Hollywood's Big Budget Film Exodus Loses California $9.6 Billion

Hollywood's Big Budget Film Exodus Loses California $9.6 Billion

Lack of subsidies for blockbusters like “The Hobbit,” “Iron Man 3” costs state almost 50,000 jobs, study finds

California's film and television tax credits generated $4.3 billion in economic activity and bolstered 22,300 jobs, according to a study released Thursday by the Southern California Association of Governments.

But an exodus of films with massive budgets to production hotspots such as the United Kingdom and Canada that offer more generous subsidies was acutely felt in the Golden State. It cost California an estimated $410 million in state and local tax revenues. It also meant sacrificing 47,600 jobs and $9.6 billion in economic output, the study's authors claim.

Also read: What State Is the Movie-Making Capital of the World? Hint: It's Not California or New York

“You cannot look at this program and not see it as a formidable economic and fiscal benefit,” Hasan Ikhrata, SCAG Executive Director, said in a statement. “California is very much at risk of losing its film industry, and without this program the past five years, the losses would have been even more painful.”

Also read: Movie Production Up 20% in L.A. Area – And It's Not Nearly Enough

The study comes as California lawmakers are debating whether or not to extend a program that Hollywood studios and their allies claim is vital to keeping the film business from moving out of state, and detractors liken to corporate handouts. Legislation has been proposed by Assemblymen Raul Bocengra and Mike Gatto that would expand the program to include films with budgets of up to $100 million, as well as broadcast television and other forms of programming. Currently, eligible productions must have budgets of $75 million or under and are limited to basic cable programming.

See photos: 12 of the Biggest Movies Shot in the U.K.: ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Muppets’

Capped at $100 million per year, California's Film and Television Tax Credit Program lags behind many of the more than 40 states and a dozen countries that offer some form of production incentives.  New York's program offers $420 million annually, for instance, while states like Georgia and Louisiana offer incentive plans that are uncapped.

In  2013, 75 percent of the 41 live action feature films with production budgets in excess of $75 million were filmed outside of California, a list that includes “Man of Steel,” “Iron Man 3” and “Oz the Great and Powerful,” which decamped for New Zealand, Detroit and other far-flung destinations that offered sweeter deals.

Also read: L.A. Film Czar: Tax Incentives About Middle-Class Jobs, Not Corporate Welfare

The metropolitan planning organization's report also found that the 109 film projects that received support from the program returned 11 percent on public investment over the past three years.  The best bang for the buck came from television programs, which returned 19 percent on public funds. Independent feature films returned 15 percent, the study claims.

Projects such as ”Bridesmaids,” “The Lincoln Lawyer” and “The Social Network” that benefited from the incentives generated $247.7 million in state and local tax revenues, $4.3 billion in economic output and $1.6 billion in labor income, the study's authors report.

  • Matt Clayton

    As much as that exodus hurts California… let's be honest, the cost of living and overall production costs are a LOT more in the Golden State (as well as New York, but that 30% incentive takes a lot of the sting out). And why should filmmaking be relegated to Hollywood only? Other states can, and are, being competitive with their incentives — not just Georgia, New Mexico, and Louisiana but others too. Sure there's some stuff you get in L.A. that's easier to come by, but I'm not surprised studios are being lured out-of-state and occasionally out of country.

    As for including “The Hobbit” on the list… why? It was going to shoot in New Zealand no matter what.

    • PeterBlood

      Spreading out the movie base far and wide doesn't allow for a concentrated base of professionals working pretty regularly. It's a form of employment torture to work 6 months and then find nothing for another 6 months or a year without traveling to it. Same with ancillary places like prop rental shops, lighting and grip rentals, etc.. Some places keep a semi-stream of activity going but it can be a flaky feast or famine business. Hard to pay the mortgage on maybe's.

      • Ross

        @PeterBlood:disqus Then pick another career to fill that void of lack of employment. Have MORE than one skill!

        • Hopeful

          So Ross proposes that tens of thousand just get another skill?!?! I think your statement broad brushes the situation that many talented and passionate people just “do something else”. I doubt you could ever fully grasp the severity of this situation with such a harsh comment.

          • Hopeful

            I truly hope that you and your family never find yourself in this situation.

          • Ross

            Let's see. Lose job, go find ANOTHER job. May not be what I'm accustomed to doing, yet, it keeps the light on, gas in the car, and food in the freezer! Woe is me for being proactive in life! You're a lazy person if you can't adapt. Get a clue! Excuses are the tools of the incompetent!

          • fuddles

            Wow, you're a *dick*. I hope you DO lose your job, so I can say “tough shit, pick up a mop and work at McDonald's”.

          • Ross

            @fuddles: Pride comes before the fall! >:I NO SHAME in working at McDonalds, especially when it PAYS to keep the lights on, and food in the fridge and gas in the car! >:I One too many entitled f*cks stay in a predicament 'cause of PRIDE! >:I Can't work in film 'cause the work is moving elsewhere? MOVE where the work is or DO SOMETHING ELSE! >:I Pretty simple! Adapt! >:I Met me a Disney animator painting signs at a grocery store. He got laid off, refused to deal with the 3D animation aspect, and decided he'd rather paint signs (use his hands and body) than work in front of a computer all day. Steady paycheck, keeps the lights on and food in the belly! He didn't b*tch, he got on with life! In other words, f*ck you if you can't adapt! >:I

          • Ross

            @Hopeful : Happens EVERYDAY! >:I If you can't adapt to feed yourself and/or your family then you are not suited to function in this ever changing society! This is a JOB! Plain and simple it's a JOB! If you consider the TRUTH of the matter, “harsh,” so be it! You're living in a delusional world where things stay the same. The only people who have things stay the same are buried in the cemetery! >:I

        • aanonn

          the goal is to change the failing paradigm and evolve the system

        • PeterBlood

          Well I do have MANY area's of skill but that's besides the point.

          • Ross

            No, it's not! If you have many skills you don't need to worry about lack of employment! >:I

          • PeterBlood

            Once again you miss the point. And you're not 100% accurate. You can have many skills and STILL have a difficult time finding work these days. On top of everything else we are in an economic downturn if you've noticed. Point of it is if it were an even playing field and producers weren't being bribed to go elsewhere many people could still work in the areas they excel at and pride themselves in.

          • Ross

            You can have ONE skill and have NO trouble finding work these days too! What's your point? >:I If you're seeking to argue for YOUR personal LIMITATIONS! Keep them! >:I Last I looked, it's ATTITUDE that determines how far people will excel regardless of perceived “downturns.” Adapt or be left behind. Simple! If you have MANY skills you don't need to worry about lack of employment! >:I If you can drive a truck, cook a meal, mow a lawn, fix a car, do plumbing, carpentry there is NO lack of of work! More skills means MORE opportunity. For you to claim you have many skills and then complain about work going to other locations just means you're full of sh*t! >:I

          • PeterBlood

            Gee thanks Dad for the pep talk. I have no argument with you, I am addressing the issues stated in the article. People do what they have to do, but it isn't right if the rug is being pulled out unfairly. FYI – I am finishing post production on a film a partner and I produced together and it goes in May to Cannes to hopefully get sold.

          • Ross

            20 years? You call over 20 YEARS of shooting elsewhere “Rug being pulled out?” Seriously? o_O How ignorant can you get of the industry you want to be in? Even Spielberg said OVER 20 YEARS AGO! “L.A. has priced itself out of the shooting market.” OVER 20 YEARS AGO! This isn't some sneaky move! How old are you to be ignorant of this! >:I How much have you actually looked into the business aspect of SHOW BUSINESS!?? Did you not see what happened to t.v. animation? 2D Feature Animation? GONE! GONE ELSEWHERE on the planet! And since you're making a film, you have no need to worry about what is happening to the jobs, 'cause you're doing what a PROACTIVE person would do! Make their own path, create your own buzz! :) Content creation is the path to go. Service workers gotta go where the work is.

          • PeterBlood

            How old are you anyway? You talk like your an excitable judgmental 12 year old. I belong to many of the major industry associations and in the business for over 36 years. Working on films all over the world. You don't need to tell me anything junior. Producer incentives to film elsewhere have gone on for years but they have gotten a lot worse in the last couple of years with major drop-offs of productions shot in California. I didn't expect to have to give a major treatise on the ills of all aspects of the industry. Since I don't have time for this I'll just let you play fast and loose with the”facts.”

          • Ross

            “but they have gotten a lot worse in the last couple of years with major drop-offs of productions shot in California” :I How is this bad if you are a PRODUCER! It's NOT! >:I If you've been in this business for 36 years and you never thought to take on more responsibility like being a PRODUCER, then you deserve what you get! >:I People perish due to ignorance! >:I I have ZERO sympathy for people who aren't forward thinking. Especially in this GLOBAL economy! California got expensive over 20 years ago! >:I OVER 20 years ago! >:I Get a clue! It's expensive to shoot in California! Shooting permits, paying off local businesses! Even Michael Bay had trouble getting permission to shoot at the Hoover Dam with NO PEOPLE except his crew and cast! California drove film producers to shoot ELSEWHERE!

          • kyoseki

            The Hoover Dam is in Nevada, genius.

          • Ross

            What's your point? Address everything else I wrote! You can't refute the majority of what I wrote! >:I

          • kyoseki

            Ok, I put a URL in my original reply and now it's stuck in moderation hell.

            This is from an article on another website, these are numbers from an MPAA guy (just pick a chunk of text and google it, you'll get the relevant article).

            ‘“Let's say the gross total budget of a big tent-pole is $251 million,” Stevenson said. “If you take that film to Vancouver, for example, that same picture, before credit, would be $259-$260 million. You've got the (extra) cost of hotels and housing for cast and key crew you bring from L.A. as well as people you hire on the ground. But the incentive there is worth about $18 million. So you're reducing that budget from $251 to $241 million. That's a big savings.”

            “In Pontiac, Michigan, it would be $270 million to go there,” Stevenson added. “But the credit is almost $35 million, so instead of $251 you're down to $235 million. And in California, any movie over $75 million doesn't qualify for the credit, so if you're shooting a tent-pole you get no credit in California.”’

            Without subsidies, it's more expensive to shoot in either Michigan or Vancouver than in Los Angeles.

          • Ross

            Incorrect, again, sir. For one, especially when you mention Canada, you haven't factored in the EXCHANGE RATE on currencies! Even WITHOUT subsidies Canadian locations would still be ahead (cost wise, being cheaper) of shooting in L.A. And if you haven't noticed there's many an indy director in comments section of posts regarding the “film exodus from California,” who point out, how EXPENSIVE it is to get a permit to shoot in L.A. alone! Bigger budget movies would be paying an inflated cost on shooting permits! L.A. is NOT film friendly when it comes to shooting. California taxes are also atrocious! 10 percent hotel tax? On top of the State tax..comeon now! When you house actors for shoots in Cali you pay ridiculous amounts! There was a townhall meeting pointing this aspect out as well!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Ross, you're quite simply mistaken.

            Without subsidies, it's more expensive to shoot in either Michigan or Vancouver than in Los Angeles.

          • kyoseki

            Those aren't my numbers, they're the MPAA's numbers and I'll lay money that they include the exchange rate which is why BC is less expensive than Michigan.

