Sunday, May 15, 2011

Michigan Film Incentives - Entrepreneurial Motherload

Below is testimony given by Detroit 187 (Now Cancelled, thanks to Gov. Rick Snyder) actress Erin Cummings before the Michigan State Senate Economic Development Committee 5-13-11 at the new Raleigh Studios in Pontiac, MI.  The subject is whether or not to continue the State Incentives for the Film Industry. She says briefly what we've all been saying for years. When you bring smart, entrepreneurial people to an area, their presence is felt in a multitude of ways.

I voted Republican, and for Gov. Snyder for a host of reasons, most of them economic. But Snyder's arrogance on the Film Incentive issue, and his stupidity about what attracts people to a state for business puts him on my recall list. His former company, Gateway, is now just 40 miles from Hollywood. They're there, I conclude, because of the intelligence of the work force, which in part is in the Los Angeles area because of the immense intellectual requirement that motion picture development, production and distribution requires. L.A. attracts many of the smartest people in the world due to the movie industry. But not all of them end up making movies, nor do their off-spring -- which are born with the entrepreneurial smarts in their DNA. The result is a host of other industries and businesses that foster products and employment. It's not just the weather. And it's definitely not all about lowering business taxes... which the incentives do.

Unlike any other industry, the motion picture industry requires workers from every imaginable discipline on the face of the planet. There is not an industry that it does not touch. Name a job title, and you can find someone doing that to help make a movie. There is no other industry like it in the world. And while many motion pictures lose money (some would say most do), the financial upside is so great that it produces billions of dollars in total revenue each year, around the world -- to say nothing of the entrepreneurial charity work that Erin mentions.


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