment, film, and television for 28 years. Since the Massachusetts film tax incentive was introduced, the bulk of my employment has been film and television produced in Massachusetts. I have worked for a locally owned lighting equipment rental company for 13 years, where I met my wife. I have also freelanced for many Massachusetts companies: United Staging and Rigging, Port Lighting, Production Inc., Red Herring MPL, Red Sky Studios, and Advanced Lighting and Production Services, to name a few.

The film tax incentive has allowed my wife Mercedes and me to remain in Boston, a city we love. I am happy to work in an industry I love, doing something I care about. We no longer have to travel as much for work, and we can be close to our families.

11015751_10102948349161450_2260832534511486373_n

My name is Mel Patten, and I work as a rigging electric and set lighting technician on feature films. I have lived in Massachusetts my entire life, and the film tax incentive has provided me with the opportunities to establish a career in my home state, close to my family and friends. I love living here and I love the work that I do, and I hope to continue to be able to work here for many years to come.

10923260_10205499687959008_3539941122421708904_n

My name is Brendan Keefe. I’ve been working in Masssachusetts as a film technician since 1997. My crafts are electric and set dressing. I’m usually the fixtures electric, which means that I’m responsible for all the practical lighting — the lights you see on sets in a movie. I’m just one of the many people who will be out of work if the tax incentives are phased out.

save-ma-film-jobs_0168

My name is Steve Sikora, and I’m a set lighting technician. The Massachusetts film tax incentive is directly responsible for bringing in productions, necessitating jobs like mine. Because of this, I was able to purchase a home in Quincy, MA, and subsequently start a family. Without these Massachusetts-based productions, the well-being of both my family and career becomes uncertain.

 ma film jobs

I’m Tim Dunbar. I’m a set lighting technician. In 2006, I moved to Massachusetts and started working on films in the Boston area.  Since then, I got married in Massachusetts to my wife Tiffany in 2007, purchased a home in Massachusetts in 2010, and rejoiced in the birth of my two beautiful daughters Rowan and Finley in 2012 and 2014.  All these momentous accomplishments and events were possible because of the hard work I put into over 30 film productions set here in Massachusetts — films that would never have been made here if not for the film tax incentive. It’s the sole reason why my wife, two children, and I have and are still able to make a life here in Massachusetts.

save-ma-film-jobs_0060My name is Geoff, and I am a set lighting technician, dad, husband, and proud home owner in Medford, MA. I have been working in the film business for more than twenty years — in Boston specifically since 2001. I have seen firsthand the positive effects the film tax incentive has had for this state.

In January 2013, my wife and I welcomed our twin daughters. Now, more than ever, our family depends on my job for our basic living expenses and health insurance. Our lives would be devastated if the film tax incentive disappeared.

Please stop pitting hardworking folks against hardworking folks and save the Massachusetts film tax incentive.

 

The Faces of The Film Industry in MA

My name is Adam Peabody, and I am a lifer. I grew up in local news with a father at WCVB and an uncle at WBZ; I have a film school education and 18 years as a professional in the motion picture industry. Before the film tax incentive, I had no choice but to leave my home for Hollywood and toil in the floundering film business there. The success of the Massachusetts film tax incentive has provided me with the opportunity to return home to my parents, my family, my wife’s family, my friends, and my Red Sox. We’ve bought a house, gotten a dog, and settled in. It’s been a dream come true to live in the place I love and do the job I was born for. It is in my blood, and it defines me as a person, more so than ever before. Now everything I’ve worked for is in jeopardy.

T A K E   A C T I O N
F O L L O W
L O C A L   F A C E S
L O C A L   B U S I N E S S