Thursday, January 17, 2008

Save our film jobs!

South Carolina's Secretary of Commerce Joe E. Taylor pushed our film industry off the roof last year. Though I can certainly understand Mr. Taylor's concerns regarding the price of business incentives, I believe he has taken it upon himself to interpret the proviso offering those incentives to filmmakers in a manner diametrically opposed to the intent of the legislators who drafted it.

What I'm stating here is the TIP of an ice burg not affected by global warming. We are a small industry (only bringing around 64 million dollars into the local economy last year), so apparently few think to investigate further. If they did, they would immediately see the brain drain going on over at Commerce. Lasting implications for SC in MANY areas besides film? Sadly, yes.

Here is a shot of me working on the movie Death Sentence. And, no, Mr. Taylor, contrary to what you might tell the governor, I did not make $8 an hour doing this!

Subject: Film SC, a grassroots organization, formed to promote South
Carolina film industry


FilmSC, Grassroots Organization, Formed to Promote the Film Industry

FilmSC, a grassroots non-profit membership organization created to promote the film industry within the state of South Carolina, announced its formation today. Comprised of working film industry professionals as well as members from the business community who have an interest in growing movies within the state, FilmSC is dedicated to advancing the film industry in South Carolina through education, professional training, networking, and advocacy.

FilmSC will focus its efforts on four main areas: creating high paying jobs in the motion picture industry for South Carolinians; strengthening South Carolina's motion picture and television production infrastructure; developing educational opportunities to help residents find jobs in the motion picture industry, and establishing an environment where creative talent and new media industries can flourish.

"From July 2006 to June 2007, the film and television industry in the state of South Carolina was an amazing success story," said Martin Bluford, President of FilmSC. "'From Army Wives' in Charleston to 'Leatherheads' in the Upstate, 'Asylum' in Rock Hill to 'Who's Your Caddy' in Aiken, our state was selected for six feature films, two television pilots, as well as numerous commercials. Over 7100 high-paying jobs resulted, with more then $64 in direct expenditures invested in our state's economy. Since early summer the pace of film production in South Carolina has plummeted and FilmSC is working hard to turn that around."

FilmSC's Board of Directors is comprised of Bluford, Manager of High Output, a motion picture lighting company in Charleston; Tom Morris, a Construction Coordinator from Sullivan's Island; Geoff Herbert, a feature film and television Key Grip from Greenville; and Todd Stuart, CFO of Mad Monkey, one of South Carolina's leading commercial production companies based in Columbia.

Contact: Cara White, 843.881.1480,
Cara.white@mac. com