Category Archives: Local Business

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My name is Robert McCracken. I have have worked in the portable generator, air conditioning and heating field, exclusively, for close to 30 years. I have worked as an equipment rental manager for companies including Capron Lighting and Sound, Milton Cat (Caterpillar Equipment distributor in MA), Immedia Event Services and now as a co-owner of American Power Rental /American Spot Cooling, based in Cherry Valley, MA.

At ALL of these companies, I have provided temporary generators, cooling and heating solutions as well as equipment periodic maintenance service and electrical permitting to countless film and video related projects. It has become part of what I do and a huge component of the success of these companies! Through this work, I have also met and done business with many other small, local business owners who share a similar story… Film=Jobs!

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I’m Doug Pellegrini, owner of Needham Saw & Tool Co. We are privileged to supply and service cutting tools to the set producers of the film industry. A movie set may require creating a ship, a house, or a court room, all full-size, right here, in a short time frame. We work with highly skilled craftspeople working widely varied materials on crazy schedules, and enjoy the challenge of contributing to the effort.

We also work with a few Massachusetts colleges that support theater companies, generating performance and production talent that dovetails well with the film industry. One of our biggest customers began in set production and has grown to industrial displays, TV studios, and institutional millwork (i.e., cafeterias, libraries, and museums).

From our position, we see the film industry as an economic engine that draws from locally trained talent for Massachusetts jobs at the time of filming and rippling through related industries for years later.

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We are A1 DATASHRED, LLC. We have been working with the film industry for years, handling all their confidential shredding and recycling needs all over New England. We have met a lot of great people who love our service and quick response to their needs.

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My name is Sean Devereaux and I am the co-owner and co-founder of ZERO VFX in Boston, MA. In 2010, Brian Drewes and I started the company in my basement with three employees. Our first project was Zookeeper, which shot in Massachusetts as a result of the tax incentive. Without that film, ZERO would have never existed; since those humble beginnings, we have grown to over 50 full-time employees.

I cannot stress enough that we would not be here without the tax incentive, but that is not the whole story. The majority of the work and images we create are not incentivized and therefore not included in the DOR report. Half of our revenue is generated through commercials and advertising, none of which are incentivized by the production tax credit. Many of our commercial clients first hear about us because of our work in feature films, and they like knowing that their commercial is being created by the same talent that helped bring The Transformers to life.

This success has allowed us to recruit some of the very best visual effects talent in the world. These are highly compensated artists and producers who do not come and go with each film. They live here, they buy houses here, and they raise their families here, but they are not included in the report. Taking away the tax incentive would greatly diminish our ability to recruit and retain this experienced talent at a point in our growth where this is already one of our biggest challenges.

FB_IMG_1426431004336My name is Jane Thramer/Willwerth. In 2009, I was a 30-year-old single mother who decided to move to Massachusetts to pursue a job in craft service for Local 481. With the tax incentive in full swing, I had to give it a try.

With hard work and perseverance, I started my own craft service company in 2011. I remarried a local Medford man in 2012, inherited two more children (one of whom works for me), and bought a home in Saugus in 2013. Since then, my business has grown from one truck to three with steady work and great employees. I absolutely love my job and the wealth it spreads to other local companies in Massachusetts. I have worked on countless feature films, commercials, and TV pilots over the last few years.

To try to understand how much I spend on local businesses is unfathomable. In 2011, I spent over $150,000 at mom-and-pop restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and auto repair places for just two feature films alone.

To list just a few, here are some of the places MASS FILM JOBS HAVE HELPED:

