Lynn Shelton's New Project Is Set in Seattle. She Can't Shoot It Here.

How Olympia Is Killing the Local Film Industry

Comments

1
...is this a joke?

Mudede is suddenly for bribes, I mean tax breaks, for large corporations when it might mean FILM?

Oh, wait, no.

Not surprising at all.
2
If I win the lottery, I'm producing a film set in Vancouver but filmed in Seattle.
3
If Seattle is still getting its rap in the films, but doesn't have to pay filmmakers out of pocket with taxes, then how is that bad for WA? I'd much rather see the rest of that $10 million put towards expanding light rail.
4
Oh, how it pains me to read the misinformed comments that always seem to follow stories about the tiny Washington Film Incentive. Bribes? Are you serious??? This is how movies and TV shows get made. And sadly, because Washington can't (won't) play the game, the states who will, reap huge benefits like living wage jobs for local actors and film crew members. Washington has proven for years, even with a very small incentive cap, that we earn $10 for every $1 spent to bring a production to the state. That revenue comes into Washington for hotel rooms, restaurants, film equipment and vehicle rentals, catering - plus the aforementioned jobs. Does light rail deliver a ten-to-one return on investment? Uh, no. One more thing, in Washington, unlike almost EVERY other state, we only pay film productions back for their in-state spend. Not a penny gets paid for out of state actors, crew or infrastructure. This is not bad policy. It would be great for the state, if people's ignorance could only be overcome.
5
@4 well then shouldn't it be the role of the journalist to inform, to overcome the people's ignorance? Charles?

Thanks for filling in the holes BigHouse. I'm sure most people including myself have no idea how it works. It's not hard to see how an industry arriving with the expectation of a state subsidy (even though it happens all the time) may raise some public hackles...
6
Meh... Lynn Shelton in The Stranger again.

How about the incredibly cute/funny iZombie being set in Seattle but filmed in BC or even native-Seattle-ite Rainn Wilson starring in Backstrom, set in Portland OR but filmed in BC ?
7
Most movies and shows are filmed in Vancouver and in Canada in general since the 80's... most commercials too... it's funny how they manage to fill the quota for black roles, since the black population in vancounver is pretty low... most likely every black person of vancouver is in the movie industry... a lot of times they make someone look more dark or 'black' for the background roles... i was at some shoots and it is pretty interesting and amusing to watch...
8
Didnt they shoot some nice luxury apartment settings for "Fifty Shades of Non-reality" recently. We, after all, have to be very careful that Seattle doesnt have that crime-ridden, poverty-soaked, "Blade Runner" atmosphere that could dissuade potential over-paid Amasoftvillians from living here!
9
@4 sure, then let's pay for it with an income tax on only the people employed by companies getting the tax break.

Or they could just offer to work for less and cut out the middle man.

Oh, they want the rest of us to pay for it? Huh.
10
@9 that's not how it works. First of all, it's not a tax break. That terminology doesn't apply here. Washington businesses who WANT to support the film production incentive are able to make contributions against their state B&O tax obligation. Those Washington businesses then receive a B&O exemption equal to their contribution. The piece most people seem to be missing is that no money is paid out until AFTER the film production occurs and a ten-fold in-state return on our investment has already taken place. That return feeds real dollars into our economy INCLUDING revenue that replaces the B&O exemptions that started the whole process. Washington Wins. And increasing the existing tiny film incentive fund only means that Washington Wins Bigger.
11
Superb reporting, Charles. We have to wake up and fund what truly prospers the city, and not just land owners and construction firms.
12
Olympia isn't "killing" the local film industry, which has been around much longer than the current incentive program. The only reason this is an issue at all is that every other state was also foolish enough to enact a tax credit for film production in the last few years. Now Hollywood gets to pit states against each other in a race to the bottom. Everybody loses!
13
@4 Yes, tax exemptions to encourage certain groups to do business in WA--or anywhere--are bribes. Not of the illegal variety, but bribes nonetheless. Which is not to say that these policies are necessarily bad, or that other states aren't engaging in them. Or that they do not have increased benefits that redound back on certain segments of the WA state economy.

My comment was not about the desirability of the program either way, but simply that I find it amusing and hypocritical--but not surprising--that the Stranger and Mudede especially are fine with these sorts of things for business interests they like, but abhor them when they might be for other business interests.

