imagine magazine logo
The business of film, television & new media production in the Northeast
imagine magazine logo
The business of film, television & new media production in the Northeast

Every year IMAGINE gathers predictions from industry
leaders. They are often thoughtful and sometimes extremely
clever. However, most of these 2013 predictions tell us what
the future of our industry may hold and it seems our future
is promising, as if the region has been positioning itself for an
extended period of time and now it’s all going to happen, to
pay off, the rewards are just around the corner.-PUBLISHER

Don Packer, Co-Owner/Editor
Engine Room Edit

I’ve been stunned and amazed this year at what’s happened in Massachusetts this year in our industry. The amount of business that has flown into the area has been huge. The
simple recognition by many that we have talent abounding on all front’s is both encouraging and exciting. So, in that light, here are my predictions for 2013.

The fiscal cliff will be avoided and states will be able to breathe a sigh of relief that federal dollars will keep coming. In fact, there will such a large sigh that our own state will quickly backtrack on it’s impending slash and burn and realize that the film industry is probably one of the hottest things they have going. And that will bring the realization that any report out of the Department of Revenue is just that: A naked, bland report that doesn’t even come close to the truth about this industry and the incredibly positive impact it has on our state. It’s going to be a bumpy ride but they’re going to get it come hell or high water.

I predict that another commercial production company will rise up in the area because really, didn’t the merger of Picture Park and Element kick that door right open? With
the amount of work RedTree and Element are doing along with a host of other companies in town, there’s plenty of room and there seems to be a lot coming down the pike. it
could be one of our existing companies takes the challenge and goes to the next level or it could be someone brand new. But all boats really do rise on the tide.

I predict that as long as local ad agencies don’t get respect from local companies, suppliers and vendors will not get them either. Meaning, we can’t get the work if they don’t have it. And we should work hard the make those corporations understand why they should do business here. But I do predict that even if the ad agencies do have it, half of it will go out of town because somebody drew a damned palm tree in frame 8 of the storyboard. Human nature and cold winters. Bad combo.

I predict that the arrival of the newest studio in our state will start an explosion of infrastructure moves and everything from mobile lighting trucks to catering services with pop up and finally, we won’t see as many trucks from Georgia lurking on our streets at night.

And finally I predict that The Mayans were right and anyone reading this after next month is either a cockroach or a rabbit. Well, it’s been a good life. See you next year!

Frank Imbergamo
SAG/AFTRA member/Boston, MA

I feel 2013 is going to be a great year for the movie industry in Massachusetts. It’s obvious that Hollywood is enjoying our film tax credits but I believe it truly loves our great locations. Boston is a beautiful city. It’s old and it’s new and has a lot
of character and it looks great on film. We’ve got country out in the suburbs and we’ve got charming seacoast towns. We also have the Boston accent. Something that is hard to duplicate.

While talking with friends who also work in the industry as directors, producers and actors, we recognize there are other parts of the country like Louisiana, New Mexico, and Georgia that are wooing Hollywood, too, but there is nothing like our beloved Boston and our state of Massachusetts. You can’t beat it.

John Rule, CEO
Rule Boston Camera

As predictions go, I think this one is as safe a bet as any: 2013 will mark the arrival of 4K in a meaningful way. 4K is the industry’s catch-all description of an image resolution for video that is four times greater than today’s HD standard. Although the concept has been recognized for a few years, (beginning with the RED One camera first announced in 2007) this year we are going to see it evolve dramatically, manifesting in things like consumer TVs and reasonably priced professional cameras such as the Sony F5 and F55. On set this year we will see more attention being paid
to the care and handling of the digital files created in the acquisition process, and I believe that all of us will be thinking more about the whole digital lifecycle, especially the archive part.

Lau Lapides and Mike Jablon
lau lapides company

We predict opportunities in media, online digital media, independent fresh new media channels, global networking alliances, and collaborative efforts will directly affect project budgets, and filter in fresh new innovative concepts and collaborations for national and international exposure. High level businesses will experience a renewed energy and awareness of our valuable New England resources. One specific example of this newfound recognition will be seen at the 2013 Gracies National Broadcasting Awards judging held this year at the National Press Room in Washington D.C sponsored by The Alliance for Women in Media. Lau Lapides and Mike “The Mic” Jablon of the lau lapides company team, along with an elite grouping of local and regional NE channels/programs/networks will not only be on the judging panel, but also submitting audio and video projects for national recognition. We predict a stunning,
newfound awareness of our New England talent and production resources! We’re very excited for 2013!

