Don't sign a proposed bill for legislation which might change incentives given to movie companies which could cause them to boycott our state.
The Oklahoma state legislature is attempting to pass legislation that will gut the state’s nascent film industry before it really gets going. I was concerned when it passed out of senate committee with a clear majority. Can you just imagine where this will leave me, if films start exiting or not even coming to the state? Goodbye Red Carpet. This is one of those things that should probably be enlarged instead of being reduced or eliminated. Mary, just sit back and while watching the television some night in a future February, think of me thanking the good folks of Oklahoma and you personally for my Academy Award.
In the short time I’ve been around this industry (two and a half years), I have found that it brings quite a bit of money into Oklahoma. A number of movies have been filmed in our state during that period of time. However, since the news of the State possibly reducing the incentive, you can just imagine that inquiries have dried up. Once New Mexico put the word they were thinking of reducing the incentives (even though nothing has been done yet) they lost IRONMAN 111, starring Robert Downey, Jr, OBLIVION with Tom Cruise, a Quentin Tarantino movie and a television series, A LYING GAME, all because they announced the incentives were going to change. They all went to Texas. They made a special provision for THE LONE RANGER with Johnny Depp. So that one stayed.
Kansas and Missouri have both stopped their incentives and Colorado has announced an increase. So two of our neighboring states are dropping out of the business and one is stepping it up. Louisiana and Texas have strong incentives and are getting many films. I would hate to leave Oklahoma and give thanks to Louisiana or, heaven forbid, Texas for my award.
Oklahoma now gives a 35% rebate to films with an industry cap of $5,000,000. New Mexico gives 25% up to $50,000,000 cap and that may be reduced. Louisiana gives a 30% tax incentive and a 5% labor incentives for those who live in the state. I do not believe they have a cap. Thanks to tax incentives that lead the country, Louisiana has probably become the premier location for film and television production in the United States. I have had several friends who have gone to Louisiana to be in films. Even the Warner’s Brothers movie THUNDERSTRUCK with Kevin Durant is being filmed there. With just a few shots filmed here. It is kind of embarrassing.
While I imagine state politicians would love to give millions to every industry, the primary objection to film incentives is “we can’t afford to.” I would like them to consider this: We can’t afford not to. Not only are neighboring states stealing jobs, they’ve actually turning a profit. So while millions in incentives may seem costly, it is actually a very prudent investment with very immediate results.
For this fiscal year, which will end June 30, 2012, the Oklahoma rebates are responsible for more than 500 jobs (499 if you don’t count me) and $38 million in economic stimulus. Thank you film industry. And, we still have several months to go until the fiscal year end. This analysis was conducted by Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Since the first of the year, the Oklahoma Film Commission has had to turn away 13 feature films. Five years ago the state was begging to get a project in here. Tell me that doesn’t cost the state money? You know me as a strong conservative who wants to reduce government spending. But, this is one incentive that gives back.
Film production people talk about these other states and how nice the people are to work with and amazed at the talent they have found. HELLLLLOOOO - People here are every bit as friendly, if not more so, and we are loaded with talent - both actors and crew. But, to find out how super talented the people of Oklahoma are, we need to get the movie makers here first. So, bring on the incentives.
SO, DON’T DO IT MARY!! DON’T SIGN THE BILL IF IT GETS TO YOUR DESK.
Okay – Now to get back to what this blog is all about: ME. I recently filmed a fun television commercial for Steve’s Wholesale Tools of Oklahoma City. The part filmed me going to a sales counter and asking the clerk behind the counter if he had a certain tool. I don’t know the name of the tool I want, so I make “BUZZZZZZ, OR RAT-A-TAT, OR URRRRRR” sounds to replicate the desired tool’s sound. I had to make sounds for a chainsaw, an impact wrench, and so forth. At the bottom of THIS blog, are the links to the commercials. Acting friends Cindy Hanska and Cary Hawkins were in the commercials and they too had to make sounds. A zany, talented, and without-limits advertising man, Bob Hammack, produced these spots. What a hilarious shoot, and I loved being a star.
In acting classes, my practice scenes had sometimes been delightfully ridiculous. Quite often the scenes we are given to practice (known in the industry as sides) are actually scenes from television shows that are on the air or are eventually going to be. Fun lines like this one from the upcoming remake of THE MUNSTERS. I am Grandpa, and I say to my granddaughter, Marilyn “I adore you Marilyn. I’m the one who talked your mother out of eating you.” It’s a comedy. Oh, I see, you already got that. The other scene is a new Reba McIntyre television show MALIBU COUNTRY. She says at a news conference given by her country music star husband (one of those kind where wives stand in silence behind their cheating husband), “ -----and what they are going to say about me is I left his lying cheating butt.” Joy really got into my being my reader on this one to an extent that worried me. Can you tell that acing is a big whoop to me?
Links to Steve’s Tools commercials.
It has been a good year so far. I survived an 855’ jump off the 108 story Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas. And yes, this was planned and yes, I did have a harness, and yes, I did pay for this privilege. While I was doing this, Joy went to an upscale mall to spend her inheritance. When I landed safely, I called to tell her I was fine. She said, “Darn!!! Do I have to take everything back"?
Renovation of my womb
2 years ago