Category Archives: Prop Maker

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Coming from someone working in the trade; woodworking on several commercial and residential properties and welding for 15 years, working on a large scale production forum with many other talented people has been great. As well the structure of the business was really on the side of the employee with compensation and benefits in place, where other companies I have worked for in the past have failed.

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We are Alyssa and Lindsay; we both grew up in Massachusetts (Cape Cod and Brookline, MA) and have made careers in the film industry over the past five years here. We met working on Moonrise Kingdom in 2011 and, last year, we got married and purchased a house in Medford, MA. We both feel so fortunate that we can live and work in the place where we grew up (doing the work we love!) and be close to our amazing friends, parents, siblings, and adorable niece and nephews.

Alyssa joined the DGA two years ago as an assistant director with her local designated as Boston, MA. She also works as a VFX coordinator with local company, Zero VFX. Lindsay is a member of IATSE Local 481 and works as a props assistant, on-set dresser, and doing SPFX.

Please keep the tax incentive so we can continue living, working, and being part of the Boston community that is our home!

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My name is Ray Petrello. I have been fortunate to be a member of IATSE Local 481 since 2008. This work has provided money for my family during the recession. If it weren’t for the Massachusetts film tax incentive, we would not have this work. 2010 was a very lean year because of just the discussion of eliminating the tax credit. The movie business usually goes to states like Georgia and Louisiana, which give a 40% tax credit. We are lucky they even come here.

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My name is Jason Allard. I have been working on films in Massachusetts since 2007. I am a married father of three and I own my own home. My family’s  main source of income is from film.

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My name is Jack Thompson, and I have been working in the Massachusetts film industry for the past four years. I grew up learning residential construction from my father and, after high school, I worked in the field for a couple years. After dealing with the uncertainties of being a subcontractor and talking with the veterans of the profession, I decided there had to be a more secure way to make a living. At that point, I went to the North Bennett Street School in Boston for my bench jewelers certification. Although I enjoyed the experience at North Bennett Street tremendously and really appreciated the job security of a skilled tradesman, the industry itself was, in my experience, quite monotonous.

As you can see, becoming a prop maker for the film industry was a bit of a journey for me, as it was for most of my fellow brothers and sisters. But it is precisely because of that journey that we appreciate and value our jobs so highly! With retirement and health insurance paid for by the production companies, we have a level of job security rarely found these days — a true middle class! This, in turn, means more money going back into the local communities where we live and work, raising the standard of living for everyone involved. Too often the film tax incentive is portrayed as having a very limited range of influence and favoring the big shots in Hollywood. As one of the thousands of people in Massachusetts who depend on it, I can tell you with certainty that nothing could be further from the truth.

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My name is Scott Petrino. I have been working in the film industry since 2011. I have worked on 13 films since then. This has allowed me to support my family very comfortably. Ending the film tax incentive will make the movies go to other states.

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My name is Mark Turpel. I reside in New Bedford, MA, where I was born and raised. Love where you live.

I’ve been a carpenter for over ten years. Employed and self-employed, it was always a struggle trying to make a living. Within the past year, I joined the film industry to seek more opportunities, benefits, and a secure future here in Massachusetts.

Since day one, it was easy to see how much the film industry contributes to Massachusetts and how very important the film incentive is to the industry.

Massachusetts should be in support of the film tax incentive. Eliminating it would cost thousands of jobs and a huge amount of business throughout local communities.

 

 

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My name is Aram Maranian III, and for 33 years, I worked in a business I hated. Working in the film industry has allowed me to be creative and learn from from great carpenters. The most import part of all, it allows me to support my family while doing what I love, and the film tax incentive is what makes this possible. 

The tax incentive gives back to the local communities in may ways, from lumber and hotels to on-set catering. Ending the tax incentive will eliminate thousands of jobs, including my own, while decimating the film industry in Massachusetts. Please support the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit and save thousands of current, and upcoming, jobs across Massachusetts.

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My husband, Josh Frankhouser, just recently started working in the local film industry (last year). He has been a residential carpenter his whole career, and this opportunity has been an amazing change for him. It allows him some great, creative artistic expression as a carpenter and (now also) a prop maker for the film world. For us as a family, it has given us the the financial security to live, stay local, and plan for our future.

The tax incentive helps the film industry put back into the local community in many financial ways, from local small businesses to individual people, whether it is housing for workers, or restaurants, grocery stores, building supplies, lumber yards, etc.

Please keep the Massachusetts film industry going and continue the film tax incentive…THANK YOU!!

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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 Will Mateo and I have worked as a carpenter/prop maker since 2008. The film industry has provided so much for my family and me, and I greatly appreciate it. I now have health insurance and a retirement plan, which I can safely say I would not have if it weren’t for this job.

Cutting the film tax incentive would affect so many hardworking people and their families. Many people do not realize how much the film industry also puts back into local business, from lumber yards and hotels, to property rentals, tool rentals, and many more. In saying that, I really hope my words, along with my brothers’ and sisters’, are being heard and not just being ignored.

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My name is Julian Osorio. I am a scenic artist, sculptor, prop maker, and proud member of IATSE USA 829 and IATSE Local 481 for four years.

My journey in the film industry began when I was first presented with the opportunity to join Local 481 as a prop maker, just when I was going through the toughest time in my life.  I had been unemployed for over a year, struggling to find a job, and recovering from a house fire that left my mother and me homeless, penniless, and literally empty-handed. All my paintings, dreams, and expectations to succeed and have a decent living in this country were burned to the ground on Christmas Eve.