            Is California expensive? Damn straight it is, but every major location California is losing work to is MORE expensive and wouldn't even get a look in if they weren't throwing gobs of taxpayer money at the movie industry.

            … and you don't have to worry about the cost of housing cast & crew when shooting in Southern California because THEY LIVE HERE, don't they?

          • Ross

            The Canadian dollar fluctuates GREATLY to the American dollar. Canada deliberately devalues its currency to the American dollar to keep export numbers high! Start reading the business section of the paper! Watch currency trends! As for your shoot in California 'cause they live there, well guess what? CREWS LIVE IN VANCOUVER TOO! >:I Studios don't need to ship entire camera crews to Canadian locations to shoot! >:I That would defeat the purpose of saving money! >:I the IATSE is INTERNATIONAL! Not relegated to California! GET A CLUE! >:I I house my actors in hotels in California I pay ridiculous taxes, I house my actors in Canada, I don't pay ridiculous taxes PLUS due to the currency exchange, it's CHEAPER! >:I

          • kyoseki

            If the Canadian exchange rate was such a winner, why do they still need subsidies? Why do they need hundreds of millions of dollars from Canadian taxpayers in order to compete with us?

            California is the only state/country in the top 10 movie production locations worldwide that doesn't heavily subsidize production. Everyone else is having to bribe their way into a seat at the table. If we're so goddamned expensive, why would anyone need to rip their taxpayers off to compete with us?

            If you already have a head start, you don't get to trash talk the other competitors.

            Meanwhile, back at the point, some crews might live in Vancouver, but the big name talent lives down here, don't they?

            Can you name a single A-List actor who lives in BC? Because I can't. I can name a lot of Canadian actors, but they all live in Los Angeles. If subsidies were building an industry, why is this the case?

            You want to do an Indie movie? Fine, stay in Canada if it'll save you a couple bucks, I'd actually love to see more Canadian funded movies, rather than Canadian subsidized Hollywood movies, but that's not how the industry is currently shaping up.

            All of the money comes back to Los Angeles, because that's where the movie studios are based.

            If you really want to compete with us, start your own movie studio, because if AB 1839 passes to bring Calis subsidies in line with everyone else's, nobody will do any principal photography outside of California.

          • Ross

            What's this “us” business. You act like you got skin in the game? Are you putting any money toward financing a movie? NOPE! So you don't even have your own skin in the game! >:I Instead you're trying to ride on the coat tails of GIANTS and claiming you're calling the shots! DELUSION! F*cking DELUSIONAL! Now I see your problem! o_O

            “Can you name a single A-List actor who lives in BC?” Irrelevant! >:I Jackie Chan lives in Hong Kong. What's your point? Besides, why would an actor being paid in American dollars want to maintain a residence in Canada and the USA? They just get taxed TWICE on their properties and earnings! F*ck that! That's why Justin Bieber lives in the USA! :P

            “California is the only state/country in the top 10 movie production locations worldwide that doesn't heavily subsidize production.” It used to! Now it CAN'T AFFORD TO! >:I That was my point about the headstart!!! >:I California started this subsidize sh*t, (had a headstart) now that others took the SAME model, it,California, CAN'T compete 'cause it's a BROKE STATE, and the locals are now complaining that other people followed the California subsidize model!!! Booo-hoo! >:I

          • kyoseki

            Really? California started the subsidy game?

            Do you have, you know, facts, to back up that assertion?

          • Ross

            Google AND the library are your friend! Plenty of books on the business of Hollywood! PLENTY! Head downtown and READ! >:I

          • kyoseki

            *yawn*

            You made the assertion, back it up, I'm not doing your homework for you.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Your information is obsolete. California is back in surplus, which is why they're discussing subsidies to compete with other locations.

            Ironically, California's existing subsidies were not created for the studios. They were capped for low budget films. They were an encouragement for independent filmmakers, not the mega-studios.

            BTW, I don't need to go to the library to learn about how Hollywood works. I live and work here, and have for decades.

          • Ross

            And another thing, this SUMS it up quite nicely! “I don’t see a flood going back into L.A.,” Maniatis concluded. “I think they could stem the tide and go after more production, but again, it’s a competitive market now.” ADAPT! Go where the work is, or do something else, or put yourself in the position of being the DECISION MAKER of where a production will shoot!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Ross, if you're correct, and without subsidies it's cheaper to shoot in Canada – why do you need the subsidies?

            Why is it that every time Canada even brings up ending the subsidies, the studios threaten to leave?

            Why is it that when Montreal offers even a 5% increase in subsidies, production leaves Vancouver for Montreal?

          • Ross

            So what? Quebec has always had more incentives, yet films and VFX shops still set up shop in B.C. Why? Could it be LANGUAGE is one of those reasons!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Of course language has something to do with it. ALL of the places where the work is going share English as a common language.

            That's what proves the joke about “cheap labor.” India and China aren't getting the work. English speaking, government subsidized countries are getting the work.

          • kyoseki

            Maniatis is one of the guys responsible for subsidies, of course he's not going to suggest that the only reason people are shooting in New Mexico is because New Mexico is paying them to do so.

            That's no different to the BC government suggesting that the work won't simply evaporate if they scrap subsidies, at best, it's monumentally naive, at worse it's downright deceptive.

          • Oblagon

            Hey “Ross” tell me again what state the Hoover Dam is in again?

          • Ross

            So what? Doesn't discount the rest of what I said, dear. ;) California is STILL too expensive of a location to shoot! >:I

          • Oblagon

            Only because of cash rebates. Governments have to pay money to studios to do work othere otherwise its cheaper to do it in California. LA in particular because of the amount of sunlight you get year round, it greatly reduces the costs for studio lighting and power generation. However cash rebates help offset that for shoots that don't require location specific shots. If you want to look at Canada, someone has to be smoking something if you suggest costs in Canada are lower than anywhere in the US for shooting without the rebates. Companies have a lot more tax loopholes to exploit stateside as well.

          • PeterBlood

            Hoover Dam is not in California, it's in Nevada on the border with Arizona. Calm yourself Ross and take your meds.

          • Ross

            Thanks for the correction. Nevada is still close enough to California. Point remains, make it tough to shoot, film crews go elsewhere, including OTHER COUNTRIES!

          • Nosegrob00

            “Employment” is different from a Career. I can depend on employment from Papa Johns, but that's far from my desired career. I'm trying to make a career for myself in visual digital design, I cannot do that by switching skills and moving to a personally less desirable industry. I'm just trying to get some good work in a field that I have been educated for.

          • Ross

            @Nosegrob00 : You will have 2-5 careers in your lifetime! I trained to be a 2D Animator. How many 2D features are being done these days? NONE! Did I b*tch about it? Nope! I got on with learning another skill! MANY OTHER SKILLS! ADAPT! What you like and what is available may not match at all! ADAPT! If you were foolish enough to take on large student loans for something you could've learned off the internet, well, I got news for you…GO WHERE THE WORK IS to pay off those loans or get training for a HIGHER PAYING OCCUPATION! >:I

      • aanonn

        totally, this industry has become a form of torture : because of LA politics and LA's stranglehold

    • aanonn

      Did you see the protests on youtube ?

    • Mark Kochinski

      Actually, Warner Brothers threatened to take the Hobbit to the UK if New Zealand didn't increase their subsidy.

      • Ross

        That was a bluff! The UK doesn't have the same landscapes (open space) as New Zealand!

        • Mark Kochinski

          If it was a bluff, it worked. New Zealand upped their subsidy for both the Hobbit and Avatar.

          But what's more interesting is how this displays your lack of knowledge. How much of the Hobbit do you think is real footage, and how much is computer generated? The Hobbit is 90% green screen.

          • Ross

            90% Green Screen. Then it would've shot in Vancouver, dear. ;) Using ACTUAL locations saves money in render times. Hence, NEW ZEALAND is a great shooting location for movies that require epic landscapes!

          • Mark Kochinski

            I'm not sure you know me well enough to call me “dear.”

            Epic landscapes are computer generated these days, or second unit.

            That's why they threatened to go to England. Avatar as we. (Are you going to tell me Avatar needs to be shot in New Zealand?)

          • Ross

            “Avatar” was ALSO a bluff! James Cameron could've funded those sequels with his OWN money! He goes after the best team. He beamed of Weta non-stop during the first Avatar, and guaranteed he'd do the same with the sequels! That's a crew he's comfortable working with that's why he prefers to stay in New Zealand with this team. LOTR and Hobbit aren't Avatar! Do your research before typing, dear. Only people who are uncomfortable with work going elsewhere are people that are NOT good at their craft! People who are exceptional at their craft are part of the CORE team that gets called when the work goes to a new location. If you're not at that level, then get better, MOVE, or do something else.

          • Mark Kochinski

            You're a very confused person.

            If Cameron was bluffing, it worked. He got his increased subsidy. He successfully blackmailed the NZ government into giving him more free money.

            And you celebrate this?

            Seriously, you need to stop calling me “dear.” It's creepy.

            You think the top people at their craft want to be shipped around the world to do their work? That's funny, because I KNOW the people working on these films, and they HATE having to relocate every six months, unable to be with their families, unable to afford to buy a home, because they KNOW they're going to be away from it most of the year.

            Here's the level that I'm at: I'm still working, still in L.A., still successful, and I don't HAVE to relocate every few months to remain employed. I can turn those jobs down.

            That's how exceptional at my craft I am.

          • Ross

            “If Cameron was bluffing, it worked. He got his increased subsidy.” <–good for him. FOX is happy, Weta is happy, looks like a win-win to me. :) The bureaucrats in the NZ government could've said "no," and played it out, it's not a game of Poker, it's a game of "chicken."

            "I KNOW the people working on these films, and they HATE having to relocate every six months, " <–Directors and Actors gotta do the same thing too. Part of the business. Don't like it, do something else.

            "unable to be with their families," <–again, they need to go do something else with their lives then. Relocation has and always will be part of this business.

            "unable to afford to buy a home," <—again, they need to reconsider their line of work then, if home ownership is their goal. Besides, home prices in California are over-inflated. They should move to Texas, Kansas, or Colorado.

            "Here's the level that I'm at: I'm still working, still in L.A.," <–good for you. Then you have NOTHING to worry about. :)

            "and I don't HAVE to relocate every few months to remain employed." <–then teach your friends how you did it. 'Cause, as you pointed out, they HAVE to move every six months. What kind of friend are you if you can't share some wisdom so they don't have to move so often?

            "That's how exceptional at my craft I am." <–Then why are you b*tchin' about tax incentives? Why aren't you in a position to steer a production to a particular location? Why aren't you a PRODUCER? Why aren't you in an EXECUTIVE position. Neil Blomkamp went from VFX artist to DIRECTOR. He got to steer where the work went for his films. He even sent work to his FRIENDS in Vancouver that owned and operated a VFX shop, that he went to school with!

          • Mark Kochinski

            For the last of many times, Ross – what is your experience and knowledge of the film industry?

            Post after post reveals that you know next to nothing.

            Your ignorance about the subject is impressive.

