To the Motion Picture Association of Utah Members and Friends-
I'm Jeff Johnson, a 20 year industry veteran and a casting director in Utah. I have been on the MPAU board since it's inception and I am so excited to serve as your next president. Carolyn Leone devoted years of hard work as your president and I plan to continue the work she started, and add to it. My main goal for the MPAU is to expand our ongoing Motion Picture Incentive Fund so that Utah can be competitive in the national marketplace. I want to help grow the state's film and television infrastructure and keep the industry strong in Utah. I've been doing this long enough to know it's not an easy task. We have many hurdles with our legislators and there's a long road ahead of us. We have to put in the work, and I am ready to do just that.
Here are the updates that the board and I have been working on so far in 2021.
1. FILM STUDY
Our legislators need economic numbers to know what they are getting out of the Motion Picture Incentive Program. In conjunction with the Utah Film Commission we have hired Olsberg SPI, UK based research firm, to do a robust financial study that will tell a broader story of film's impact in Utah.
Olsberg is a very well-regarded firm that has written studies for New Zealand, Georgia, Netflix, the UK, and others on the impact of film incentive programs. This is a labor intensive and expensive study and we need everyone on board to execute this properly. You can easily help by making sure your MPAU membership is up to date. If you're in a position to make an additional donation specifically for this study please contact me directly. This is something we have needed for a long time and we're eager to see the results toward the end of September.
To find out more about Olberg SPI click here
2. LEGISLATIVE EDUATION
We all know some of our legislators believe the incentive program is a subsidy for "Big Hollywood." They also don't understand the size of our industry and film community. This needs to change! The Data Study will help prove the numbers of the tax incentive program and how it helps Utahans, but we need to show how organized and how big we really are.
During the last legislative session we had membership write letters directly to their legislators. It worked! We were able to change a legislator's vote from NO to YES and got Cache County on our side.
Over the next couple of weeks the board and I will be doing a big membership drive and sending out an on line petition to collect data on zip codes, personal stories, and contact info so during the session we can connect you directly with your legislators.
3. FALL EVENT
As an organization we need to get together to stay connected. We've missed having events to meet in person to discuss plans and just hang out! We are currently looking for a covid-friendly event space to have a forum and meet & greet the end of September. If you have any location ideas reach out to VP Brooke Redmon at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you all there!
I want open and easy to communication with members and friends so again, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas on how we can successfully lobby. I really do appreciate your membership in this organization. Our voice is louder when we're unified.
President of the MPAU