I started working as a makeup artist for film after graduating Emerson College in 1999. This was of course before the film incentive was passed, and things were financially sparse, at best, especially considering my single-mother status. Somehow, I have no idea how, we got by — though basic necessities, like food, for example, were truly luxury items for years. I had finally given up hope on surviving on my meager income to pursue my dreams and enrolled to get my masters in art therapy (another affluent means of income). It was then that things began shifting due to the tax incentive.
The first year the incentive passed, my income doubled, bringing my yearly gross from meager to a lower middle-class standing. Within three years, I was able to buy a condo, and now am confident I’ll have the means to send my son, now 18, to a proper university.
But this isn’t about single-experience stories. On Shutter Island, for example, there were 200 Massachusetts residents hired to do construction alone! And many hundreds more hired to work on the film in other departments. It also should be noted that the materials necessary to produce a film are endless. They range from tools and equipment to set dressing materials and wardrobe needs, from makeup products and office supplies to food products/catering and beyond, beyond, and beyond.
Films that come to Massachusetts are spending millions and employing thousands of Massachusetts residents.
It isn’t because they love Massachusetts and it’s convenient. It’s because of the incentive…PERIOD. Films weren’t here before the incentive and they won’t be here if it’s pulled.
Thousands of middle-class crew members will be out of work if the incentive is pulled, or will see a decline in their business income. I’m not sure how that could help the state financially.