Thursday, December 17, 2009


“There have been just a few times in my lifetime when I have felt so inspired and moved by people or an event that I am certain that it will remain with me for the rest of my life ……… AND remind me that anything is possible.”

This is how Carl Lakari, co-founder of Project AWARE, began his speech at the premier of the film “Influenced”.

“The vision of Project AWARE is a community where young people are leaders, and are addressing issues of concern in their lives from their perspective and in their voice…. a place where their voices, thoughts, concerns, and solutions are welcomed and heard… and from that place, youth-led action is taken.”

By the time Carl spoke I had listened to Alyssa McCourt, the 16 year old President of Project AWARE, Megan Hanson, sophomore at Seton Hall University and Project AWARE Summer Film Institute Leader, Josephine Cooper sophomore at Thornton Academy, Co-Creator, Producer, Writer, Director and Lead Actor and 13 year old Aleah Graham,Co-Creator, Producer and lead actor of “Influenced” speak in regard to their experiences with Project AWARE and the making of “Influenced”

Those four intelligent, articulate and driven teenagers let me know why Carl feels that “anything is possible”

The movie is wonderful. It has a professional look and feel because members of the Maine Film Community like Karen True of FiKari Productions and Jim Cole and Aaron Duffy of Gum Spirits Productions volunteered their time. They gave their deep knowledge and skills in mentoring more than one hundred young men and women who will remember the experience forever. The positive energy, working as a group to complete a project and the empowerment of seeing their work impact others gives each of these young men and women a boost of self-esteem that will help them over and over again as they live their lives.

“I have spent years talking and writing to business leaders, legislators, economic development groups and municipalities in regard to the economic and marketing impact that media production does and can have on the State of Maine. I am humbled by the emotional and empowering impact that media production and mentoring have had on everyone involved in the Project AWARE Program

That was the opening paragraph of my brief speech. Joining me onstage was my dear friend and fellow Maine Film Advocate, Barney Martin.

Barney began his portion of the speech by saying, “So how do we ensure that other projects like “Influenced” become a reality? How do we put the film industry on the map as a significant player in Maine’s economy?”

In the case of visual media projects like “Influenced” the answer is not visual media tax incentives.

Part of the answer lies in continuing to develop a sense of community and sharing that groups like The Maine Film and Video Association and The Maine Studios are helping to create.

Part of the answer lies in developing grant programs and helping groups like Project AWARE apply for them.

And part of the answer lies in having a State Funded Film Office that is proactive and involved.

The next “Project AWARE” film will bring together youth from the community of Sanford. James Harmon will lead the project. James is funded at the Sanford high School by the Sanford Safe Schools Healthy Students initiative and he is the advisor and supporter of Sanford students interested in the Sanford movie including kids from his Reconnecting Youth classes and the Sanford Film Club – which he advises. Gum Spirits Productions will take on a leadership role again.

What Project AWARE is creating is a sustainable business model that empowers youth and let’s us all know that “anything is possible”.

Take note Maine Visual Media Industry. We can do this too!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The MFVA, Maine Studios and the 48 Hour Film Project coming together to promote Maine Media production

The next meeting of the Maine Film & Video Association is 5:00PM Saturday, December 5, 2009 at the new Maine Studios, 235 Presumpscot St., Portland, ME, and features screenings of six of the 2009 entries into the 48 Hour Film Project including two of the top three winners with filmmakers presenting.

It is great that these organizations are working together. The Maine Film & Video Association is an established organization that works to bring media professionals together, the Maine Studios is a new and much needed asset to the Maine Media community while the 48 Hour Film Project has created a wonderful sense of excitement and collaboration among Maine filmmakers.

I would encourage all of you to attend this event, exchange ideas and grab some energy to help the Maine film community continue to move forward in 2010.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Maine Film Commission

Today I faxed my application for gubernatorial appointment to Joe Boucher, Director of Boards and Commissions, Office of the Governor.

