Archive | March 2012

Great Things Are In Store

Last night (March 29, 2012) Governor Gregoire signed E2SSB 5539, the bill that renews the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.  Several members of the film community were in attendance, along with representatives from Washington Filmworks, our lobbying team, legislative staffers, and bill champions Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Representative Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney and Representative Ed Orcutt.  This action reinstates the program that ended last year and establishes a new sunset date in June of 2017.

Renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program will allow Washington Filmworks to once again raise 3.5 million dollars per year to help bring film production to our state.  The phones are already ringing off the hook and staff is fielding inquiries from projects interested in filming here this summer.  As a reminder the new law will not go into effect until June of 2012.

We wanted to take a moment to let you know what to expect in the interim period.  Washington Filmworks’ board and staff are working diligently to implement this new legislation.  There are exciting program updates ahead and we will share them once those are confirmed.  We are also planning a series of informative and celebratory events to take place across Washington.  More details to come soon.

Great things are in store.  We will share more as we are able. Congratulations, Washington!

Exciting Breaking News – Gov. to Sign E2SSB 5539

This evening Governor Gregoire will sign E2SSB 5539, the bill that renews the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, into law.
E2SSB 5539 is included in the block of legislation that is scheduled for action at 7:00 p.m. (3/29/12).  Representatives from Washington Filmworks will be in Olympia to attend. This ceremony is open to the public.  We invite the film community to join us.  Please be aware that E2SSB 5539 is 12th on the agenda of bills to be signed, commencing at 7 p.m.. You will find the notice here:
The signing will take place at the Office of the Governor, in the Governor’s Conference Room, on the second floor of the Capitol (Legislative Building). Driving & Parking Directions, and a Capitol Campus Map are here:
If you plan on joining us, let us know by sending an email to  If you are interested in carpooling, let us know where you’re coming from.  We will do our best to connect people.
Thank you for your energy and diligence, Washington.  This is what we’ve been working for.  Congratulations!

URGENT – Please Write Gov. Gregoire

Our legislative team has reiterated how vital it is that supporters of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program continue to file “letters of opinion” in support of 2ESSB 5539. 

As of this afternoon we are still waiting for Governor Gregoire to sign 2ESSB 5539, the bill that renews the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, into law.  We have confirmation that her office has received the bill.  Legislators remain in special session and many bills that require action from the Governor’s Office are pending.

Our legislative team is still in Olympia, putting pressure on the Governor to sign the bill prior to the March 31st midnight deadline.  As many media headlines have indicated, the House and Senate remain in the middle of difficult budget negotiations.  This has delayed the Governor’s signature on many pieces of legislation.

If you have already written, please write again and help spread the word.  Do not delay.

To contact the Governor’s office, please use the following link to send an e-message:
The online contact form will ask you “What is the subject of your message?”  Please select “Legislation” and include the name of the film bill, 2ESSB 5539, in your message.  Instructions on reaching the Governor’s office by telephone and mail are also provided in the link.

Washington Makes Great Films

Today, Business Insider released an article entitled ‘The 10 Movies From SXSW That Are Most Likely To Be Hits‘.  Washington filmmakers have so much to celebrate.  Three of ten features from this list were filmed in our state – ‘Eden’, ‘Fat Kid Rules the World’, and ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’.  Not only were these films produced in Washington, but they were all participants in the 2011 Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. Washington Filmworks is very proud to have been a part of these productions.

Take a moment to appreciate the magnitude of this achievement.  With a modest incentive, Washington has fostered 1/3 of the films from this list. Not only are these movies charming critics, but they are hits with festival audiences and juries.  For example, ‘Eden’ recently took home the SXSW Audience Award and director Megan Griffiths shared the Emergent Narrative Woman Director Award.

As we wait for Governor Gregoire to sign 2ESSB 5539 into law, Washington Filmworks has put out a call to our states’ film community to file “letters of opinion” in support of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.  It is so important that we share our successes with our elected officials.  As you include your personal story in your letter to the Governor, don’t hesitate to include the amazing achievements of films produced in Washington State.