          • Ross

            I offer pragmatic solutions and you call that ignorant? Amazing. Projection, much? Neil Blomkamp went from VFX artist to DIRECTOR. There's NO CEILING for those who want to do more in the FILM INDUSTRY. You can't refute that so you just say “Oh that's ignorant.” Like the fat guy who still eats cakes and ice cream for breakfast and denies that that is part of his problem as to why he's STILL fat! >:I REFUTE the advice I mentioned. Don't like moving every six months DO SOMETHING ELSE! SIMPLE! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            Your “pragmatic” solutions illustrate a dire lack of knowledge about the industry.

            For every VFX artist that graduates to being a director, there are hundreds that fail. Blomkamp was mentored by Peter Jackson.

            Ever hear of “director” Trey Stokes? Bruce Branit? John Parenteau?

            All of them were VFX artists who directed award winning short films. They are all massively talented, in both directing and VFX. None of them had a high profile director championing them.

            All of them are still doing VFX to survive, they're just deeper in debt for having made their films.

            The list goes on – I know hundreds.

            Consider yourself refuted.

            Once again I ask – where do you get your “expert” knowledge? How many years have you worked in the industry? What's your list of credits? What's up on your IMDB page?

            Could it be that you're just another ignorant blowhard?

            Evidence seems to indicate it.

          • Ross

            I KNOW Neil Blomkamp PERSONALLY! >:I He WORKED on his CRAFT! HE MADE FILMS! That's how you get NOTICED! YOU CREATE BEYOND YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION! He took the advice of Spielberg “You want to be a director, DIRECT!” No excuses! Cameras are cheap now! The options are unlimited!

            ” None of them had a high profile director championing them.” :I Robert Rodriguez FINANCED his own films! No one championed him he pushed himself, and then people came to his side! SELLING is the biggest part of ANY business. If you don't put effort in selling, doesn't matter your talent or product, if you can't sell it, you'll be waiting a long time to reap any financial rewards!

            “All of them are still doing VFX to survive, they're just deeper in debt for having made their films.” :I

            “The list goes on – I know hundreds.” <- You know hundreds of unsuccesful people! Water seeks its own level. Birds of a feather flock together! Case closed. You are the company you keep!

            "Consider yourself refuted." :I

            “Could it be that you're just another ignorant blowhard?”<–Look in the mirror, and read your comments!

            "Evidence seems to indicate it." <–again, projection much?

          • Mark Kochinski

            Actually, they were award winning films. They went viral. One was the most watched video on the internet, in its time.

            It still didn't pay off.

            Since it's stupid to go into debt to finance your short films, how do you propose to fund them? It costs time and money to make short films.

            It's pretty insulting to assume that the hundreds of filmmakers & VFX people I know are all unsuccessful.

            They WERE successful, right up until governments started handing out free money to movie studios to get them to move.

            Usually when you start a business, it requires a lot of investment and commitment, and unless you're Sony and can afford to abandon a facility (twice – Albuquerque and now Culver City)it's not always easy to follow the money.

            Let's see…you claim I'm ignorant about the film industry, but I live in it, work in it and have over 20 years experience in it.

            And your record is…? What exactly makes you an expert on Hollywood, again?

            Oh that's right. You refuse to admit what you do for a living.

            What's your dog in this race, Ross? Why do you care so much that governments keep giving handouts to the studios?

          • Ross

            “Since it's stupid to go into debt to finance your short films, how do you propose to fund them? It costs time and money to make short films.” <—if you have to ask this question despite the multitude of people who have NOT gone into debt to finance their self-made films, you further confirm your laziness.

            "Let's see…you claim I'm ignorant about the film industry, but I live in it, work in it and have over 20 years experience in it." <—Means nothing. All it means is you've been doing one year 20 times over, or you would be in a better position than you are right now. Neil Blomkamp has a few years in, yet he's already making bigger strides than your 20 years in. Years mean nothing, it's what you do in those years that count. That separates the exceptional from the clock punchers.

            "It's pretty insulting to assume that the hundreds of filmmakers & VFX people I know are all unsuccessful."<–truth hurts. Yet, it's still the truth. I don't see Phil Tippet complaining! Dennis Muren, John Knoll. In fact, Dennis Muren already stated (paraphrase) "With the availableility of software and tutorials, you don't need to go into debt to learn how to do VFX. You can practically do it from anywhere."

            "They WERE successful, right up until governments started handing out free money to movie studios to get them to move." <—successful people don't make excuses. They get on with doing what they do best. If your "friends" are so great at what they do and successful, why didn't they open their own VFX studios? Why didn't they take advantage of the tax incentives offered in many States. Doesn't cost much to rent a little office with a P.O. Box, get a registered business number, and offer vendor services in that State. SUCCESSFUL people THINK BIG! They ADAPT! Why didn't a pool of your friends come together and do such a thing? 'Cause they are UNSUCCESSFUL! They are CLOCK PUNCHERS! They are NOT innovators! They are expendables.

            "Usually when you start a business, it requires a lot of investment and commitment," <–you need to hang around smarter people. The losers you hang around with are influencing your perception of what's possible and with what.

            "it's not always easy to follow the money." <–yes, it is.

            "What's your dog in this race, Ross? Why do you care so much that governments keep giving handouts to the studios?" <—'cause I follow the money. ;) Loving every minute of it. Position yourself to use this money or be left behind.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Well, you're a charmer, aren't you?

            Quite the freeloading socialist, too, I guess, if you're living off your fellow taxpayer's largess. Enjoy it while it lasts. It won't be long.

            “In a feasibility study prepared by Picard, Kentz and Rowe, the lawyers explained that workers don’t have to rely on the discretion of the U.S. Trade Representative. Instead, they could invoke an existing countervailing duty law which, according to the lawyers, is “mandatory in its application” and “does not grant the Administration discretion to decline” an action.

            Translated from legal-ese, this means the anti-subsidy laws are insulated from political interference, no matter how many friends in high places the MPAA has.

            If visual effects workers can show the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission that an import is benefiting from foreign subsidies and therefore illegally undercutting a domestic industry, the federal government is obligated to automatically slap a punitive tax on that import. Such a tax would in practice erase the extra profit margins the studios are gleaning from the foreign subsidies, thereby leveling the competitive playing field for American workers and eliminating the purely economic incentive for the studios to engage in mass offshoring.”

          • Mark Kochinski

            Interesting, the “losers” I hang around are some of the biggest names in VFX.

            Who do you hang around with, Ross? What are your credits? What production work do you do?

            Why are you so afraid to answer that simple question? Why don't you put me in my place and show me why you're such an expert? Tell me of your experience in filmmaking.

            I'll be here, working in the industry for a long time to come. I'm not sure what you'll be doing, but I'm betting it has nothing to do with production.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Oh, and Digital Domain went to Florida to take advantage of the subsidies. They convinced hundreds of people to move to Florida. Then the subsidies were cut off, and hundreds of people were left unemployed in Florida.

            Sony did the same thing in New Mexico.

            That's what happens when you take the advice of people who chase subsidies.

  • Josh

    People need to stop calling them incentives and tax breaks. They're subsidies.
    Most (if not all) of these programs dole out money even if the production has zero tax liability.

    All independent studies show these subsidies don't pay for themselves and cost tax payers money. These states and governments are becoming investors in movies without ever seeing any of the profit.

    • Yes on AB1839

      Call Sacramento. Yes on AB 1839. California and NY are so overtaxed and overegulated (another form of taxation) that tax relief is the Conservative approach. The income taxes and revenue back into the treasury from the workforce will more than recoup the tax reduction. For California's economy it makes economic sense to LOWER TAXES on the businesses that generate JOBS. Yes on lower taxes, yes on more jobs, yes on AB1839

      • Mark Kochinski

        This is not about lower taxes. The “tax” part is taxpayer money given to the studios. Do you really think that 25-30% of a film's budget is taxes?

        This is the state underwriting the cost of production. Taxpayer money going directly into the pockets of the studios. This is not conservative. It's socialism. Corporate socialism. Corporate welfare.

  • Mark Kochinski

    Josh is right. These are not tax “breaks” or “relief” or “incentives.” They are taxpayer funded payoffs to the studios. Taxpayers are paying for every movie twice – first during production and then when they buy tickets.

    • aanonn

      it's done to destroy Hollywood's monopoly

      • Mark Kochinski

        There is no international jurisdiction on monopolies. Second, the studios still retain their control of the industry. It doesn't change the monopoly at all – it simply off-shores the labor. Third, There are vibrant domestic film industries in the UK, Hong Kong, Canada, India – governments should be building those industries, not trying to take ours.

        • aanonn

          You are trying to establish a equivalency in the industries and there isn't any when 6 US companies control the industry.

          It needs to end. It's an anachronism.

          The films now are becoming repetitive and dull, appealing to lowest common denominator audiences for maximum returns.
          The creativity and inspiration isn't what is being supported in LA. It's an industry about producers, greed and nepotism not artists, creativity, interest and progress.

          There are other voices.

          • Josh

            You're dumb…subsidies do nothing to let other voiced be “heard”

            It simply allows these giant already rich corporations to bilk money from taxpayers and shift jobs/families around in the process.

          • aanonn

            Should the US first end all it's BILLIONS in pre-existing subsidies for many US industries ?

            Are you complaining about those ?

            if US subsidies are “bilking” the taxpayer why aren't you complaining about them ?

            …….or it is really about personal convenience and standing with anything that personally benefits you ?

            Isn't trying to change the entire world to fit you preconception of how every other country on the planet should operate it's financial system over reaching ?

          • Josh

            So you're admitting your previous comment was dumb? Cause you didn't dispute it.

            First of all your distracting from the topic of film subsidies by pointing to other subsidies as a red herring. But since you're asking my personal opinion it seems, yes, I am against all these subsidies for billion dollar companies.

            Plenty of people already complain about those. But I'm complaining about this one here and now

            Which leads my response of your next question which is I personally would actually benefit if CA passed subsidies. But it doesn't stop me from telling the truth about them being a bad idea and making no financial sense.

            Its not me changing the world…the world has already talked and agreed about it. These international film subsidies are against international trade law under the WTO. And as such we should impose tariffs (aka counterveiling duties) on subsides film work that is in violation of trade law.

            Plenty of other countries impose tariffs on subsidized american goods.

            Any other questions?

          • Mark Kochinski

            You're not getting this, are you? It's still the same 6 companies. They control the industry no matter where it goes. They're just getting free taxpayer money. It's not creating any new studios.

          • aanonn

            I get it perfectly,

            It's you, MARK, who are completely confined in your repeated preconceptions.

            The FUTURE is not about the big 6 anymore.
            WAKE UP. PULL YOUR HEAD OUT. GET WITH THE PROGRAM.

            Digital media is a world industry.

            It's not LA specific and it certainly isn't confined to 6 companies, anachronistic illusions or arrogant, nationalistic blowhards.

          • Mark Kochinski

            The subsidies are KEEPING control of the media in the same hands, in the SAME 6 companies – NOT expanding it.

            The studios REMAIN in L.A. along with the producers . They simply collect Canadian tax dollars in the process. Or UK tax dollars, or NZ tax dollars.

            This has nothing to do with anachronistic illusions or nationalism in any way.

            Instead of knee jerk reactions, you might try learning about the subject matter at hand.

          • Josh

            I think this Aanonn guy is either a troll or an idiot.

