- *TEXAS** MOTION PICTURE ALLIANCE CELEBRATES INAUGURAL YEAR AND *
*ELECTS **NEW BOARD AT ANNUAL MEETING *
On Saturday, June 30, over 150 members of the Texas Motion Picture
Alliance (TXMPA) met at St. Edward’s University in Austin for their
Annual Meeting. Presiding over the meeting was Hector Garcia, the first
president elected to the newly-chartered industry organization. Garcia
recognized and celebrated the Alliance’s role, and industry-wide
cooperation in attaining the passage of the historical Moving Image
Industry Incentive Program.
“The incentive was the result of a collaborative effort between our
cohesive, statewide Alliance, our lobbyists HillCo Partners, and key
allies like Senator Bob Deuell, Representative Dawnna Dukes, Comptroller
Susan Combs, and Governor Perry and the staff at the Texas Film
Commission,” said Garcia. “This meeting allows us a moment to reflect on
our achievement and to prepare for growing our voice in the industry and
at the Capitol.”
The meeting included an election process to replace and reseat board
members with expiring terms, creating the 2007-2008 Board of Directors.
Elected were: J. R. Flournoy, At-Large; David Friedman, Dallas Regional
Representative; Hector Garcia, At-Large; Rodney Gibbs, At-Large; Jeff
Horny, At-Large; Drew Mayer-Oakes, Film Commission Representative; Tony
Miglini, Producers Representative; Sharon Murphy, At-Large; Heather
Page, Austin Regional Representative; Clark Richards, At-Large; and
Nikki Young, San Antonio Regional Representative. Continuing Board
Members are Steve Belsky, Labor/Crew Representative; Chelse Benham,
South Texas Representative; Jacob Cena, El Paso Representative; Marten
Davies, At-Large; Linda Dowell, Labor/Talent Representative; Camille
McNamara, Pan Handle Representative; Cynthia Neely, Houston Regional
Representative; Dave Peacock, Texas Association of Film/Tape
Professionals Representative; Meredith Stephens, At-Large; Don Stokes,
Following the Annual Meeting, the new Board of Directors held its first
meeting where it elected officers of the Board. Meredith Stephens was
elected president, Drew Mayer-Oakes was elected vice president, Camille
McNamara was elected secretary, and Marten Davies was elected treasurer.
Stephens commented, “Today was an incredible day for this membership. We
had the opportunity to thank and salute our outgoing board members for
the huge sacrifice of time and dedication they gave for which this
entire industry is indebted. Through their efforts, we achieved
legislation that is paramount to our livelihood. We now have our new
Board composed and inspired to foster our mission of continuing our
growth and success as the industry’s voice in Texas. I am honored and
humbled to be elected as president and look forward to working with the
Board of Directors and membership toward that end.”
- It is my honor to be the newly elected President of TXMPA. Thanks to the
leadership provided by past Presidents, Hector Garcia and Meredith
Stephens, and the current and past board members of our organization we
have established TXMPA as an effective advocate for the moving image
industry in Texas.
I am involved in this endeavor for many reasons. I grew up in this
industry and have been working in it for most of my life. I love what I
do and I love our industry. I’ve lived through the era when Texas earned
and deserved the title of “the third coast” and I’ve struggled and
survived through lean times when work destined for Texas has been pulled
away by incentives offered elsewhere. I want to see these projects
return to Texas and I want to be a part of making it happen. Simply put,
I am involved because I have to be and I hope you realize in order for
it to happen you have to be, too.
In a short two years TXMPA has successfully lobbied for the first ever
production incentive program for the moving image industry in Texas. In
its first year the existing incentive program has authorized pay out of
over $7 million on over $140 million in production revenue for the state
across all areas of our industry.
While this is encouraging, it still falls short of our goals for
bringing new business to Texas. We are already working on a new
legislative agenda for the 2009 session that calls for modification to
the existing incentive program. We are working with our lobbyist at
HillCo Partners, The Texas Film Commission, industry leaders, and our
legislative allies to craft a program that will incentivize new business
through expansion of the existing scope and range of incentives as well
as simplifying the rules process that govern the payout process in order
to make Texas more competitive. The challenge of creating a program that
fits within the fiscal structure of the State budget is daunting at
times, but we are confident we will be successful.
