Category Archives: Special Effects (SFX)

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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 Jordan Pacheco, and I kill people for a living. This is not a confession, it’s a plea. Without the film tax incentive in Massachusetts, most of my work will leave. I enjoy working in Massachusetts; we have a strong community here. Unlike the territories where our field is better known and considered a business, we consider what we do an art above all else.

But to the investors, this is a business, so if you take the incentive away … they will take their business away, and bring it somewhere that does offer an incentive. It’s going to happen; there is no chance film investors will stay. A career change would be next to impossible for me — my resume for the last five years is about 30 corpses long — so I would have to move, like many other film professionals here in Massachusetts. Do not force this exodus.

 

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My name is Julie LeShane. I am freelance makeup and special effects artist. I grew up wanting to do special effects since I was five years old. I am now 30 years old, and I have been working in the industry for almost ten years. Through years of hard work, I eventually could afford opening up a special effects shop in the city where I grew up, which I thought I never could do while staying in Massachusetts. Many of my loved ones, friends, and family are located in Massachusetts. I love Massachusetts and would rather not relocate anywhere else in order to continuing making a living doing what I love to do.

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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 Brian Ricci. I’ve been a part of the film business for over 30 years. I am a SAG member and Local 481 member. I also own Brian Ricci Enterprises, which is a local Pyro and FX shop, the only one located within miles of Boston. If the tax incentive were to go away, I would not only be out of a job and a career, my company would not be able to survive. I also have two brothers and a son in the business, along with many friends that would be out of jobs and possibly forced to relocate their families and lives so they could survive. I beg you to please reconsider removing the tax incentive because of how negatively it will affect not only my family but our community. Thank you.

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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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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.

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My name is M Quinn, and I am a special effects, welder, and construction worker for the motion picture industry. Thanks to work I’ve had through the Massachusetts film industry, my quality of life has greatly increased. I love what I do!

I am able to afford decent health coverage, and got myself in a financial position to start saving up for my future. I have begun putting money away for my niece and nephew’s college funds, and now have the security in knowing that if anything were to happen to my parents, I would be able to help support them. The tax incentive means I get to spend my money at local businesses instead of turning to often cheaper alternatives of shopping online or at major chains.

If the tax incentive is eliminated (or even threatened), my work and the work of hundreds of others will disappear. The money I am able to spend locally will be nonexistent. And there will be no financial security for my future, preventing me from being able to provide for the futures of my loved ones.

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