CHAMPIONS – PEABODY
JOES FAMOUS – ROXBURY
BOB’S – MEDFORD
TOM YUM KOONG III – NEWTON
ANMOL – BEVERLEY
TERIYAKI HOUSE – SOUTH BOSTON
LENDYS DELI – SAUGUS
PANERA BREAD FRANCHISES – SAUGUS, ALLSTON, BOSTON, ETC..
J. PACE AND SONS
COSTCO
BJ’S WHOLESALE
REASTURANT DEPOT
STOP AND SHOP
HANNAFORDS
SHAWS
UPTOWN DELI – WILMINGTON
PIZZA MIA- WILMINGOTN
SAUGUS DELI
BIG JOES DEPOT – WILMINGTON
JADE PACIFICA – READING
TUMBLE INN DINER – SAUGUS
BAGELS AND BEYOND – READING
BAGEL WORLD- PEABODY AND READING
WHOLEFOODS
TRADER JOES
SYSCO
BOSTON BEAN COFFEE
SUNKIN DONUTS
HONEY DEW
STARBUCKS
AGAVE MEXCIAN
ALL STAR PIZZA
BOULOVARD DINER – BOSTON
BORRELLIES – HAVERHILL
CHIPOLTE
ON THE BORDER -WOBURN
BAJA FISH TACO FOOD TRUCK – BOSTON
NEW ENGLAND COD SQUAD FOOD TRUCK- BOSTON
TERI YUM YUM FOOD TRUCK – BOSTON
COOKIE MONSTER FOOD TRUCK- BOSTON
STANS COFFEE TRIKE SERVICE – BOSTON
NADINES CUPCAKE TRUCK – READING
DAIRY DOME – STONEHAM
ANTHONYS DELI – STONEHAM
DOUGH BOY- BOSTON
EDIBLE ARRANGMENTS
EVANS DELI- SWAMPSCOTT
FATINI BAKERY- HAVERHILL
FELICAS – STONEHAM
FLOUR BAKERY – BOSTON
KITTYS – N. READING
FOODIES – BOSTON
GREEN BEAN FOOD TRUCK – BOSTON
GOOD DAY CAFE – NORTH ANDOVER
KINGS PIZZERIA – SAUGUS
HAPPY TACO FOOD TRUCK – GLUOSTER
HEAVENLEY DONUTS – READING
LOCAL ICE CREAM TRUCKS
PLATE GORMET – NEWTON
PHILS GALLY GRILL- SWAMPSCOTT
UPPERCRUST- BOSTON
REGINA PIZZERIA
POLCARIS – WOBURN
KANES DONUTS- SAUGUS
KAYMEN HOTDOG VENUE – CHELSEA
CHARLEIS PIZZERIA – SAUGUS
KOWLOONS – SAUGUS
LA CASIAS – MEDFORD
RAZZOS – MEDFORD
MARKET BASKET
U ME SUSHI- STONEHAM
TWO PISSANOS
SWEET THINGS
SANTARPIOS – BOSTON
ROYS DELI
ROXY GRILL CHEESE FOOD TRUCK- BOSTON
ROCHE BROS- NEWTON
PRIDES PIZZA
POLAR SELTZER CO.
PF CHANGS
CHEESE CAKE FACTORY
NEW BRIDGE CAFE- CHELSEA
LIBERTY BELL- STONEHAM
LILAC HOUSE – NEWTON
M&M FOOD TRUCK – BOSTON
WHALBURGERS
TRIUNFO MEXICAN
POLAND SPRING
MOUNTIAN VALLY SPRING WATER CO
MR TAKE OUT
AND ON AND ON AND ON>>>>>>>

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My name is Melissa Dowler. Massachusetts has been an amazing and welcoming place to start my film production company, Long Haul Films. There is a close-knit and supportive community that truly cares about creating value and innovating. The industry has greatly benefited from the high-profile feature film production that has taken place here in recent years, and we look forward to seeing that continue.

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My name is Andrew P. Wilson. I am a Weymouth resident and a NEW local Massachusetts business owner.

Just recently, I became licensed with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an employment agency. More specifically, I own and run a talent agency, and it is my job to procure employment opportunities for local film/tv actors and other talented professionals.

Over the past five years, I have seen many new clients permanently moving to, or shooting in, Massachusetts. I’ve worked with clients from other parts of the US as well as England and Germany — all of whom came here to spend their money and hire local crew and talent.

There are several thousand local actors here, and many of them are professional, meaning they are members of a professional union and/or work as full-time actors with no (or little) other income. These actors are people you know. You may not know them by name, but you see them, laugh at them, and emote with them every single day on your television when you are enjoying locally made films and commercials. They are not always the stars, but they are hardworking, lower income people (mostly) just struggling to survive while doing what they love to do.

A LOCAL Massachusetts actor does not make a lot of money, and much of what he or she earns is put back into supporting other local Massachusetts people, such as acting coaches, head shot photographers, demo reel producers, and resume writers — all of which are small, local businesses.

For me, it’s simple: If we lose the film tax incentive, or even change it so that it no longer supports the continued growth of a full-time industry here, Hollywood will take it money to Atlanta, smaller productions/producers will follow that money, actors will be forced to follow the work, and I will lose my business within a few months of opening.

So as potentially the newest business to open as a result of growth in the local film industry, please allow me to keep helping local people be employed.

“Without investment there will not be growth, and without growth there will not be employment.”

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My name is Sam Habre.  I’m the owner of Z&S Gas and Service in Wilmington, MA. I’d like to thank the film industry for supporting small businesses, including mine, by coming to my place for gas and diesel. I’m very thankful and I hope that the film incentive stays in Massachusetts and continues to help businesses like mine.

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My name is John Depew. I am a producer, director and writer. I started Wild Beagle Productions five years ago. We are a company who makes feature films primarily in Massachusetts; so far, we have made four films here. We employ Massachusetts actors and crew and work with local businesses that provide equipment, locations, and food services.

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My name is Bob Folger, and I am a commercial account executive for AFR Furniture Rental. I have worked in the commercial furniture rental business for over seven years. In that time, I have developed some great relationships with the production and film industry professionals and would have to say that a significant amount of my revenue comes from the film industry here in Massachusetts. It is a great industry and revenue source for our state. I see in the production offices the number of vendors used to put an office together and all the other local businesses needed to put a movie together. I look at New England Studios that was built in my backyard. What a fantastic source of construction jobs for a extended period of time as well as permanent jobs here in Massachusetts.