My hope is to be appointed to the Maine Film Commission and I would encourage those of you who are Maine residents, interested in helping to grow Maine’s media production economy to also apply.

According to Lea Girardin, the Director of the Maine Film Office, as of September 3rd, 2009 there were 6 members of the Maine Film Commission.

Member Title
Debra Lord Cooke SAG/AFTRA actor
Her term expires this November, she has served three terms.

Tom Craig Independent Film Producer
His term expires 11/2010, he has served one term.

Stephanie V. Hart President, The Shamrock Group LLC
Her term expires this November , she has served one term

Brenda Jepson Media Production Educator, Independent Filmmaker
Her term expires this November, she has served two terms

Donna McNeil,Ex Officio Director, Maine Arts Commission
As an Ex Officio member her term does not expire.

Representative Hannah Pingree, Ex Officio Maine Legislature
Hannah Pingree resigned when she assumed the duties of Speaker of the House.

Clare Tully Entertainment Law, Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson
Her term expires this November, she has served one term.

According to the rules of the Maine Film Commision Part 3, Section 1 “The Commission shall consist of 11 members appointed by the governor. “

If everyone whose term expires in November is reappointed, there is still a need for 5 new members.

To apply contact:
Joe Boucher
Director of Boards and Commissions
Office of the Governor
1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-3531 (P)
207-287-1034 (F)

Please don’t hesitate to apply. We need your voice.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Camden International Film Festival

Building a sense of community in today’s fast paced world is difficult to do. Sharing ideas, creating common goals, while getting support for individual ideas and goals, is part of creating that sense of community and trust.

If you are a media producer, your energy is probably wrapped up in trying to push your own project to completion. Along the way, you may need to reach inside your local media community and ask for help.

In an effort to create that sense of community by connecting industry leaders with the independent media producers the Camden International Film Festival will present the Points North Documentary Film Forum on October 2nd at 2 pm at the Theater at Union Hall, #2 Central Street, Rockport, ME (map). Union Hall is part of the Maine Media Workshops campus.

The afternoon will consist of two sections: A New World: Non-fiction Film Funding, Trends, and Players with a round table of industry veterans and funders presenting the current funding process, trends and players. This will be followed by The Survivor's Guide – a panel of filmmakers discussing "sustainable" filmmaking, DIY distribution and offering tips on how to make a living as a filmmaker in this unique economic climate. Panelists will include top doc filmmakers drawn from this year's festival as well as some CIFF alumni.

Sponsored in part by the LEF Foundation and Maine Media Workshops, Points North provides attendees an opportunity to connect with industry leaders in an environment conducive to discussion.

“The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) is committed to supporting and generating interest in independent documentary films. The annual festival presents a snapshot of the cultural landscape through the year’s best non-fiction storytelling, connecting filmmakers with eager audiences and industry representatives to discuss documentary film as an art form, a catalyst for change and as an outlet for the independent voice. “

I encourage you to take part in the workshop and take time to support the 5th annual Camden Film Festival. For more information visit:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Making the Most of Maine's Resources

In my last post I wrote about “Mentoring Ali”, a young woman from Falmouth, Maine who developed her own “film” degree at Williams College and wants to pursue a career behind the camera. The outpouring of positive feedback and advice was terrific and I was able to pass along wonderful technical advice from professionals who currently work in media production to powerful words of encouragement from people who are inspired by Ali’s willingness to simply “go for it”.

So how do we reach out to others in Ali’s 18-34 group that continue to leave the state of Maine at an alarming rate?

How about the University of Maine working with or taking over the film office? A curriculum could be developed, a professor could over see it, students could bring the film office communication into the 21st century with streaming video, a website that is proactive, facebook, Twitter, MySpace, we’d have “built in” location scouts in 7 different locations around the state, education credits could be earned by students working on local independent films and we’d actually be tapping into young people in a creative and powerful way. They would be learning at the same time that they are bringing business to Maine.

