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Brian Dzyak

STATE FILM SUBSIDIES: NOT MUCH BANG FOR TOO MANY BUCKS

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The very notion that business owners would "behave" and continue to treat their employees fairly without threat of legal action (or worse) is what is laughable. You are very naive, Mr. Boddington.

 

I said, or strongly implied, that I SUPPORT labour laws that protect basic workers rights. My point is that in Canada and the USA labour laws are so sweeping now that unions are no longer needed to protect workers the way unions once did. I think unions had their time and place, but those days are gone now.

 

Union membership will continue to decline year after year.

 

And yes I do believe that people who have "crap jobs" should just quit. I know I did!! I have signed my own pay cheque now for 13 years. And PAID out millions in salaries to employees of my three feature films. Making me a job, CREATOR. Yes, thank-you, I am proud of that. :D

 

R,

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I said, or strongly implied, that I SUPPORT labour laws that protect basic workers rights. My point is that in Canada and the USA labour laws are so sweeping now that unions are no longer needed to protect workers the way unions once did. I think unions had their time and place, but those days are gone now.

 

Union membership will continue to decline year after year.

 

And yes I do believe that people who have "crap jobs" should just quit. I know I did!! I have signed my own pay cheque now for 13 years. And PAID out millions in salaries to employees of my three feature films. Making me a job, CREATOR. Yes, thank-you, I am proud of that. :D

 

R,

It would be interesting and probably frightening, to know how many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of overseas-financed production work was lost by Australia to New Zealand, thanks to the sheer bloody-mindedness of Actors Equity...

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I said, or strongly implied, that I SUPPORT labour laws that protect basic workers rights. My point is that in Canada and the USA labour laws are so sweeping now that unions are no longer needed to protect workers the way unions once did. I think unions had their time and place, but those days are gone now.

 

Union membership will continue to decline year after year.

 

And yes I do believe that people who have "crap jobs" should just quit. I know I did!! I have signed my own pay cheque now for 13 years. And PAID out millions in salaries to employees of my three feature films. Making me a job, CREATOR. Yes, thank-you, I am proud of that. :D

 

R,

 

Business owners are not "job creators." CONSUMERS are job creators by creating DEMAND for a product. If you were a true "job creator," you'd whip up a few thousand jobs all willy nilly for no reason at all.

 

And with a straight face, you truly think that unions aren't necessary but you support labour laws? Who do you think made those labour laws happen in the first place? I promise they didn't come from Aristocrats like you. The second that Labor loses the ability to have political power by creating a combined force (a "union") is the second that Plutocrats buy off government officials to dissolve "labor protection laws" so that so-called "job creators" can run rampant over their hungry serf class. To assume that "job creators" will behave and treat their employees right is naive at best. To assume that "job creators" won't use their growing wealth to influence government in their favor is nothing short of ludicrous.

 

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/581833_542941809059330_1040554538_n.jpg

Edited by Brian Dzyak

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It would be interesting and probably frightening, to know how many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of overseas-financed production work was lost by Australia to New Zealand, thanks to the sheer bloody-mindedness of Actors Equity...

So, what's the answer? Just have EVERYBODY slash their rates to be "competitive"? THAT is a race to the bottom.

 

If Australian Actors slash their rates by, say, 10% so that they "Cost Less!" than Actors in New Zealand...then NZ Actors slash their rates by 15%... the Aus goes to 20%...then NZ to 35%... then....

 

You see where this is going. Where does it stop? Plutocrats won't be happy until humanity is reduced back to the Serf/Slave-Lord of the Manor arrangement. The first step is to destroy Labor Unions and use propaganda to diminish its importance to human rights. (see Richard's posts above for example). Then Plutocrats who are saving money on labor costs are able to purchase government policies to undermine labor rights legislation that Unions had fought for. Plutocrats also use imbalanced transnational trade policies to blackmail governments against each other in the "Tax Incentive/Bribe" scam. ("Give us X in tax breaks and Y in subsidies or we'll take our ball and play someplace else!") This further undermines civilized society and gives more wealth and power to Plutocrats.