Congratulations to everyone in our film community who was a part of these projects!

To contact the Governor’s office, please use the following link to send an e-message:
The online contact form will ask you “What is the subject of your message?”  Please select “Legislation” and include the name of the film bill, 2ESSB 5539, in your message .

Help Our Bill Become Law

Now that 2ESSB 5539 has passed out of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the bill has been sent to Govenor Gregoire’s office for her signature.  The Governor has 20 days to sign the bill.  Once signed, it will officially become law 90 days after the end of the 2012 legislative session (early June).

Our leglislative team in Olympia has indicated that it is important for film industry professionals to contact Governor Gregoire’s office to file what are referred to as “letters of opinion” in support of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (2ESSB 5539).  The more letters her office receives, the more likely a bill signing ceremony will be scheduled quickly.

In writing to Governor Gregoire, please share your personal story.  Explain how this program has impacted your life and the life of your family.  Also, feel free to cite some of the economic impact and jobs information we have included below.

To contact the Governor’s office, please use the following link to send an e-message:
The online contact form will ask you “What is the subject of your message?”  Please select “Legislation” and include the name of the film bill, 2ESSB 5539, in your message .

Economic Impact

  • Since launching the program in February 2007, a total of 71 projects have completed principal photography with the help of funding assistance through Washington Filmworks.  This resulted in $69.2M of direct spending in our statewide economy, with $31.2M spent on wages and benefits for Washington workers and $38M spent with Washington based businesses that rely on film work to keep their doors open and to employ their full time staff.
  • JLARC estimated that each dollar spent in Washington by the film industry yields $1.99 of economic activity in the state and local economies. This means that the $20M of funding assistance committed to productions has generated $137.7M of economic activity (benefits 689% greater than costs).


  • During 2007 – 2011 funding recipients provided 4211 jobs to film crews.  An additional 681 jobs were created for actors and 4883 jobs were created for extras.
  • Washington Filmworks creates immediate jobs for Washington workers.  Upon approval for assistance, film projects go into production within 30 days.
  • Washington State is the only film incentive program in the country that requires a production to provide health care and retirement benefits for local workers.  

Thank You for Your Support

Congratulations. The film community’s vigilance and support were integral to the successful renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.  Throughout the campaign, Washington Filmworks’ Board and Staff were inspired by your passion, determination and resolve.  Thank you for all that you’ve done!

As we celebrate this success, it is important that we recognize the elected officials who made it a reality.  Below you will find a comprehensive list of Senators and Representatives who voted in favor of the film bill.

Our partners at IndieClub have updated with a simple thank you note.  If your elected officials voted yes for the program, please take five minutes to send them a note of thanks.  As always, we encourage you to personalize the letter to highlight how this program impacts you and your livelihood.

Governor Gregoire has 20 days to sign the bill into law.  Once the signing ceremony has been scheduled, we will ask the film community to contact Governor Gregoire’s office to file what is referred to as “letters of opinion” in support of the film bill.

Once again we thank you for your support and we will update you shortly about the bill signing.

Representatives and Senators who voted in favor of SB5539

District 1:  Rep. Derek Stanford, Rep. Luis Moscoso, Senator Rosemary McAuliffe

District 2:  Rep. J.T. Wilcox, Rep. Jim McCune, Senator Randi Becker

District 3:  Rep. Andy Billig, Rep. Timm Ormsby, Senator Lisa Brown

District 4:  Rep. Larry Crouse, Rep. Matt Shea, Senator Mike Padden

District 5:  Rep. Glenn Anderson, Rep. Jay Rodne

District 6:  Rep. John Ahern, Rep. Kevin Parker, Senator Michael Baumgartner

District 7:  Rep. Shelly Short, Senator Bob Morton

District 8:  Rep. Brad Klippert, Rep. Larry Haler, Senator Jerome Delvin

District 9:  Rep. Joe Schmick, Rep. Susan Fagan

District 10:  Rep. Barbara Bailey, Rep. Norma Smith, Senator Mary Margaret Haugen

