Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dark Before Dawn

Turnagain Arm rain break

So Alaska's Senate Bill 23 (film tax incentive) has been shelved until next year's legislative session.

I think a lot of people saw this coming, but didn't want speak out on it too much for fear of it having a negative connotation. The old "don't crap where you eat" effect. Especially (say it with me) in such a small town.

Watching the House Labor & Commerce sessions on Gavel to Gavel -- you're getting old when you start choosing these TV shows over say, Jersey Shore -- I knew it was ham-stringed this year. There was concern mentioned over how film tax incentives really fare in other states.

I see both sides of this coin.

In a nutshell there are real concerns [discussion for future post] that can't simply be pushed past the legislative body by showering them with letters of support and appealing to people's Hollywood titillation factor through star-power elbow nudging.

That is needed, and Alaska's film booster club has done an amazing job with it, but unless there is a back room deal to be made trading votes for votes (I have no idea if this ever happens) the concerns have to be addressed.

Not just shoved aside with "win-win" comments.

Let the devil's advocates have their voice so that you can strengthen your case and shut them up... Myself included.

Yes, I care. Both filmmaking and Alaska are my own history. I want Alaska to have a strong film community and have wanted it for many years, though my neophyte efforts [mid-90s] fell on deaf ears and consisted of little more than a simple desire to see "something" happen.

I'd like to see both our local independent filmmaking community and those striving to bring film jobs to the state continue to grow, similar to my experiences working other outlying film hubs such as Santa Fe and Seattle.

The current tax incentive is still very much alive, and Alaska's new film office is on the ball.

There's a year now to pick through anything that might even remotely cause concern with passage of the bill, face it honestly through the eyes of its toughest critics, and make it work.

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