I love movies, and with my vested interest, it makes such a difference to know that a film was made here in Massachusetts. I love reading in the papers and hearing on the radio about where the actors are shooting for the upcoming days and where they are seen out and about. I am very proud of everything that Massachusetts offers and all the big things that we have done and are capable of. I’d hate to see us lose such an exciting and interesting industry by not extending the tax incentives.

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We’re Aaron, Chris, Mandy, and Steve. Film in Massachusetts is what brought us together to not only be good friends, but also business partners. In 2014, we formed Magnetic North Media, LLC, a growing Boston-based production company focused on corporate video/ads/events while progressively expanding and investing in local original productions. As a result of our individual careers in film (thanks to the film tax incentive), we were able to not only pursue our entrepreneurial dreams in production, but also create jobs for crew/cast and invest in Massachusetts businesses. That’s exactly what we want to keep doing — film, invest, and grow in Massachusetts. We speak not only on behalf of ourselves and our families, but for those we seek to create jobs and opportunities for in this community we call the commonwealth.

Please continue to support this industry! Films = Jobs

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My name is Derek, and I am the president/CEO of The djproject Group. I moved up to Massachusetts in 2009 as I wanted a place that was more creatively inspiring that the Washington, DC-metro area. Since then, I have written several feature-length scripts and short scripts, and I continue to develop ideas for films. Many of those ideas I would like to make right here in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is more than ready to make our own films. To end the tax incentive right now is to dampen, or even destroy, that chance.

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Hurder Millwork provides high quality millwork products and efficient delivery services to our customers. Offering 15 years of experience, we go above and beyond to make sure your millwork needs are met. We have been supplying wood products for film sets for the past six months, and we feel very blessed that we have been given this opportunity.

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We are a seven-bay garage, full-service gas station, and car wash called C&R Tire in Sturbridge, MA. We have been family-owned and -operated since 1974. We have had an increase in fuel sales due to the filming happening at Old Sturbridge Village. We absolutely appreciate this business. To have the film industry come in and use the Sturbridge Village property at this time of year is very beneficial. Also, local restaurants and others have seen an increase in business.

After the winter that we have had, we can all really use the revenue.

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My name is Richard Lindsay and I am owner and operator of Dot Tavern, 840 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, MA 02125. I have had the pleasure of doing business with the local film industry in taping the TV Pilot The Broad Squad.

Not only have we benefited as a business, but the neighborhood has been very supportive and has been excited to have the crew filming locally.

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My name is Christian D. Chapra, and I am the sole owner and proprietor of W & C Pictures, a Massachusetts production company. I am not a “fat cat.” I have lived all over the United States, but since the end of 2010, I have called Massachusetts my home. I began my film education in 1991, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. My father decided to pay for my education, as a kind of compensation for being an absentee dad. Halfway through, he reneged on our agreement, with no warning or explanation. I spent the next three years trying to earn enough money to finish my education, but Boulder was not a hotbed of job opportunities. I scraped by before eventually giving up. I spent the next 14 years pushing my hopes and dreams from my mind.

When my father developed heart disease, I found it in my heart to forgive him, and moved closer to where he lived: Weston, MA. I discovered a satellite school of Boston University in Waltham. Everything missing from my education could be learned from this school. My wife agreed to put up the money, and I completed my education. I have produced several short films, and hope to shoot a feature this summer.

Repealing the tax incentive affects people like me most of all: people who are trying to start out in the business; people who call Massachusetts home, and want to make this the next Hollywood. For whatever reason, we don’t want to move to New York, or LA. Does it add to the glory of our commonwealth that a tax incentive that creates Massachusetts jobs for Massachusetts families, helping to create films that show off the natural beauty all around us, should be removed, making it more difficult for little people like me to start our careers? I have already lost 14 years of a career to a whim of fate. I found my second chance here. I want to show my gratitude by making Massachusetts a part of my films. Revoking the tax incentive will make that much more difficult, and potentially force me, and thousands of others like me, to move. This commonwealth was once a hotbed of artists. We are on the verge of becoming a serious rival to New York City as a filming mecca. Don’t take that away from us.

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We are Clambake Animation. We have hired hundreds of people over the years because we do great work and we can compete with studios around the country (who all have tax incentives). We animate commercials, TV shows, and industrial movies. The pressure to pull up stakes and move to Georgia or other states that make filmmaking attractive has been enormous lately. If we lose these benefits, we will not be able to keep employing producers, assistants, animators, editors, story boarders etc. Keep the jobs here in Massachusetts.

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Small businesses that offer support services and equipment to the film industry in Massachusetts see the trickle-down benefits of the film tax incentive. One such small sole proprietorship is Specialty Equipment, formed to offer key grips a local, affordable way to rig cameras to a utility vehicle. I pay Massachusetts registration fees and Boston excise taxes; buy local fuel, parts and pipe(!); and do business with Massachusetts motorcycle dealerships.