            He doesn't know what he's talking about

          • Mark Kochinski

            I think he's the same guy trolling multiple articles and blogs. Same arguments, same distractions. He's either benefiting from the subsidies, or he's a studio troll.

          • aanonn

            Your paranoia is based in the same capitalism your espouse when it benefits you.

            You didn't respond to the questions and comments.

            Instead you try and create a witch hunt based on your own insecurity and paranoia.

            How very LA !

          • Ross

            You nailed it! These folks have a myopic view of the world. If they are inconvenienced they scream “bloody murder,” yet ignoring the same inconvenience MANY others faced to work in the film industry!

          • aanonn

            Baseless ad hominem “Josh”?
            you still don't know what I am talking about ?

            try educating yourself or at least addressing the points before attempting to insult someone you don't know ?

            if you can ?

          • aanonn

            You didn't answer my simple questions !

            WHY ???

          • aanonn

            No Mark, not only was your comment await moderation for inflammatory speech, your accusation against someone anonymous typical of the self-estructive, egotistical LA attitude, but you never addresses the fundamental question of why the US *ALSO* spends billions in subsidies for many other industries.

            You refuse to accept the future.

            The refusal is based in your misunderstanding of yourself.

            California didn't invent society, the words we use can even be traced back to Mesopotamia and Sumeria. The economies are always in a state of turmoil and many have complex systems.

            You are not separate from the world and neither is California.

            Thew reality is that now people have the technology, resources and skill to make places elsewhere with or without the studios.

            Refusal to see the truth and blaming me for speaking it, benefits nobody.

            You seem to love the very studio system your hate.

            ….very strange……

          • Mark Kochinski

            There was nothing in my comment that was any more inflammatory than your comments. It's unfortunate that it is awaiting moderation, because it made some very valid points.

            Different products fall under different laws when it comes to subsidies. Some subsidies are justifiable. Others are disruptive. Some follow trade laws. Others violate them.

            To conflate all of these complex issue is a mistake. Right now we are talking about one specific arena. It's a good idea to keep the subject matter confined to the actual subject.

            Your entire argument is based on a misconception.

            This is not about evolving technology, or competitive cliques, or tax breaks.

            New Zealand paid $120 million of taxpayer money to Warner Brothers to convince them to make the Hobbit there.

            This isn't a tax break. It's not a tax cut. It's not cheaper production.

            It's a government taking taxpayer money and handing it to a studio to bribe them to bring the work there.

            If the work was moving “naturally” away from L.A. because of lower tax rates, or cheaper labor, why do governments need to take taxpayer money and give the studios 25-30% of the budget back to the studios?

            End the subsidies, and let's see where the production goes.

          • Ross

            It won't go back to L.A. L.A. lost its head start with subsidies. Now it's complaining? o_O Tough sh*t! >:I That's like a fat guy complaining about a hot girl with a buff guy, and then the fat guys tells the buff guy, “Well, get fat like me, and see where she puts her attention.” LOSER MENTALITY! >:I Seeing that the girl likes buff guys, fat guy should think “She doesn't like fat guys, she likes buff guys, so I should go get buff to compete!” You complaining f*cks in California are that FAT GUY who refuses to compete or adapt to the situation! >:I

          • Ross

            I said this MANY times, on MANY BLOGS! Glad there's MORE people who UNDERSTAND! Thank you for sharing! :D

          • Ross

            ‘Cause he has NO ANSWER! He's one of the entitled bunch! Refusing to grow up, stuck in their old ways. These people will be left behind!

          • Mark Kochinski

            If it's a fair market, if it's the future, then why do you need to pay millions of dollars to the studios to get them to come there?

          • Ross

            ‘Cause it's NOT a FREE MARKET! >:I The global positioning of the USA already made that clear! Wars upon wars to control OTHER countries’ resources! It's no big deal for you when other people suffer, yet when you get inconvenienced you scream “bloody murder.” That's HYPOCRISY! Film, as long as it's international, will NOT be left alone to the same practices! FILM is INTERNATIONAL. If your location can't compete with the incentives, then MOVE! FAT GUY ANALOGY is appropriate! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            If you want a film industry, build one. You're not building a sustainable industry. Hollywood will leave as soon as there's a bigger handout somewhere else.

            Vancouver has spent 20 years paying Hollywood subsidies, and now Hollywood is leaving Vancouver for Montreal.

            Speaking of hypocrisy, you should hear what Vancouver is saying about the Montreal subsidies…

          • Ross

            Could care any less what Vancouver bureaucrats are saying about Montreal. Montreal has CHEAPER rent and HOTTER women than Vancouver! :P Less rain too! :D However, the language issue is key. If you knew anything about Montreal, Quebec in general, and setting up shop there, you'd understand why Sony and ILM aren't wasting their time regardless of any tax incentives!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Now this is about hotter women?
            I'm sorry I wasted any time trying to explain the facts to you.

            It's obvious your knowledge of the film industry comes from People magazine.

          • Ross

            If that's all you got from my comments, well, this explains why you have a narrow mind about tax incentives. No worries. :) Work is still going to go where there are incentives to be had. Ontario has nearly DOUBLE the debt load as California, and a third of the population, yet, they still found a way to offer TAX INCENTIVES! Gee, I wonder why? Could it be, 'cause tax incentives and a SKILLED local human resources pool encourage business owners to set up shop? A little food for thought. Again, good luck to you. :)

          • Mark Kochinski

            And the work is temporary and will leave Ontario as soon as the subsidies do. Stop trying to make them sound like a tax cut. They aren't. They're handouts. Welfare.

            Every study has shown that the incentives are a drain on the economy and don't pay off.

          • Ross

            Look up UBISOFT in Ontario. Tax incentives WORK! You gotta start thinking like a job CREATOR!

          • Mark Kochinski

            You mean lobbying politicians to hand out tax revenue for corporate welfare to rich companies? That kind of “job creator”?

            I am a job creator. Right now, I'm trying to create jobs in California.

          • Ross

            “I am a job creator. Right now, I'm trying to create jobs in California.” <—your delusion is now even more apparent. WOW!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Really? Tell me more about my life. Tell me about the people I just hired to work. Tell me more about the jobs I'm bringing in, the scripts I'm writing, and the production I'm in the middle of.

            Enlighten me with your knowledge of my personal life.

          • Mark Kochinski

            I did answer the question. Some subsidies are justifiable. They encourage business and growth, when it wouldn't normally exist.

            As an example, I'd put forth the California existing subsidies for film. They are capped for low budget films. They exist because it IS expensive to shoot in L.A., and there are many fees and restrictions.

            Those fees and restrictions, created for the mega studios, were choking local, independent filmmaking.

            So there are some subsidies for independent film, to counter the expense of filmmaking.

            That said, there are different laws and treaties that cover different products.

            There is a very good case being made that the international subsidies violate our trade agreements.

            This is not about being entitled or being stuck in old ways. It's about corporate welfare artificially creating a bubble, quite possibly illegally.

        • Ross

          As soon as the movie goes international it cuts into the building of local film industries. 90 percent of GLOBAL box office ticket sales go to one place, HOLLYWOOD, U.S.A. You want every other part of the globe to thrive with their own film industry, tell Hollywood to stop sending their movies international! >:I You want to work, MOVE where the work is! >:I ADAPT!

    • bam bam

      since im already paying up front for the movie production, i dont feel so bad downloading movies anymore :)

  • aanonn

    The US subsidizes many industries with billions of dollars too.

    80.4 BILLION in US subsidies every year.

    56 percent of the total tax subsidies went to just four industries: financial, utilities, tele-communications, and oil, gas & pipelines.

    it's being done to compete with the anti-competitive practices of Hollywood production.

    Fact is, the industry is changing and new technology will continue to innovate, globalize production and shrink anachronistic monopolies.

    • Mark Kochinski

      I think I recognize you by your arguments. You troll a lot of these sites, don't you?

      • aanonn

        You are the one sounding like a troll, Mark.

        • Mark Kochinski

          If the normal business cycle is for production to move away from L.A., why do governments need to pay 25-30% of the budget back to the studios out of taxpayer funds?

          I'm quite awake, thank you. I'm quite aware of the facts. I'm not sure if you are.

    • kyoseki

      Oh, I'm sorry, exactly which subsidies have managed to create a movie studio outside of the Big Six?

      If these subsidies were actually being used to finance and distribute films outside of the US studio system, you might have a point.

      … but they aren't, are they?

      • Mark Kochinski

        Exactly.

    • Josh

      What you just said he makes exactly zero sense. How does a state or country fight Hollywoods “anti-competitive practices”? What does that even mean?

      Stop trolling or start making some sense

      • kyoseki

        Step 1: Throw as much money as possible at Hollywood
        Step 2: ????
        Step 3: Profit!

      • aanonn

        Figure it out, I ‘m not your teacher.

        Tell me when you figure it out and I will tell you if you are correct.

        • Mark Kochinski

          We've figured it out. We know what we're talking about. You don't.

  • Mark Kochinski

    Once again, this has to be made clear. These are not tax breaks. They are not tax relief. They are kickbacks, to the tunes of millions of dollars, taken out of your tax money, and handed to the studios.

    If you are a studio with a $100 million budget, you will get $25-$30 million paid to you directly by the government.

    The money that could be going to schools and roads and public services is being handed to successful movie studios.

    New Zealand taxpayers paid about $120 million to pay for the Hobbit. Vancouver tax payers pay 60% of an animator's pay.

    ALL studies EXCEPT the ones done by the studios themselves show that taxpayers LOSE money in the process.

    This has nothing to do with nationalism or advancing technology or taxes or labor costs or any of the attempts to distract people or change the subject.

    • aanonn

      The US subsidizes many industries with 80.4 BILLION every year.

      What about those ?

      If you think the future of digital media is LA, you are deluded.

      It's a global industry.

      Film is gone. Cinemas don't make money. Youtube replaces DVD's and will increase in quality.

      Wake up to the future, stop living in the past and your idea of “how it should be” and stop trying to drag everyone down with your delusions.

      • Mark Kochinski

        Hollywood just had another record breaking year for profits.
        I'm not sure you have a handle on this subject.

        • Ross

          What were the NET PROFITS! NET PROFITS are what count, not GROSS PROFITS! Do you even run a business?

          • kyoseki

            Net profits? In Hollywood?

            You're adorable.

          • Mark Kochinski

            I don't think Ross is in the industry.

          • Ross

            :D Apparently, I'm not overly concerned, due to me being in a better position than you. ;) If you've been in this business for long, you should've worked your way up to PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, or FINANCIER, EXECUTIVE POSITIONS, instead of remaining in COG status, dear.

          • Mark Kochinski

            I don't hide behind the internet. That's my name right there. You can IMDB me.

            Who are you, and what makes you any sort of authority?

            If you knew anything about the movie industry, you'd know creatives rarely cross over into financier or executive positions. Also, stop calling me “dear.” It's creepy.

          • Ross

            “creatives rarely cross over into financier or executive positions. ” :I Mel Gibson, Tyler Perry, Robert Rodriguez! DID just that!!!! Why you think writers go for PRODUCER credit on films? Directors, and Actors too! This is SHOW BUSINESS! Business being the key word! If you like being a cog, then understand, the machine operator can MOVE their machine. Either move with it, build your own, do something else or shut-up! >:I That type of thinking ” I do one thing only” is DONE! Get with it or do something else! ADAPT! This is the age of ACCELERATED LEARNING! Those who REFUSE to learn will be left behind! Are you one of those? Judging by your comments, you are. Good luck!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Wow, you really DON't know anything about the industry, do you?

