In 2008 the then departing Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm left Michigan with one of the country’s most generous film incentives.
Within three years, Michigan was pushed into the forefront of the film industry. Over 100 feature films were produced,–with more scheduled for production,–creating thousands of high paying jobs for unemployed Michigan residents. Moreover, the film industry created six dollars of economic activity for each dollar spent helping local businesses, cities, and individuals who are not directly tied to film.
Michigan became a place for creative minds and young talent. These incentives offered opportunities for many creative careers and provided the antidote to the decades of brain drain Michigan was facing.
When the newly elected Michigan Governor Rick Snyder entered office he said that this would not do. He said that this incentive was wholly unsustainable. In 2011 he proposed reducing the film incentive. Immediately movies started leaving the state, and this emerging industry stalled. The Michigan Film Office stopped taking applications. It effectively closed its doors and everyone waited with bated breath for the governor to make his next move.
In December 2011, he signed a bill into law which capped the film incentives but made available monies for the film industry. By this time Hollywood had fled the state for greener pastures.
While hundreds of jobs evaporated with a stroke of a pen, not all of Michigan’s creative minds followed Hollywood’s departure from the state. Michigan still has a film industry. Many of its creative minds are still creating noteworthy works. All deserve to be seen.
Help Us Make this a Reality
Residents of Jackson, Michigan agree. Michigan’s filmmakers deserve to be seen. Hollywood may have left Michigan because of the delay that was experienced as Michigan politicians deliberated over the film incentives. However, Michigan’s film industry is still alive. We want to create a showcase for Michigan film and music industries. We want our filmmakers and musicians to know we support them.
What we would like to do is create a multi-venue celebration of Michigan film and music in the downtown Jackson area, with the focus held at Jackson’s last historic theater–the Michigan Theatre. Can the setting be more perfect? Michigan film and music at the Michigan Theatre— A film/music festival here in south-central Michigan As people hear of our plans to host this event, more and more people come on board–both residents, filmmakers and musicians. More and more people are excitedly volunteering. Everyone says, “Yeh, let’s do it.”
South-central Michigan–more specifically, Jackson, Michigan– needs a film/music fest.
Here’s How You Can Help
Planning such as an event can be an arduous, daunting task. First there is the initial idea; then creating a planning committee; creating a budget; securing the venue, soliciting sponsors; inviting directors, writers and producers to introduce their films; setting programming for the festival; securing volunteers; designating leaders to coordinate and manage the volunteers…and all of this before staging the event.
While we would certainly like you to join us in volunteering in any of these areas, we know this is not always possible. So what can you do? Each of these steps involves costs. These include venue costs; marketing costs; staff costs; production costs; ticketing costs; catering costs; runner costs; catering costs; and miscellaneous costs such as petty cash, hospitality, etc. This is not to mention creating rewards for truly exemplary works.
All of these costs have to be covered to make this event a reality. We realize that money for many is tight, and if you are like many of us, we are approached daily asked for donations. But this is project that will go a long way. By contributing you are helping us create a platform so Michigan’s young and budding talented film makers can display their works and their potential skills, thus ensuring heavy publicity here in south-central Michigan. By contributing as little as a dollar, you are helping us in a BIG way. You are helping these artists be seen and heard. You are helping us create a platform from which many of these artists might launch careers.
While your first and most immediate reward should be the knowledge that you are helping support the creation of a platform to launch a filmmaker’s and/or musician’s career, we are fully prepared to offer you something unique for every level of your contribution. Look at the column on the right. Find the level of contribution that fits your budget. Contribute based upon your ability.
The Michigan film industry is a real and viable alternative to the demise of Michigan’s industrial base. It is a positive path to recreate Michigan’s economy and help redefine who we are as a state. Help us create a film/music festival and help us help Michigan’s film and music industries.
Another Big Way in Which You Can Help
Spread the word. Tell others about our campaign. Inform others of our desires and ambitions.
Blog it. Write about it. Use the Indiegogo share tools. Most importantly, get involved.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
For more on helping us out: