Category Archives: Rental Manager

save-ma-film-jobs_0079

My name is Chandler Moon. My beard and I have been happily employed for nearly a decade at a company that rents lighting to the film industry. I work at High Output, Inc. I’m the inventory control manager (and former rental shop manager).  I just purchased a house here in Massachusetts and I’m about to be married in June. Soon after, my fiancée and I will begin plans for making little bearded children to make that house a home. This is all due to the film industry in Massachusetts.

If you’ve read ONE of the testimonials on this site, you know the film industry in Massachusetts lives or dies on the tax incentives that bring those films here. Without them, those films won’t come and countless will lose employment. I love Massachusetts; I was born here and I’ve made my life here. I love the film industry and dreamed of working in it since I was a little Bostonian. The tax incentives gave me that opportunity. I have been so proud of my little contribution to the industry. I love and I want to continue working on films for years to come.

save 2 cask-mouse-4

On Tuesday, November 4, 2015, Martha Coakley’s campaign managers peeked out from pipe and drape on a poorly lit stage being broadcast on all the local television stations. The scene couldn’t have been better lit by a first year film student trying to capture the mood and outcome of the evening.

Across town in a hotel ballroom by the waterfront, Charlie Baker’s campaign managers had quite a different feeling. Cameras and news crews swarmed in on a white balanced and perfectly lit stage. They received crisp, clear audio from the press boxes. Party goers enjoyed music from a DJ as video monitors that were sprinkled around the room displayed results of an election soon to be over, its victor the Republican candidate for governor.

The race was close, and though he did not get to make the speech he wanted to that night, the scene looked and sounded like victory party. One might ask why. The answer is because of the professional film and production equipment provided by High Output, a company owned and operated in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a company whose employees and families depend largely on the film industry to be able to provide such services in Massachusetts and keep those dollars in the commonwealth.

My name is Kevin Boldwin. As a special events project manager, I may not work directly for the film industry, but it works for me. Our clients in the theater and special events world benefit from the unique equipment and skill set specifically developed in the film world. We are able to offer them unique solutions because of this, giving us an edge in a highly competitive industry.

I must admit, I am not a huge fan of giving breaks to large corporations, and I feel no sympathy when they are asked to pay taxes in full. However, I think eliminating the film tax incentive means Massachusetts will be overlooked by those big budget films that could shoot anywhere yet choose to bring that revenue here. Perhaps a different perspective could be to look at the tax incentive as an investment in future business in this state. From my understanding, this is not money we have to pay, it’s just not as much money as we could be collecting.To eliminate it would be to say: Give us more money or we don’t want your business. Business that creates jobs. Jobs that we need.

I was there on that night in November. I set up the stage, focused the light, and pushed the faders on the sound desk. Not for any political reason, not for any ideology, but for the sole purpose of earning a living and contributing to this great state. Getting rid of the tax incentive may not eliminate my job, but it will likely have great consequences for many people I work with and respect. That night, I saw the sea change. I just hope these waters don’t erode the foundation of a thriving industry in our state.

SaveATB_photo1

My name is Aaron Barbatti. I have been working with/for High Output Inc. for almost three years. I am a live event specialist. My department is part of a larger company that is going to be dramatically affected by the removal of this film tax incentive. Many of the people I work with everyday will have to change the way they take care of themselves and their families. Please don’t let this happen to the hardworking people of the Massachusetts film industry.

Oscar2My name is Oscar Escartin, and I have been working in the local Massachusetts film/TV industry for over ten years now. Most of that has been spent working at High Output, which is currently New England’s largest film and theatre rental house. I would say that when I started back in 2003, it was more than just a job — it was an expansion of my film and TV education. It is one of the very, very few places where recent grads can get good hands-on experience with what real big-budget film and theatrical equipment feels like.

Without a tax incentive, this work eventually will go away, and so will film studies programs at many Massachusetts universities. As an incoming employee, I was able to grow and expand my knowledge of the industry, thanks to the tight-knit group of High Output staff and personnel, both past and present. A majority of these people have become my best friends and feel like family. Breaking this apart would be a loss for so many people, and it would trickle down to a great many other mom-and-pop shops that thrive on this business around Massachusetts and surrounding areas.