            A movie star moving laterally into another arena is not exactly “moving up.”

            It's kind of “being at the top and ensuring your future when your looks or popularity might wear out.” Plus you're already rich to begin with. You can afford to take some risks.

            Not QUITE the same thing as being a grip and becoming a director.

            C'mon Ross. I've laid out who I am. What's YOU'RE experience? Still living at home with the parents?

          • Ross

            Again, you show your laziness and ignorance. Moving up is relative. Point is, have MORE SKILLS, and you won't worry about the work moving. Pretty simple. If you can't see that, then, sorry, there's nothing that can be done for you. Get left behind. I have zero sympathy for you. You're part of the trash that's being left out on the curb. Life goes on, buddy. Life goes on. Can't compete, get left behind, do something else. Your credit list gives your skill away. Nothing on there that's a recent blockbuster. You're not John Knoll, Dennis Muren..I can name more, yet in your delusional state it won't matter, 'cause you think you're at their level. Like I said before. The only people that worry about work going to a different location are people that aren't good at what they do.

          • Mark Kochinski

            I have nothing to hide, Ross. I most recently worked on Disney's Planes 1 and 2. I've worked on dozens of films and many TV shows, including most of the Treks and Babylon 5.

            I never claimed to be John or Dennis – do you know the names of anyone who isn't ILM?

            What have you done? I keep asking. You keep not answering.

            What are your credits? What's your full name? What will we find on YOUR imdb page?

            “The only people that worry about work going to a different location are people that aren't good at what they do.”

            That's funny, because I know hundreds of very competent people who are very worried.

          • Ross

            ” because I know hundreds of very competent people who are very worried.” <—-Then they are competent and NOT exceptional. That's why they are worried. You think John Knoll is worried? Richard Taylor? Phil Tippet? Aaron Sims? Neil Blomkamp? I can name more.

            "What have you done? I keep asking. You keep not answering.What have you done? I keep asking. You keep not answering." <—'cause what I've done has no bearing on the conversation at hand, dear.

            "I most recently worked on Disney's Planes 1 and 2." <—so what? I know of many people that worked on both movies.

            "I've worked on dozens of films and many TV shows, including most of the Treks and Babylon 5." <–again, so what?

            All you've demonstrated to me is that you've relegated yourself to years of being service provider rather than a content creator.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Let's see…the entire staffs of the Academy Award winning studios Rhythm and Hues (where I've worked) and Digital Domain (where I've worked) – who are OFTEN exceptional – are VERY worried. As is the entire staff at Sony Imageworks, who have been told to move to Vancouver or lose their jobs.

            Dreamworks and Disney Animation has just laid off a large amount of staff. Most of those people are very worried.

            You've dismissed the work I've done – which is pretty funny – but you refuse to say what you do.

            And again, your utter ignorance is displayed. You are totally unaware of my history as a content creator and producer.

            You don't know anything.

          • Ross

            I've met enough folks in VFX, and the majority are clock punchers! They are not innovators. The innovators stand out. They are the ones who write tools to streamline processes. As for “Academy Award Winning,” so what? You don't have to play on the field in the Superbowl when you're part of the team already, to get a Championship Ring and a bonus on your paycheck!

            “Dreamworks and Disney Animation has just laid off a large amount of staff.” So what? If those people laid off are good at what they do, they don't need to worry. It's only the crappy artists that need to worry.

            “Most of those people are very worried.” <–'cause they are not exceptional at what they do. Pretty simple!

            "Digital Domain (where I've worked) – who are OFTEN exceptional" <—If you're associated with them, I highly doubt the level of their skills to be exceptional.

            "And again, your utter ignorance is displayed. You are totally unaware of my history as a content creator and producer." <–I saw your website. Saw your photography…and well, proof is in the pudding. You are NO Neil Blomkamp!

            "You don't know anything." <–I know enough to ADAPT. :) How about you?

          • Mark Kochinski

            Pretty easy to insult other people's work, when you don't post your own, coward.

            I Know I'm not Neil Blomkamp, thanks. I'm perfectly happy being Mark Kochinski.

            Who the hell are you?

          • Mark Kochinski

            By the way, you need to find another punchline.
            http://www.adaptvfx-dot-org

          • Ross

            Typical Americanized arrogance. Think they can own everything. From jobs to language, to oil in someone else's backyard. You're part of the problem, like I said, I have ZERO sympathy for anyone in California at the moment. Compete or get left behind.

          • Mark Kochinski

            American arrogance? Because I keep proving wrong, over and over again?

            Son, you're the one who needs to bribe studios to hire you. I get hired on my own, based on competence and talent.

            I'm competing fine. You're cheating, and you think that means you're winning.

            When the subsidies go away, and you have to compete based on skill, you'll be the one crying.

          • Ross

            Ah, more delusion.

            “I get hired on my own, based on competence and talent.” :I

            “When the subsidies go away, and you have to compete based on skill, you'll be the one crying.” :I WORKER BEE! >:I CLOCK PUNCHER! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            I'm surprised that I have to explain how this works. Visual effects facilities HIRE artists. Studios HIRE visual effects facilities.

            What are you? 12?

            Who are you? What is your experience? Where do you get your “knowledge?”

            (Actually, someone “outed” who they think you are, to me. If they are right, I can see why you refuse to admit who you are.)

          • Ross

            Call me a coward all you want. Audience doesn't need to be Spielberg to say whether they like the movie or not. ;)

          • Mark Kochinski

            In other words, you have NO experience, NO knowledge, NO expertise as well as being a confused coward.

            And you know it.

          • Ross

            More delusion. Why am I not surprised?

          • Mark Kochinski

            Easy enough to prove me wrong.
            All you have to do is list your experience, your knowledge, and your expertise.

            Like I've asked for about 27 times.

            For some strange reason, you refuse to.

            I suspect your knowledge of the film industry is every bit as good as your knowledge of where the Hoover Dam is.

          • Oblagon

            Since you are name dropping people from where I work, Who are you again? I'm seeing a similar theme in posting style and theme from your “discussions” on a few Facebook groups not enough to call you out.

            Mark is right.. you don't even work in the Industry so who cares what you think. Forget i asked.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Also, if you actually worked in the industry, you'd know that you rarely “work your way up” to producer or director positions. Production Assistants work their way up, but craftsmen usually remain in the same discipline. Grips and gaffers do not “work their way up” to being producers. Animators remain animators. You master a craft, and apply it.

          • Ross

            Hmmm, so the ACTOR Keanu Reeves is relegated to being an actor 'cause that's his craft…yet he's DIRECTING and PRODUCING! >:I Stephen Norrington ( DIRECTOR of BLADE and many other films) started as a creature designer! >:I You WORK your way to the position you want in this industry. Whether that entails moving up, laterally, whatever, point is ,YOU MOVE ON!!! You don't stay in the same position your entire career. That's what the lazy do, and then they complain when they are no longer needed or when work moves! >:I Why you think Scarlett Johansson wants to get into directing? ‘Cause she knows the older she gets the less of a demand they'll be for her in FRONT of the camera. Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia, Star Wars) went from ACTING to WRITING! Angelina Jolie, DIRECTING! Clint Eastwood, DIRECTING! David S. Goyer, WRITER/DIRECTOR! J.J. Abrams, WRITER/DIRECTOR! If you don't position yourself to be in an influential position, don't complain when the decision makers decide to pack up and move! Robert Rodriguez, WRITER/DIRECTOR/COMPOSER! Those with MANY skills will always find employment!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Again, your ignorance is showing. A movie star is not the same thing as a grip, a gaffer, a P.A. or a VFX artist.

            When you're a movie star, you can pretty much move how you want. You have money, power and influence.

            How many movie stars are seeing their jobs outsourced?

            What's your background, Ross? Are you even in the industry? I doubt it. You sound like one of those people who form very strong opinions based on very little evidence.

            Shooting down your points is becoming amusing.

          • Ross

            GORE VERBINSKI started as a VFX ARTIST!!!! >:I
            Neill Blomkamp started as a VFX ARTIST!!! Both ended up WRITING and DIRECTING! >:I Just becuase YOU are too lazy to take advantage of the NO LIMITS ceiling doesn't discount what I said and the examples I mentioned! >:I If you are a gafffer working on set, and you aren't learning to enhance your skills to encompass more than what you do then you are WASTING your time! >:I that's being INTELLECTUALLY LAZY! >:I That means you have NO INTEREST in the FILM BUSINESS as a whole, you are only chasing a PAYCHECK so ANY JOB will suffice if that's your goal! >:I

          • Ross

            And you're ignorant! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            It's pretty clear who is ignorant here.

    • Yes on AB 1839

      Your theory falls flat when the job engine re-locates to another soverign (state or nation) . Revenue is a function of well paid skilled JOBS (legit taxable w-2) jobs. Housing for the well paid skilled workers ( not section 8 gov. Subsidized housing) and thus property tax Revenue is a function of skilled well paid jobs. The motion picture worker is covered on pension / health care/ and a livable wage . All above the table. These jobs do not require the UC system college costs of 100 grand per student . All the training is “On the job” industry financed. Lowering the tax burden on job CREATORS attracts them. Texas is using this model. When taxation over- reaches it drives JOB CRETORS

      • Mark Kochinski

        Again, these are NOT tax cuts. It's not about the “tax burden.”

        This is 25-30% of the total budget expenditure being given back to the studios, out of taxpayer money. That's what we're talking about here.

        In Vancouver, 60% of the payroll for VFX artists is paid back to the studios, out of taxpayer funds.

        The taxpayers are being billed, to finance the studios.

        • Ross

          @markkochinski:disqus INCORRECT, once again! If you own a VFX studio in Vancouver, your payroll is NOT subsidized! You have a business registration number like any other business, a GST number, and you pay payroll taxes for your staff! When you start running a business in that location you will understand! ‘Till then, you're full of sh*t! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            Actually, I'm quite correct, confirmed by the BC government and other sources.

            “As part of Sony’s ongoing efforts to cut back the size of its workforce, Sony Pictures Entertainment closed down Sony Pictures Technologies. The new cuts were also felt at Imageworks, (SPI), which is also moving staff to Canada and its northern operation in Vancouver, B.C. Perhaps this is not surprising, in Canada, the equivalent of 58.42% of the qualifying salary of a BC resident VFX artist is being ‘paid’ by the government in the form of incentives, tax breaks and film industry funding. This is only roughly 60% of salary – not of all costs. Montreal offers an even better deal: “They offer competitive labor subsidies and on top of that, are willing to pay 25% of non-labor production costs,”

          • Ross

            Be an owner/operator a VFX shop in Montreal or Vancouver, then talk.

          • Mark Kochinski

            In other words, I'm right, of course, and you can't show any evidence to dispute it.

            Why do you think all the US VFX shops are opening Vancouver branches? They get 60% of their labor force subsidized.

            C'mon, Ross – what are your credentials? What's your expertise? Where do you get your “facts?”

