We are happy to announce the two newest additions to the Office of Film + Music + Special Events team: Slade Burgess and Taylor Scaggs! Slade is the Office’s new Film Permit Specialist, handling the intake and expediting process of film permits. Taylor will be keeping us sane and organized as our Administrative Specialist, moving us forward at every turn. The addition of Slade and Taylor will strengthen our office’s continuing work to make Seattle an even better place for the creative industries to thrive. Come meet them both at the Film + Music + Interactive Happy Hour on March 30 at the Spitfire.
Washington Filmworks announced that the bill to increase and extend Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program did not move forward for a vote, effectively killing the legislation during this budget session. With robust incentive programs in Oregon and Vancouver BC, the Office of Film + Music supported the legislation to extend and grow the Washington State film incentive program as the best tool for building and supporting a robust film industry in Washington.
“It is extremely disappointing the film competitiveness legislation did not move forward during this session,” says Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker. “The campaign and efforts to extend and grow the program during this legislative session were focused, strong, and well executed. I want to thank the hundreds of local cast, crew, and industry professionals who took time out of their schedules to support the legislation.
Washington’s film incentive program is funded into 2017. The Office of Film + Music is looking forward to coordinating incentivized film productions that will be filming in Seattle this and next year, and is committed to supporting future legislation to grow the program.
As part of the City’s continuing efforts to support film production work on the streets and sidewalks of Seattle, the Office of Film + Music is now offering “Filming In Progress” signboards to productions obtaining film permits.
As Seattle’s streets stay busy with construction and other projects, these “PAs best friends” help passers-by know what’s happening, and help messaging for nearby businesses and residents.
If you are a location manager or a producer, ask about how to check the signboards out during your film permit application process. After review of your film permit application and the impact from your production’s work on the street or sidewalk, your Film Permit Specialist may also require you to check out specific signs to assist with pedestrian holds or to support open businesses at or near the filming location.
If you are walking around Seattle and see a local crew working with one of these signs, stop by and say hello (though we can’t guarantee the production will be anything but a mayonnaise commercial).
Magnuson Park’s Building 2, a large undeveloped building built at the former naval air station, could become a giant fortress for film production, a sports arena, or a large open space for something else entirely. It all depends on proposals Seattle Parks and Recreation receives, having earlier this month published a public Request for Proposals (RFP) for the renovation and operation of the 144,000-square-foot double hangar known as Building 2.
Home to large feature film productions in the 1990s including Assassins and Stephen King’s Rose Red, and home to Arena Sports in the 2000s, the building recently underwent several safety upgrades and is now ready for rehab. Since closing its doors to filmmaking, Washington State implemented Washington Filmworks and the Washington State Film Competitiveness Program which supports the film industry by attracting feature film and commercial film production.
“Our competitors all have soundstages,” said Kate Becker to a Seattle Times reporter in this article. “This is the largest publicly held open-span building north of L.A. This is an opportunity we need to pay attention to.”
The complete Seattle Parks & Recreation Request for Proposal is online here.
Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker and Film Program Manager Chris Swenson met with State House and Senate lawmakers January 21 support of House Bill 2542 which would extend Washington State’s Film Competitiveness Program to 2023 and raise the annual fund cap to $10 million by 2020. The meetings were part of Film Day in Olympia attended by over 200 Washington filmmakers. “Mayor Murray supports the legislation to extend and grow Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program fund,” said Becker. “It is the local film industry’s best tool to stay competitive with other filmmaking regions, attract new film productions, and keep our filmmakers and talent working in Seattle and Washington State.” Becker was joined by Mike McCready (Pearl Jam, film composer), producers Lacey Leavitt (Eden, Lucky Them) and Jennifer Roth (Black Swan, World’s Greatest Dad), and film director Megan Griffiths (Eden, Lucky Them).
Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker is in Olympia today to present Mayor Murray’s “Seattle Film Day” Proclamation, and to support the new legislation to increase funding for the state’s film competitiveness program. In 2015, legislation to increase the incentive fund was supported by Mayor Murray, but did not receive a vote before the end of the 2015 legislative session.
As 2015 comes to a close, we look back on some of the prominent commercial work that hired local crew and production companies, oftentimes using Seattle’s landmarks and neighborhoods as a backdrop.
Mercedes visited Washington State to film footage for several national commercials highlighting their 2016 GLA model vehicle, hiring over 50 local crew and 50 extras over the course of a week. The commercial filmed in eastern Washington, and in Downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill. A large portion of the filming took place at Rudy’s Barbershop and on 10th Avenue between E Pine Street and E Pike Street on Capitol Hill. The commercials can be viewed online here and here.
Poweraid filmed a national spot that featured Seahawks player Jimmy Graham. The spot made use of locations in the University District, Georgetown, as well as several in Shoreline. The production hired over 35 crew over the course of several shoot days. The commercial can be viewed online here.
National Automotive Commercials:
Overall, it was a successful year for automotive commercials in Seattle, with Ford, Kawasaki, Mercedes, and Toyota all filming national spots and hiring large, locally-sourced production crews (follow links for video).
Locally-Produced Commercial Work and Corporate Videos
In 2015, Seattle area production companies created content for Microsoft (source: TriFilm), Visit Seattle (source: Society), and On Deck (source: Urban Legend), HTC (source: Vossler Media Group), and many more clients. In just a couple videos, you can watch products, technologies, and services as they are set against iconic backdrops like Gas Works Park, historic Ballard, and Pike Place Market, all created in 2015 by local crews working for Seattle area production companies. Additional examples can be found in the Latest Work section of the Commercialize Seattle website.
(Frame from Mercedes “Shattered,” filmed in Seattle in 2015)