Monday, March 22, 2010

An open Letter to my State Representatives:

As you’ve probably seen in today’s House Calendar, HB 1664-FN is scheduled for 3/24. The language reads that it OUGHT TO PASS WITH AMENDMENT.

Further in the short write-up, Rep. Marjorie K Smith for Finance, notes, “We tried to have the burden of these cuts shared by everyone in order to minimize the impact on any one group.”

However, the Finance Committee has unanimously adopted a bill that allocates exactly $0 to the NH Film Commission.  Apparently the Finance Committee chose to “minimize the impact on any one group” EXCEPT the NH Film Commission.

I implore you to amend HB 1664; keep the NH Film Commission operational in 2011 and beyond.

I am not even asking for you to reinstate the entire operating budget; indeed, you could easily adopt the cuts already made by the Film Commission’s Department Head in response to the Governor & Executive Council’s request.

Simply cut Line Item HB 1664, #102 - Contracts for program services [$10,300]. This would reduce the NH Film Commission’s operating budget from $113, 221 to $102,921.

If an additional cut needs to be made, perhaps you could make it to item #069 - Promotional - Marketing Expenses [$10,000].  If the House were to reduce the marketing budget by $2922, the resulting final budget to the NH Film Commission would be only $99,999.

Thank you for your help in “minimizing the impact to any one group” by keeping the NH Film Commission operating in the next fiscal year.

Dana Biscotti Myskowski
Henniker, NH Resident

Sunday, March 21, 2010

An open letter to our State Representatives and Speaker Norelli:

It has come to my attention that House Bill 1664 is apparently attempting to circumvent the Governor & Executive Council’s Constitutionally-mandated authority to balance the budget.

The Governor and Executive Council have been working with Department Heads to make deep cuts in their budgets, including that of the one-person NH Film & Television Office. Yet despite the work of the NH Film & Television Office to comply with the Governor’s request to cut two percent from the current spring budget and an additional eight percent from the next fiscal year budget, the House Finance Committee has disregarded this effort and has slated the closure of the NH Film & Television Office in House Bill 1664, which is scheduled to go to the floor Wednesday, March 24.

I implore you, our State Representatives, to either vote NO on HB 1664 or to amend it so that the State’s Film & Television Office’s $113,000 budget is not eliminated.

Please keep in mind that for every dollar spent during last year, $9.22 was realized in revenue to the NH economy. A Return On Investment (R.O.I.) of 9.22 to 1; why would anyone cut funds that bring real income to New Hampshire’s taxpayers, and which helps raise direct revenue via the state’s rooms and meals taxes and via tolls?

I look forward to your support in helping to save the NH Film & Television Office.

Thank you,
Dana Biscotti Myskowski
Henniker, NH resident, voter, & taxpayer

Friday, March 19, 2010

A FABULOUS letter sent to our legislators by Director Adam Jones; thanks, Adam, for sharing this!
Please, everyone: write your state legislator today; or if you are out of state & have had a good experience with NH film projects, write our Governor and the Speaker of the NH House. Thank you!

Hello Beth and Harold,

I am a director of TV Commercials and branded content as well as shorts and music videos who shoots throughout North America, and I am a resident of Henniker. I am professionally based in New York City but have recently just shot my first project here in New Hampshire.

I was astounded to see that doing away with the NH Film Commission is on the table to SAVE money. The paltry $113k being spent on this organization brings in $9.22 to our NH economy for every $1 of its budget. The average budget of a single production for me through post-production is around $100-250k spent on vendors, equipment, crew, food, accommodations, permitting, location fees, etc.

Without the Film Commission an out-of-state production company has NO POINT PERSON to even consider shooting up here.

Of course we are all feeling the impact of this economy, so I won't mention the artistic and creative endeavors that the Film Commission promotes (HINT: creativity and art attract young adults while younger families and professionals are LEAVING NH for a lack of this). Having produced shoots in New York and Mass as well as Louisiana and Texas, I can tell you that those states have brought in millions by attracting Film Production with incentives and management. New Hampshire brought in over $1 Million in production dollars to the state economy last year, and that was a BAD year...

