Dear Senator Beida, I support the Michigan Film Tax Credit because it puts people to work... film and music people, Michigan Electricians and Carpenters, and others... immediately. Also it supports Michigan Hardware stores, Lumber Yards, Rental Cars, Catering Businesses, and other businesses that hire employees that pay taxes as they earn money.
No other industry has brought work into our state this quickly. The tax credit only applies to money spent on hiring Michigan citizens and Michigan services and the Film Incentives bring jobs into our state...and maybe more importantly can help keep the creative and entrepreneurial skilled young people from moving away like they have over the last 50+ years.
I am a partner in the Harmonie Park Media Group in Downtown Detroit. We have 3 major film projects on the table with a group out of the UK, Dream On Productions. They are planning to spend their collective budgets of 50+ million dollars here in Michigan. One is a movie about Northern Soul and how Motown influenced the people of the UK, one another involves one of the biggest POP stars on the planet, and the other will feature the music of former Michigander and Hall of Famer Alice Cooper and others...who will all have to come to Detroit to record...which they all are excited to do.
After the Dream On Production team visited us and met the talented people that could help make their movies, they were blown away by how strong our infrastructure has become in a short time. They never expected to meet so many talented and accommodating people. Dream On Productions also wants to set up an office in Harmonie Park for the next 3 years, maybe more, and staff it with their employees to help work on these projects and to also bring more projects here.
All of this has come to a screeching halt because of the Governor's speech last week. We are devastated because the Film office has said they are currently operating under what the Governor has proposed even before their is a vote...not good.
We have just started to make some great strides working with Film Industry people and this could cripple us and potentially crush the future growth of our business.
We hope, Senator Levin, that you will seriously consider leaving these incentives in place and discussing modifications with the people here that have led the charge for the Incentive, Mitch Albom, Jeff Daniels, Mike Binder, Emery King and others. These are highly respected and bright leaders in our business and I trust between all of you that the right compromise can be reached.
I would like to know where you stand on this so please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience...email email@example.com
or call me on my cell...xxx.xxx.xxxx
Harmonie Park is involved in some incredible music and new media initiatives.
UDetroit ... Bringing the Best of Detroit & Michigan Together!
I believe the Film Incentives can do this is as good or better than any new industry coming to our State!
Look forward to hearing from you,
Partner - Harmonie Park Media Group
Detroit, MI 48226
As a devoted member of Michigan's film industry
You are cordially invited to attend
A FILM INDUSTRY TOWN MEETING
An organizational and informational event to most effectively communicate to Michigan's legislators, governor and voting public why the film incentive program (among other issues), should be preserved.
WHEN: Thursday, February 24, 7:30pm
WHERE: Maxsar Studios
38099 Schoolcraft Rd. (east of I-275, on south side of I-96 freeway)
Livonia, MI 48150
Mitch Albom, Free Press Columnist
Mike Binder, filmmaker and Michigan native
Andy Meisner, Oakland County Treasurer, and former State Rep.
Philippe Martinez, Maxsar Studios CEO
Emery King and Jim Burnstein, Chair and Vice-Chair, MFO Advisory Council
Ken Droz, Consultant and former MFO Communications Mgr.
Others to be announced.
Provided will be various evidence and informational points, legislators' names and contact info, and strategic methods on conveying the most effective message possible, for legislative officials and districts statewide.
Hosted by Mitch Albom, Kenneth Droz Consulting and Maxsar Digital Studios
Open to the press and general public.
All Facebook postings are welcome and encouraged.
It's time to "Go Egypt."
Questions or concerns: Please direct to KendrozConsulting@gmail.com
We look forward to seeing you.
Kenneth Droz Consulting
VIDEO: Pontiac movie studio raises profile, looks to lift economy
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Click thumbnails to enlarge
By Joseph Szczesny
For the Daily Tribune
After months of keeping its head down, Pontiac’s Raleigh Studios elevated its profile by throwing a huge party, which managed to attract political figures, financiers, union representatives, local business people and a cross section from the area’s fledgling movie industry.
More than 900 people, among them big names such as financier A. Alfred Taubman and his son, Taubman Co. chief operating officer William Taubman, James P. Hoffa president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
Hoffa told The Oakland Press the studio project will not only give the local economy a lift but the economy of the entire state a boost.
“We’ve to improve Michigan’s image and this is the kind of project that projects a positive image of the state,” said Hoffa, who predicted more movie and television projects are coming to Michigan soon.
Linden Nelson, the head of Raleigh Studio who came up with the idea of developing a film studio on property on the south side of Pontiac once devoted to auto manufacturing, said the studio will open in early 2011. So far more than $80 million has been invested in the studio off South Boulevard, making it perhaps the largest non-automotive investments in the city’s history.
“This is the second most important piece of (film industry) infrastructure in the state,” Nelson said. “The most important piece is all the people you see around, committed to making films in Michigan,” he said.
The fact the hit ABC drama, “Detroit 1-8-7,” has already built up studio space around Detroit shows the sound stages are badly needed for the state’s start up film industry.
Nelson also said he believed the Film Industry Tax Credit will survive the transition from Governor Jennifer Granholm, who was supportive of the credit. to her successor Rick Snyder, who has questioned whether the state can afford the credit.
“The new governor is a very smart man,” said Nelson, adding the credit might be modified but in the end, Governor-elect Snyder will see the benefits. “This is actually very good for the state,” he said.
“I hope the politicians don’t screw this up,” said Chuck Tindall of Local 687 of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters in Warren, who noted the movie industry has brought badly needed jobs to the Detroit area.
“They’re always talking about diversifying the state’s economy and that’s what this does,” said Tindall as he watched the party unfold on the partially completed, 30,000 square foot sound stage at the heart of project. “It’s something we’ve been looking for in Michigan,” Tindall said.
“These are about the only jobs I’ve heard about in quite a while,” said Vince MacDonald another member of Local 687.
Steven Lemberg, chief financial officer for Michigan Motion Picture Studios, which is responsible for the Raleigh venture in Pontiac, said the firm started developing a revenue stream in 2009 by offering by movie companies a variety of production assistance and equipment rental. “This will elevate our business to an entirely different level,” he said.
Work on the big sound stages began in September. “Up until then it was bare ground,” said Lemberg, who noted completion required moving 371 pre-cast concrete slabs to Pontiac from Grand Rapids. Each slab weighed 65,000 pounds.
When it’s completed early next year, the Raleigh complex will include nine separate sound stages of varying size. The main building with extra high ceilings will have three, 30,000-square foot stages, while the second building will include two 20,000-square foot stages and two additional 12,000-square sound stages.
Two more smaller stages also will be built into the “annex” or the office building that once housed the operations of company’s supplying General Motors .
Lemberg said when it is finished the annex also will house the company’s headquarters – its now in Birmingham – and space leased to long-term tenants, ranging from production companies to educational institutions and short-term tenants, which might be working on one film project.
David Haddad Inc. of Haddad Inc. which provides production support services, said Raleigh Studios will help attract more film-production investment to Michigan. “I just put in $1 million and hired three Michigan people because I believe in it,” said Haddad, who firm is based in Pittsburgh but has office in New York and New Jersey.'
“Forty states have film incentives or credits,” Haddad said. “Louisiana has the best incentive program but Michigan’s second and I believe it could be first within four years,” said Haddad, adding he met several people in industry who have moved back to the state because they wanted to have a chance to work on films.
Haddad also said he enjoys working in Michigan. “People in Michigan have a great work ethic,” he said.