You know, like how they're all for development and density except when it might affect the Hill in ways they dislike.
14
Louisiana gets back approximately 18 to 24 cents for every dollar spent in its generous film tax credit program: http://blogs.theadvocate.com/specialrepo…
15
There should be similar incentives for freelance production of, let's say, blogs. Or photo calendars. Or novels set in Seattle. I'd sign up to write guidebook if I could get a tax credit. D'ya think?
16
We cant even fund our fucking schools and you want to whine about film makers? Fuck you, Charles.
17
@10, ok, Washington wins. So what? Washington wins when any number of industries decide to set up shop here. Should we cry about every industry that evaluates the cost of various geographic locations and ultimately decides it makes economic sense to take their jobs and money elsewhere? Should we make special incentives for every one of them?
19
The funny thing is that Vancouver has lost a ton of shows over the last few years because Ontario put in a better tax credit to lure shows to Toronto and the BC government has adamantly refused to match it. The reason we are ramping up production here in Vancouver lately has more to do with the fact that the Canadian dollar has plummeted over the last few years and it is really cheap again for US productions here. Well that and the fact that when the CDN dollar was high, US producers said they wouldn't bring shows here at all unless the IATSE local would agree to wage concessions, some as high as 18%. Now our dollar is low again but the concessions are still there...
20
A tax break - including the B&O - are bad if it is for a company that brings BILLIONS in Revenue and thousands of jobs. But they are good for industry who's economic impact is middling. Yes - this makes sense!
21
@4 I missed any sources on those numerous claims you made.
But let's assume that there actually is a10-1 return on investment for giving money to movie making corporations. Then maybe it is worth it, except, that's $10m less to invest in public transit, which, according to APTA offers a 4-1 return ratio in investment ( http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/ptbenefi… ), also provides jobs. But additionally, it reduces congestion in tragic, helps provide a much needed service for millions, helps the environment, and isn't bribery directly to a for profit corporation.
I'm not suggesting that offering this incentive is necessarily a terrible idea, but given our limited resources, it is very low on the priority list.
22
I can't help but think the positive economic impact is a convenient selling point, and what this is really about is the pride of seeing our city on teevee.
23
The economic benefits to Washington will be minimal at best; the 10 to 1 ratio expressed @4 just isn't so. The living wage jobs will go to the film crews out of Hollywood and not to locals. Local people will be confined to extras and minor assistants to the filming crew; wages will be in the minimum area, some won't be paid at all, working as interns. The filming will be for location only generally wrapping in less than 2 weeks. Real production such as printing, editing, sound track, and special effects will all be done in Hollywood.
24
We have world renowned crew, production coordinators and actors in Seattle. And you can actually qualify for more breaks if you use local talent. We also have very busy recording studios in town that actually do post production for stuff that DOESN'T even shoot here. We may be on the short end for sound studios but that's not why people film here. Portland got a couple of sound stages built simply because they became necessary for all the work that came their way. Producer Dean Devlin (Leverage, Librarians) has a whole company down there. And we do have some major special effects studio's due to the massive video game production in Redmond.
25
Business doesn't get tax break and chooses not to have its business in Seattle.

But, you will go ahead and trade off the value of the name.

Well, fuck you.
26
@4, I absolutely still say no. I'm tired of race-to-the-bottom tax incentives where states gut their abilities to fund crucial programs that support everyone (education, social services, transportation, infrastructure) for businesses that reap rewards, claiming they trickle down in major ways when in actuality they rarely do that. We got nowhere by handing out free money to Boeing, and I don't see how we'll get anywhere trying to pretend we're the Hollywood of the PNW. No, no, no, no, no. No bullshit subsidies to industries that don't need it. Let's stop playing this stupid game. If they want to come here, we build something worth coming to, not hand them free money for the chance they'll use us more.
27
This is voodoo economics, plain and simple. I keep seeing this ten to one number thrown around. It seems someone has decided that is a good talking point, but come on... That is such bullshit. If it's such a great idea, why not do it for every business. Our local muffler shop spends all kinds of money locally. Should the state cut them a check? What about that new restaurant? Cut a check! You see how very quickly the state runs out of revenue, right? And, not for nothing, muffler shops and restaurants provide year round living wage jobs, not a few days/weeks/months.