District 11:  Rep. Bob Hasegawa, Rep. Zack Hudgins, Senator Margarita Prentice

District 12:  Rep. Cary Condotta, Rep. Mike Armstrong

District 13:  Rep. Bill Hinkle, Rep. Judy Warnick, Senator Janea Holmquist Newbry

District 14:  Rep. Charles Ross, Rep. Norm Johnson, Senator Curtis King

District 15:  Rep. Bruce Chandler

District 16:  Rep. Maureen Walsh, Rep. Terry Nealey, Senator Mike Hewitt

District 17:  Rep. Paul Harris, Rep. Tim Probst, Senator Don Benton

District 18:  Rep. Ann Rivers, Rep. Ed Orcutt, Senator Joseph Zarelli

District 19:  Rep. Brian Blake, Rep. Dean Takko, Senator Brian Hatfield

District 20:  Rep. Gary Alexander, Senator Dan Swecker

District 21:  Rep. Marko Liias, Rep. Mary Helen Roberts, Senator Paull Shin

District 22:  Rep. Sam Hunt, Senator Karen Fraser

District 23:  Rep. Drew Hansen, Rep. Sherry Appleton, Senator Christine Rolfes

District 24:  Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, Rep. Steve Tharinger, Senator James Hargrove

District 25:  Rep. Bruce Dammeier, Rep. Hans Zeiger

District 26:  Rep. Jan Angel, Rep. Larry Seaquist, Senator Derek Kilmer

District 27:  Rep. Jeannie Darneille, Rep. Laurie Jinkins

District 28:  Rep. Tami Green, Rep. Troy Kelley

District 29:  Rep. Connie Ladenburg, Rep. Steve Kirby, Senator Steve Conway

District 30:  Rep. Katrina Asay, Rep. Mark Miloscia, Senator Tracey Eide

District 31:  Rep. Cathy Dahlquist, Rep. Christopher Hurst, Senator Pam Roach

District 32:  Rep. Cindy Ryu, Rep. Ruth Kagi, Senator Maralyn Chase

District 33:  Rep. Dave Upthegrove, Rep. Tina Orwall, Senator Karen Keiser:

District 34:  Rep. Eileen Cody, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Senator Sharon Nelson

District 35:  Rep. Fred Finn, Rep. Kathy Haigh, Senator Tim Sheldon

District 36:  Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, Rep. Reuven Carlyle, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles

District 37:  Rep. Eric Pettigrew, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, Senator Adam Kline

District 38:  Rep. John McCoy, Rep. Mike Sells, Senator Nick Harper

District 39:  Rep. Dan Kristiansen, Rep. Kirk Pearson, Senator Val Stevens

District 40:  Rep. Jeff Morris, Rep. Kristine Lytton, Senator Kevin Ranker

District 41:  Rep. Judy Clibborn, Rep. Marcie Maxwell, Senator Steve Litzow

District 42:  Rep. Jason Overstreet, Rep. Vincent Buys, Senator Doug Ericksen

District 43:  Rep. Frank Chopp, Rep. Jamie Pedersen, Senator Ed Murray

District 44:  Rep. Hans Dunshee, Rep. Mike Hope, Senator Steve Hobbs

District 45:  Rep. Larry Springer, Rep. Roger Goodman

District 46:  Rep. Gerry Pollet, Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, Senator David Frockt

District 47:  Rep. Mark Hargrove, Rep. Pat Sullivan, Senator Joe Fain:

District 49:  Rep. Jim Moeller, Rep. Sharon Wylie, Senator Craig Pridemore

Breaking News: House Passes Film Bill – 92 to 6

The House of Representatives passed E2SSB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, with a vote of 92 to 6.  Governor Gregoire has 20 days to sign the bill in to law.  We will let you know as soon as the bill signing is scheduled.

Tonight’s victory in the House is a tribute to the passion and dedication of our industry.  Thanks for all of your effort and here is to the future!