As most of you know by now, last night the legislature adjourned without the House voting on Washington’s Motion Picture Competiveness Fund, effectively ending any future funding for the program. As an office that advocates and supports film production in Seattle, this is a very disappointing outcome. For a variety of unique reasons, Washington (like Oregon and British Columbia) is well leveraged to be a successful film production center for this international industry. Over the past four years of the incentive program, the success of this program has been demonstrated by a sharp and continued increase in production on both sides of the state. Seattle alone has seen a 34% increase in production since the incentive program was put in place. Additionally, this program has seen strong support from labor and business, and also received a thorough audit by JALARC who recommended the continuation of the Fund to the legislature.
With this kind of momentum and demonstrated success, accepting the failure of the bill this session is difficult. However, as we learn more about what happened we will use what we learn to put ourselves in a better position as we approach next steps and work to improve our message for future opportunities to grow film industry jobs. We will also continue developing and marketing Seattle as a film destination and working to support our partners at Washington Filmworks. This is a setback for our local film industry but not the end of the great progress made over recent years. Seattle is, and will be, open for film business.
Director, Seattle Office of Film + Music