The majority of close friends I have are friends with families and kids. They support their loved ones with the revenue that the films that shoot in New England generate. Sometimes that income can be very unpredictable, since the number of movies that come shoot in this great state varies from season to season. For that reason alone we need every bit of support to get MORE films to shoot here, not fewer. Especially during the winter months.

Massachusetts has real potential in becoming a serious bustling film state with more studios and production houses potentially opening up shop and creating a healthy monetary flow for the state.

The film industry around here isn’t just some small idea that failed. It is thriving and can’t be ignored. And it’s here to stay. It would be absolutely devastating and an insult if the film tax incentive ended.

profile

My name is Jim Reed, and I’m currently an operations resource manager at High Output, Inc. I live and work in Massachusetts, and have been working in this industry for almost 11 years. To say that films bring money to Massachusetts is one thing, but to see it, live it, and rely on it is another. Witnessing firsthand how many industries benefit from the film tax incentive is actually quite fascinating. The momentum of the film industry in Massachusetts is growing more every day.  I hear some people already calling it “Hollywood East.”

If the film tax incentive is eliminated, then many jobs and taxpayers will be lost to another state that does provide an incentive. Let’s prevent that from happening, and keep the momentum of this industry going.

10580879_10202573859577576_2719280068227896072_o

My name is Javier Martinez. I am a native of New Jersey and received my bachelor’s degree in film and television from Boston University. I moved back to Massachusetts from New York in September to build a life with my college sweetheart, who works for the regional cable network NESN.

I am now the assistant shop manager for High Output, the region’s premier motion picture lighting rental house. I am also a freelance grip/electric when I am not at my day job. When I first made the decision to move back to Massachusetts, I was worried about leaving my great job and the endless opportunities in the film and commercial photography business in New York City. But after learning about the growth of the film industry in Massachusetts because of the film tax incentive, my anxiety was gone and I was confident that I’d have as many career opportunities in Massachusetts as I left behind in NYC, in a much tighter-knit professional community.

save-ma-film-jobs_0230

My name is Michael Moran. I was born in Brighton, MA, raised in Framingham, and currently live in Dorchester. I am not a movie star or studio executive, but I do have a career in the film and television industry. I have a full-time job at High Output in Canton, where I am in charge of five large trucks worth of lighting and electrical equipment for local film, TV, and commercial productions.

In 2002, I begrudgingly moved to Los Angeles, as opportunities for making a lasting film career in Massachusetts were very slim. If a movie took place here, typically a crew would come in for a week or two to get some exterior footage and then head to Los Angeles, North Carolina, or Canada to get the bulk of their work done in a more production-friendly environment. Thanks to the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit, I returned to Massachusetts in 2009, when there were more movies being shot here than in California. Finally, I could make a career in my home state!

Thousands of people like me have been able to start families, build careers, buy houses, and pay taxes in the Bay State thanks to the film tax incentives. It is people like us, hardworking local professionals, that have benefitted most directly from its implementation. And we are by no means the only ones that have benefitted. As anyone who has spent time on or near a film set can attest, many millions of dollars are pumped into local vendors and service providers during production. Movies, television shows, and commercials require office space and supplies, equipment rentals, hotel rooms, catering, furniture, lumber, tools, paint, greenery, automotive rentals, fuel, security guards, electricity, heating, air conditioning, generators, sanitation, IT support, accounting, dry cleaning, and a few dozen other services on a daily basis. All of this is good for Bay State business.

The Commonwealth also benefits from having Massachusetts locations displayed on screens all around the world. Not only do audiences full of future visitors get to see our famous sights, but our varied geography and talented crew base allow Massachusetts to stand in for locations as far-flung as the Midwest (The Judge), New Jersey (American Hustle), Alaska (The Proposal) and Japan (The Sea of Trees, due out later this year). Studios could have spent their millions in those places, but they chose us instead. We made the most sense. This was nearly unthinkable ten years ago.