This isn’t an original idea. The State of Missouri has combined forces with Missouri University and the results have been terrific.

Steve Wyatt is the Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development for the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering who serves as the Statewide Business Development Program Director for University Extension writes, “The university partnership with the state has been great. The partnership allows the Film Office to take advantage of the strengths of the University and the state. Since the move, we have nearly tripled tax credits for the industry, increased office budget, increased awareness, and increased private support. This year we landed a movie with George Clooney entitled Up in the Air which is scheduled to be released late fall or early winter.”

There is a lot to do to make this happen. I’ve started the process by reaching out to the key people. If you are interested in getting involved or have ideas send me an email. I plan on doing everything I can to help young people like Ali live and express their creativity in Maine.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mentoring Ali

At the end of June I received an email from Pam Tozier, the mother of a young, intelligent passionate woman named Ali. Pam has been receiving my email blog posts since I started my blog and she wanted to know if I could meet with Ali and give her some advice about the film industry.

Having a grandmother and mother who were teachers and a sister who is a teacher has impacted the way that I work with others and I try my best to mentor anyone who approaches me with an interest in film.

My response to Pam was, ”I would be happy to talk to Ali anytime.” After exchanging a few emails and having Ali send me an ardent, well written letter about her passion for film and how she created her own film major within the Literary Studies department at Williams College I knew meeting with her would be worth the time and the effort.

We met for an hour and half at a local coffee shop and talked about many different aspects of the film industry. Ali is living in Boston, working two jobs and doing her best to follow her dreams. She ultimately wants to live in Maine and work behind the camera in film production. She knows that working in film production is very difficult and that living in Maine and making a living in film production is almost impossible.

As I listened to Ali talk I kept thinking “She is exactly the type of person that Maine needs.” Her plan is to move to Los Angeles, build relationships within the industry and learn as much as she can. She would love to bring those relationships and her knowledge back to Maine to live and work. I would love to see her achieve that goal.

I have connected Ali with other people that I know in the industry and encouraged her to simply go for it. I’ve found that it is amazing what I few encouraging words and advice can do for someone.

Mentoring can be that simple.

The Maine Film Office and the Maine Film Commission with support of the Maine Office of Business Development, the Maine Film and Video Association and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts) Local 481 developed a mentoring program titled Maine Media Mentorship (M3) Program. A driving force in creating the program was Randy Visser, a former member of the Maine Film Commission and a founder of the Southern Maine Community College's Communications & New Media Department.

The film office website devotes valuable media space to promoting the program on the home page of their website. When you click the link it simply states that the program has been closed due to budget cuts and they hope to reopen the program in mid 2009. The instructions say to contact Lea Girardin for more information so I sent Lea an email stating,” Can you send me a write up of the program and what your funding needs are? I’d like to bring some attention to it.”

Lea responded by writing that cost for the pilot program was $5,000 and with cuts in staffing and budget within the Film Office they could no longer administer the program.

I asked Lea how the money would be used and she referred me to Randy Visser and stated that the pilot program was set up to mentor 10 people and that each person that applied would also have to pay a $100 application fee to offset the costs of the program.

Randy’s response was “You'll have to talk with Lea about this program. I left the film commission last year and the program was put on hold. Take care.”

Two days later I received an email from Lea saying, “M3 never got beyond the planning stage.”

So we don’t have an official program that can be implemented to mentor bright, creative, passionate young people like Ali. What we do have are people in the industry who are willing to give their time, energy and knowledge to anyone with interest in the media business. I just happen to be one of them.

I am willing to give you or anyone you know any knowledge and encouragement I can. It won’t cost you anything. My only request is that you do the same when someone approaches you and maybe we can all have a positive impact on truly building a media industry in Maine that Ali can come home to.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We'll Keep Running

I received an email from the Maine Film office today. The opening line was:

“Thank you all for showing your support and offering testimony for this bill designed to increase media productions in Maine. Although Governor Baldacci was in favor of LD 1449 it died on the Appropriations table, due to lack of funds, around 5:15 PM last night.”