You also have to look at history. Just going back to 2001 and the entirety of film incentives in the country was $1 million. Last year it was over $1 billion. The thing is, media companies were profitable in 2001. Film incentives just make them more profitable. They've managed to find a way to get states to compete to give them free money. It's as brilliant as it is evil. And the fact that anyone argues they should be given more would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

It gets really ridiculous when you look at where that money is going. I don't know the production company for Captain Fantastic, but I do know their distributor has revenue of over $800 million a year. And even if you can manage to bend that into not being heinous, all that money given to scrappy upstart Z Nation? Yeah, that ultimately ends up in the party budget at fucking Comcast. Over $60 billion a year in revenue and your argument is that the state should be handing them more money? Dude...
28
Pessimistic? Setting aside incentives for filmmakers to film here ought to be so low on a legislator's priorities that it's almost insulting to think that it made the list of issues at all. Yeah, reimbursement could bring more film here. Yeah, it could mean more money. You know what we could spend that money on? Oh, right, almost anything else, like supporting preexisting businesses so that you actually know your money's not going to be whisked off to the pockets of someone out of state before it has the chance to actually filter through the state a little.

Alright, let me clarify, I could see us setting aside $10 million. I can only imagine how much Oregon is appreciating the exposure of Portlandia. That being said, considering the huge number of outsiders which seems to be choking Seattle like a too-understanding dominatrix choking a suicidal customer with an asphyxiation fetish, a little less exposure might be nice.
29
If they get a credit equal to thirty per cent of their expenditures, and the benefit to our economy is presumably 100 per cent of expenditures, the net benefit is 70 per cent since the 30 has to come from taxes on someone else, reducing their positive economic impact. So even if you give the 70 a multiplier impact since the expenditure is with funds presumably from outside the region, say of about 5, that would be 350 or net 3.5 times original expenditure with credit. So where does the tenfold impact come from, again? A nice spin, but with state sales and other taxes at about 15 per cent of the multiplied number or 52.5, it seems to me that on the credit of 30 we are making 22.5 net or about 70 per cent. Now that is not a bad return on invested capital but remember we assumed the money invested was from outside the region and the multiplier of 5 is very difficult to prove, so I would tend to agree, that if anybody should be so subsidized, we all should, Boeing and my company which has an extremely valuable contributor to our economy, me. So please Mr Filmmaker send me a dollar and I will spend it all on me.....
30
Bribery is wrong in all its forms and should be illegal.

The movie industry can work wherever they want to period. No one wants to work in NY or LA but that’s where the work is for the movie industry. I suspect it is the same for Seattle, Austin and a few other cities in regards to the tech industry. There are a lot of people who hate it here but come here for the work just like LA. Look at what is happening to Capitol Hill.

Movies are shot all around the world because they are willing to pay for what they need whatever is unique to the location. If the movie industry worked solely on bottom line Detroit would be booming. If you want a Lamborghini, you buy a Lamborghini or maybe settle for a Ferrari or a Porsche because you want a certain level of quality, can afford it and are willing to pay whatever the price is.

Seattle has stolen if you will some talent from the movie industry, people from VFX houses in NY/LA who have worked on major productions and now work in the game industry. So there is some talent here but I don’t see that talent being used for anything else.

Bottom line, incentive or not, Seattle itself might not be a shunning people away. Like the last choice in gym class perhaps. It is kind of like if you had a choice of working with Ms. minimal talent idiosyncratic Seattle sour puss or anyone else you might choose to make life a little more pleasant with another choice.

So perhaps it is the people that keep work from coming to Seattle and nothing more than that. There is the Seattle chill; people actually wait to walk across the street, shit like that. I have always found Seattle astatically challenged too. Why is there puke yellow and green everywhere? Every location has a distinct flavor, New Mexico, New York, New Hampshire; etc. Seattle’s flavor is perhaps an acquired taste, maybe just sour but some people like sour. Some people make sweet and sour sauce. Some people choose Hawaii and flower print shirts.
When is the last time you saw a locally produced TV commercial of any substantial quality.
I fucking hate zombies and I am so sick of vampires I could scream. Its like does the world really need another shark documentary? Like it or not Seattle is typecast as the place of computer technology and biotech. Maybe we should stop pretending we are something else, that is, if we are.

Where is the sitcom of the amazon worker and their clash with Seattle culture? ( I want royalties for that. ) Where are the documentaries on the long list of possible documentaries that could be produced here? Where is the support for talented people here? Where is talent being developed and nurtured here? Where is the movie about the atheist vegan who cures cancer instead of always being cast as a villain or some science gone terribly wrong scenario? It seems Seattle would be perfect for that.

If Seattle wants a movie industry, support the people who work in it, produce content here with local talent. If everything is so great here use your local resources instead of importing all your talent. If things were better here the movie industry would grow just like the tech industry did. Right now anyone with any talent moves away from Seattle to work in movies. They have to.

