“The Finest Hours” Demonstrates Impact of Film Tax Incentive

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For Immediate Release
January 26, 2016

QUINCY, MA – “The Finest Hours,” the new Disney film about the incredible true story of a daring Coast Guard rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod, previews in Boston on Wednesday night and hits movie screens globally this week. Local elected officials, small business owners, community leaders, and film industry workers say the locally-filmed movie demonstrates the positive impact that Massachusetts’ film and television production tax credit has had on local communities.

“I had the chance to visit the set of ‘The Finest Hours’ when the production was filming in my district at the old Quincy Shipyard,” said Majority Leader Ron Mariano. “I spent most of my time there talking with friends and neighbors of mine who either were working on the set or for a local business that had been hired by the production. I was able to see first-hand the economic benefits coming into my district as a result of the film.”

Since the film tax credit was expanded in 2007, film and television productions have purchased goods and services from thousands of small businesses in over 225 local communities — nearly 70% of all cities and towns in Massachusetts. Money generated by the film industry in Massachusetts provides a valuable boost to thousands of local small businesses, including diners, caterers, hardware stores, lumber yards, printing companies, cleaning companies, hotels, and countless others.

“The Finest Hours,” which filmed in Chatham, Cohasset, Duxbury, Marshfield, Norwell, and Quincy during the summer and fall of 2014, bought or rented goods and services from more than 1,300 Massachusetts businesses in 155 cities and towns during the time it filmed in Massachusetts.

“We’ve done a lot of business with movies over the last few years, but ‘The Finest Hours’ was one of the biggest,” said Steve Turner, an owner of Turner Steel, a family-owned steel service center in West Bridgewater that supplied steel for the construction of the ships used in the film. “We were on set almost every day for close to a year—it certainly kept us busy, and having that steady business helps out a lot.”

“Working with the film industry as a whole, including on ‘The Finest Hours,’ has had such an impact on our business that we’ve hired two new employees, fulltime, year-round,” said Craig Murphy, owner of Cambridge Reprographic in Somerville and Everett, which does custom printing and manufacturing of custom awnings, canopies, patio umbrellas, and other exterior covering solutions. “We go from one movie to the next, and the growth of the film industry in Massachusetts has allowed us to invest in our business with new employees and new equipment.”

Over the 190 days “The Finest Hours” was in Massachusetts, the film spent $1.7 million for nearly 13,400 nights at local hotels.

Film and TV productions continue to grow our vital tourism industry. After “The Finest Hours” shot in the Cape Cod area and featured the stories and displays of the Orleans Historical Society, the museum saw the number of visitors more than double and experienced a large jump in donations to the museum, all before the film was even released.

The film tax credit creates and supports thousands of jobs throughout the state—from the sales representative at the lighting rental company to the forklift operator at the lumber yard to the costumer on the film set. These and thousands of other jobs are the result of the new spending by film and television production companies.

“We had over 175 local men and women working for 4 or 5 months just to build and paint the sets for The Finest Hours at the Quincy Shipyard and on Cape Cod” said Set Construction Foreman Adam McClain of Lynn. “Nearly 20 of those who worked to construct the steel sections of the ships were skilled but unemployed welders who had worked in other industries in Massachusetts, and many of them have continued to work on films since then. These are good paying jobs that provide health insurance and retirement for Massachusetts families.”

Film and television productions have benefitted communities throughout the state. In the last four years, 76 percent of the shooting days by major productions occurred outside of Boston. Major motion pictures regularly spend millions of dollars on goods, services, and rentals with Massachusetts business, and often create other benefits for local communities.

In addition to providing jobs for working families and sales for Main Street businesses, the film & television production tax credit is helping to grow our high-tech economy. Dozens of local entrepreneurs are building small businesses that are part of the state’s growing creative economy: film studios, post-production companies, film equipment rental businesses, visual effect companies, and many others.

“‘The Finest Hours’ is a perfect example of how the film & television production tax credit creates jobs, helps local businesses, and grows the type of creative economy that Massachusetts needs to succeed in the 21st Century,” said Margie Sullivan, President of the Massachusetts Production Coalition and Executive Producer at Redtree, a commercial production company in Boston.

“Dozens of post-production and visual effects companies are contributing to Massachusetts’ tech sector because of the presence of the film industry here. The film & television production tax credit has been an economic driver for Massachusetts, and as Beacon Hill leaders enter the budget process, they should consider the impact of this incentive and avoid making changes to a highly successful program that supports thousands of workers and small businesses in almost every community in the state.”

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