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Friday, February 25, 2011

Michigan's film industry gear up for a fight against Gov. Snyder gutting Film Industry Incentive credit

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More than a thousand strong members of Michigan's movie industry showed up in force Thursday, February 24, in Livonia at Laurel Manor to show unity their fight for jobs and, to prepare for large lobbying campaign to Michigan state legislators in Lansing.

Speakers included actor Jeff Daniels, producer Philippe Martinez and Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom and Film Sales Executive Mike Binder who all urged the crowd of attendees, to contact their state legislators to keep movies filming in Michigan.

In addition, a rally is being planned at the state Capitol next month to bring pressure to the cause of keeping both the film industry and over 3000 jobs that have been created, so far in Michigan. Supporters of the cause wore T-shirts at the event to show that they received a job by this industry at the event stating, "Film credits are working and so am I."

Organizers and supporters have launched two Facebook social networking campaigns called Save the Michigan Film Tax Credit  and Tell Rick Snyder to Keep the Michigan Film Tax Incentives has attracted at least 7490 members among the two fan pages, as of today’s date. Also, a website called Film Credits Works: Rick's Wrong has been launched with information on contacting Michigan House and Senate leaders to oppose Gov. Snyder's cuts to the film industry.
"You have to stick with the winners," said filmmaker Mike Binder stated during the event. "This was working. Everything that was promised has happened, only better."
It is estimated that 3000 jobs have been created in Michigan since the Film Industry Incentive was first passed with the support of former Governor Jennifer Granholm (D). Supporters of the incentive believe that the move by Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to cut the program is an effort to not support an effort created by the former Democratic Governor.

Within the ‘Draconian’ cuts in Gov. Snyder’s proposed budget, he supports eliminating the current tax credits for production companies and allocating $25 million in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 for new incentives. Filmmakers say $25 million is too little to keep the industry growing in Michigan. Last year alone, the state paid out $60 million in refundable tax credits to production companies.

Edward Stencil, a film industry international sales executive and protester the Lansing Capitol building on Tuesday, February 22, told Reach Out Job Search News that Snyder’s proposal will hurt bringing much need job opportunities Michigan.
“I am not a Democrat or a Republican, I consider myself a citizen of the United States, a resident of Michigan and a Michigander," Edward cited. "It is about people and about jobs…the Michigan Film Incentive program, up to a week ago was creating investment in Michigan, have created up to 3000 jobs in Michigan and another 3000 jobs were going to be created by Raleigh Studios which is now in doubt if they are going to stay.”
Producer and Owner of Maxsar Digital Studios Philippe Martinez, spoke at the rally of the jobs his studio has already created with the tax credit and continued employment opportunities his studio would bring to Michigan’s job seekers in the film industry for the future.
"I'm here to fight for the 50 Michigan artists in my studio and for the 50 more I want to hire," said Martinez. "The governor talked about shared sacrifice. He's put the film business as the little lamb to be sacrificed."
The film industry in Michigan is fighting back against Gov. Snyder’s proposed cuts, hiring influential Lansing lobbyist John Truscott. This week, a study conducted by Ernst & Young shows each dollar spent on the tax breaks generates nearly $6 in economic activity.

Detroiter Amie Gene Jackson, who has worked as an extra in several films and the TV series "Detroit 1-8-7," said she has contacted her state senator and sent a letter to Snyder. The Eastern Michigan University Theater major said if the incentives are cut, she may have to move.
"The film industry is just starting," she said during the Livonia event. "It will help Michigan's economy if given time to take effect."

Job Search Expert, Blogger and Radio Host Monica RW spoke about why all Michiganders need to  support the Michigan Film Industry Credit to continue creating job opportunities in Michigan on Reach Out Job Search Radio Thursday podcast. Listen to the podcast detailing all of Gov. Rick Snyder's proposal cuts that will hurt Michigan jobs growth here.

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