Jamie P. Ryan

Since the film industry has been pretty busy in this area for the last several years, people have been studying these professional productions and have been thinking “Hey I
could do that!” While downloading a bootleg copy of final draft they write a story about their crazy uncle who had a cheeseburger with Elvis in an airport in Dallas one day. This will make a great film! Oscar worthy! Brad Pitt can play my uncle and for Elvis I think. Well I say good luck with that.

2013 is the year where consumer media creation products officially take over. Smart phones and under $20 editing apps are all becoming competitive with professional quality equipment and software. Smart phone cameras and other tiny cameras are boasting 1080p resolution to make capturing media very simple and affordable and the camera apps can do some amazing things. Production tools such as story boards and even digital slates can be inexpensive apps.

Will being armed with these devices make you a professional film maker? Why not? The creation of online media content continues to grow. Web series, community organizations, restaurants, skydivers, CYO sports teams, and bridge clubs can now record content to upload to the web instantly creating professional grade media for their followers to see. The followers being their “friends and followers” of the social networking scene that haven’t unfriended them or deleted them from news feeds.

After pushing these devices to their limits a newly inspired filmmaker may just spark an interest in furthering their knowledge and enroll in courses to learn the professional skills and pursue a career in filmmaking and television production. They may even start their own Youtube channel and produce a music video for Valentines day that “Goes Viral” and gets 80 million views. Or maybe even 19 views by your friends at the bridge club.

Whether you want to be a professional in this industry or just have fun with toys from the store 2013 could be the year of your “No-Budget” sensation?

George Norfleet, Director,
Connecticut Office of Film, Television and
Digital Media

As more and more people continue to access the internet via smartphones and tablets, and as WiFi bandwidth and convenience continues to build, cross-platform consumption
is catalyzing a significantly increased appetite for content; news, sports, books, and entertainment subject matter of all manner. The shifting online consumption habits of these “digital omnivores” will generate an even greater demand for the immediacy of availability of content and will drive the need for distribution of digital media content across all connected devices.

This demand for immediacy will in turn create a mandate for increased content in order to satisfy this desire. Importantly, nearly half of all device owners have also completed a purchase or downloaded some form of content online, proving that not only is the internet growing as an outlet for content distribution, but also as a marketplace.

This new demand will present a considerable opportunity for content providers, especially those capable of aggregating production, syndication and rights management. In particular, this emerging facet of our industry could in fact spur job creation as astute practitioners, digital artists and production professionals focus themselves not only on broadening their reach, but also on cultivating new ways of monetizing digital media.

I think that television and digital media in Connecticut will continue to grow and expand as NBC Sports comes on line in Stamford and the Back9 golf network starts up in
downtown Hartford. These companies in conjunction with ESPN, WWE, and the YES Network form the critical mass of what has become the state’s pedigree of sports entertainment media. We will be doing all that we can to continue to encourage the development of this sector.

Judy Laster, Executive Director
& Co-founder
Woods Hole Film Festival

The Massachusetts Film Industry will continue to grow and expand and more independent films will be shot statewide. There will also be more of a convergence in the digital
arena of film/web/gaming content created locally. Several new Massachusetts based start-ups will reimagine how to monetize film content on the web and will break the industry wide open for content creators. This will unleash the true economic potential of film in the online world. Finally, the Woods Hole Film Festival will turn 22. This is the only prediction I am actually certain about.

Matt Newton, Director
State of New Hampshire Film
& Television Office

One of the wonderful things about New Hampshire, and New England in general, is that here we’re well-versed in taking the road less traveled–and we know that when you
do, all you need is drive and a little Yankee ingenuity, and you always get to where you want to go.

New Englanders are just that way. So, when you strip away the technology, the politics, and everything else that dresses up show business, it simply comes down to people. Good, hard-working people. That’s our industry here.

We have good people involved with the New Hampshire Production Coalition, the state’s industry association that has been active in pulling together membership and
looking toward the goal of introducing legislation for New Hampshire’s first tax incentive program for film and television production.

This industry support and the shifting of the production landscape in New Hampshire only strengthens the reasons why projects large and small will continue to look at New
England as a filmmaking destination.

And this couldn’t come at a better time. Over the last year, we have seen the number of calls into the New Hampshire Film Office from people interested in getting involved with media production on the rise–and I predict we’ll hear from even more in 2013.