Didn’t all of Olympia bend over to get raped by Boeing and Seattle was so unattractive Boeing walked away anyway. How embarrassing is that? Now people are moving to South Carolina to work. Can you imagine the culture shock? Still better than Seattle I guess.
31
MetroNatural
32
Long time reader, first time commenter!! Here's my two cents on the topic:

Our state is very lucky because we have the best designed film incentive program in the country. Many other, less lucky states are being bled dry by their programs, because they hand money out to productions up front, no matter how that money gets spent. Not so for us! Our rebate pays back productions: a) ONLY after all the money by the production has been spent instate and a very extensive audit is completed, and b) ONLY for money spent by the production on LOCAL HIRES and LOCAL SERVICES! (The program also requires that productions bestow union wages and pension and health benefits to all hires--no other state does this!) So on my last movie, LAGGIES (a multi million dollar project which I was able to lure up from California ONLY because of our incentive program), the production did NOT get money back on Keira Knightley's (or Ellie Kemper’s or Sam Rockwell’s or Chloe Moretz’s..) salary.. ONLY on the wages of the entire crew and much of the cast which was comprised of WASHINGTON STATE RESIDENTS!!! Perhaps this is why the Motion Picture Incentive program is the ONLY WA tax preference program endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council and why, in fact, they have called for it to be EXPANDED.. because it WORKS! It is a model program for creating jobs and economic activity in our state. And the ripple effects are HUGE. Since 2007, the fund has generated $96.5M in economic activity in our state.. that's a 375% return on investment! The ONLY problem with the fund, and I mean the ONLY problem with it, is that the cap is too low. Out of 39 states with such funds, we have the 5th lowest at $3.5M. BC's is $250M and Oregon's is $10M. But Charles is wrong on the Oregon front--they ARE a magnet for production--their fund supports THREE TELEVISION SERIES! SB 6027 would expand our fund to $10M gradually by 2019. Sure, I'd love for it to be more, but it's better than nothing!! It's a great start. And it doesn’t just benefit larger or out of town projects; there’s a portion stashed away just for local filmmakers and their budgets don't have to be as high to qualify.. so it's designed to help both crew and cast that would love to be hired by larger projects, and also to help incubate local filmmaking talent so that they can evolve and perhaps some day be able to hire a multitude of crew and cast.. such as I was finally able to do on LAGGIES (boy did that feel good!!)
As for the TV project, if it gets out of the development stage, and if SB6027 passes, Washington state would definitely have a shot at getting it filmed here! It's certainly what Megan and I are aiming for and it's just one more (pretty big:) reason that we’re so gung ho about getting this bill passed.. It could mean steady work for many people for much of the year not to mention all the ripple effects (potential TOURISM among them--people still buy Sleepless in Seattle tshirts at the airport!!)
It’s not a lost cause, people! Not by a long shot!! PLEASE spread the word! Support our incentive fund! Write your legislators and senators in support of SB 6027! There really is no downside for the state--it is simply a no brainer! ‪#‎keepfilminwa‬ xoxox
33
If the hotel, restaurant, taxi and tourism industries really believed this is a cash cow for them, they'd take their money and hand it straight over to the film producers. If you knew for a fact that you'd make back $10 for every dollar you spent, you wouldn't let that huge payoff be risked in the tribulations of state politics. They'd do what it takes to make sure those films get financed, regardless of what weird shit goes down in Olympia.

Instead they're content to earmark some taxes they'd have to pay anyway. Why wouldn't they? They nave nothing to lose. If they opt out their tax bill doesn't change, so what's it to them?

But these earmarked B&O taxes are a shell game used to fool taxpayers, no different then pretending lottery profits are specially destined to improve education. Money is fungible. Earmark some revenue and you free up other dollars to go into the general fund. In the end, it's tax money being spent.

"That's how films get made!" So like it! If the way films get made is a con game and a tax boondoggle, then maybe we should not play that game. It's no different than the Seattle Times saying we *have to* host Shell's oil rigs, because if we don't somebody else will. But what if we say, no, we're going to stand up to extortion and the fallacy that "everybody" is doing it? If we say no to Shell and no to greedy film producers, maybe other communities will wise up and follow our example. If they don't, let them.

It's too bad film is an art form so corrupted by wealth and greed. Making a decent film takes vast resources and that means sucking up to creepy plutocrats and sociopathic corporations. I would think any artist knows what they're getting into before they even start down that road. So everybody's auter piece ends up looking eerily like bland old Vancouver. Sorry, but that's not the taxpayer's fault.

