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giving it away for free !

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Bob Zelingiving it away for free !
by on Mar 13, 2010 at 7:54:25 pm

Markee magagine Jan/Feb 2010 page 37.

The Palm Beach County Film and Televsion Commision is product to announce Palm Beach County's largest Motion Picture Sound Stage.
Set to be open May 2010, the new 12,000 swuare foot production space
is an impressiove 48 feet high with 35 feet to grid. In addition, the surrounding 93,000 square foot G-Star Movie Complex includes a scene shot, props, production offices, student interns, and more. BEST OF ALL, THE FACILTY IS FREE ! As an added benefit, the Film Commision provides fast and easy permitting for more than 2500 square miles of divers locations and uncharted hot spots.

http://www.pbfilm.com/

REPLY - my tax dollars at work.

Bob Zelin




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Craig SeemanRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 14, 2010 at 1:29:09 pm

I don't think I see it listed here.
http://www.pbfilm.com/studios_soundstages.cfm?act=p_resource
Like anything it could benefit some. Can anyone get permit to use or are there qualifications?

If it attracts production that results in locals getting hired, it's creating jobs.
If it means creative but underfunded filmmakers can have access it fosters such.
If it means small production companies now have some means to meet client's needs that they couldn't provide before, it can save small local production companies.

If it means big corporations can "go internal" and use the facility for free, it'll hurt local facilities who had significant capital investment to meet client needs and who'd hire local talent to crew their own facilities.



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Mark SuszkoRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 15, 2010 at 8:54:04 pm

I think it is great for any large city to have at least one place like this, where the rents are low. But I think the part of the equation that may be missing is the financing and distribution side. The technological aspect of production has never been "hard"; what makes or breaks most projects is not the gear or the location but finding the financing and making distribution deals.

You want to really incubate a new generation of film and videomakers that live and work in the local area, get them deals on their insurance, their E&O, their completion bonds, anything that nurtures the financing and distribution. The hardware will take care of itself.


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Mike StankoskiRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 12:27:46 am

I'm not a fan of my tax dollars going to fund my competition at all.
While I'm not in the league of a 12k sq. ft studio, an hour north of Palm Beach on the Treasure Coast, local government is considering opening their studio for rent and bidding on production jobs to close the "budget gaps".

To paraphrase a colleague; "Will they allow the Utilities department to start bidding on plumbing and electrical contracts next?" I don't regret the investment I've made in my studio and community, but I've got to say that this makes me uncomfortable.

Mike Stankoski
JungleTV, Miksta Media
http://www.jungletv.com


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Craig SeemanRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:40:54 am

[Mike Stankoski] "While I'm not in the league of a 12k sq. ft studio,"

Well now you could be if it happened near you.

[Mike Stankoski] "I'm not a fan of my tax dollars going to fund my competition at all. "

Not your competition who already has the 12k sq. ft. studio. They would be unhappy that the tax dollars are going to you as you would now have access to something you couldn't afford to capitalize on your own. You'd now be able to service clients who would otherwise go to them.

[Mike Stankoski] ""Will they allow the Utilities department to start bidding on plumbing and electrical contracts next?"
Then you're OK with the alternative as a publicly regulated utility? Wouldn't it be good if the gov't made the studio available as a "utility" to help GROW local business and therefore INCREASE the local tax revenues from the resultant use (resultant small business growth)?

Of course if all the gov't does is auction to the highest bidder than they are merely subsidizing the biggest businesses. You shouldn't assume that's what's happening with the space in question . . . although it's certainly a good question.

If it supports small businesses I think it's good. If it's a tax giveaway to the biggest facilities than it's certainly not good.





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Mark SuszkoRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:36:12 am

Mike, I take your point. Some colleagues of mine who work in the private sector got very angry when a local PBS station started horning in on their work. I'm sure I'd be mad if a competitor got an unfair subsidy out of tax dollars. There's a fine line there, the taxpayer-supported studio would generally want to only work with and for non-profits and members of the public making documentaries and things of that sort, not commercial works for businesses. Hopefully this studio you speak of will have enlightened and forward-thinking management, that knows when not to break someone's rice bowl. These studios are essential to help foster non-commercial speech, and we need more of that in this country for sure. They just need to keep to their side of that commercial/non-commercial line.


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Alan LloydRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:37:34 pm

PBS stations are quite fond of doing that. Not only getting public money, constantly begging to the public directly, then cutting the local production community out completely. Lots of horror stories on that, all over.

Public Radio does things like that too. I have some behind-the-scenes tales from clients on both scores.

And on the other side of the coin, our "wonderful" Governor is looking at eliminating the MN "Snowbate" incentives for production here in the state, either failing to realize that production companies coming here from elsewhere generate far more sales revenue than the program costs, or deliberately targeting something that can be seen as "evil Hollywood" in preparation for his inevitably failed 2012 Presidential run.

/rant


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Alan LloydRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 19, 2010 at 12:20:17 am

Another story I heard today:

Two different times, a client took the "convenient" way out and hired local TV stations for production services. One was a regular commercial station, the other was the local PBS outlet. Both times the stations then went around the intermediate client and made pitches to the end customer.

I hope I'm not the only person who finds this highly unethical.


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Mick HaenslerRe: giving it away for free !
by on Mar 17, 2010 at 1:51:32 pm

[Mark Suszko] "There's a fine line there, the taxpayer-supported studio would generally want to only work with and for non-profits and members of the public making documentaries and things of that sort, not commercial works for businesses."

In 2006 over 10% of all jobs in the US were with nonprofits which reported $1.4 trillion in revenue. Most hospitals are non profit as well. Non profit work is about 40% of my business which in my book makes it commercial work.

Years ago I had a furniture restoration business that was doing very well until the local prison decided to open up a shop and market to the general public. I saw my revenue drop dramatically as I couldn't compete with $2 a day labor. I didn't have the legal resources to go after them at the time.

Recently the local university opened a HD studio and it was rumored that they were going to open it up to the public for profit. I immediately got on the horn with the president of the university and kindly informed her that according to state bylaws, the facility could only be used for educational purposes and any other use of the facility would be illegal and would be brought to the public's attention immediately by the local production community. A week later on the university web site there was a disclaimer on the facilitie's page stating that the facility could only be used by students and staff for the sole purpose of education.

I take a dim view of any publicly funded entity unfairly competing with private enterprise. In most states the ONLY way a publicly funded facility of any kind can enter into the private sector is if there is a need in the community that is not being serviced by the private sector. After a quick search on production facilities in the Palm Beach area I found several full service sound stages. There is no legitimate reason for this facility to be competing with the private sector production community.




Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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