Oregon Film Responds: Without Incentives, Say Goodbye to Film Production in Oregon


Guess it's goodbye, then.
We need to quantify what we're getting out of it. Are we really getting local jobs? Or paying people to fly up from LA for two months, and we're paying for LA jobs? Does it somehow pay more than we're paying in?

Movies that show the next batch of 20-year-olds how cool Oregon is doesn't really seem necessary at this point. We need work, not people.
"Without Incentives, Say Goodbye to Big Budget Film Production in Oregon"


Big "meh" here. Fuck Hollywood in general, eh?
The concerns raised by Mercury readers will benefit by being informed by the people who work in Oregon's film, television and commercial production industry. Blithely advocating to kill growth in an industry that employs Oregonians only makes our state's budget crisis and our citizen's jobs crisis a worse problem to deal with.

"Are we getting local jobs?" you ask, Blabby - yes indeed! Do you think the state of Oregon would offer an incentive if the investment were not spent on Oregon crew and services? No, Oregon doesn't do that. You are right, that would be a really bad business decision. The investments that are motivated to be spent here only qualify for our incentives when they are spent on Oregon crew, businesses, services, and actors. And the incentive is only discharged after the receipts are turned in by the way.

And why film/TV you might ask? It is not because we are in love with Hollywood. Again, the reader will benefit from understanding the impact of the industry on Oregon. It is because film/TV is one of the only remaining manufacturing industries left in America, and therefore a smart one to invest in. The jobs in Oregon pay an average wage that is 34% above the state average. And Oregon has a well-deserved reputation for being a mecca for professional creative talent. Any budding photographer, documentary filmmaker, or journalist should appreciate that Oregon would do well to motivate jobs in motion pictures. What's more, Oregon's economy is already impacted to the tune of $1 billion from indigenous (Oregon-based) production, which includes commercial production companies, independent production companies, and broadcasters. The investment we receive from out-of-state cultivates the industry that is already strong here.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a fantastic advocate for the under served poor and unemployed in Oregon. In this instance, supporting their argument will only have the effect of creating more poor and unemployed people. The aim of our industry however is to crew more jobs. The program in discussion not only creates jobs, it creates more revenue for the state treasury in taxes and fees than the state spends on the program! This is why labor groups, business groups, and the Governor have all supported it.

More documentation on this subject is compiled at www.ompa.org.

Best regards,

Tom McFadden
In yesterday's blog, the statement was made that this is "Giving rich guys money to support filmmaking". The OCPP stand on this. But, "Giving rich guys money to support filmmaking" is just another way of giving someone who invests in Oregon a return on their investment. Should we stop selling state and municipal bonds? Federal Savings bonds? Those give more back than you put in too. It just takes longer. But, its exactly the same concept. Incentivizing the funding of what govenment can do best through the sale of a investment vehicle.

But mostly, OPIF is a Jobs Bill. Not only a bill to create more high paying jobs and thus more payroll tax revenues for the state but also a bill to retain high paying jobs that if lost, will put Oregonians on the unemployment rolls. over 10 thousand of them.

But beyond that, these aren't just film jobs we are talking about. The film industry requires a huge external source complex of goods and services. they get these goods and services from every corner of the Oregon Economy. Hotels, Car rentals, Food, Gasoline, Lumber, Hardware, Cell Phones, Antique store, Beauty Supply stores, etc. Anything that exists in life, may show up on film and then some and it has to come from the Oregon Business Community when its shot here. So, Businesses, mostly small and a lot of them Mom and Pop, benefit directly from the film industry choosing Oregon. so, when you talk about jobs, without the money spent here by the film industry, you just may lose YOUR job. Even if you aren't working in Film.

TJ Civis
Oregon Filmmaker/Filmworker
Right now Harley Davidson management is traveling from Tennessee to Kentucky to Indiana looking for a place to build their new factory. It will employ a lot of people who will all, in turn, hire babysitters and get their cars washed and tip their servers and barbers. Hopefully they will tip well. I wonder if those perspective states are trying to entice Harley Davidson to chose them over their neighbors knowing that, although somewhat incalculable, the multiplier effect will turn each salary earned into a slew of employment.

No member of any Chamber of Commerce, and certainly no economist, would deny that having a manufacturing plant in a community brings in money, raise standards of living, maintains home values, improve livelihoods. Why does the Media Production Industry often get judged differently?

Film and Television is an existing Industry in Portland. Like workers at a plant, entertainment industry professionals in Portland go to work to build a thing--be it a film, a television show, a commercial, a music video--they build media. Like the Auto Industry, Film is an intrinsically American Industry which is exported globally. And Film and TV, like the latest run of showroom Harley's, fosters pride of creation, personally and within a community.

The Oregon Committee on Economic Development is debating whether to extend a tax credit that will promote the Media Business in Oregon. And the tough questions are obvious. They shouldn't be ignored. How can money be set aside when schools and other government services coming up short? How is incentive money justified? How is it monitored? Can an Industry be bloated at the top with fat cats taking huge bonuses and looking for handouts just to pad their own salaries? Luckily, in our democracy we have a way to voice our opinions and weigh in on these issues. It's great to see Oregon doing just that.

I am a film worker, so my opinion is naturally biased. I have much, much to gain from a strong film production industry in Oregon. Only through the passing of an incentive program in this state was I able to move back to the Northwest full time, buy a fixer-upper home and pour a year's salary into remodeling it to fit in with the neighborhood--money that went into local businesses like Brown Lumber, Do It Best Hardware, Sunrise Construction, Red's Electric, Clow Roofing and Powell Paints, among many, many others. It's obvious, then, how I want my source of income, my industry, to continue in my great state.

It's obvious by my own investment in my community how much I am certain that Oregon will recapture the investment in the industry that is Media Production. I have staked it all.

I hope Harley Davidson finds the right community for their new plant with the same hope I have for Oregon Businesses, Oregon Jobs, the American economy as a whole. I can't wait to see the first motorcycles to roll off the line just as I can't wait to see what's next from Oregon's Media minds.
I'm one of the local people who got jobs because of the film incentive program. It helped me pay someone local to fix my roof, put insulation in my home, and cut down some bad trees. It didn't pay for all of these things, I'm not that money-flush. But I couldn't have completed these projects without those jobs. I know dozens of folks personally (out of hndreds who have benefitted) who have been employed by this program. And I've never been to Hollywood. I want to be a Portlander, and this work helps me stay here. So don't assume it's going out of state...when they work here, WE work here.