Community Access Television centers around the state are busy training new volunteer producers and are eager to broadcast locally produced content, and those producers
are taking their new skills out into the field and discovering new career paths.

High school students–the youth of our industry–have been learning the craft and have been flooding our annual High School Short Film Festival (now in its sixth year!) with
fantastic work–and they are excited to become a part of an industry that’s right in their own backyard, rather than having to travel away from the region.

Actors are networking, experts are workshopping, and festivals are celebrating what everyone is working so hard to put on the screen. It’s an exciting time to love film in New England, and 2013 will no doubt be a year that will put an even brighter spotlight on New England people doing great things.

Carol Conley
Assistant to the Executive Director
RI Film & TV Office

I predict that 2013 will be a robust year for the RI Film & TV Office, with many smaller productions taking advantage of the lower threshold for the Motion Picture Tax Incentive.

I predict that the local film industry will thrive, with increased participation in the Rhode Island Film Collaborative, the Rhode Island International Film Festival, newportFilm and SENE.

I predict that once again we will host some major star power in our beautiful Ocean State.

I predict that MOONRISE KINGDOM will be nominated for,and win, an Oscar.

And I predict that a dear friend will finally get to make the movie that he’s been wanting to for years.

Irene Wachsler, CPA, Managing Member
Tobolsky & Wachsler CPAs, LLC

As of December 2012, there is still a lot of uncertainty for most businesses due to Congress’ inability to negotiate across the aisles. Also, expect to pay more federal taxes next year. However, even in recessions, everyone wants to be entertained. So, movies, TV and Web shows will still be made and advertising dollars will be spent to entice us to spend dollars on goods and services. I think that both executive
producers and advertisers will be more cautious on spending their dollars and will continue to bring production work to Massachusetts because:

• The Massachusetts Film Tax Credit’s features offer a very strong economic incentive – especially its 25% refundable / transferable and no maximum limit on spending.

• We recently broke ground in the development of a large studio complex at Fort Devens.

• We have a dedicated state film office headed by Lisa Strout who has over 20 years of experience in film and television production and won the first Creative Production Award from Variety.

• We have very experienced local crew and talent with multiple levels of depth.

Tug Yourgrau, President
Powderhouse Productions

2013 will be a windfall year for TV in Massachusetts, in terms both of productions in state and about the state. Reality series about Boston cops, strong local women, and
possibly, local teamsters, will hit the airwaves, along with a strong output of documentaries and factual series from shops like Northern Light and WGBH. Powderhouse will premiere a new series, Southie Rules, on A&E in January. Any visitor to mid-town Manhattan in the next few weeks will see big billboards promoting the show. That series will be followed by Spontaneous Construction, the first flash-mob construction show, on HGTV later in the winter. Most of the show was shot in state. Powderhouse has also begun production in central Mass on a new reality series about an American gypsy family. The vast majority of hires on all these shows are Massachusetts residents.

If any of the above series becomes a legitimate hit, look for copycat series set in, and produced in, other iconic Massachusetts and New England settings. These would bring
even more jobs into the state.

A potential game changer for our local industry will be the completion of New England Studios in Devens, the state’s first major sound stage complex, slated for the summer.
That will allow big features and TV series to do much more work in state.

Happy 2013 – much to be hopeful about.

Laura Bernieri
Writer & Producer

I predict that Fox News will step out of their rapture and try to serve their constituency with that ironic chestnut fair and balanced. (OK maybe that’s wishful thinking or a prayer…)

I predict that MSNBC will see the light and realize that White House correspondent Mike Allen’s mouth is too saliva-y for Morning Joe; luv ya, tho, Mike! I
predict that independent film will be an economic engine to help drive our ‘new’ economy.

I predict that MOTHER OF GEORGE will win an award in the Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2013.

Bestor Cram, Executive Producer
Northern Lights Productions

We dream, we imagine, we think, we believe. And we manage. We should never think of one without the others. 2013 will see more convergence-not the technological kind although that will happen as well. But the creative kind. Animation and Live action. Drama and Documentary. Entertainment and Commerce. Our shared foundation is a cultural bias towards interaction and communication—loud and polyrhythmic, quiet and trembling, thoughtful and disturbing. We will work harder this year to engage and be engaged, to be responsive and responsible, to be for and against. As an industry, we spend way too much time in a seat; it is time to take a stand. We will make the New Year happy because it is what we can do. So 2013 will be a closer walk to the edge—physical, fiscal and other wise. Don’t be other, be wise.