The United Filmmakers Association held a meeting on the 4th floor of the Central Library in Downtown Phoenix on Saturday morning. I woke up because of the reminder in my phone, put on my best wrinkled dress shirt and left for the open.
Upon arriving late, I noticed about two dozen characters sitting and listening to Mike Kacharo of the AMFC. I sat down in the front row and soon realized I was the only filmmaker in that room below the age of 35. Many of the filmmakers were concerned about film work in Arizona and addressed many of the problems we as filmmakers are facing as we try to work in Arizona. Mike from the AMFC spent most of the meeting speaking about trying to create a tax incentive for the state. This would mean that when big time Hollywood productions come from out-of-state, the state they are filming in would give them a rebate based off of the budget of the film. A big one.
Filmmakers are pushing for this tax incentive because it would generate jobs for local talent. We attract a three hundred million dollar production to Arizona, and now all of a sudden many filmmakers have a short-term high paying job. The state would even benefit because every purchase and every check written in the state of Arizona is taxed by the state. Even major Hollywood actors would be paying taxes from their pay-check. Taxes that would otherwise go to California.
I was also informed in the meeting that Arizona has a extensive history that goes back almost as long as the industry itself. Seriously, look it up. Our state’s history goes back all the way to 1907. We produced countless television shows and classic films such as Casablanca and Forrest Gump. We need to rebuild our industry and this bill is the first step.
I enjoyed being a part of the meeting, but after attending I realized we as filmmakers have many hurdles to jump over before we can attain this goal. We have to deal with state representatives and legislation and lawyers and BLAH. Fingers crossed. More to come.
Shout to all the other filmmaker’s that attended the meeting, including Carl Hawke. Hope to work with you. Sundt family… much love. And I got to say, I’m proud to hold the title for the youngest one there :]