            I've been in this business for over 20 years and I was one of the pioneers of CGI. I've been bidding against other studios, and I've seen everything that's going on.

            You still haven't addressed the legality of the subsidies.

            That's the current issue. They may very well be subject to a countervailing duty.

          • Ross

            CVD's are useless. VFX are a service! The product is the FILM! As I mentioned before every time a Hollywood movie goes INTERNATIONAL it disrupts the Film Industry of the country it opens in, yet, are there CVD's on these films? Do you see massive protests to ban Hollywood Films from opening on an international level? THINK! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            The MPAA disagrees with you and argued in court that digital files are a product that require protection under our trade agreements.

            Actually, many countries do indeed restrict Hollywood films.

            You really don't know anything about this, do you?

          • Ross

            There's a difference between CENSORSHIP/BANNING and CVD's! >:I Now, you're reaching! >:I

            As for the MPAA ,it's CONTEXT. You are taking what they said out of CONTEXT! The FILM is the product, the VFX are in service to that FILM, hence the VFX alone are a SERVICE, to the FILM! THE FILM is the product! >:I If you are unable to process this, you have a far way to go in business, dear.

          • Mark Kochinski

            You really need to stop calling me “dear.” Creepy.

            Again, you don't know the subject matter.

            The MPAA was referring to scanned data sets, Digital geometry. Not films.

            “The Hollywood Reporter’s Jonathan Handel notes that “while VFX workers do perform a service, they also produce a thing – a finished VFX shot.” He consequently concludes that in responding to Pando’s report, the MPAA’s is trying to manufacture a “distinction (that) is not as clear cut as it might seem.”

            That, of course, is a nice way of saying the MPAA has accidentally gotten itself into a quite a serious jam and is now trying to fix the situation by talking out of both sides of its proverbial mouth.

            On its face, the MPAA’s new argument makes no sense. In the legal filings Pando obtained, the major Hollywood studios are insisting that, say, film footage recorded in a foreign country and then digitally transmitted back to the United States is a “good” and not merely a “service.” That, says, the MPAA, subjects those film products to the international trade laws that are designed to “protect domestic industries.”

            Yet, now that visual effects workers are making precisely the same argument about visual effects products digitally transmitted back to the United States, the MPAA is claiming those products are merely “services” and “not a good.” That would mean those digital products may not be governed by the same international trade laws.”

            I process it just fine, thank you.

          • Mark Kochinski

            “So what’s going on here? Is the MPAA actually claiming that live-action video footage is a “good” but digitally created video footage isn’t? Is the MPAA really insisting that products created by film crews are “goods” but products created by visual effects workers aren’t? Is the MPAA somehow going to try to claim that 90-year-old trade laws make such a distinction? Or is this just a brazenly cynical attempt to simultaneously use trade laws to obtain lucrative copyright protections and thwart those same trade laws’ anti-subsidy provisions?”

          • Mark Kochinski

            “A legal document submitted by the MPAA just two weeks ago, when the organization decided to weigh in on an seemingly inconsequential International Trade Commission case involving 3-D printers. In that filing,obtained by Pando, the MPAA argued that digital goods should be considered imports and therefore subject to the stringent copyright protections the big studios so desperately want.”

            You lose, “dear.”

          • Mark Kochinski

            “To effectuate Congressional intent to protect domestic industries, the Commission can and must construe the term “articles” to include imported electronic transmissions, consistent with its own precedent and decisions from other administrative agencies and courts.

            …The need to regulate the burgeoning international trade in digital intellectual property is widely recognized by U.S. policymakers. The U.S. government has consistently recognized that international trade in digital forms of intellectual property is every bit as “real” as trade in traditional manufactured goods.

            The use of electronic means to import into the United States infringing articles threatens important domestic industries such as the motion picture and software industries, as well as U.S. consumers and the government at all levels.”

            From the MPAA's argument on digital goods.

          • Ross

            What's your point? Doesn't change a thing. The overall goal is to protect the FILM!

          • Ross

            I make an e-book, it's a PRODUCT. I make a FILM, it's a product! You provide VFX work for my FILM, doesn't make your VFX a product it makes it a SERVICE to the PRODUCT which is the FILM! If someone intercepts the VFX shot during delivery of the FILM and copies it and distributes it, they've compromised my FILM, NOT the VFX! Get that through your head!

          • Mark Kochinski

            The MPAA doesn't agree with you, I'm afraid.

          • Ross

            Yes, they do.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Here's the MPAA's direct argument:

            “The U.S. government has consistently recognized that international trade in digital forms of intellectual property is every bit as “real” as trade in traditional manufactured goods.

            The use of electronic means to import into the United States infringing articles threatens important domestic industries such as the motion picture and software industries, as well as U.S. consumers and the government at all levels.”

            Keep digging yourself deeper.

          • Ross

            You already proved you're willfully ignorant. The courts will side with the MPAA. The FILM is the intellectual property. Anything pertaining to that FILM is the intellectual property of that film! Whether a work in progress or completed piece. The VFX Shots are NOT the FILM! >:I Get that through your head! >:I Gee, no wonder Studios leave California. Too many ignorant people!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Isn't that cute? We're BETTING that the courts will side with the MPAA.

            “The U.S. government has consistently recognized that international trade in digital forms of intellectual property is every bit as “real” as trade in traditional manufactured goods.

            The use of electronic means to import into the United States infringing articles threatens important domestic industries such as the motion picture and software industries, as well as U.S. consumers and the government at all levels.”

            Take a deep breath, read the words slowly, look up the ones you don't understand.

          • Ross

            It's not a bet, it's a GUARANTEE! Worker bees don't create the jobs, so they don't get to dictate where the jobs will go. They do not get to define the terms of the commercial product at hand. VFX are NOT a product. They are a service in the context of FILM! >:I Understand CONTEXT and then you can understand where the MPAA is coming from. VFX Artists are SERVICE PROVIDERS, NOT manufacturers! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            And the MPAA argues that digital files are manufactured goods, even when imported into the US by electronic means.

            Goods, not services.

            THEIR argument. In court. Against Google.

            Oops.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Seriously, you should give up here. Your legal knowledge is worse than your industry knowledge, which is worse than your knowledge of where the Hoover Dam is.

            You want to prove me you have any understanding of…well…anything, you're going to have to show me you have some experience. In something. Anything.

            Because your rhetoric says the opposite.

          • Ross

            More projection! Nice try.

          • Ross

            DIGITAL FILES in CONTEXT of the END PRODUCT BEING THE FILM! UNDERSTAND CONTEXT! >:I Just as sperm in a condom is not considered an abortion. Just like a used tampon is NOT considered an abortion! >:I A VFX Shot is NOT a FILM! >:I

          • Ross

            You're deliberately being ignorant in the matter. If you can't comprehend this, then I recommend you get into another field.

          • Mark Kochinski

            :^D
            I think I've made it clear that I don't hold your recommendations in high esteem. I don't believe they're based on any knowledge.

            When – if ever – I ever see any evidence that you know what you're talking about, I'll be happy to re-assess.

          • Ross

            No, you don't process it, yet this commentator, “lenfeldman” does! :) Enjoy! VFX is a service. It serves the FILM. The FILM is the product, not the VFX. “I'm not a lawyer, but I think that it would be difficult for a court to distinguish between a ton of steel that's subsidized by a foreign country and becomes an essential component in an automobile, and a set of digital files that's subsidized by a foreign country and becomes an essential component in a motion picture. They're both products (one is physical and the other is digital,) both of them are components, and neither of them are sold directly to the end consumer.”

          • Mark Kochinski

            Boy you really hate losing, don't you?

            (Actually, I spent a good 8 years in the legal field, it helps make things clear.)

            “To effectuate Congressional intent to protect domestic industries, the Commission can and must construe the term “articles” to include imported electronic transmissions, consistent with its own precedent and decisions from other administrative agencies and courts.”

            That's the MPAA arguing that a digital file – not a FILM – a digital file is a product. A 3D data set is a product. A visual effect shot is a product. It is a thing. The MPAA demands it.

            But this is all far beyond the original discussion. You were wrong when you said that the credits are a “tax break.” You were wrong when you said BC wasn't covering 60% of a resident's salary, and you're wrong about digital files being a service instead of a product.

            In fact, your track record is truly impressive.

            Now, who are you and what do you do for a living? what's your expertise? I'm tired of schooling a coward who hides behind the internet.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Actually, it can get even better. If a digitally created VFX shot is indeed a “service”, and not a “good” then there's no protection from it being leaked to the internet. After all, it's not a “good” – there's nothing to leak. You can't leak a “service.”

            If it's a “good,” then it's protected as property.

            A VFX shot is the work of an artist. It is a thing, and it has value, independent of the film.

          • Ross

            Nope! Nice try though. Semantics will get you no where. :) The artist gives away all copyright ownership because it was WORK FOR HIRE! An artist wants to keep copyright they shouldn't work for a studio. The FILM is the GOOD, the VFX are in SERVICE to the FILM! The VFX have already been paid for, the service rendered, hence it becomes a component of the product it was intended for which is the FILM! The FILM is the PRODUCT, not the service work on the film. Try and put CVD's on Baby Sitting services. Same irrational rationale.

          • Mark Kochinski

            The funny part here, Ross, is that your opinion, wrong and stupid as it is, doesn't matter in the slightest.

            What the court determines is what matters.

            What you don't understand is that it's still a product. This isn't about the artists “rights” (that shows how confused you are) it's about the fact that it's a product, and subsidies are distorting the market for the product.

            A tire is not a car, it's only part of a car. But it's a product. And if illegal subsidies are distorting the market, a countervailing duty is REQUIRED.

            The MPAA fought a year in court to prove that digital files are goods, not services – and they had to beat Google to do it.

            If you think babysitting and creating an image – even a digital file – is the same thing, you need some educating.

            The great thing is that there are very smart lawyers who are pursuing this. We're not dependent on people who have no idea what they're talking about.

            So who are you? What have you done? What makes you an “expert?” Brave enough to come out yet?

          • Ross

            Again, MORE SEMANTICS and deflection.

            “This isn't about the artists “rights”" Yet, you brought this up “A VFX shot is the work of an artist.” Doesn't change the fact that the work is a SERVICE! A PAID FOR SERVICE! A COMPONENT of a FILM! a FILM being the FINAL PRODUCT! Unless a VFX shot is able to be bought and sold independent of the OVERALL FILM then it is a component, NOT a PRODUCT! >:I Yes, I know you'll try and go into the realm of “Well, they do pay the artists for the work they do, so it can be bought independent of the film.” Again, MORE SEMANTICS! >:I As a whole the VFX shot has NO INDEPENDENT MARKET VALUE outside of the FILM it is in!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Um, no. YOU are confusing the product (the visual effects shot) with the person making the product. What the person DOES is the service. What he creates is a PRODUCT.

            An employee works on an assembly line, he's providing a SERVICE. The thing he makes on the assembly line is a PRODUCT, and as such, is subject to trade laws.

            It doesn't matter WHO owns it. It's a product. It's being imported. It's subject to trade laws.

            You ‘re not gaining any points here.