I already knew what had occurred but the announcement seemed to flat and depressing.

The process we went through was never flat and depressing. It was sometimes excruciating and exasperating but the fact that so many people came together to try and pass the incentives was invigorating.

The sponsor of LD 1449, Tom Watson, did everything in his power to make this bill a reality. A wonderful group came to testify in front of the Taxation Committee on April 27th which helped the bill pass through that committee with unanimous support.

LD 1449 passed through the House and Senate on Monday and then came to a screeching halt in the Appropriations Committee because there was no money left to fund the fiscal note that was needed to finance the bill.

The bill didn’t pass and now is the time to keep moving toward a changing Maine Media landscape. We’ll have to construct it differently and at a slower pace but we will construct a new and vital industry.

Keep your eye on folks like Eric Matheson as he tries to build a soundstage in South Portland, Lonewolf Productions as the they continue their award winning work and try to achieve theatrical distribution for their documentary “The Rivals” and Paul Tukey and Brett Plymale as the continue the outstanding response to their documentary "Hudson: A Chemical Reaction."

We won’t have a feature film dropping millions of dollars into the Maine economy to help with this transition but as an old runner who has lost many races at the end of a long season I know it is time to rest, examine strategic mistakes and then train that much harder and smarter to achieve to ultimate goal.

We can make the media production industry a vital, sustainable and vigorous segment of Maine’s every economy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day and Beyond

I was driving through Kennebunkport on Memorial Day as the parade was about to begin. It was great to see the spectators finding their spots on the side of the road as the veterans in their uniforms, the band members with their musical instruments, the boy scouts with their yellow bandanas around their necks and the young baton twirlers in their blue velvet dresses excitedly got ready for the parade.

It made me feel good to see everyone come together to celebrate and recognize those who fought and died for our country.

Regardless of political leanings everyone can come together for this purpose.

As we move forward with LD 1449 (HP 1005) "An Act To Expand Tax Incentives for Visual Media Productions" the same type of collective response is occurring.

The media industry, with encouragement from the Maine Film and Video Association and Portland Media Artists, now has a common goal that everyone can come together and support.

The legislature continues the furtherance of LD 1449 as it passed through the taxation committee with unanimous support back on May 16th.

And local chambers of commerce and municipalities continue to express interest and backing for LD 1449.

Barney Martin and I went on a road trip on May 11th to do a presentation at the Alamo Theatre in Bucksport hosted by the Bucksport Chamber of Commerce. Dick Kane, President of the MFVA was in the audience and available for questions. He also brought along some helpful handouts that were originally prepared by the Film Office staff. If you’d like to read about the presentation please click on the link below:

Lights! Camera! Tax breaks!
By Steve Fuller
The Republican Journal Reporter

On May 13th I received an email from Tom Porter of MPBN saying that he had just interviewed Ben Kahn and Michael Panenka about their short film "A Brief Case of Love:", which they took to Cannes during the week of May 17th. You can access the interview, in which they talk about the importance of promoting Maine on their trip at:
And on May 9th I had the pleasure of attending the premier episode of the new monthly television show “Behind The Artist,” at the Marriott Sable Oaks in South Portland. The show is produced by Scott Jordan and 207 Entertainment and will air every Saturday at 10:30pm on WPME Time Warner Channel 17.

My fellow film advocate and friend Barney Martin was the subject of the first episode and I hope there are many more episodes to follow.

There are many great Maine independent media projects occurring in our wonderful state. We need to continue to support and promote them as we work to increase tax incentives that will also allow major feature film and visual media projects to be shot in Maine

As we move past Memorial Day into the summer of 2009 I have great hope that LD 1449 will pass and we will all be able to celebrate legislation that will have a positive impact on every citizen, business and municipality in Maine.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Support for 1449 "An Act To Expand Tax Incentives for Visual Media Productions".

