Washington State is Back in the Movie Business

Good news: the State House of Representatives passed the bill that will renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program or the Washington State Film Incentive. 92 yeses to 6 nos? Sounds more like a slam dunk than a pass.

From the Washington Filmworks Blog:

Congratulations. The film community’s vigilance and support were integral to the successful renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. Throughout the campaign, Washington Filmworks’ Board and Staff were inspired by your passion, determination and resolve. Thank you for all that you’ve done!

So what does this mean?

According to a story Dana Standish wrote for Seattle mag in January, film, TV and commercial production crews that meet a certain budget threshold get back "30 percent of dollars spent in Washington state, including Washington state cast and crew, costume and equipment rental, catering and material to build sets."

In other words, the bill is a tax loophole. One, its supporters maintain, which creates jobs and encourages positive spending in our local economy.

Bonus: it could also bring famous people to town to make potentially famous movies, in turn, helping Seattle become more famous among people who are too young to care about Sleepless in Seattle. So, in the long run, it's good for tourism. On that note, these filmmakers should be formally invited to stage their next projects here in Seattle:

  • Nina Davenport, creator of the original funny movie about bridesmaids
  • Christopher Nolan. Batman would look great doing his brooding, watchful eye thing from the top of the Needle.
  • Woody Allen. Because there's a whole untapped landscape of neuroses to explore in a land where dogs are preferred over children.
  • Tim Burton. Because.
  • Anyone directing a zombie movie. If this city is rich in anything, it's people who are prepared to offer their services as zombie extras at a moment's notice.

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