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 (www.mainefilm.blogspot.com) 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 www.mainefilm.blogspot.com 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

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from the Kennebec Journal

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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 www.mainefilm.blogspot.com 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 adults.report 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 KJ.report abuse
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