I haven’t had time to sit down and write about the wonderful group that showed up for the testimony for LD1449"An Act To Expand Tax Incentives for Visual Media Productions".

The room was full of between 40 and 50 supporters. 22 people testified in support of the bill and no one testified against the bill.

The reaction from the taxation committee was very positive and they were all patient while listening to the testimony. We took over 2 hours of their time in testimony and each of them asked great questions.

The taxation committee understands the benefits. The issue will come in setting money aside to finance the incentives. Money will not be spent by the state until money has come into the state from media production, however that money still has to be set aside in the budgeting process under the current budgeting laws.

This means that a fiscal note will have to be created for the 5 million dollar post- production, investment the state will have to make. This process makes it look like the bill is taking money away from other programs when it will actually create future revenue that will help to increase funding to other programs.

As representative Sirois said at one point during the meeting “75% of something is better than 100% of nothing”

I believe that we are headed in the right direction and the next 2 weeks will be crucial. May 4th is the work session for the taxation committee. I encourage all of you to contact you local representative and senator. It will make and difference and hopefully we can all be involved in bringing more money, creativity and marketing to the state we love.

Friday, April 17, 2009

First Public Hearing on Film Bill LD1449 MONDAY 4/27 1PM Augusta, Room 127 State House

First Public Hearing on Film Bill LD1449 MONDAY 4/27 1PM Augusta, Room 127 State House

The incentives bill is ready for its first public hearing and I would like to invite you to attend. The public hearing is set for Monday April 27th at 1PM in room 127 at the State House in Augusta.

Barney and I continue our advocacy. I spoke at the Maine Film and Video Association meeting last night and Barney and I made an appearance on the Ray and Ted show at 95.5 FM this morning.

Because the show is no longer aired on Fox I asked my friend and filmmaker Brett Plymale to use my old school JVC video camera to record the piece. He did a great job. Thank you Brett. You can view the segment at:

In addition the Mainebiz television show which airs on NBC channels 2 and 6 in Maine at 10 am this Sunday will focus on Visual Media Incentives and their possible impact on the State of Maine.

Host Alan Hinsey interviews actor Jonathan Frakes, DECD Commissioner John Richardson, Maine Independent filmmaker Dana Packard and yours truly. Alan says the show is great and we’d love to have you all tune in.

For those of you who are receiving this by email you can click on the attached .wmv and watch the promo.

Barney and I will continue to keep you updated and we’d love to hear from all of you.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Celebrating Maine

As we continue our push to bring more media productions to Maine and increase media incentives it is important that we reach out to production companies and let them know that Maine is working “step by step” to become a more film and business friendly state.

Barney Martin and I brought Mick Garris and Mark Sennet, the director and producer of the Stephen King film, “Bag of Bones” to Maine to meet with the Governor, his staff and other legislators to talk about increasing incentives for media production that takes place in Maine. A few days after Mick and Mark left I saw an article saying that Warner Brothers had plans to remake the miniseries “It”, another Stephen King story.

I have contact information for several executives at Warner Brothers so I wrote to them. Two weeks later I received the following email from Steve Papazian President, Worldwide Physical Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.


Thank you for your communication and update on the potential of Maine film incentives .Having filmed the majority of “Message in a Bottle” in Bath, Warner Bros is quite familiar with Maine location opportunities.

Film incentives have become an important component in our financial model budgeting process. Domestic and Worldwide film incentives remain extremely competitive.

Please continue to keep us advised as to your progress.

All the very best to you and Barney,

Steve “

Like everyone that I talk to who has ever visited Maine, Steve has a high regard for our beautiful state and its citizens based on his experience. If the economics work, Warner Brothers would certainly consider Maine.

I believe that we will make the economics work. There is a great sense of camaraderie and openness cemented by today’s communication technology and our shared love of Maine.