Every film project, large or small, touches local small businesses in ways that are likely never accurately tallied.

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I founded my production company, Racing Horse Productions, when I was a student at Harvard Law School in 2005. In the last ten years, we’ve produced two feature-length films that have been broadcast on HBO and public television and nominated for two Emmy Awards. I treasure the experience of working with the Massachusetts film industry — I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the most talented and hardest working folks I’ve ever met.

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We are Arts & Entertainment Insurance, a specialty lines insurance brokerage firm working primarily with the film, TV, and commercial production industries. Our firm has benefited directly from the Massachusetts film tax incentive. We work with a large number of production-related businesses here in Massachusetts and have worked with many production companies from outside Massachusetts that come here to shoot their projects.  Our business would be negatively impacted if the incentives went away.

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I’m Tug Yourgrau. I’ve been making nonfiction TV programs and documentaries in Massachusetts for more than 35 years, 20 of which have been as a founder/president of Powderhouse Productions. The tax incentive has been Miracle Gro for our business, enabling Powderhouse to triple our number of employees and our revenue between 2007 and 2013.

 

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The LEF Foundation is a strong supporter of the Massachusetts film tax incentive.

The goal of LEF New England is to fund the work of independent documentary film and video artists in the region, and to broaden recognition and support for their work, both locally and nationally.

Independent documentary filmmakers who live and work in Massachusetts form a vital part of the state’s creative economy, and the removal of the film tax incentive would be a great loss for these independent media producers and those who work with them.

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I’m Dave Talamas, president of Talamas Boston, a digital cinema and professional audio organization. The Massachusetts film tax incentive has created jobs in Massachusetts. At Talamas, we have seen exponential growth in this area, allowing us to grow our company and add new employees. However, these benefits are not limited to only industry-specific companies. Other diverse examples are Peter Fuller Car Rentals, which rents to features on a regular basis, as well as Mal Elfman’s Rugs and Flooring and Philip Rand Wire and Cable. There are many others as well.

Job growth is critical.

The tax incentive should not be repealed but should be strengthened to continue job growth in the
commonwealth. Do not diminish a growth engine that benefits all of us in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Keep the film tax incentive stable.

 

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Red Herring Motion Picture Lighting was started in Massachusetts in 1998 by Dave Cambria of Boston College and Frans Weterrings of Boston University.

They started Red Herring with a small truck and a small amount of equipment. Now, almost 20 years later — and with the help of the Massachusetts tax incentive — Red Herring is a multi-million dollar company. With several trucks and an extensive collection of state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to help support the many local crew members that make these films happen right here in Massachusetts!

We both have families of our own to support now. We have responsibilities to our families, to our employees, and to the several businesses that we work with on a daily basis.

Films only come to Massachusetts because of the tax incentive, and the loss of the film business would have a huge negative impact to Red Herring Motion Picture Lighting.

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We are Harry and Jeanine James, and we own a business in New Bedford, MA, called New England Demolition & Salvage. We have rented and sold props to the movie business for ten years. About five years ago, we added a prop rental business to the third floor of our mill; it is forty thousand square feet of prop rental heaven. The film production in Massachusetts has allowed us to keep our business going though some hard economic times!!!

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My name is Alex LoVerde. I am the co-founder and CEO of a TV/film production software company based in Boston, MA, called Sync OnSet. Our software helps creative departments go paperless, enabling them to track continuity and inventory digitally.

As a vendor that serves production crews globally, we have a special place in our hearts for the local productions with which we work. We are indebted to our customers, who have provided constant feedback to improve our product. The support and ideas of local crew members, who use our applications, has been invaluable to our success, as we have grown into a rising standard for productions around the world — and it all started here in Boston.

Tax incentives are the reason Massachusetts has a film industry. They are the reason our company could grow and hire in Massachusetts.

I hope that you will continue to encourage the economic and cultural benefit it offers our state.

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We are Cape Pond Ice Company, a family business on Gloucester harbor dating from 1848. Our “cool” staff have been proud to provide special effects snow, a unique icehouse set, and other ice services to film projects in Massachusetts for more than 30 years, including The Good Son, The Crucible, The Perfect Storm, The Cider House Rules, The Preacher’s Wife, The Witches of Eastwick, Stuck on You, Moonlight Mile/Baby’s in Black, Storm of the Century, Olive Kitteridge, Wicked Tuna, and, currently, Manchester-by-the-Sea.

With our 300-ton capacity ice factory, crystal clear 335# block ice, bagged ice, volume crushed ice, special effects snow, and our fleet of refrigerated ice delivery trucks, our skilled staff have worked closely with many local special effects coordinators to dress many sets, meet many directors’ exacting demands, and keep many caterers and crews well supplied with our “Pure Yankee Cold” ice services.

These Massachusetts film projects and the economic opportunities they provide are all the more important to Cape Pond Ice, and our continued survival, due to crippling declines and the Federal Disaster status of our traditional role providing ice for the Gloucester groundfish fleet and industry.