          • Ross

            “What the person DOES is the service. What he creates is a PRODUCT.” :I Like I said before, if the person wants that, they shouldn't do WORK FOR HIRE! >:I Comprehension seems to be low for you. Alas, why am I NOT surprised? Points for trying, though. ;)

            “An employee works on an assembly line, he's providing a SERVICE. The thing he makes on the assembly line is a PRODUCT,” So now, the truth comes out. VFX Workers are ASSEMBLY LINE workers! Well, guess what, if the STUDIO wants to send it's FACTORY to another location, yet maintain its head office in America, it is still considered to be making a “product” that can be labeled MADE IN AMERICA” and thus not subject to CVD's! >:I THINK! >:I Why you think Sony, Disney, Microsoft, has satellite offices in other countries yet head office in USA? You just TANKED your whole argument with your analogy! >:I Typical worker bee/drone mentality! You claim to be a job creator. Keep telling yourself that. >:I Lipstick on a pig is still lipstick on a pig! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            I'M not the one who brought up babysitters. YOU were.

            I pointed out how lame that analogy was. Because a babysitter DOESN'T create a product. Neither does a nurse.

            But a VFX worker creates a shot. Which is a product. It is a thing that exists.

            You really are desperate here, aren't you?

            I'm getting tired of some pathetic subsidized welfare cheat calling me a worker bee, when he doesn't even have the balls to admit who he is.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Come on, let's cut the BS here and why don't you explain why the hell your opinion matters in the slightest.

            WHO are you, WHAT is your experience, and WHY the hell should anyone listen to you?

            WHAT are your accomplishments? WHAT have you achieved/ WHY are you so scared to admit who you are?

          • Ross

            “WHO are you, WHAT is your experience, and WHY the hell should anyone listen to you?” <—-Many folks already agree with my train of thought. :)

            "WHAT are your accomplishments? WHAT have you achieved/ WHY are you so scared to admit who you are?" <–I could be Steven Spielberg and it still wouldn't change anything I mentioned in my post. If you are easily intimidated by who, what, where, when, then…well, let's just say, I understand why you're worried, and have spent so many years in a position of service provider rather than Job Creator. You're easily intimidated, and that's not a trait to have in this business that will get you anywhere fast. Lawyers will happily take your money even when they know they don't have a case worth winning.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Ah, but you're NOT Steven Spielberg. You're just a credit-less little troll.

            You don't intimidate me at all. I'm laughing at your lack of knowledge and experience.

            No more answers until you admit who you are, and show me why I should waste my time on you.

            While you blather and pretend you've actually accomplished something in life (and you're so proud of it that you refuse to explain what it was or show any evidence of it) I've actually done things.

            I've started up at least4 VFX companies, helped create 3 television series, and did an independent feature film. I started an ran a short film festival that had hundreds of participants and created hundreds of films over a 9 year period.

            I've worked on Spielberg films, Lucas films, and had John Lassiter thank me for saving his film. There are other directors I'm personal friends with.

            What are you? A troll who hides behind the internet. I'll be working while you're still posting incoherent tirades.

          • Oblagon

            Oh Ismail you crack me up.

          • Mark Kochinski

            And while you're desperately trying to spin what I said, I did NOT say VFX workers are assembly line workers. I said they were artists.

            I was drawing an ACCURATE analogy – unlike your babysitter one. The work you do may be a service, but you can STILL be making a PRODUCT.

            Are you really that dense?

          • Ross

            Nice try to back pedal. You compared VFX workers to ASSEMBLY LINE workers! While my comparison was more flattering. Baby Sitting and Nursing. My comparison was one of specialized skills used to provide a SERVICE! Your comparison was one of interchangeable cogs. <–If you consider this an accurate description of VFX Workers, there's hope for you yet to become a functional and prosperous VFX business owner.

            "Are you really that dense?" <–check the mirror, genius.

          • Ross

            ” VFX worker creates a shot. Which is a product. It is a thing that exists.” A SHOT in SERVICE to a GREATER WHOLE! Which is the FILM! The FILM is the product! Expanding coverage of copyright to the VFX Shots is for the COPYRIGHT HOLDER of the FILM which is the STUDIO who COMMISSIONED the VFX SHOT, NOT the VFX Worker!

            “You really are desperate here, aren't you?” <–this would be you, dear.

            "I'm getting tired of some pathetic subsidized welfare cheat calling me a worker bee," :I

          • Ross

            “It is a thing, and it has value, independent of the film.” No it doesn't. If it did, then a bunch of VFX Artists wouldn't be walking with signs in Los Angeles. >:I If they're work is so valuable they don't need the studios to recoup their costs. If the work could be sold independent of the FILM, then there would be ZERO VFX companies going out of business or declaring bankruptcy 'cause their perceived product of “VFX Shots” could've been used as collateral to secure loans, or be liquidated for cash! THINK! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            You can't fix stupid, folks.
            Crawl back into your hole, coward. No one here is interested in your opinion.

          • Ross

            “Crawl back into your hole, coward. No one here is interested in your opinion.” :I

          • Mark Kochinski

            I don't know, “Ross” – I'M the one who has a career in Hollywood, and YOU'RE the one whose job depends on his government subsidizing him.

            I think I know who's mediocre.

            All you have to do to “prove me wrong” is admit who you are.

            Why are you so afraid to?

          • Ross

            Nice try. GRAND DELUSION! >:I I'm afraid of the clock puncher who doesn't know how to take advantage of TAX INCENTIVES offered in the country he has citizenship in? WOW! Keep on projecting, dear.

          • Ross

            Nice try. You are STILL wrong about 60 percent coverage of wages. Extremely wrong. Your track record of ignorance..well, it's astounding. That's all I can say. You claim to be a “job creator,” yet, aren't taking advantage of tax incentives? Obviously, like your “successful” friends, you need to take lessons from a group of MORE SUCCESSFUL people about how to run a profitable business. Here's a tip. “Expenses low, profits high.”

          • Mark Kochinski

            No, I'm right, I quoted two articles to back it up, and if you look it up on FXGuide you'll see it confirmed. BC residents employed by VFX firms have their salaries subsidized.

            I have no interest in moving to Canada or the UK for what I know is a temporary tax incentive. The companies that did – Sony to New Mexico, Digital Domain to Florida, even Rhythm & Hues to India didn't stay in business, or make a profit.

            Here's a tip for you – learn about things before you form strong opinions. Otherwise you just look stupid.

            You coming out of hiding yet? You want to prove to me you have any idea what you're talking about?

            No – because you can't.

          • Ross

            WHo said anything about moving? If you're a worker bee, you move where the work is, if you're a “job creator” as you claim, you set up shop in MULTIPLE locations. >:I It's called LEVERAGE! Like I said before, THINK! THINK BIG! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            Yeah, Domain and Rhythm & Hues and Sony were thinking “big” like you, right until they went bankrupt. They chased subsidies, which is the advice you give.

          • Ross

            Watch the documentary “Life After Pi” Hughes even admitted he was running a crappy business! Man admitted ON CAMERA it was a BAD BUSINESS approach! >:I That's why they went bankrupt! >:I Domain is doing a-okay OUTSIDE the USA! Rhythm and Hues was already acquired by an INDIAN company, Prana Studios! A company in INDIA is LEVERAGING itself in ENGLAND, CANADA, AND the USA! Taking advantage of tax incentives in each location! >:I Now, if they are thinking GLOBALLY and you're stuck thinking LOCALLY, who do you think is thinking BIGGER! >:I

            The prior management of your two listed examples was not business minded. They had limited thinking like you. They forgot the ESSENTIAL KEY INGREDIENT that keeps a business going. “Expenses low, profits high.”

          • Mark Kochinski

            Come on, let's cut the BS here and why don't you explain why the hell your opinion matters in the slightest.

            WHO are you, WHAT is your experience, and WHY the hell should anyone listen to you?

            WHAT are your accomplishments? WHAT have you achieved? WHY are you so scared to admit who you are?

          • Mark Kochinski

            That's what I thought.

          • Ross

            “That's what I thought.” <—I see no thoughts here, just plain ignorance.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Honey, you wouldn't know a thought if it got up on the desk and started singing “Happy thoughts are here again!”

          • Ross

            “Here's a tip for you – learn about things before you form strong opinions. Otherwise you just look stupid.” –Look in the mirror and take your OWN advice! >:I

          • Mark Kochinski

            Here's the funny thing, loudmouth. All this time I've explained why subsidies are bad policy, how they violate trade agreements, and why they should end.

            At no time did I disparage any artist from anywhere. I make no judgements on people based on where they come from. My issue is with government policies and enforcing the law.

            YOU, on the other hand, have insulted me, my work, my credits, the work of about 90% of the visual effects industry, the employees of Digital Domain, Rhythm & Hues and dozens of other studios.

            You've railed on and on about “typical American arrogance” and “typical Hollywood mentality” and how you don't care about anyone in California.

            Your resentment is practically palpable.

            If there's anyone here who's a jingoistic nationalist, it's you kiddo.

            I've tolerated you for a while, but now you're boring me. You don't even have an argument. You just keep repeating the same crap.

          • Ross

            I'm FOR tax incentives! REGARDLESS of the LOCATION they come from! YOU mentioned SKILL, YOU brought up COMPETENCE, I responded to your claims with FACTS and observations! >:I An agreement is only valid when BOTH parties abide by it from conception to execution. Majority of the time, the BIGGEST complainers in the WTO are AMERICANS! >:I They are the ONLY country that copalins more than any other! >:I Why? ‘Cause they aren't running the show. When they run the show, they don't complain! >:I You are a part of that problem! >:I

            “he work of about 90% of the visual effects industry,” And you know 90 percent of the VFX workers out there. Yet, you compared them to being ASSEMBLY LINE workers. Your own words! >:I

            “how you don't care about anyone in California.” :I Those entitled hacks don't get my sympathy! >:I

            “Your resentment is practically palpable.” :I

            “If there's anyone here who's a jingoistic nationalist, it's you kiddo.” <—look in the mirror, dear.

            "I've tolerated you for a while, but now you're boring me. You don't even have an argument. You just keep repeating the same crap." <—Projection much? Look in the mirror, read your comments. Again, good luck.

          • Mark Kochinski

            No, you've been the one disparaging VFX workers, calling them drones, worker bees, assembly line workers, mediocre, incompetent, etc, etc.

            I called them artists, and brought up assembly line workers to illustrate the difference between services and goods.

            Not that you're bright enough to distinguish the difference.

            Its clear you have a strong resentment for the United States and it's people. I'm not sure what inspired that. (I'd guess low self-esteem and insecurity, but it's just a theory.)

            The fact remains that for you to be employed you require your government to pay the studios 30% of their expenditures back, and for some reason you're proud of that.

            And you mock the people who make it on their own, without that little incentive.

            You've spouted opinion after opinion, without a single bit of evidence to support it.

            I've quoted news sources, court pleadings, professors and lawyers.

            Several times I've provided evidence that you were flat out wrong.

            I would have done considerably more, but The Wrap doesn't seem to like links.

            Come on, let's cut the BS here and why don't you explain why the hell your opinion matters in the slightest.

            WHO are you, WHAT is your experience, and WHY the hell should anyone listen to you?

            WHAT are your accomplishments? WHAT have you achieved/ WHY are you so scared to admit who you are?