 

Bottom line is that giving away fought-for wages/benefits for short-term jobs is playing the game that Plutocrats desire. And it's a zero-sum game for labor. You can never win that rate game because somebody else will always be hungrier and more willing to give away everything.

 

I've said it to Los Angeles based crew who complain about California not handing out enough in tax bribes to be "competitive".... if you truly want all the work back in LA, simply agree to work for a buck an hour, give up lunches, give up overtime, give up fringes, and give up box rentals. Just give it all away and I PROMISE that every TV show and every movie project WILL be shot in Southern California again. That's the game that's being played. Who gives up the most wins. That's why the Boddington's of the world hate Unions...not because they don't work, but because they DO.

 

If the Plutocrats want us to live within a Global Economy and make us all compete against one another, then we should have zero restrictions on the movement of labor across international borders and we should all operate with the same currency. At the very least, we should all work as ONE STRONG UNION to keep wages at the exact same rates across the board no matter where a movie is produced in the world. Then, even if government's caved into blackmail demands for bribe payments (tax incentives/subsidies), then at least the crew wouldn't be getting screwed over too.

 

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Business owners are not "job creators." CONSUMERS are job creators by creating DEMAND for a product. If you were a true "job creator," you'd whip up a few thousand jobs all willy nilly for no reason at all.

 

And with a straight face, you truly think that unions aren't necessary but you support labour laws? Who do you think made those labour laws happen in the first place? I promise they didn't come from Aristocrats like you. The second that Labor loses the ability to have political power by creating a combined force (a "union") is the second that Plutocrats buy off government officials to dissolve "labor protection laws" so that so-called "job creators" can run rampant over their hungry serf class. To assume that "job creators" will behave and treat their employees right is naive at best. To assume that "job creators" won't use their growing wealth to influence government in their favor is nothing short of ludicrous.

 

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/581833_542941809059330_1040554538_n.jpg

 

Business owners are not job creators? I won't even dignify such an absurd statement with a response. Your problem is you've never created a job so you wouldn't have an understanding of the concept.

 

"To assume that "job creators" will behave and treat their employees right is naive at best."

 

No it isn't actually...if I start "abusing" staff on a movie set they'll just quit either en masse or individually. Sure the unions can extort money out of people, I've always insisted that I NEVER sign any cheques being paid to unions. I have the UPM do this, as a matter of principle.

 

To date the total amount of money the unions have extorted out of me personally in membership fees is a big fat, ZERO!

 

R,

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BTW, if producers wanted to avoid unions all together they could just shoot in the Ukraine, Romania, or Hungary. It's largely why Kevin Costner made the Hatfields & McCoys in Romania. It's kinda funny that such an iconic American story was made in a place like Romania where it didn't employ any Americans on the shoot!

 

R,

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BTW, if producers wanted to avoid unions all together they could just shoot in the Ukraine, Romania, or Hungary. It's largely why Kevin Costner made the Hatfields & McCoys in Romania. It's kinda funny that such an iconic American story was made in a place like Romania where it didn't employ any Americans on the shoot!

 

R

 

 

 

Hi Richard,

 

Great thread, it's been so quiet recently, back like the good old days!

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If giving millions to the film and TV industry is so great, why all the secrecy?

 

http://realfilmcareer.com/if-giving-millions-to-the-film-and-tv-industry-is-so-great-why-all-the-secrecy/

 

http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2013/03/tax_credits_for_film_industry.html

By Editorial Board

We hope you read the stories written by Michelle Breidenbach last week about the state’s tax credits to companies that make movies and TV shows and the secrecy surrounding their tax breaks. You can see the list of stories on the right.

Here’s a quick summary: New York state created the tax credit program in 2004 to lure films and productions to the state. At first, the state budgeted $25 million a year for the program with an expiration date of 2008. Before the program expired, legislators increased the amount to $60 million, then upped it by another $5 million every year, and finally started increasing it by the hundreds of millions of dollars. This year, the state has budgeted up to $420 million.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked legislators in this year’s $142.6 billion budget proposal to extend the credit for five more years, to continue at $420 million a year.

