Thursday, March 18, 2010

House Bill 1664 threatens to close the New Hampshire Film & Television Office

House Bill 1664 (HB1664), "an act making appropriations reductions in the operating budget for fiscal year 2011 and relative to state revenues and expenditures," has been introduced to the New Hampshire House of Representatives and, along with numerous other state programs, threatens to completely shut down the New Hampshire Film & Television Office.

The original form of the bill proposed to cut up to $76 million in state funding, however, the House Finance Committee earlier this week unanimously agreed to a revised proposal which now cuts $47 million, including eliminating the entire $113,000 budget of the one-person Film & Television Office. The bill has reported out of committee and is scheduled to hit the House floor for a vote next Wednesday, where it is expected to pass.

The bill will then move on to the Senate. Concurrently, the Senate has introduced its own budget bills for consideration and word has it that the Film & Television Office is currently not included in these proposals. Once the Senate has approved its version of the budget, a committee of conference will meet and work on a final proposal of cuts.

Your testimonials are important, and we would love to hear them. We are interested in hearing about the impact the New Hampshire Film & Television Office has had on your work in the Granite State. We've heard from many of you who have said that referrals from the Film Office Production Directory have resulted in numerous job opportunities, and there are many other stories about how the New Hampshire Film & Television Office has affected the industry in positive ways. Please forward those experiences along to us.

FYI - A full list of New Hampshire legislators can be found at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx

Here are some important facts about the New Hampshire Film & Television Office:

  1. From July 2008 to June 2009, the New Hampshire Film & Television Office helped bring in an estimated $1,030,925 of production-related direct spending into New Hampshire. That's $9.22 for every $1 spent to fund the New Hampshire Film & Television Office - a return of investment of 822%. (This is a conservative estimate and does not apply any kind of economic impact multiplier.)
  2. Currently, the New Hampshire Film & Television Office Production Directory lists 100 production companies, up from 46 in 2000 - an increase of 117%.
  3. There are currently 438 professional media production individuals and companies listed in the Production Directory - taxpayers who are being served by the New Hampshire Film & Television Office.
  4. During Fiscal Year 2009, the New Hampshire Film & Television Office responded to 104 production-related inquiries from filmmakers looking to bring their projects to New Hampshire.

Please feel free to contact the New Hampshire Film & Television Office at 603-271-2220 or via email at film@nh.gov should you have any questions, or visit us on the Web at www.nh.gov/film.

Thank you for your continued support.


Sincerely,


Van McLeod
Commissioner
State of New Hampshire
Department of Cultural Resources

Matthew W. Newton
Director
State of New Hampshire
Film & Television Office