Governor Baker wants to help working families. While his intention is noble, eliminating the film tax credit will have the opposite effect. Thousands of working families will suffer. Studios will immediately look to other states to get a better deal, just as they did when former governor Deval Patrick merely proposed capping the FTC. Unemployment claims will surge instantly, houses won’t be bought, and taxes won’t be payed. A local industry that was born and flourished during The Great Recession will decline, as will the incalculable benefits to other Massachusetts businesses.

If you need proof of that, talk to the film community in North Carolina. For nearly thirty years, North Carolina had been an affordable alternative to Hollywood. Like us, they built studio facilities, an enviable talent base, and were blessed with varied landscapes to suit a wide variety of productions. Recently, their state government did away with film-friendly legislation. Productions (and their millions of dollars) swiftly vanished, and thousands of professionals and their families now face the prospect of leaving the state. They are moving to California, New York, Georgia, and Louisiana — states that have wisely invested in the future of cinema and television, two American exports that the world still eagerly consumes. Without the FTC, thousands of our friends, families, and neighbors will join the migration.

Bay Staters have worked tirelessly for years to make Massachusetts one of the best places to film, not just in America, but in the world. Our talent pool has deepened and widened, infrastructure and facilities have steadily expanded, and our reputation has improved immeasurably. Scores of local businesses have profited from the growth of our industry. To kill off that development would be tragic. I am a single man. I do not seek fame or glamour — just the ability to make a living in the state I call home. I do not yet have children or own a house, but I want them someday and I want them to be in Massachusetts. My roots, family, and career are here. I hope my future can be here as well.

Please save the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit.

JGK family

I am Jeff Kidman and I have worked in the film and television industry my entire career. My first full-time job was for New England Cable News in 1992. I worked in Los Angeles from 1994 to 2001. I have been working at a local lighting and grip rental shop, right here in Massachusetts, since 2001. I used to talk to producers in LA about making movies here in Massachusetts, and they wanted to but there were always reasons not to. The film tax credit now makes it easier for those producers to come here.

I know that these productions prefer to hire local crew. It just plain costs them less than flying in crew from somewhere else and putting them up in hotels. Local crews that live here in Massachusetts pay Massachusetts income tax and raise families in Massachusetts. When the movies do need to bring in some crew from out of town, those people are staying at a local hotel, eating at local restaurants, renting a car locally, and spending their time off here. They are spending their money here.

My current job is rental operations manager at High Output. I run the shop and have 28 people working in my department. Without movies coming to Massachusetts, there will be fewer opportunities for me to hire people. There will also be fewer opportunities for us to expand our inventory and hire full-time staff to maintain that equipment and run our shop.

I am a Massachusetts native, a homeowner, father of two. The film tax credit makes it possible for to not only to continue my career, but to hire others and help them on their careers in the film and television industry.

save-ma-film-jobs_0195My name is Jim Hirsch. After graduating in 1981 with a degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, I started work in Boston in the local film business. Initially a set carpenter, I changed my focus to the electric department and began to work as a gaffer in 1983. Eventually, I teamed up with John Cini and, in 1986, we founded High Output, Inc., now New England’s largest lighting and grip company. Shortly after, we opened Charles River Studios. I have worked on feature films, but most of my work has been on tons of TV shows and thousands of television commercials. Since starting my professional life, I’ve lived in Brookline with my beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters.

Before the film tax incentive, the Massachusetts market had an occasional feature film and usually just a portion of the production was shot here. The film tax incentive changed everything, taking what was a small commercial market to a major filmmaking industry.  It’s all about the jobs. This industry created thousands of lucrative direct hires and countless indirect jobs at companies like mine. Naysayers complain about the portion of the credit that goes out of state. What’s important is not what leaves, but what stays, and it’s overwhelmingly a benefit for the state. I have seen criticisms of the box office revenue of some our larger films. We make our living making the film, hoping it does well, but that outcome doesn’t affect our income. Everyone in the industry knows that if the film tax incentive is eliminated, we will go back to the small business we had before.  Where does that leave the hardworking crew?

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