That’s $420,000,000.

That’s more than the state spends for the Environmental Protection Fund: $153 million.

More than the state spends to promote high-tech and manufacturing: $70 million.

More than the state spends on a new program proposed this year to promote state agricultural products: $2 million.

Cuomo’s economic development office, Empire State Development, won’t say where the $420 million goes. Why? To protect moviemakers’ trade secrets. The state contends that revealing how much of your money individual companies received would reveal the film’s total budget, which would put them at a disadvantage when they try to market the film or TV show to investors and advertisers. Further, the state said making the money details known would make it difficult to negotiate with talent, crew and vendors.

That’s a head-scratcher.

Couldn’t any company that bids on any government project – a road, a building, a computer contract — make the same claim? Couldn’t a construction company say that details of its government contract reveal budgeting and estimating information to its rivals? Couldn’t it say that contract details would hinder negotiations with labor, crews and vendors?

We think the public benefits when people know exactly how their government spends their money.

When private film studios and private television producers turn to the public treasury for money, they forfeit secrecy. If a moviemaker or a producer worries that revelation of tax-benefit details will put them at a disadvantage, then they shouldn’t apply for credits.

Does this provision of secrecy extend forever? What’s the harm of releasing the details after the film is made, released to theaters, made available on DVD and relegated to late-night cable TV? The budgets and contracts are over and done with.

Supporters say the program boosts New York’s film industry and accounts for “126,150 jobs and $2.2 billion in new spending.” Can those claims be independently verified? Frankly, we’re skeptical, the same way we were skeptical of Empire Zone job claims.

And further, if New York views these credits as not only supporting an industry, but as benefiting art and culture, we suggest the money might be better spent supporting art and music programs in public schools, which are eroding under budget constraints.

So if you missed them, read the stories. It’s worth your time. There’s a lot more in them than we can recount here in this editorial. And read this heartfelt letter from reader Kevin Curtis, of Cazenovia, who writes about how the state’s failures contribute to his children moving elsewhere for better jobs.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris, of Queens, called the film tax credit program “the single most successful economic development program in the last decade.”

And despite those glowing words, staff from the governor’s film office declined to talk about it with our reporter.

Think about that a second.

When the local cat shelter gets a new litter box thanks to a government grant, the pols trip over themselves to get onto the podium and into the group photo. But in this case they won’t speak about the “single most successful economic development program in the last decade” that costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars?

Wow. Wow. Four hundred and twenty million times wow.

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"....that costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars?"

 

As usual the writers of the articles you post completely ignore the revenues that were taken IN by the state. Are we supposed to believe it is zero dollars per film shoot?

 

If a NY film worker is paid a dollar and the state of NY refunds 25% of that dollar to the producer, and then collects 25% of that film workers salary in taxes, where is the cost? At worst it's a break even for the state.

 

How much "profit" the states make from tax credits is next to impossible to accurately calculate, but the revenue taken in the by the state is substantial via taxes paid by workers and business, it certainly isn't zero.

R,

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‘Oz’ film costs Michigan taxpayers $40 million

 

http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/13/oz-film-costs-michigan-taxpayers-40-million/

 

 

Thanks to Michigan’s film subsidies, the production of Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerfulicon1.png” forced the state to pay nearly $40 million to Hollywooders critics consider the Wicked Witch of the West.

Back in 2010, Michigan’s filmicon1.png incentive program was the most generous in the nation, offering studios a 42 percent refund of all in-state production costs. It was enough for Disney to click its heels three times and say, ‘There’s no place like Michigan.’ Thus production of its “Wizard of Oz” prequel film, which premiered last week, took place in the Great Lakes State.

With a $100 million in-state budget, the estimated cost to taxpayers is about $40 million, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

“It just comes right out of taxpayers’ pockets,” said James Hohman, assistant directoricon1.png of fiscal policy at Mackinac, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

 

The costs continue to roll in. The film’s production company, Emerald City Film Inc., had trouble making its bond payments — forcing the state to provide even more financial assistance.