So, I'd simply implore that while I've just witnessed my kids’ enrichment and art teachers stricken from the school budget, the Film Commission actually has a quantitative ROI that can be measured.

Again, $9.22 dollars for every $1 dollar spent. Abolishing this office is beyond 'penny-wise and pound-foolish', it's financially unintelligent.

Please consider this and keep the Film Commission.

Feel free to contact me to discuss.

Adam Jones
Save our Film Office!
An open letter to New Hampshire State Legislators:

I’m writing today to ask for your help.  House Bill 1664 threatens to close the one-person State Film Office.  It’s an office that I can’t live or work without. It has introduced me to other filmmakers in the state, which has lead to productions such as the Public Service Announcement (PSA) that I produced for Big Sisters of Rhode Island in a Providence, RI, 7DayPSA competition. We shot the piece at the Concord Boys and Girls Club with the help of state filmmakers, including a last-second assist from Matthew Newton of the NH Film Office who helped find us a sound system when ours failed.

The all-volunteer effort included the help of more than 80 individuals and brought more than 40 actresses from around New England to Concord, NH. Though it was only a one-day shoot, we contributed to the state’s bottom-line in local coffee and sandwich sales and in toll revenue from the actors who drove up from Boston and Providence.  I am proud to report that our PSA took first place, is airing in Rhode Island, and is being nominated for an Emmy Award.

Moreover, during the project our director, a New Hampshire resident who normally works out of his New York City office, met the CEO of Hatchling Studios in Portsmouth who served as our editor. The following week the two of them, plus another New Hampshire cameraman, drove to New York City for a day of shooting and then returned to New Hampshire to edit the ad campaign for the popular men’s fragrance Axe.

The Axe project exemplifies how the NH Film Office has brought together filmmakers, which has led to work in the state. The editing would have normally taken place in NYC, but instead it happened in Portsmouth, NH. All because a one-man office has brought together filmmakers on a quarterly basis to meet each other, discuss projects, and brainstorm future productions.

As a part-time professor at UNH-Manchester I have also been able to send many interns through the office. Several of them now work in jobs that are closely related to the film and television industry.

The one-person State Film Office represents an extremely minor portion of the overall state budget, yet it is crucial to the filmmakers who call New Hampshire home. It is also vital to the bottom-line in this state, bringing in documented revenue each year (see stats at the end of this note).

Please help us amend the bill and save the State’s Film Office, a gem in this great state of ours.

Thank you,

Some important facts about the New Hampshire Film & Television Office:

1.             From July 2008 to June 2009, the New Hampshire Film & Television Office helped bring in an estimated total production spend of just over $1,000,000 into New Hampshire. That's $9.22 for every $1 spent to fund the New Hampshire Film & Television Office. (This is a conservative estimate and does not apply any kind of economic impact multiplier.)
2.            In 2000, the New Hampshire Film & Television Office Production Directory listed 46 production companies doing business in the state. In 2010, our directory currently lists 100 production companies, up from 46 in 2000 - an increase of 117%.
3.            There are currently 438 professional media production individuals and companies listed in our directory - taxpayers who are currently being served by the New Hampshire Film & Television Office.
4.            During Fiscal Year 2009, the New Hampshire Film & Television Office responded to 104 production-related inquiries.
An additional note:
The NH Film Office is slated to help me and Red River Theatres bring the 7DayPSA competition to New Hampshire this fall. It will pair volunteer filmmakers with worthy Granite-state charitable organizations that might not otherwise be able to afford to create a Public Service Campaign. The winning PSAs will air on WMUR for a year after the October Awards Ceremony held at Red River Theatres.  This competition might not be possible without the help and support of the NH Film Office; please keep this vital resource open for the state’s filmmakers.
Thank you.