I hear the naysayers but I don’t listen to them. Like I tell my kids, “Believe in yourself, stay positive and do what you think is right to attain your personal goals and enhance your local community.”

That is what Barney and I will continue to do and we invite all of you to join us. Please visit the Maine Film Advocates Facebook page and join us as we celebrate Maine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Bag of Bones"

“Bag of Bones”

Those of you who have been kind enough to read my blog ( over the course of the last year and a half know that my mission statement is:

I created The Maine Film blog because I believe that film production can become an important part of Maine's "everyday" economy. I will post information that educates and inspires the people who come to this blog. This is an important segment of Maine's future economic growth and I want to facilitate its success.”

Facilitating that success has never been easy. I first wrote to Angus King in 2002 to ask the State and the Film Office to be more proactive in attracting potential producers. I always felt that more could be done so; I went out and did what I thought the state should be doing. Along the way I teamed up with my friend Barney Martin, who possesses more natural energy than “The Storm of the Century”, and we began an odyssey that would make Homer proud.

I’ll make this brief and spare you the details of working with Barney for the last four and a half years. Just know that there were many moments of “Misery” as I tried to be stable, proactive and kind while Barney went into “Maximum Overdrive”.

This balance of personalities and mutual respect allowed Barney and I to build one relationship after another even in moments of “Desperation” when we each felt like a “Bag of Bones”

So far our crowning achievement has been to bring Mick Garris and Mark Sennet, the director and producer of “Bag of Bones” to Maine to meet with the Governor and key legislators in an effort to pass additional film incentives that will allow the film to be shot in Maine.

We also dragged Mark and Mick to every media outlet we could during a fourteen hour day that turned us all into “Sleepwalkers”. You can find all the links at and those of you that enjoy Facebook can find the information at the Maine Film Advocates page.

Please read the information and decide for yourself if media production is a good thing for Maine. We’d love to hear from you and have your join the cause if you don’t want Maine’s economy to get any “Thinner”.

P.S. Look for Barney and me tonight on WGME 13 Live at 5:30!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Editorial wrong about filmmakers' attitudes

Editorial wrong about filmmakers' attitudes

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Cameron Bonsey 03/10/2009

Today's Top Headlines
from the Kennebec Journal

All of today's: News | Sports
from the Kennebec Journal

After spending three days with Mark Sennet and Mick Garris, the producer and director of the Stephen King film "Bag of Bones," which they would like to make in Maine, I was surprised to read the editorial on March 5: "Filmmakers brought their big-city attitude to the wrong state."

The editorial took the stance that Sennet and Garris were big-city wheeler dealers with cocky attitudes. It made me laugh but then made me sad that the author was trying to take a slant that will simply encourage negative assumptions in regard to the entire process.

I am a lifelong Mainer, as is my friend Barney Martin. We have rich family histories in Rumford and Surry. We happen to share a common interest in the film industry and in being the best parents that we can be.

On the night that Sennet flew in from Portugal, Barney and I picked him up at his hotel in Portland. The filmmaker's rooms and other travel expenses were donated by local businesses because the state film office and Department of Economic and Community Development have no budgets to bring producers to Maine.

Sennet was pleasant, polite and very funny. What impressed me the most was the way that he related to Martin's four children, Sydney, Colby, Peter and Jersey, when we arrived at Martin's home Sunday night.

Ten-year-old Colby immediately took a liking to Mark and started showing him horse pictures that she had drawn. Then she took him by the hand and ran upstairs to visit her goldfish. Sennet was completely in the moment with her and treated her like she was his daughter. This was my favorite moment with him.

When we met with Gov. John Baldacci, Garris made it very clear that he loves to work with students who have a passion for film and that he would be thrilled to set up an internship program for the film.

At our press conference later that day, a young man who goes to school with my son approached me to ask me if he could give me his headshot and resume to give to Garris. I assured him that if he e-mailed everything to me that I would do my best to make sure that Garris saw his information.