It’s hard to imagine, but if Sebastian Junger and Warner Bros. hadn’t put us on the map, with The Perfect Storm, filmed in the real, authentic Gloucester and not some Canadian stand-in as was originally planned, our now iconic “Coolest Guys & Gals” branded merchandise business and Gloucester’s growing visitor/tourism economy would be only a fraction of what we have enjoyed the past 15 years!

Movies filmed in Massachusetts because of our tax incentive, and the hard work of our Massachusetts Film Bureau, yield unique and substantial, lasting financial dividends to the Commonwealth economy.  Don’t take this away from us!

 

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We are Dale and Terri Anderson, the owners of Abodeon. Abodeon is a vintage retail and gift store, and the movie industry is an essential part of our business. With the last two winters drastically reducing our sales, the movie industry was especially helpful, providing us valuable customers. To have the set designers come into our store and purchase thousands of dollars of vintage items has been a real godsend, not only because they buy our products, but because we are able to tell our customers to watch for our products in the movies. It’s very good PR for Abodeon.

Removing the film industry tax incentives will severely damage our business. If you care about this small business you won’t do it.

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My name is Ethan Fox. My wife Tracy and I live in Walpole, MA. Together we provide craft services to local production crews that film in Massachusetts. Opportunities created by the film incentive gave us the confidence to start a craft service company, FoxCraft, almost ten years ago, and we are proud to call it our own. We started a family six years ago, and continue to give both our family and our small business everything we have so that it can sustain us and our now two children.

The dollars we are budgeted to spend are OUR responsibility and are NOT taken lightly. To prove that the film tax incentives are working, we spend our budgets at mom-and-pop businesses, small business like our own, business that are unmistakably Massachusetts-owned and -operated, ones we find off the beaten path, and that are grateful and appreciative of the business.

We pride ourselves in passing the monies on to the little guys. It’s one of our ways of helping better others. Having been fortunate to service a handful of productions, we’ve traversed the state and met incredible taxpaying people who truly are grateful for the business we give them. To us, it’s a badge of honor and a reward to be able to show off the quality, locally made products, as well as the character, tradition, and pride of local businessmen and women. It’s what keeps people coming back! The positive impact is undeniable!

Work was created by the film tax incentives, and our life, family, and career have taken off thanks to it. Please don’t destroy the jobs we count on. Allow them to continue creating opportunities!

Film tax incentives BROUGHT business to town, and opportunity keeps knocking for thousands of extremely hardworking and talented craftsmen.It’s working!

Don’t give up on the thousands of skilled laborers that the film tax incentive supports. Our hard work and dedication keep us persevering with what we have, but the economic stimulus that the film incentives created and continue to create are immeasurable. Don’t close the doors on the livelihoods of thousand of people working hard everyday to maximize the opportunities you’ve afforded us. When jobs leave the state, families are pressed to leave and “follow the work.” Keep our families together by leaving the tax incentives in place. Thank you in advance for taking my family’s well-being to heart and leaving the film tax incentives in place.

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All of the art, diplomas, and family photos you see in the homes and offices in a movie have to be framed by someone!  We at Frameworks Picture Framing have been fortunate to be a source for that framing since the film tax incentives allowed so many movies to be filmed in Massachusetts.

When the economy suffered and many frame shops went out of business, we survived — in part due to the film projects we were a part of.

We are a small, locally owned business that is more like a family — our employees have worked together for more than 25 years!  Our customers are part of that family, too, and would truly miss us.

Thank you for taking our experience into consideration!

–Carrie Corliss (owner Frameworks Picture Framing)

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Unmanned Aerial Systems Development, Inc. is pioneering aerial cinematography with Massachusetts-sourced technology. We are awaiting authorization from the FAA, but have established working agreements with trade organizations in the area.

Our predicted operational standards would provide jobs to the Commonwealth not only for out-flight crews and support personnel, but also our technology development and design staff.

Conservatively, we anticipate holding potential to provide 12 to 20 full-time and contract positions through our company.

Being a new firm in the industry, our long-term return on investment is reliant on there being active and robust film projects for us to work with.

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We are High Output and Charles River Studios, New England’s premier lighting and grip equipment rental house that is also home to three studios. We serve the majority of the feature films and commercials that shoot in Massachusetts and are proud to work side by side with the fine crew base that has developed in the area. Founded by local gaffers John Cini and Jim Hirsch, we made a modest business serving local commercial, independent film, and documentary film clients for many years. However, when the Massachusetts film tax incentive came into being, everything changed. We’ve seen our film business grow exponentially over the past several years, due entirely to the incentive.

Although feature films always get the most press, we can tell you firsthand that there are also a ton of television programs, commercials, documentaries, and other projects that are also being produced in Massachusetts as a direct result of the film tax incentives. These projects have multiplied over the past several years as studios and production companies have become more comfortable with Massachusetts and have experienced the resources we have to offer. Producers are very quick to let us know that the reason, often the ONLY reason, they come to shoot in Massachusetts is because of the tax incentives we offer here.