Keep in mind that the lion's share of Washington's tax burden falls on the poorest among us. They particularly shouldn't be asked to pony up their money for this kind of corporate welfare scam.
34
Rail system first. Trust me. I worked in the movie business in NYC and what film crews do to traffic and the everyday lives of average citizens, who by the way will not see one dime of the speculated profits, is horrendous. Yes, I was getting paid and loving my job, but most of you will HATE IT. Have you ever had a punk ass 20-something tell you not to walk down your own street because they're FILMING? We would tell people to turn down their stereos, take over entire blocks with big rigs and mobile dressing rooms... Imagine a psychological thriller set in old historic Pioneer Square, the villain awaits in a dark doorway in an alley, the heroine strolls slowly looking over her shoulder every few steps, there's movie set steam dancing in the air around her, the anticipation, the deafening quiet... and three blocks up traffic is gridlocked as our city crams itself onto a two lane road attempting to reroute itself around the movie set to get to a football game. Trust me. We need to tend to some basics before we start thinking about such extravagances. I can't wait for the day, hopefully I'll be working on set, but not just yet.
35
We DO incentivize hundreds of businesses and sectors. Those quick to say 'race to the bottom' are basically wishing away the concept of an open market where States compete for business (and overall revenues), which will exist whether you want it or not. California is only now re-thinking their incentives because they've hemorrhaged so much revenue to New Mexico.
36
Is it "budgets of $500,000 or more" or "super-low-budget projects"? Next time you should decide on which propaganda you're spewing BEFORE you wright the article.
37
Give me a break people. A series based in Seattle directed by Lynn Shelton to be filmed in Vancouver!!!
Ms Sheldon bears most of the responsibility for moving production to Vancouver. I've worked for one of the biggest studio in town for the past twelve years and I can tell you from first-hand experience that networks or studios will alway try to coerce producers and show-runners to do things for nothing. Their primary mission is to save money on production to maximize their profit. Accordingly, it's your job as producer/show-runner to use whatever leverage you have to produce your show on your own terms (casting, budget & location).
With three successful indies and numerous awards under her belt, along with what I suspect was a phenomenal pilot script, Ms Shelton had way enough equity and leverage to compel the network to shoot in Seattle. But here is the thing. As everyone gets so eager to get their deal off the ground, they start losing sight of what got them to the promised land in the first place. Before you know it, they start tossing things right and left for fear the network might walk away. Location is usually the first casualty -- then comes casting, not to mention script changes.
When a network walks away, you should always consider it a blessing. It means they are not the right home for your project. Ask Matthew Weiner or Vince Gilligan how many times they had to walk away from pitch meetings empty handed. Clearly Ms Shelton did find her home, in Hollywood that is.
Trust me Seattle, I feel your pain. I live in a city where, in the span of the last 10 years, nearly 60% of film and TV productions have been fleeing to faraway places offering generous tax credits. Even the ruins of a future Los Angeles shown in the movie “Elysium” were shot in Mexico and Canada. So please enough with blaming the State of Washington for a creative choices that was entirely in the hands of Ms Shelton and her network executives. Lack of tax credit did not ruin Seattle's moment of fame, the network's insatiable greed took care of it.
38
You forget the exchange rate. Today a US dollar is worth $1.27 in Canada. That will drive production into Vancouver.
39
"Lynn Shelton's New Project Is Set In Seattle. She Can't Shoot It Here."

To be clear, she COULD have shot her new project here if she'd made that a condition of partnering up with a production company. Everything is negotiable - she just decided not to prioritize filming location over other considerations.
40
I'd much rather incentivize transit or environmental concerns than film making. People like this area for the natural landscapes, not because they saw the city on some television show or movie.
Let's think about what actually made Seattle one of the most liveable cities in the US at one point, and incentivize those elements. This tourism for tourism's sake mentality is how we get crap like the Ferris Wheel and EMP.
41
@3 I love people who whine when a project uses money "that could have funded my favorite pet project that I love a lot" not that worthless film project.
42
As someone that resides in both Seattle and Vancouver, I can only hope that Seattle never has the *opportunity*'to kowtow to film production the way that they kowtow to developers - because you know that given the opportunity, they would.