          • Ross

            “And you mock the people who make it on their own, without that little incentive.” :I Seriously??? Look beyond your job! Willful ignorance is abhorrent in my opinion! >:I I have NO sympathy for you! NONE! People like you are trash! Entitled trash that needs to be left on the curb to rot! >:I

            “The fact remains that for you to be employed you require your government to pay the studios 30% of their expenditures back, and for some reason you're proud of that.” :I House of cards is falling! >:I

            “I've quoted news sources, court pleadings, professors and lawyers.” :I

            “I called them artists, and brought up assembly line workers to illustrate the difference between services and goods.” :I If they were you wouldn't need to compare them to ASSEMBLY LINE WORKERS! >:I My comparison of NURSE and BABYSITTER were more appropriate cause they provide a SERVICE!

            “Come on, let's cut the BS here and why don't you explain why the hell your opinion matters in the slightest.” :I

          • Mark Kochinski

            “bombing Iraq, and Libya. Taking their oil and gold. What else? Printing phony money and passing that off as real money to the rest of the world, planting military bases ALL OVER THE WORLD! Having a MILITARY presence on BANANA PLANTATIONS in many parts of South America, trying to BULLY the rest of the world via unwarranted sanctions! ”

            Um…we were talking about the movies. Digital artists.

            You really ARE deranged, aren't you?

            I've asked like 37 times what you've accomplished and why anyone should bother listening to you.

            You clearly are afraid to answer, because of what it would reveal about you.

            All you've got is circular logic, ad hominems, straw men and conflation, along with an apparent resentment of the United States.

            So I'm done with you, unless you explain who you are.

            My name, record and experience is out there.
            I have nothing to hide.

  • aanonn

    The future of digital media and digital content isnt LA.

    IT IS GLOBAL.

  • aanonn

    You think you can solve the world's economic problems to bring stability to your career ?

    it is based in instability

  • Yes on AB1839

    It is real simple people:
    No Tax Break = No JOBS
    The last guy can get the lights..
    YES on AB1839 call Sacramento NOW

    • Mark Kochinski

      These aren't tax breaks. It's not cutting taxes for the studios. It's giving the studios money, out of taxpayer revenue. Don't be fooled.

      • Ross

        Even in your example it's a TAX BREAK! By its execution it's a TAX BREAK! The business that BUYS that tax credit already PAID taxes! Trading REAL money for CREDIT money, to defer overall income spending! The impact of that studio keeps the business that bought the credit more in the BLACK than in the red depending on their tax filing situation, meaning, they keep people EMPLOYED who contribute to the overall tax pool revenue rather than taking out of it by being on unemployment!!! How you miss this is beyond me! Guaranteed you DO NOT have a seven-figure income to see the overall benefit of this! Think bigger, Mark! THINK BIGGER!!!! Too many of you, artists, are business math ignorant! >:I P*sses me off! >:I

        • Mark Kochinski

          Ross, I don't think you understand at all. The business that buys the tax credit uses the tax credit to pay its taxes. That's why they buy it – so they can use it to pay taxes. When they buy the credit, they pay about 10% less than if they actually paid the tax. So they get a 10% tax cut.

          But 100% of that credit was paid for by the taxpayers. It was sold to the business owner by the studios. The studios keep 90% of the money.

          Every single economic study has shown that the local economy loses on the deal – with the exception of the studies by the MPAA, which somehow show that subsidies are a better investment that Apple and Google combined.

          But that's what the studios are good at – selling fantasy.

          • Ross

            Do you know how to use debt to finance a purchase and STILL make a profit? When you learn how to do this, you'll understand. They, Studios, traded CREDIT for REAL cash, from a long term LOCAL business, that already paid and continues to pay taxes! NO BUSINESS is required to purchase that tax credit! NONE! As for the Google and Apple comparison they are correct, to a point. Google pays VERY little, if any, in corporate tax due to the way they structure their corporation globally. Apple too. ;) That you can look up.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Businesses buy the credits because it costs 80-90 cents on the dollar. That means they pay less in taxes. They don't need to be “required” to purchase the credits.

            You're also confused about the Apple & Google comparison. The comparison was about the rate of return on investment.

            According to the MPAA, the return per $1 of subsidy of something like $7 – which is a ridiculous return, making subsidies for movies a better investment than Apple or Google stock.

            This is, of course, fiction.

            A bipartisan State Senate study of the 2010 Michigan program reported that “film incentives represent lost revenue and do not generate sufficient private sector activity to offset their costs completely.

            Michigan isn’t unique. Study after study (with the exception of those funded by the biased Motion Picture Association of America) shows that states generate a return of far less in tax collections than they put out in incentives. Louisiana, for example (which has become a major destination for such films as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Expendables), did a study that showed only a 13- to 18-cent return on each dollar spent. Yet the program continues.

          • Ross

            Long term effects were not studied. Alas, not much I can expect from Microwave thinking. Do you think if you go to the gym ONCE, you're gonna come out looking like a bodybuilder on the cover of the magazines? LONG-TERM effects of these subsidies have NOT been studied! B.C. had a THRIVING game community! THRIVING. One big employer Electronic Arts came to town, and from there other studios sprung up from FORMER E.A. employees deciding to do their own thing. E.A. got a tax break to set-up shop in B.C. the rollover effect was training of employees who branched out and opened their OWN Studios that hired MORE people!

          • Mark Kochinski

            Since the subsidies are long term – it's been 20 odd years since they started – the “long term” effects CAN'T be studied.

            There is NO market unaffected by the subsidies.

            If you want to study the “long term” effects, you need to END the subsidies, so you can see what the results are.

            I'm betting they're not what you think they are.

            Come on “Ross.” What is your experience? Where do you get your “expertise?”

          • Ross

            So Louisiana has had tax incentives for 20 years now? Wow, and you just woke up to films being shot in Louisiana a few months ago? B.C. has had them for close to 20 years, things are going alright, folks are working, taxes are being paid, sky isn't falling, tourism is up, more companies are coming in to set-up shop. Looks like the tax incentives are working for those that offer them! Pack your bags and leave, cause those incentives aren't going to end just because you've wasted your time not expanding your business sense in the the FILM industry.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Louisiana:
            “For every $1 in tax revenue generated by the direct and indirect economic impact from film spending in Louisiana, the cost to the state was $7.29 paid OUT from state coffers.”

            BC:
            “Finance Minister Mike de Jong says B.C. is seeking a truce in the long-running subsidy war with other provinces over Hollywood movie production in a bid to contain the high cost of film tax credits.

            “I think we're being played in Canada,” de Jong responded. “We're being played one province against another. And the time has come for us to get smart and sit down as provinces and say ‘Here's what we agree to do in Canada'.”

            B.C.'s expenditure on film tax credits is nearing $400 million a year.

            He said that's paid out as a percentage of a production's costs – no matter whether it makes or loses money – treatment other sectors can only dream about.

            “I defy you to find a business in British Columbia that wouldn't like to tally up their labour costs and send it to the government and get a cheque.”

          • Mark Kochinski

            “If we assume that displaced workers’ long-run jobless rates would be even as high as eight per cent (above the provincial average), then for every 12.5 industry workers, only one had a job on account of the industry. Thus, a better measure of the annual cost of job creation in the industry is $125,000 per worker.

            This figure is in line with an independent estimate undertaken for the cost of Michigan’s tax incentives for film production — $113,000 per new job created in 2010. Since then, Michigan and several other U.S. states have scaled back or abolished their film tax incentives, leading The Economist magazine to comment, “after a decade of escalation, a stupid trend may have peaked.”

            Economist Rhys Kesselman, in the Vancouver Sun

            What do you do for a living, Ross?

          • Ross

            “$125,000 per worker.” This alone is in accurate. Taking the TOP expenditure and spreading it to encompass the whole work force? Erroneous stat! As for Minister Mike de Jong in B.C. He wants a COLLUSION between Provinces to FIX prices? If companies do this, it's deemed “illegal.” Saskatchewan said NO to more film incentives. Why? ‘Cause they CAN! These Provinces make a CHOICE to offer or not to offer.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Because you know more than Rhys Kesselman, the professor and Canada Research Chair in Public Finance with the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University.

            And all the industry pros on this page, including the humble author here.

            I'm sorry, remind me of your expertise again? Where do you accumulate your vast knowledge and understanding?

            “Our political actors, both incumbent and aspirant, would do well to heed the findings of the non-partisan U.S.-based Tax Foundation: “Every impartial study of film tax incentives has indicated that they are ineffective economic development tools, have a poor return for job creation, and do not pay for themselves.”

            Professor Kesselman

          • Ross

            Professor Kesselman doesn't run a business. Academia is not PRACTICAL REAL WORLD application. Unlike yourself, I don't get intimidated by “credentials.” People who lean on “credentials” usually are weak in their skills or pragmatic knowledge.

          • Mark Kochinski

            So the guy who keeps name dropping Neil Blomkamp doesn't believe in “credentials.”

            I suspect it's because you don't have any.

          • Ross

            I used NEIL BLOMKAMP (and MANY OTHERS) as an EXAMPLE of a VFX artist who looked beyond his job description and worked to become a DIRECTOR, in response to your ignorant comment that “the film industry doesn't work that way. You don't work your way up.” Nice try. Yet, you will not take my words out of context. Like a drowning man, you are thrashing in the water. You've been refuted! Good luck in life.

          • Mark Kochinski

            So you have to name drop to prove you have some clue (“I know Neil Blomkamp PERSONALLY!” – whoop-de-do.) but then deride people with actual credentials.

            You're hilarious. Clueless, but hilarious.

            The film industry generally DOESN'T work that way, which is why for every one or two people you can point to, there are dozens who haven't.

            I know this because I live and work in Hollywood.

            You've maybe read a few articles, if that. You're a fan-boy, not an industry insider.

            Grow up.

          • Ross

            “Grow up.” :I

          • Mark Kochinski

            ME grow up? Screw that, I'm already old.

            Look, boy, when all is said and done here, YOU'RE the one with the skill set that needs your government to bribe the studios to keep you employed, and I'm the one that doesn't.

            Think about that while you fantasize about the credits and experience you don't have.

          • Ross

            And again, you don't understand, the purchase of the TAX CREDIT by the LOCAL BUSINESS (most likely another corporation) is to lower their OVERALL gross income so they pay LESS taxes come filing time for their quarter. It's WIN-WIN! People at that business stay employed, and keep on paying taxes. It's circular.

          • Mark Kochinski

            Taking money out of tax revenue to allow corporations to pay less in taxes while the money goes to Hollywood studios is a win-win?

            What on earth do you do for a living?

  • Mark Kochinski

    I'm going to try to explain the process here, and ask if anyone one here can possibly defend the system.

    A production company goes to a place where subsidies are issued. They want to spend $100 million.

    The local government issues them $25-30 million in “tax credits.”

    The production company will never be there long enough to ever owe $25-30 million in taxes. It's not going to happen. So what do they do?

    The local businesses “buy” the “tax credits” at 80-90 cents on the dollar. So they cut their taxes by 10 -20%. The studios collect 80-90% of the “tax credit” in cash.

    The taxpayers pick up ALL the cost. For their “investment” in the production, they receive 0% of the gross or net profit.

    That's the system we're talking about here.

    • adrian mcdonald

      The credits for studio projects in CA are the only exception. The actually can only be used to reduce the taxes owed.