As a growing local Massachusetts business, we utilize other local Massachusetts businesses to keep us going. We buy all of our aluminum and steel for our grip equipment from local Massachusetts companies. We have 13,500 square feet of studio space that needs to be repainted upwards of twice a week (depending on shooting schedules); we use local Massachusetts labor to do it and we buy all of the paint from local Massachusetts companies. We buy all of the lumber for our wood shop and grip trucks from local Massachusetts lumberyards. We have a fleet of over 40 trucks and trailers, all of which are serviced by local Massachusetts mechanics and technicians, at local Massachusetts garages and shops. The list goes on. The film and TV industry is not just one industry — it’s several industries strung together to create an intricate, collaborative network. Eliminating the film tax incentive will not only cripple a lot of individuals and families, but a lot of businesses as well, including ours.

The film tax incentive has allowed High Output & Charles River Studios to grow, and, as a result, we’ve continually hired new people to accommodate the growing business. We now currently employ more than 60 full-time staff members in our Canton office. All of them are everyday, hardworking people — they are not “Hollywood fat-cat types” like many opponents of the film tax incentive will lead you to believe. Eliminating the film tax incentive will be cutting the lifeblood of our business, and we have too many employees depending on us for that to happen.

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I am Woody Bell, married father of two boys. I work in the grip department and own a grip rental company called Black Flag Grips. I have been in this business for 20 years, and because of the Massachusetts film tax incentive, I have been able to support my family without having to spend long periods of time away from my loved ones.

Since the tax incentive was introduced in 2006, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the country’s most experienced key grips that have come here to film. In the past few years, fewer and fewer key grips have come to Massachusetts because the crew base here has matured to the point of being able to staff positions all the way to the top. This is a direct result of the film tax incentive.

I do not want be be one of those key grips who have to travel to other incentive states. I want to stay home. With my family.

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My name is Michael Condon. As the executive director of the USS Salem, a US Navy museum ship located in Quincy, MA, I owe the Massachusetts film industry a debt of gratitude. Our ship has been featured in several TV and film projects, and the impact that that has had on our viability as a museum cannot be understated.

The exposure and financial support we received from the local production companies has helped us to keep the lights on in tough economic times.

Film jobs matter.

 

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My name is Joe, and I started my Gloucester, MA-based business, Motion Picture Boats, eight years ago after identifying the niche need to support film and production work on the water here.

We have built a fleet of boats and a successful business to accommodate the film industry in Massachusetts.

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My name is Jamie Merz, and I am co-founder and owner of Good Natured Dog Productions.

I worked on my first film outside of college in 2008 in Worcester, MA, where I met my film family. I came from Ohio to Massachusetts to work in film, unlike many of my peers who left for LA or New York. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’ve risen through the ranks of production, purchased cars, rented apartments, and contributed to my adopted state in many ways, including starting a company here. None of this would have been remotely possible without the support the state gave to my industry of choice. The film tax incentive is a powerful piece of legislation and I urge you to fight to keep it going.

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At Rule Boston Camera, we rent and sell production and post-production equipment and expendables, and provide technical support and services to film, video, and digital media-makers. For over three decades, we have proudly supported the hardworking members of the local film industry who live, work, and shoot in Massachusetts. Through the film tax incentive, we have supplied gear and support for close to 100 films shooting here in Massachusetts, which have generated revenue for local residents and businesses. The film tax incentive has allowed us to invest in the latest technology, expanding our inventory and building infrastructure that would not otherwise be possible.

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We are Team Crafty, a thriving new Massachusetts-based craft service company that was created directly due to the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit four years ago. Started by Framingham-born Dave Steinwachs and Dedham-born Cameron Goodrich, Team Crafty serves gourmet snacks to the cast and crew of movie and television productions.

Due to our job, we have a direct line to every community we film in and numerous local businesses within those communities. We spend money, plain and simple. Production companies come into town and literally give us thousands of dollars every day to spend within the state. We have the duty of feeding a large amount of people and are always in need of more food. That food ALWAYS comes from whatever community we happen to be filming in that day.
Whether it’s Boston Bagel Company in Southie for our deli meats and bagels, Lamberts in Dorchester for all of our fruit, The Mandarin in Reading for second meals, LaRonga Bakery in Somerville for a lot of our baked goods, numerous food trucks like Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, The Cookie Monstah, Captain Martins Seafood, and Kick-Ass Cupcakes, or Kane’s Donuts in Saugus for our “Fat Kid Friday” spread every Friday, we use local vendors for all of our food needs. We do also shop at the larger stores, like Stop & Shop, Market Basket, Roche Bros., and BJ’s Wholesale Club for a lot of our goods, spending thousands –even millions — of dollars every year at these chains. Although we definitely use the larger businesses, we have made a massive push to use as many small local businesses and vendors as possible, because that’s who we are and that’s who we support. Time and time again, these small businesses let us know how much of an impact we’ve had on their day, week, month, and even their entire year. Many of these vendors have even been able to expand their businesses, hire more people, and open new locations due to the money they have made directly from the film industry.