But everything changed when I started working on my first motion picture production in 2012 in Salem, MA. I started as a carpenter, although I was a bit unexperienced then! I received great support from all my fellow brothers and sisters from Local 481. Meanwhile, I was introduced to members of USA 829, who encouraged me to join them and become a scenic artist. I realized then that I could still have a future ahead of me, and a great career doing what I love the most — something that will definitively make me proud and make my family and friends proud of me as well!

Since then, I have pursued and accomplished my dream of being part of a movie-making process. As a result, I have worked as a scenic artist in numerous films throughout the state, receiving the benefits of the film tax incentives, and contributing with my hard work by paying taxes to the state of Massachusetts. Additionally, I spend money while employed by a production company — paying tolls, purchasing fuel at gas stations, staying at hotels, eating in local restaurants and coffee shops, and shopping at convenient stores, paint suppliers, and arts and crafts stores.

The opportunity to work in the film industry has changed my life dramatically in a positive way. Every time I receive an envelope with my paycheck in it, I can’t help it but think how fortunate and blessed I am for being part of this great industry and also for being well paid as a scenic artist (and it isn’t easy to get paid well when you are an artist). Furthermore, all the benefits paid by a production company on my behalf — including health insurance, pension, annuity, and 401K — are also invested in the state of Massachusetts. Without the film tax incentives, none of that would be possible, and I wouldn’t be able to support my family and myself.

I see Massachusetts as my home, and the place where all my dreams are coming true — the state that offers me the unthinkable! Working in Hollywood without going to Hollywood. SAVE THE MA FILM JOBS.

 

11045440_10100674434764615_2919685809897810398_nMy name is Benjamin Regan, and I have been working on films since 2006. I have worked as a carpenter, welder, prop maker, greensperson, and set dresser. The Massachusetts film industry has provided me with a career and hopefully a future as a studio shop mechanic. Before joining IATSE Local 481, I was a typical construction worker, struggling to pay rent and living from paycheck to paycheck. This job has presented me with countless opportunities and a fair living wage.

In my nine years as a member of Local 481, I have seen firsthand the effect of the film tax incentive and the direct impact it has on our industry. In 2009, I made the most money I had ever made in a year.  In 2010, however, following Gov. Deval Patrick’s mere proposal to cap the tax incentives, I and many of my union brothers and sisters struggled on unemployment or were forced to work outside of the film industry to make ends meet. Legislators don’t often understand the ripple effects of their actions. Make no mistake, producers only bring films to Massachusetts for the tax breaks. Take Vancouver as an example: there used to be a booming film industry there, but when their government revoked the tax credit, the film industry dried up. It is basic economics: the incentive brings money from wealthy investors/producers to this state; without the incentive, they would simply spend their money elsewhere.

Supporting the film tax incentive directly supports working-class families all around Massachusetts. Without the incentives, there would be no film industry in Massachusetts. Without the incentives, most of my coworkers would be unemployed and in need of state assistance. I would like to urge Governor Baker and his fellow legislators to continue to support the local people making a living in the Massachusetts film industry.  FILMS = JOBS

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My name is Jason Coffey, and I am a prop maker, welder, and rigger. My first film was Shutter Island in 2008, and I fell in love with this job. I am blessed to work with some of the greatest and most talented people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.

I live in western Massachusetts and know firsthand that the film industry helps feed many families, including my own. I also know that the funds are spread around.  As I do not live in the greater Boston area where many productions have been located, I commute or stay in hotels or rent apartments (and eat three times a day at local vendors).

We are all just trying to make a living. To lose the tax incentives would be a great loss to many of us as well as the New England area, and will no doubt put many of us in very grave circumstances. Most people on the outside looking in do not see how much revenue is pumped into local businesses — lumber yards, steel yards, hotels, stores, flooring suppliers, restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, equipment rental outfits, to name just a few. I hope and pray that the powers that be see that to lose out on the film industry will without question hurt many of us and, worst of all, our families.

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My name is Paul Jaasko. I am a Massachusetts resident and I currently work as a prop maker in the construction department and as an SPFX tech for movie productions filmed in Massachusetts.

If the Massachusetts film tax incentive is eliminated, thousands of people and businesses will be affected. Jobs will be lost and incomes will be depleted. Movies will cease to exist in Massachusetts, and my job will disappear along with thousands of others. Vendors, restaurants, hardware stores, lumber stores, rental companies, prop houses, catering companies, heavy equipment companies, hotels, etc, will all suffer. Some will merely suffer while others will go out of business completely. Millions of dollars are put into the local economy for every film — not only from the production companies, but from all of the employees and staff, whether they are local or not. Everything from the local pizza shop to prominent major businesses in the area and their employees benefit when these films come to town.

If there are no tax incentives, movies in Massachusetts will cease to exist, along with my means of making a living. How is putting thousands of people out of work and onto unemployment the right decision?

imageMy name is Tim Folger. I work as a prop maker and special effects technician in the film industry here in Massachusetts. Born and raised on the South Shore, I’m a full-time resident, and my living depends on the thriving film industry in this great, little state.

Though I am relatively new to the industry, it’s clear to see that film production not only provides thousands of high-skill jobs to families in this state, but also spends a staggering amount of money here. Productions spend money on things like building materials and supplies, fuel, property rental, vehicles and equipment, local police and security, trash disposal, food supply, etc.

The jobs of people working directly in the industry are not the only ones at risk — many local businesses, vendors, city governments, and their employees all benefit from the growing film industry in Massachusetts.

When we think of films, we naturally think of Hollywood, but it’s not just about the people in front of the lens. There are many more unseen and hard working local people behind the scenes making a living. Every day.

Keep the film tax incentive. It makes sense for Massachusetts.

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