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.