The film industry brings a lot to Vancouver $-wise, but it is pretty loathed by anyone that is not within the industry. The way that Vancouver is torn apart by productions is unreal. Streets closed whilly-nilly, production trucks in bike lanes, you name it. The majority of production crews are arrogant, entitled pricks that could give a shit about the disruption they bring to neighborhoods before and during shoots, so yeah, add that aspect to Seattle before you go giving away more and more a la Boeing.
43
Substitute sports stadiums in the above post. What's the difference? Oh yeah, Charles LOVES film. How hypocritical.
44
@4 what's the amount they'd need to film in Seattle?

How much of that cash is going to workers who are based out of state? I know there is a scene of gaffers and grips and crew, but let's say 90% of that money goes to local workers, local jobs. They order from local catering firms, they buy their gear from local shops. The alternative is that money goes towards program that benefits locals 100%, or a tax is not levied, etc.

At best, those jobs and these spends are temporary jobs. That money could be spent on an industry that provides full-time, permanent jobs.

Its irrelevant that other cities pay more - it's not demonstrated that having a film or series shot in the city is, on it's own, beneficial. The national film industry is 1000% unessential to Seattle's success when that art will still be produced with an equally suitable substitute.
45
@18 No, they don't.
46
Charles Mudede argues for trickle-down economics! (Sponsored story by Comcast.)
47
Well, we all know single-family residences are the devil's plaything (except for Mudede's). Why wouldn't tax credits come with the same loophole?
48
According to The WA Dept. of Revenue the State collected $3.19B in B&O taxes in CY 2013. During that same period the current Film Incentives Investor Credits of $3.5mm represented a whopping .001% of that amount - not exactly a budget-busting amount by anyone's standards. (By way of context, during this same period the total amount of B&O credits was some $270.5mm - of which the Incentives represent 0.013% of the total - again, a quite literal drop in the bucket.) Between 2007 and 2013 the Incentives Program has generated some $232mm (averaging a little over $33mm per year, hence the 10:1 benefits-to-investement ratio) in economic impact benefits, which includes things like: wages to local hires, purchases of materials, equipment rentals, lodging, transportation, catering & restaurant meals, facilities rentals, et al, all of which ripples throughout the State when it is in turn spent by recipients of this income; because the impact isn't just about what the productions themselves spend, but also has to factor in how that money gets spread around within local economies, and which in turn generates B&O tax revenue that flows back into the State coffers, thus making up for what's "lost" through the credit.

And as others have pointed out, productions don't see a single shiny dime of Incentives funding until AFTER they've come in-state and spent their money; WA FilmWorks, unlike other Incentivized industries (*cough!* Boeing *cough!), being extremely scrupulous about tracking what productions spend, which is why they are able to so precisely measure the economic benefits of the program.

Another thing to keep in mind: while Incentivized productions are eligible for reimbursement of "up to 30%" of in-state expenditures, most aren't going to get anywhere near that much. Z Nation for example, had a total production budget of $12.3mm, so clearly they didn't get 30'%, as that would have single-handedly burned through the entire $3.5mm annual Incentive, leaving nothing left for Captain Fantastic, the Innovation Lab, several major national commercials, plus numerous locally-produced, low-budget projects. And yet, most of that $12+mm was spent in-state anyway. So, the ratio of Incentive-to-total revenue generated is actually much higher than 30% on a per-production basis.
49
She can't? or won't. It's really won't. Because somehow entertainment is supposed to be publicly subsidized. This has gotten massively out of hand.

In Louisiana we have an open ended commitment to subsidizing all manner of "entertainment" (TOTALLY sorry we sunk $30M of public money into "The Green Lantern." Really, I'm SO sorry.)

I'm sure Lynn Shelton is a nice woman (I thought Hump Day was overrated, but my really husband hated it) but the economics of a project need to pencil out without gobs of public money.
50
Wow. I know you typically take a lot of heat for your writing, Charles. I'm usually one of the few who defend you. But this has got to be the worst thing you have ever written.

First of all, aren't you a socialist?

Second, look at the big picture. This sort of thing isn't unique to the film industry. Of course it isn't. So what happens when each state sucks money from the general fund in order to please the corporations that might hire a few people in the neighborhood? Education gets cut. Public health care gets cut. Housing assistance and transportation get cut. The only winners are the corporations -- the losers are the people.

Third, how about mentioning a solution. The simple answer it it should be illegal for a state to do this. A state should not be allowed to write laws that favor one corporation, or one industry, over another. Free trade agreements (amongst nations) have these sorts of clauses all the time. There is no reason why the country can't address what is an obvious problem that is hurting individuals and small businesses.

Very disappointing, Charles.
51
Oh, and I suppose Clay Bennett had to move the Sonics to Oklahoma City. He just had to!

What complete bullshit.