OPIF/iOPIF up for renewal/expansion soon!

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    It’s time to let your state senators and representatives know how important Oregon’s Film Incentive Programs are to our    community.  APP-NW Advisory Board member and OMPA Government Affairs Committee Member, Harold Phillips, filed this  report:

A bunch of us went down to Salem on Monday (May 18) to talk to the legislature about increasing the Oregon Production Investment Fund (the state’s film incentives) – which would result in more work for Oregonians,  AND an increase to the “indigenous OPIF” that supports Oregonian projects.

iOPIF-Logo-small  Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to the news you know that the state is dealing with a lot of financial stresses – education funding, the rejection of the legislature’s recent “tweaking” of the PERS system, the “Kicker” refund… it’s important that people working in the industry take a moment to contact their legislators (you know who your state legislator is, right? If not, find out here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html ) and ask them to support HB2072HB2898 and SB872.    (you can click on the links to find out what the individual bills do.)

 

The most import thing here is “make it personal.” Tell your story about why our industry is important.

 

When talking to legislators:

–           Make a connection.  The most important thing you can do is articulate what you do for a living and what your professional aspirations look like.

You are the human face of our industry; help legislators understand your work and your life.

–           Create a story arc.  Explaining the growth of our industry over the last 5-10 years from your perspective will really help legislators see how the

Oregon Production Investment Fund affects the lives of Oregonians.  Connecting what you do directly to the incentive program can also help

reinforce the human angle.
–           Thank them.  We want to assume support, and we’ve always had the support of the legislature.  Thank them for supporting our growing industry

and community.

Don’t know what to say?  Here are a couple of “talking points” from Oregon Film and the Oregon Media Production Association

–           We aren’t just attracting business from out-of-state, we are building a sustainable industry for Oregon.
–           Last year alone, a $10 million investment from the state created $135 million in economic activity.
–           In the last five years, our industry has seen a 69% increase in employment, with an average wage of $43k.
–           Oregon contains over 350 companies in media production.
–           Oregon now ranks in the top 10 for interactive gaming, partially thanks to iOPIF.
–           Demand to shoot film and television in Oregon is at an all-time high, but our incentive fund is tapped out within weeks resulting in work being

turned away.
–           Our rebate rate ranks in the bottom 3rd of states who offer incentives, yet we still win the competition.  The size of our fund is what limits the

growth of our industry.
–           As a rebate program, dollars must first be spent locally on goods and services before incentive money is used.  This is both efficient for

producers, and good policy for Oregon.
–           Programs like Wild, Grimm, and Portlandia have a very large positive impact on tourism, essentially free advertising for Oregon.

Remember, folks, democracy isn’t a spectator sport.  If you want the state to keep supporting film and media production in Oregon – which results in jobs for all of us working in that end of Oregon’s entertainment industry – we have to get involved.  It only takes a few minutes to email your legislators!

Harold Phillips

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