Last week California began accepting applications for the first round of the new film and TV tax credit, which policy makers in Sacramento had beefed up to try and lure film production back to the state. The legislature passed a five-year, $1.65 billion film tax incentive program last year, and with the revamped tax credit program up and running, many entertainment workers throughout California are feeling something not felt in a long time: Hope. For the first time in 15 years, the program feels better equipped to keep our suffering entertainment industry from flatlining and to revive the iconic “Hollywood brand” to its former greatness.
However, not everyone has cause to celebrate. Thousands of California’s post-production workers, including recording musicians, are still shortchanged by the tax credit program,
In The Hunger Games, the rich and politically powerful rulers of the capital city Panem force young people from 12 districts to fight against each other. The Games serve the interests of the ruling elite by ensuring a quiescent populace remains that way, while 23 of the 24 young combatants are meant to wind up dead.
Good dystopian sci-fi holds up a mirror to reality, sometimes despite itself. It is unlikely that either trilogy author Suzanne Collins or Lionsgate – the producer and distributor of the film series – had Hollywood in mind, but the films provide an excellent description of the economics of today’s movie industry, as states compete with each other to give away ever more taxpayer dollars in exchange for jobs that, in some cases at least, they don’t even get.
As a new LAANE report details, every year approximately 40 U.S.
Today is a big day for Lionsgate Entertainment, and we want to help celebrate. That’s why on the occasion of the annual shareholder’s meeting of this hugely successful film company (taking place right now in Toronto), AFM musicians are proud to present a musical tribute to Lionsgate and its executive leadership – a little number we call “Right Here at the Top.”
AFM musicians created the song as part of our efforts to draw attention to Lionsgate’s destructive offshoring of musical scoring work, even as it simultaneously takes millions in tax dollars — moneys intended to enrich our communities. Of course the story told by the CEO in our song may not be exactly the story told by Lionsgate’s executives to their shareholders. But wait –– what’s that? The executives at Lionsgate fail to provide important information to their beloved shareholders?
After more than a month of unsuccessful attempts to reach Lionsgate Entertainment CEO Jon Feltheimer through letters and phone calls, it was time to pay him a visit. Rank-and-file musicians wanted to discuss Lionsgate’s practice of offshoring its musical scoring to distant countries – something that limits local musicians’ ability to earn a living and deprives our communities of tax revenue.
On Tuesday union members and supporters of the American Federation of Musicians’ Listen Up! campaign — including professional musicians, labor allies, faith and community leaders — gathered in Santa Monica’s Stewart Street Park for a rally. The spirited event included AFM Local 47’s executive board and a supportive crowd of musicians representing members from across our union. We were joined in song by our fellow AFM members and Grammy nominees Lisa Haley and the Zydakats. We heard moving speeches from Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown and other friends,