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!
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
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 indieclub.com/wasupport 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. http://www.indieclub.com/wasupport
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
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.