The young man thanked me and then I watched him walk over and sit next to the director. He asked Garris a question and they were off. Even in the middle of a long, intense day of non-stop press appointments and meetings starting at 8 a.m., Garris took the time to look the young man in the eye and answer his questions with patience, kindness and encouragement. This was my favorite moment with him.

I believe that Mainers are smart, independent and perceptive. If each of us can simply process information without some type of "old school" prejudice, we can come together and make the right decision for Maine.

Let's give the governor and legislators the information and the time they need to assess if building a high-paying industry that infuses millions into a local economy, emotionally lifts the spirits of an entire community and markets Maine for years to come, is worth implementing tax incentives that simply allow Maine to compete with neighboring states -- not try to be "Hollywood East."

With time and objective information, I believe they will make the right decision.

Cameron Bonsey is a Maine film advocate. He publishes a blog and has worked alongside Barney Martin since 2004 to bring media production to Maine.

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micilio of Palermo, ME
Mar 10, 2009 7:13 AM
The KJ's negative slant on most of these things will eventually lead to the end of once great newspaper. Their view on these filmmakers and the idea behind it was something I would expect from a sixth grader not educated abuse

James Moore of Brunswick, ME
Mar 10, 2009 12:53 AM
My take on the filmmakers' offer was that they were being up front and candid about the realities of the situation. The KJ's article was, I thought, somewhat snotty. Aside from the KJ's judgemental tone, rejecting the advantages to Mainers of accepting their offer for the silly reason advanced by the KJ strikes me as just as dumb as those Repub legislators who'd reject Obama's federal aid to their states because they don't like Obama.

But then, of course, the filmmakers weren't offering anything that would help the abuse
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Growing Momentum to Bolster Film Incentives in Maine (click to follow link to NEFILM)

Growing Momentum to Bolster Film Incentives in Maine
Thu, 01/01/2009 - 01:00 – erin
Posted in January 2009 Local Industry Maine Massachusetts New England Reports
Blogger and film advocate Cameron Bonsey gives a personal take on the roadblocks and opportunities to attracting more film production to Maine.

By Cameron Bonsey

Maine hasn’t had a major film production since Empire Falls dropped 13.6 million into its economy in 2003, stimulating and invigorating small Maine towns like Waterville and Skowhegan.

In 2006, with the work of the Maine Film Office, the Film Commission and film industry advocates Barney Martin and myself, Maine passed its current modest incentives. Those incentives proved to be too small to make a difference and have had no impact in bringing additional productions to Maine.

Martin and I never slowed in our advocacy for film. Martin was appointed to the Film Commision by Governor Baldacci because of his yeoman’s work on the first round of incentives. But he left the commission in frustration after almost a year because he felt there was a lack of urgency and follow through in approaching potential productions for Maine and working to pass further incentives.

I started my own blog promoting Maine and the Maine film community as well as producing a video promoting Maine. My posts are now delivered to legislators, business leaders, film production companies, and everyday citizens of Maine.

In addition, Martin and I have begun a road tour of local Chambers of Commerce and municipalities to help them reach into their communities and become more film friendly.

Over the course of the last few years Martin and I have frequently spoken our minds in regard to what the Film Office and Film Commission could do to proactively promote Maine, film, and film incentives. This willingness to not only speak openly in regard to what needs to be done but also to go out and do what we felt the film office and film commission should be doing caused some acrimony.

To help bring both sides together and create a union to reach out to the Maine community as a whole Martin and I arranged a meeting on December 10th at the Maple Room in Lewiston. Inviting the Film Office, Film Commission, the Maine Film and Video Association, members of Portland Media Artists, legislators, and municipal leaders to a warm, enticing, open room designed for intimately listening to world class artists perform was integral to creating an air of openness, kindness and an exchange of ideas.

To read the entire article click the title to be redirected to