Since retiring as a television news anchor and reporter, I now spend much of my time as an extra or background actor in movies and television series. I see firsthand the impact such projects have on our Commonwealth’s economy.
On one of the days when I worked on The Judge, the production hired more than 100 local extras and background actors for a courtroom scene in Plymouth. On other occasions, I saw equal numbers, many different faces involved in scenes shot in Worcester, and Shelburne Falls. The project also filmed in Attleboro, Boston, Belmont, and Milton. Dollars flow not only into the pockets of the local actors, but to local drivers, cooks, makeup artists, wardrobe specialists, technicians, electricians, carpenters, and small business owners. These talented and capable working people live and spend locally.
A positive financial impact is felt in other perhaps unrecognized ways. Local firefighters and EMTs are hired to help safeguard productions made in Massachusetts. Local police work the details. Local casting agencies hire dozens of people to scour thousands of performers’ resumes to satisfy the needs of producers and directors. Local academies and performance institutes train actors and actresses. Local colleges and universities develop producing, film-writing and directing talent. The state-of-the-art facility in Devens eliminates a producer’s need to transport projects back across the country for post-production. Finishing touches can be applied right here in Massachusetts, providing more work, more paychecks, and more revenue for Massachusetts.
Without the incentives, we risk losing all these advantages and the prestige and notoriety films bring to Massachusetts, and we risk driving the local talent that supports them elsewhere. I say these are risks too big for Massachusetts to take.
Please lend your support to saving the Massachusetts film tax incentives.