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A Message from Lacey Leavitt

Seattle based producer Lacey Leavitt offered the following guest post in response our announcement on Monday about the status of funding. She encourages the film industry to get involved and write Governor Inslee. Read on for more information.

If you wish to write the Governor, we encourage you to tell your personal story. We have included some statistics below about the economic impact of the incentive program, should you wish to include this information in your letter.

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From Lacey:

Monday’s announcement from Washington Filmworks (WF), that the organization can no longer accept new applications for feature films and episodic series due to a lack of remaining funds, is further indication that our state’s motion picture production incentive program needs to be significantly upgraded. Since WF’s announcement, there has been a firestorm of activity on social media from our statewide filmmaking community asking what they can do to help.

Historically, our diverse film community reached out to our state legislators to discuss the incentive program. Because the legislators are not currently in session, I am taking this opportunity to share the importance of our industry with Governor Jay Inslee. The fact is that every successful film state has an enthusiastic, committed Governor, who has taken the lead Read More…

Seattle Film Industry Caucus Continues Tomorrow

Film industry members meet to discuss the future of film in Seattle.

Film industry members gather to discuss the future of film in Seattle.

Board members and staff from Washington Filmworks (WF) attended the Seattle Film Industry Caucus event on Tuesday, February 18, at St. John’s Bar & Eatery on Capitol Hill. The Seattle Film Industry Caucus is a group of film industry professionals invested in working with City of Seattle and Washington State officials to ensure the continued growth and success of the Seattle film industry. The brainchild of Krk Nordenstom, the inaugural event attracted over 100 attendees. Several members of the film community, including Kate Becker, the new Director of the Seattle Office of Film + Music, were invite to speak about their vision for the Read More…

Last Chance For Your Voice To Be Heard – Take Our Survey

top row posters

Did you work on any of these productions? These are just a handful of the dozens of incentive feature films and commercials that were made in Washington thanks to the state film incentive. (See the survey for the complete list of 2012 incentive projects).

Washington Filmworks has created more than 5,000 jobs. It’s our goal to create even more. This is your last chance to be heard in this important survey of the Washington Film Industry. So whether you’ve worked on dozens of incentive projects or none, your voice is so important!

Washington residents who work in the film industry are urged to take our first annual job survey for cast and crew. Our survey will close Monday, April 1st. This survey is intended to track the work you did in 2012 (January 1 through December 31). Our goals are to:

  • Better understand how Washington State film professionals create their careers
  • Better understand how our industry contributes to the larger economy
  • Grow more opportunities for film workers across the state

The results of this survey will be published in Washington Filmworks’ Annual Report on the Film Industry, which will be published in spring 2013. This report will be shared with elected officials and used as a tool to help build and support a sustainable film industry in Washington State. We value confidentiality. You have the option of remaining anonymous.

Washington Residents can access the survey and find out more here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/98PSMMQ

Please only complete the survey once. If you have already taken it, thank you. 

lower row posters

For more information about the survey, please contact our office (206) 264-0667 or email info@washingtonfilmworks.org.

About WF:  Washington Filmworks is the non-profit 501(c)(6) organization that manages the state film and production incentive programs. Its mission is to create economic development opportunities by building and enhancing the competitiveness, profile and sustainability of Washington’s film industry. We do this by creating possibilities for local and national filmmakers, offering comprehensive production support, as well as financial incentives.

Washington Film and the 2012 Elections

Next Tuesday, Nov. 6, we vote on several political offices and initiatives. There are many factors that can inform your vote for an elected official and we hope that a candidate’s support of your livelihood is one of them. If we’ve learned anything over the last few years at Washington Filmworks, that’s how essential it is that our industry remains politically active. Growing Washington’s motion picture industry requires a meaningful partnership between the local film community and our elected officials. Read More…

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:
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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:
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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:
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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 .
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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).

Jobs

  • 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.