“I don’t like that [the money] went out of the state and continued to enrich millionaires and billionaires with government subsidies,” said state Rep. Tom McMillin in a statement.

The goal of the incentive program is to persuade film studios to relocate to Michigan and create a long-term source of economic growth for the state. But in practice, Michigan’s quest to become the Hollywoodicon1.png of the Midwest is as troubled as a Kansas farm during tornado season.

“Despite having subsidized this industry more than anyone else had been, we don’t have a single viable film studio,” said Hohman. “Even if we did, it wouldn’t be worth the hundreds of millions of incentive dollars we’ve offered this industry.”

Film studios tend to hop from state to state, chasing the latest and greatest subsidy. They seldom establish long-term operations anywhere but California.

“MPIs [motion picture incentives] create mostly temporary positions with limited options for upward mobility,” concluded William Luther, an adjunct scholar at the Tax Foundation, in a 2010 report.

After taking office in 2010, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder capped the subsidy at $25 million to prevent studios from cashing in on what Luther called a “preposterously generous” incentive. Snyder and the legislature later agreed to raise the cap to $50 million for fiscal year 2013.

The incentive isn’t worth continuing in any amount, said Hohman.

“It’s not producing a viable film industry, and even if it did, it still would never be worth the expense,” said Hohman.

Follow Robby on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

 

 

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Oh well, hopefully Disney handed out some free tickets to see Oz to Michigan school kids at least?

 

One again this article makes zero mention of the money that flowed IN to Michigan. I'm supposed to believe that 40 million flowed out and zero flowed in? :blink:

 

R,

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Also what's this?

 

"The costs continue to roll in. The film’s production company, Emerald City Film Inc., had trouble making its bond payments — forcing the state to provide even more financial assistance."

 

Hmmm, this needs more research, I don't think Emerald City Film was the "production company."

 

R,

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Louisiana Lawmakers Stunned About Cost of Film Subsidy Program and Admits LOSS

Published on Mar 11, 2013
For every $1 in tax revenue generated by the direct and indirect economic impact from film spending in Louisiana, the cost to the state was $7.29 paid OUT from state coffers. In this video, Stephen Moret, Secretary of LED, is awkwardly forced to admit massive loss on investment.

 

!

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BTW, According to the Michigan Fin report for 2012 Revenues of 56.1 Billion exceeded expenses of $51.8 billion.

 

Pg 16

 

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/budget/CAFR_FY_2012_413282_7.pdf

 

Assuming Michigan spent 50 billion in 2010, film incentives to Disney cost .0008% of the provincial budget. So, if roads aren't being looked after. If sewers are falling apart. The problem isn't overspending on the Arts.

 

Funny how people are so quick to pull out the infrastructure canard when talking about arts funding, but nobody ever questions spending on incentives for other industries. eg computer, manufacturing etc.

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Louisiana Lawmakers Stunned About Cost of Film Subsidy Program and Admits LOSS

 

Published on Mar 11, 2013

For every $1 in tax revenue generated by the direct and indirect economic impact from film spending in Louisiana, the cost to the state was $7.29 paid OUT from state coffers. In this video, Stephen Moret, Secretary of LED, is awkwardly forced to admit massive loss on investment.

 

!

 

There's a reason governments are called non-profit. I bet Lousianna gets a lot less back on Parks and Recreation spending. How about building and maintenance of roads and other infrastructure? The citizens give the government tax dollars to support a community that provides jobs, good infrastructure and security, but also quality of life, arts, culture and sports. What kind of person wants to live in a city run by Vulcans?

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Louisiana. According to this article, Louisiana paid out 231 million in state subsidies to the film industry in 2012.

 

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/08/film_tax_credits_cost_state_to.html

 

According to this budget report, Louisiana had a 25 billion dollar budget.

 

http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Louisiana_state_budget

 

That equals .00924 percent of the budget AND the State is getting some or most of that money back depending on who you talk too.

 

In the above article slamming the tax credit we get this all too familiar quote:

 

"It'll be a way for Louisiana to reinvest in education and health care and other areas that have really suffered over the past four years from consecutive budget cuts."

