Chances are pretty good that you've seen an email in recent days about NM House Bill 725 -- the one that proposes not limiting incentives for film and media industry, but eliminating them entirely. I realize I was being a little naive when I thought that something like this would never get out of committee -- I mean, New Mexico has become one of the top production centers in the world these past few years, almost from scratch, and we continue to be the model other states look at for a package of programs that works both for visiting productions and for building a sustainable industry in the state. Considering that film and media is one of the sectors that continues to grow while nearly everything else is losing ground... who'd want to mess with that?
Apparently there are still a few people who feel New Mexico would save money by killing the industry and having to pay for all those lost jobs instead. Unbelievable.
Nowhere is this more important than in Albuquerque, and maybe that's part of the issue. Because of the city's commitment and responsiveness to media business, we now have Albuquerque Studios, a growing contingent from Sony Pictures Imageworks, Reelz Channel and many other small and mid-sized businesses that pay taxes (and employees) here. Some may grouse that Albuquerque is receiving more benefit than the rest of the state, but looking at the Ernst and Young study, it's also clear that those towns that invest in infrastructure and being responsive see those investments pay off as well.
Anyway, if you'd like to help support film and media, please check out the facebook post from the good folks at crewnewmexico.com over here
. It includes handy contact info for legislators and draft text for letters and emails.
For more background on what's going on and what's at stake, the following is from one of several emails (perhaps from IATSE 480), but there's another point I'd like to share -- one that Ali McGraw made to legislators the other day -- and that's the immeasurable benefit we get when students across New Mexico see that there are good creative jobs here at home.
If you or someone you know benefited financially from the film business in NM, please take the time to make a quick phone call or compose a brief email to the committee members that will be hearing HB 725.
The film industry is a clean industry that supports hundreds of businesses in NM with its day to day operational expenditures.
During our time off, filmmakers enjoy the treats and retreats of New Mexico by attending the local's yoga classes, eating at the neighborhood's restaurants, skiing the mountain's slopes, shopping in the city's stores and buying gas at the state's pumps to fuel our cars to travel to all of the wonderful sights that NM has to offer!
The bill that is being reviewed stops the film incentive program which in turn stops the film industry in NM which in turn stops the film made dollars pouring into the cash registers.
According to the Local 480, this bill is heard this Sunday, March, 1, 2009 and IF passed would be effective July 1, 2009.
Again, if you or your business benefited financially from the film industry in NM, please take a quick moment to make a phone call or compose an email.
Please be respectful, positive, succinct, honest and specific when sharing your information on how Movies Made Money for You and how Movies Make Money for New Mexico!
The link to the committee members hearing the bill is below.