This industry has allowed so many working families of Massachusetts to make a solid, honest living, following their passion for making movies. It has allowed many of these people to start small businesses of their own, within and outside of the industry, solely from the money that they have earned due to the film tax incentive. It has allowed these people to buy homes, purchase cars, and support their families. The only reason why these people have been able to do so is the film tax incentive.

Many producers are quite open about admitting that they are only here because of the tax break. To get rid of it would kill thousands of jobs, ruin many up-and-coming small businesses, and take a very large chunk of business away from many local vendors. The positive impact this industry has brought to Massachusetts is too impressive to ignore. We truly hope for the sake of our coworkers and their families, our local vendors, the thousands of people directly affected by the incentive, and our own business and livelihood, Massachusetts will reconsider eliminating the film tax incentive. Plain and simple, Films=Jobs.

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My name is Michael Ricci. I’ve grown up on movie sets since the age of eight and have been working in the industry in a full-time capacity in special FX, construction, upholstery, as a gun handler, and a stuntman for the last 12 years. I also own MJR FX, which is a local prop shop and FX shop.  If the film tax incentive were to disappear, so would my company, my job, my employees’ jobs, and my livelihood. Even though I have been doing this for a long time, before the film tax incentive, there was not enough work to keep a business like mine alive. I beg you to please reconsider getting rid of the film tax incentive for me and the thousands of my local brothers and sisters in Local 481 that will otherwise most likely have to relocate their lives to continue working.

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My name is Brian Ricci. I’ve been a part of the film business for over 30 years. I am a SAG member and Local 481 member. I also own Brian Ricci Enterprises, which is a local Pyro and FX shop, the only one located within miles of Boston. If the tax incentive were to go away, I would not only be out of a job and a career, my company would not be able to survive. I also have two brothers and a son in the business, along with many friends that would be out of jobs and possibly forced to relocate their families and lives so they could survive. I beg you to please reconsider removing the tax incentive because of how negatively it will affect not only my family but our community. Thank you.

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Red Sky Studios is a Boston-based sound stage and film studio located in Allston, MA. The studio is just over a year old and is the sister company to Red Herring Motion Picture Lighting, owned by Frans Weterrings and David Cambria.

With the recent opening of the studio, we now employ ten additional full-time employees, and hundreds more local crew members now have a new place to work locally in Massachusetts.

We are honored to have made several new relationships with various businesses in the Bay State, including hardware stores, paint suppliers, cleaners, dry cleaners, photography supply houses, restaurants, caterers, hotels, equipment supply houses, steel workers, fleet mechanics, construction workers, electricians, drivers, and too many more to mention.

Every summer, we employ several local college students that attend film school and need firsthand experience working in the film business. Throughout the year, we happily contribute to several local colleges — Harvard, Boston College, Emerson, Boston University and Berklee College of Music. These film students learn how to maintain and operate grip and lighting equipment while working on their student films. Several of these students have found employment with us after graduation.

Red Sky Studios is a place that keeps film here in Boston. With all of the Boston-owned advertising, marketing, and production companies located right here in Massachusetts, the studio enables these companies to film their client’s projects and products right here in Massachusetts, rather than taking the business to New York, California, or any other state for that matter.

So many of us call Massachusetts home, and we love that because of the tax incentive, we can do our craft right here and be with our families at the end of the day!

photo 3aI am Colin D. Nealon, owner of Consignment Galleries, a family-run consignment store that has been in business for 25 years. We sell used furnishings, china, rugs, lamps, etc. These items come from local families who are downsizing or need to sell items to help their incomes. Our buyers are from many places, so we recommend other local businesses that would be of interest to them.

In recent years, our business has been given a much-needed boost from the movie set designers, the loss of which would be a serious blow to our existence.  The movie business is very important to us, and there are other similar concerns in the area. During the harsh February, our only sales came through Twentieth Century Fox.

The existence of the movie business is of great help to the state.  Thus we ask that you vote to keep this business functioning locally by voting against eliminating the tax incentives for the movie industry.

 

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My name is John Stimpson. I am a writer, director, and editor of motion pictures. I also own H9 Films. I’ve been involved with fifteen feature films, nine of which I directed, and all of which were shot, at least in part, in Massachusetts. I’ve dedicated my career to generating film projects here in the Commonwealth and using local production facilities and local crews, many of whom have been my friends and colleagues for years. We’ve pumped millions of dollars into the local economy, created hundreds of jobs, and launched countless careers.

The Massachusetts film tax incentive has been a significant piece of the financing pie for all of the movies that we’ve made since it has been in place, and I can definitively attest to the fact that if it goes away, so will the work in Massachusetts. I won’t stop making films, but I will be forced to stop making them here.  I urge our legislators and our leadership on Beacon Hill to please think twice before eliminating this incentive and killing our thriving industry in Massachusetts, the state we all call home.

