My name is Adam Bellao. I am a special effects technician living in Massachusetts. I moved from New Hampshire to Massachusetts in 2010 to pursue my career. I have always been fascinated with the behind-the-scenes “movie magic.” Growing up in New Hampshire, I was told that the only way I could have a career in the movies was to move to California: “They don’t make movies here.” Finances and family made this impossible, so I settled on working in theater and concert production after college.
I was working seven days a week at multiple jobs in multiple states to make ends meet, keep the heat on in the winter, and pay off college debt — all while still trying to keep a “silly” dream alive. Then my life changed. I received a call from the special effects department on Shutter Island. My dream job found me. This would not have happened without the Massachusetts film tax incentive.
I am not living paycheck to paycheck anymore. I am not getting rich off this job, either. But I now have the means to have a reliable car, the tools I need, health insurance, and the prospects of a secure future. The possibility of starting my own businesses (in Massachusetts), utilizing the vast skill set I have been able to hone from my years working on movies, does not seem so crazy to me anymore.
My longtime girlfriend (who is also a very hard working, tax-paying Massachusetts resident) and I were also planning on buying our first home together (in Massachusetts) this year. With this recent attack on the film tax incentive, I don’t see these things happening now. My decision to move to Massachusetts was directly linked to my profession and the film tax incentive. Even as a New Hampshire resident, I was still doing most of my spending in Massachusetts: gas, food, hotels, tools, clothes, and sales tax. I was spending enough of my income to justify moving closer to where the work was.
I am here because the film tax incentive opened a door for me to have a successful career in the film industry. Without it, I will most likely have to uproot and move to another state that is much, much more than a 30-minute drive away. A common joke on set is everyone saying that they are “livin’ the dream.” Well, I am living my dream. I get to “make the magic” and a living in a place I love. It is a direct result of the Massachusetts film tax incentive.