 

Hmmmm...a .00924 percent budget cut is really going to make any kind of difference in the Health Care and Education? PLUS other areas???? I don't think so.

 

This is all hyperbole and propoganda. Keeping the readers in the weeds, but no perspective from the big picture. Let's get honest here and quit with the hidden agendas.

Edited by Pat Murray

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Actually Pat while you and I might actually agree on this issue, (can't believe I'm saying that to a Quebecer), there is a perception problem with the tax credit system in Canada. The public doesn't really understand how film tax credits work. Their perception when they hear about the program is.....tax breaks for millionaire Hollywood actors and producers. And this gets them angry of course.

 

I have explained to people that the tax refund on labour goes to rank and file film crew that make maybe 50K-75K a year. And that producers receive $00.00 labour refund on Hollywood mega stars that shoot in Canada because the tax credit does not apply to non-Canadians and non-Ontario residents.

 

What government pays out in tax credits on a film crew, they collect back in income taxes. So it's usually a wash for the government. It's the ancillary areas that stimulate the economy when a movie is made.

 

But, critics only seem able to look at the money going out, they never count the money coming in.

 

Now I will say this, at last this is one area where Quebec benefits Ontario. Quebec will never get rid of their film tax credit, and as such Ontario won't get rid of theirs either. NB and Sask both cancelled theirs, but they had such small film industries it just didn't matter.

 

No matter how broke Ontario becomes, there is no way politicians here will tolerate seeing Toronto's movie industry move en masse to Montreal.

 

So I managed to eek out something positive to say about Quebec after all, you have no idea how hard that was for me. :)

 

R,

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LOL. You'll be happy to know I'm not a Quebeccer. I live in Ottawa, but living in Ottawa it can be hard not to feel like a Quebeccer sometimes! So hopefully that makes the last post easier.

 

Your other previous post is exactly the agenda I was alluding too. Job thieves and I am sympathetic to people from Hollywood. Billions of dollars going elsewhere is hard on the local economy.

 

I also agree that people don't realize that the investment in the film industry is mostly for the benefit of local talent and infrastructure. If Michigan is bringing in big budgeted Hollywood movies, but are unable to set up a base of local talent, studio buildings, film schools etc. etc. through their investment then they aren't doing it right. Heck, even little ole Ottawa is getting a brand spanking new studio for television and small production films (straight to tv/DVD).

 

As you pointed out, this benefits the local economy.

 

I'd be happy to see all the Hollywood productions go back to Hollywood IF that means the investment goes into Canadian made movies and television and the growth of a proper national cinema for Canada.

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I'd be happy to see all the Hollywood productions go back to Hollywood IF that means the investment goes into Canadian made movies and television and the growth of a proper national cinema for Canada.

 

Wait, wait, here's another crazy idea...Canadian movies on Canadian TV!! Crazy I know!!

 

R,

  • Upvote 1

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Brian,

Now here's an example of where the marriage of government and the film industry has gone right. And frankly I was the one that started it all. I shot the Dogfather in Parry Sound in 2009. I know none of you have ever heard of Parry Sound, it's a small town, a one hours drive North from my house.

Since then there has been a staggering number of features shot there because of it's only 2 hour drive from Toronto airport, and availability of funds from the NOHFC, mentioned in the article. The NOHFC funds are NOT a tax credit, or bribe (as you like to call them) they are an equity program available to Ontario residents only.

Would you believe that while I was shooting Against The Wild in Parry Sound last October there were TWO other features shooting there at the same time! And this is a town of only 7, 000! One of the others starred Meatloaf and you'll see the pic of him in the attached magazine article.

As I write this there is a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie shooting in Parry Sound right now, called Pete's Christmas. Starring Bruce Dern and Zach Gordon. The benefits to the local economy are obvious and not up for debate. For my two films alone I poured multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. Kinda of cool to think that all those people seen in those Dogfather pictures had employment because of me.

 

I can only attach 2MB of files and I have three pages from this article.

R,

CCI00003 copy.pdf

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