Once again a year filled with uncertainty is coming to an end. I’m grateful for that as uncertainty impedes decision-making and that grinds many business decisions and spending to a halt or at least postpones them. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that our industry in our region is growing. It is our responsibility to keep it that way.

This fall I moderated a panel in Danvers, Massachusetts at the Media Resources Expo with three thoughtful and industry engaged panelists that included industry
champion Massachusetts State Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante (she represents Gloucester, Rockport and Essex), Berkshire Film & Media Collaborative Executive Director Diane Pearlman and Filmmakers Collaborative Executive Director Laura Azevedo.

Our topic was “The Importance of Film Tax Credits and How to Defend Them in 2017.” In this instance we were particularly referring to Massachusetts as I anticipate that this will be the third year we will have to effectively defend them again as Governor Baker will most likely have our industry in his sights as a target for altering or repealing. We cannot have either. The big “take-away” from this session was suggested by Representative Ferrante and I want to spell it out here and ask for your participation. “Act early,” she recommended. “Fill the inboxes and mail boxes of the Governor’s Office and of your Representative and Senator.”

It’s imperative that we begin to take action now and not wait until the Governor has announced his budget and scheme for our demise.

And it’s necessary, she went on to say, that we make our messages personal. Write it yourself. What’s your story? Why are MA Film Tax Credits important to you? We need to flood Beacon Hill demonstrating our will and determination to defend our industry.

Let your politicians know how the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit impacts you and others you know. Include what you do and what you believe would happen if film tax credits were to go away. Would you have to move to another state with film tax credits, for example. Include your personal details as they impact your district or community. Be businesslike. Make your personal appeal practical and real world as opposed to emotional or dramatic. Note you are available to meet with them at their convenience.

So here is what IMAGINE Magazine recommends: write your personal story now and before January 10, 2017 send it to the Office of the Governor and to your Representative and Senator. Send a copy of your personal letter to IMAGINE – we’ll compile them for everyone to see. And perhaps, just maybe, this effort will impede actions and further attempts to legislate us out of business. It would save a tremendous amount of time, energy and dollars if we did not have to defend our film tax credits as extensively again. It would also send a powerful message to Hollywood that MA Film Tax Credits are safe and they can confidently plan to bring their business here.

We need to get right on this. If you do not know how or who to send your personal stories to, email publisher@imaginenews.com telling us where you live and we’ll
email the information to you.

My next order of business, and, yes, it is business, is to remind everyone that you are invited to join me on Tuesday, January 10th 2017, 7:30 to 10:30pm for something very special. It’s our IMAGINE Industry New Year’s Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Award Gala. This festive event brings together our industry professionals for celebrating and networking. Many of our Corp of “Imaginnaires” will attend and we have five extraordinary individuals who will feted that night including one “Shooting Star.” Watch for this announcement soon.

I love seeing everyone on this magical industry evening. When you put all this talent in one room, magic happens. It’s our favorite party of the year.

Go to www.imaginenews.com and click on our party button to reserve your ticket.
Remember, starting, renewing or extending your subscription includes our magical 2017 New Year’s Industry Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala. It’s our gift to our readers and members of our production community who engage. Your participation will greatly support the work we do at IMAGINE, which is to promote our industry and protect our Film Tax Credits, which we introduced in 2002.

Since I referred to “the work” we do here at IMAGINE Magazine, which has always been more than an industry magazine; it’s always been a movement, too. It’s interesting to note, I believe, that IMAGINE singlehandedly is the great promoter of our industry outside of New England. We distribute at major industry event across the country so that studio executives, major producers, networks, talent and commercial agencies can see what New England has to off er the industry. In these special editions we include an ad that extols the virtues of our attractive film tax credits and our desire to bring the work back here.

This IMAGINE outreach program requires copious amounts of design work, placement planning and shipping thousands of copies around the country, mostly to the west coast. When you see these ads in IMAGINE, please note the sponsors’ logos. These businesses help make these special promotions happen. This program sends your messages to AFM, NAB, AFCI Locations and World Finance Show, and to NATPE, Sundance, Toronto and Cannes among other places decision makers congregate.

This December I am looking back at all the extraordinary happenings in New England that are too numerous to mention here. But, think about the movies made here accepted at Sundance, studio movies being rumored for Academy Awards, short films like first time filmmaker Carol Conley’s PENITENCE winning awards and being nominated for four awards at Macabre Faire Film Festival in the Short Film category – Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Marlyn Mason), Best Director and Best Short. I welcome the new businesses and new people that will join us in our work to make this a production market admired the world over. These thoughts warm my heart and allow me to transcend into 2017 with high hopes and great expectations.

It’s time for me to thank everyone who reads and supports IMAGINE and our Industry in New England. Thanks you from the bottom of my heart.

Now I wish everyone a Healthy, Happy, Creative and Satisfyingly Prosperous
New Year.