Well, I’m feeling really good about almost everything today. According to U.S. News and World Report, Massachusetts is the best state in the country based on more than 10,000 data points and 68 different metrics. In addition to topping the overall rankings, Massachusetts came in first in education and second in health care. Although, personally, I can’t think of a better place to be when and if you need healthcare. As John MacNeil loves to say, “You can’t throw a stick anywhere in Massachusetts without hitting a doctor.”

I also believe that Massachusetts and Rhode Island have the best film tax credits and incentive programs in the country, as well. So here’s the take-away
for studios and major producers, if you have a sick star you should locate your film here! I’m going to pitch that at AFCI’s Locations Show and Global Productions & Finance Conference coming up in Burbank, CA April 6 – 8.

Every year we ship thousands of copies to this show. We are a media partner and make no mistake, IMAGINE is a hit. We’re the only magazine of our type at this affair. In fact, I know of no other region of the country that has a magazine that serves as a
champion and cheerleader for their area. We get so many compliments from all the commissions who wish they had an IMAGINE of their own. We are positioned there right beside Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Our idea has always been to make an outreach in behalf of our industry to the rest of the production world with our New England Production, Resource & Locations Guide. We’re working on it right now and you need to be a part of it. You can list your talent,
skill, craft, business, festival, educational institution, organization, union, guild, studio, equipment rental, analytics, marketing savvy, locations finding, legal counsel, talent managing, casting, artistic training, crew prowess – whether you are an A.D. or a Rigger, a waste management specialist or a marketing genius, offer medical services on set or
security on set – you need to be in this New England compendium of resources in our region. Go to www.imaginenews.com and “Get Listed.”

On the second Tuesday of each New Year, IMAGINE hosts its Annual New England Industry New Year’s Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala. If you missed it, you missed another truly magical evening. We have the evening in pictures in this edition! Please put the second Tuesday of 2018 on your calendar. That will be Tuesday, January 9, 2018 when we will be celebrating all our accomplishments in 2017. Usually this time of year is kind of quiet for our industry but I seem to be nothing but busy! I attended the Massachusetts Production Coalition sponsored Film Set Day in the Great Hall at the
Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. Film Set Day was designed to exhibit for our legislators and their staff all that is involved in making a motion picture. The whole idea is to demonstrate the directly involved talent, crew and vendors that make up the credits you see scrolling at the end of a movie to the supporting businesses that every motion picture must have to make the film – starting with lumber, paint, construction crews, cleaning services, waste management, caterers, furniture stores for both set and production offices, hardware, props (everything from a candle snuffer to antiques and works of art) security, visual special effects (like the fire department to create rain when you need it) and important items like all kinds of insurance including
errors and omissions.

The facts were presented in a brochure. Statewide over 250 cities and towns have benefited from the film tax incentive program in Massachusetts. Since 2006 when our film tax credits took effect (we passed them in 2005) 170 major productions have been shot in 190 cities and towns spending more than $2 billion in the Commonwealth. Small businesses in over 250 cities and towns have benefited as productions have bought goods and services from thousands of local businesses in over 70% of cities and towns in Massachusetts.

There are now over fifty high-tech post production and visual effects companies across the state investing millions of dollars and employing more than 550 workers. Twenty seven colleges and universities now have academic programs in film, television and new media accommodating more than 4,000 film and media students. We want them to find jobs in New England and not run off to NY or LA to pay taxes in New York and California.

From the beginning our goal has been to create good jobs. To date, the Film and TV
Production Incentive has created 14,500 jobs with an average salary of $67,000.

So, from popcorn to stunts and special effects; from casting, makeup to wardrobe,
the Great Hall featured booths and tableaux that covered the gamut of a film project.

I arranged a meeting with House Majority Leader Ron Mariano in his office.
Representative Mariano, who represents Quincy and Weymouth, was an early
supporter of our Film Tax Credits. He got it right away. He has testified in behalf of
our industry when tax credits were threatened. His discussions with his peers we’re
critical to our successful outcome. Majority Leader Mariano knows that the film tax
credits benefit electricians, welders, carpenters, cleaners and pizza places! We’re not subsidizing Tom Cruise or Matt Damon. We’re creating jobs and economic growth for the Commonwealth. I did a wonderful interview with him and you will be able to see it soon on our new website along with video of John Rule of Rule Boston
Camera and Susan Nelson, the Executive Director of SAG – AFTRA, We are building
our new website as I write this and we will launch along with our new IMAGINE
New England Production, Resource & Locations Guide at the end of March to accommodate AFCI’s dates this year.

I am grateful that it appears Film Tax Credits are not on the Governors chopping
block this year. He didn’t mention us in his State of the Commonwealth address nor
do we appear in his fiscal 2018 budget.

Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, another supportive legislator in the House,
shared this with IMAGINE, “I am encouraged that Governor Baker has relented in
his efforts to eliminate the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit. Numerous initiatives and
briefings have done an effective job explaining the benefits of the Film Tax Credit,
such as job creation and support for so many small businesses.”

If you haven’t renewed your IMAGINE subscription for 2017, please do it now. Your subscription and our advertising dollars allow us to do our work promoting and defending filmmaking in New England.