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You might not think a local Boston area fabric store would depend on the glamorous film industry, but we do! People in films wear a lot of custom-made clothing (when they wear clothing at all, that is!), and they work on a lot of custom-made sets — all of which require yards and yards of fabric, which we are very grateful to provide to the local industry fabricators and designers.

In our three-and-a-half years in business here, Fabric Place Basement has had the pleasure to work every week with:

  • Costume Designers
  • Art Directors
  • Wardrobe Supervisors
  • Buyers
  • Production Designers
  • Scenic Artists
  • Set Designers
  • Assistant Set Designers
  • Property Masters
  • Stitchers
  • Production Assistants
  • Set Decorators
  • Prop Assistants
  • Set Dressers
  • Stylists

To name just a few…

That’s a lot of people! And they buy a lot of fabric! These people are our customers and we need them — every single one.  The twenty people who work here at Fabric Place Basement love our jobs, and we want to keep growing.  We need to keep the film industry here so we can stay busy keeping the actors and sets decked out.

Peter Isaacson
Fabric Place Basement
Natick, MA
www.fabricplacebasement.com

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Boston Building Resources is a nonprofit building materials reuse organization whose mission is to keep good materials out of the landfill and put them in the hands of people who would not otherwise be able to afford them.

Let me tell you about the materials generated by the Massachusetts film industry, and how they end up in the hands of our members. We have been working with the film industry here in the Boston area for quite a few years now, and we have seen everything from tractor trailers of premium grade framing lumber (like the 2x kiln dried material, I-joists, lvl’s, steel, and more from Black Mass and The Judge), to exquisite lighting, plumbing fixtures, plywood, and masonry products (pavers from Grown Ups 2). And those are just a few of the productions we have collected material from.

Why is this so important to us? Because it means we can raise the bar on the quality of building materials we can offer our income-qualified members (at steep discounts so they can afford them), and that means they can live in better homes with higher quality materials, sourced from right here in the area.

Because of the film tax incentives, the production companies have just that much more of a margin to be able to afford the extra labor required to dismantle sets with reuse in mind — otherwise this material ends up in the landfill. So those few production companies that may remain if the credit is removed will likely go back to that scenario. We all lose if the Massachusetts film tax incentive goes away.

The difference this has made to our organization is real and palpable. Losing the incentive would affect scores of our members directly, and others indirectly as our organization as a whole would feel the effect if that pipeline were severed.

No doubt about it — the film tax incentive has affected our members positively, and it would be sorely missed. And it has positively affected the impact these productions have had on the environment, so it would be doubly missed.

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My name is Shannon Hoeg. My company, JSS Communications, supports the film industry, both in back office production and set props. We are a family-owned and -operated Massachusetts-based company. One area of our business relies heavily on the film industry. We help in all phases of the back office communications. For movies like Ted, Ted 2, The Heat, and Moonrise Kingdom, we order and coordinate the phone and internet service, as well as provide a phone system for the length of the production. For sets, we provide time-period phones.

The film industry in Massachusetts does not just help support my company and family, but other businesses and the community as well. We buy our time-period phones from local antique shops. When the phones are not in use, we donate them to local theater groups that need time-period phones for their performances. We support the Massachusetts film tax incentives, and keeping the film jobs here in our home state.

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I’m Steve Souza Jr. and I graduated from Dartmouth High School and New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island. I’m a lifelong resident of Massachusetts.

I am an adjunct instructor in digital recording arts as well as a small media business owner. I’m also a tax-paying citizen of New Bedford. The film tax incentive is important to me because I want to continue to grow in the field I’m most passionate about while remaining in the area that I love. A lot of my family lives in Massachusetts and being close to them is important to me.

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My name is Dave Cambria. I grew up in Massachusetts, got my BA at Boston College in 1992, and started working full-time in the film/video industry the day after I graduated. As I built my career as a set lighting technician and rigging gaffer, I traveled quite frequently around the country. In 1998, I started a business called Red Herring Motion Picture Lighting with my business partner, Frans Weterrings, a Boston University graduate, to provide lighting equipment and trucks to the fledgling film industry in New England. We were two twenty-somethings taking a chance on our own business. When the tax incentive program was enacted in the mid 2000s, the film industry grew significantly, as did our business!

Through the ups and downs of the film tax incentive legislation, we’ve seen work come and go, and now it is finally taking hold. Last year, we expanded and founded a studio/soundstage in Allston called Red Sky Studios. We both have families now — and have been able to support them and our ten full-time employees, as well as countless lighting technicians we use on many of the large movies that have shot here over the years.

As you can see, the legislation is working and we are building a true production economy in Massachusetts with a highly skilled labor force. Changing this now would truly end any momentum and foster a climate of uncertainty for production companies that have millions of dollars on the line.

Make the decision for the production companies EASY – keep the film tax incentives and they will stay and spend their money in Massachusetts!

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