Category Archives: Sound Mixer

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My name is Aaron Bouchard, and I work in the sound department. I have been fortunate that this state and its people have given me the opportunities that have helped me build my career. I have seen firsthand how productions large and small in Massachusetts benefit the towns and communities they visit. Filmmakers bring money and jobs into the state that may have never otherwise found their way here.

I may not be originally from here, but Massachusetts is my home, and I hope it always will be.

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Myth: If you work in film, you are “Hollywood” and make good money.
Fact: The majority of workers in this industry — particularly those in Massachusetts — are considered low-middle income families and thrive due to continued projects being brought to the area via film tax incentives.

It is one thing to threaten the film tax incentives because you think it will save Massachusetts money. But it is misguided to threaten the incentives because you want to provide “aid to low-middle income families” instead, when we ARE low-middle income families.

I’ve worked in New England for seven years and currently reside in Waltham, MA, due to the work and resources available. If jobs are removed from here, I won’t switch careers, I’ll change where I live.

That means I won’t spend taxes here. I won’t spend rent here. I won’t buy groceries, utilities, equipment, local services, etc. That might not seem like much from one individual, but what happens when you remove an entire workforce? That will be a devastating blow to Massachusetts income and tax revenue for ALL businesses/industries.

For us, filmmaking is not a hobby. It is our livelihood. And the film tax incentive is a sustainable platform to foster our industry; it has been proven successful in many other states. Remember: it’s not about creating jobs. It’s about bringing the work that already exists TO Massachusetts, thus benefiting everyone.

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I’ve only been working professionally for a year now after getting my MFA at Boston University, but I own a house here in Massachusetts and I plan to stay. I have met so many good people working in this industry, and, if the tax credits go away, most or all of the big jobs will too. A lot of my friends and colleagues will have to leave Massachusetts, but those of us who can’t or won’t leave will struggle. I know a lot of us have invested a lot here in Massachusetts in education and equipment and will continue to do so as long as the tax incentive sticks around.

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My name is Aaron Miller, and though I was born, raised, and started my film career as a sound mixer
in Connecticut, I felt more at home working more recently in Massachusetts, thanks to the incredible
people from the area that I have met over the years. I have been looking at moving to the Boston area
in the last year but the proposal to get rid of the film tax incentive has kept me at bay.

I am thankful to have the ability to have worked in this field now for six years full-time, but have yet to
find a better place to work than Massachusetts. In fact, before the possibility of the film tax incentive disappearing, I decided to start up a production company (Magnetic North Media) with three other members of this filmmaking family we have in Massachusetts. There are so many people I have grown with over the last decade in the film industry and have watched create homes, families, and businesses thanks to the film tax incentive. I do not wish to see the careers of people I call friends and family, as well as much of my own work to start a life in the Boston area, come to a point where we have to completely reevaluate much of what we do.

We are working-class, career-driven families and individuals who find Massachusetts to be an incredible
home and we wish to see the film industry here grow to its potential as a large hub for the film business
fully realized. While the media and popular culture revolves around the people whose names light up
the marquees, please do not forget the hundreds of people involved in each project that work hard just
to make a living every day to actually put these films and shows together.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.30.56 PMMy name is Tom Williams and I’m a production sound mixer. I am a Berklee College of Music alumnus with a major in music production engineering. Early in my career, I was told that in order to “make it,” I would have to move to either LA or New York. But Boston is my home, and I stayed. Since 1988, I’ve been a freelancer in film/video and — as the business and technology have evolved — I’ve specialized in sound mixing/recording. I now work primarily on feature films. I was lucky enough to meet my wife, Courtney, a wardrobe stylist and makeup artist, on set. Together, we are part of a vast local film community whose members are hardworking, industrious, creative, and socially conscious. We own homes, pay taxes, and invest in and support our local economies, both personally and professionally. Losing the tax incentive in Massachusetts will decimate the film industry here – the only job market to have shown steady growth and increased employment in the state over the last several years.

We are a collective of strong voices and we will be heard.

SAVE MASSACHUSETTS FILM JOBS.

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I’m Mario Cardenas. I’ve been working as a sound recordist for thirty years. I’ve traveled to many places for work, but the majority of my time has been spent in Massachusetts, where I live, own a home, and pay taxes. My wife and I recently put our two daughters through college. The film community here has always been self sufficient — you do what you have to do to survive. But since the production incentive, I’ve noticed that we are laying the groundwork for something truly exceptional: a community of colleagues able to compete with anyone, anywhere. Who are we? We are your neighbors at the grocery store, getting a cup of coffee, going to the post office. The film incentive gives us a chance for work that could go elsewhere and to contribute to where we live — right here.

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My name is Susan Bryant, and I’m a sound recordist. I also care of my parents on the South Shore. I’ve noticed that the big productions don’t want to commit to a state that is not ready to commit to them. Big money spending film companies need to plan ahead, so even threatening to change the tax incentives program makes them too jumpy to book Massachusetts as their site and we lose them.

As a former director of internships, I can add that, with all the great students we have coming to Massachusetts for education in communications from Emerson, CDIA, BU, Harvard, Simmons, MassArt, and others, it is great to be able to entice them to stay in our state with a bustling film industry, and grow our industry’s capacity at the same time. We have a number of friendly businesses and organizations that promote employment opportunity and profit right here in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Film Office has been eloquent on how this all works, and should certainly be consulted by any state senators or representatives (or staffers) looking for the facts, including mine — Rep. Garret Bradley and Sen. Bob Hedlund.

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My name is Ryan Barrett. I’m a location sound mixer living in Arlington, MA. After Emerson College, I began my career in Los Angeles as a recording engineer, working in music. There was work aplenty, but the lifestyle left little balance for my wife and me. We moved home to Massachusetts in 2000, where I re-tooled my skills to mix on film and video jobs.

For the past 15 years, I’ve built a freelance career in Massachusetts with a lot of help from a variety of highly skilled and hardworking creative people. We are an industrious bunch. We work in different circles, but share a love for our craft and our state.

Like so many, I’ve been able to build a life here in Massachusetts, to find that work-life balance. I’m a homeowner and a dad. I provide a service and pay taxes. I coach soccer.

The tax incentives have done so much more than BRING money to Massachusetts — they KEEP money in Massachusetts, through the purchase of groceries, daycare, student loans, and tanks of gas, and through the payment of taxes (property, payroll, sales, etc.). Most of all, the tax incentives fuel a growth industry that creates jobs for a vibrant group of professionals the state can’t afford to lose.

Production Sound Mixer

My name is Jason Fyrberg, and I’m a production sound mixer. I studied at Emerson College here in Boston, and graduated in 2006. I immediately moved to Los Angeles, because my professors told me “that’s where the business is.” My wife (who is from Attleboro, MA) moved to LA with me, but we hated being 3,000 miles away from our families. When we learned that the film business was booming in Massachusetts, we decided to move back home. We returned in 2009, and I have been working steadily ever since. In the last year, we bought our first house house, two new cars, and are now expecting our first child. I am the film industry.

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I’m John Garrett. I’ve been a sound mixer living in Massachusetts for 30-plus years. If the film tax incentive goes away, more than a thousand of my highly skilled colleagues lose their jobs. Many will leave, with their tax dollars, never to return.

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