Once our agenda is in place it will be the task of TXMPA and you as
industry members to take our message to our legislators and make them
aware of the needs and desires of a unified industry. With a message
calling for a larger commitment on the part of the state we will face a
difficult task in getting recognition and winning support to get our
legislation passed and funded.
We need your commitment to make this happen. We need to be able to tell
legislators the size and scope of our industry and the numbers of
industry members we represent. Sign up for the TXMPA newsletter so you
will be up-to-date on where we are headed and to be alerted to events in
your region and across the state. We need to know you will be there when
we follow up the great success of our 2007 lobby day effort with a new
and even larger effort in 2009. Ask your TXMPA Regional Representatives
what you can do to help and stay involved.
Getting legislation passed costs money, unfortunately, lots of money.
Join TXMPA so we have the financial resources to see this effort
through. Consider becoming a Sponsor and solicit your friends and
co-workers to do the same. The more people who support the effort, the
more sustainable the effort.
- The Rules are Published!
TXMPA is pleased to announce the "Rules" for the Texas Moving Image
Incentive Law. As we have discussed during our pursuit of enhanced
incentives, HB 873 provides a flexible tool that we can use to create a
competitive program now and in the future. Our intent has always been to
create a program that provides competitive incentives for all aspects of
the Moving Image Industry while fitting within the fiscal structure of
the State’s budget. We believe the structure of the Rules created by the
Texas Film Commission governing the incentive program will be a win for
Early in the process TXMPA lobbied for a program based on total Texas
spend in order to better encourage the utilization of our members that
provide non-labor resources to moving image productions. Some State
officials and some production companies wanted the incentive to be labor
based only. This was to simplify and speed up the process of auditing
the production expenses and issuing checks. Unfortunately the audit
process has been a major problem and bottleneck for the State during the
first phase of our incentive program. We are happy to announce that the
Governor’s office has addressed this issue by authorizing the hiring of
additional staff to deal with the problem. The permanent staffing
process is currently underway and additional contract personnel are in
place to help the Texas Film Commission deal with the current backlog
and maintain an efficient program going into the future.
Back to the actual Rules that have been put in place. As we pointed out,
TXMPA has argued for a total Texas spend incentive to encourage
production companies to rent equipment, post their productions, and
utilize as many other Texas vendor services as possible rather than
utilize out of State companies for these services. Many of our largest
supporters are suppliers to the Film industry, and we want an incentive
that encourages their use. With input from TXMPA, other industry
organizations and Producers, the Texas Film Commission came up with a
compromise that addresses both concerns.The Producers of Features and
Episodic Fiction TV Series will have the option to choose the basis of
their incentive. If they choose the total Texas spend basis, they will
receive the full benefit of the incentive, but the process of getting
their check will require a more detailed audit. If the choose a "labor
only" incentive, the audit process is simplified and they will get their
check faster. However, based on the differences between the incentive
amounts for the two options a Producer should receive a higher grant
back from the State should they utilize the total spend option. Based on
the sample budgets we and others have run, so far the total spend option
has consistently produced a larger grant. Should a Producer choose the
labor only option, they will be looking to fill as many positions as
possible with Texans in order to maximize their grant. We feel that by
putting Texans in key positions we will see an encouragement to utilize
other Texas vendors as well. A by-product of creating a labor only
option is that it provides a significantly higher “marketing” number for
our incentive program with the maximum percentage capping at 29.25% with
all enhancements included. Again, the option of choosing between total
spend or labor only applies only to Features and Episodic Fiction TV
Series. The remaining industry segments are covered under total spend
only. Overall TXMPA feels a very competitive and beneficial program has
been put in place. To see the posted rules, click on this link.
by Ken Rector
This bill is so great I can't put into words of how I feel right now.
But, I will say this, this is something that has been on our target list
since 2002 while prepping for the 2003 session. We were told then that
the State was in a budget deficit and that we'd be lucky if we didn't
loose our Tax Exemption status during the 79th session, and thankfully
through our efforts back then, we didn't.
The 2007 session presented different issues, but NOW we did it and we
had Senator Ogden's support! It was nice seeing the House work with the
Senate to get this bill passed for us. Great thanks is owed to many, but
especially Senators Watson and Wilson along with Representative Anchia
and to those on the Committees who moved our bills to the chamber
floors! It is my opinion that the passage of this bill brings more value
to the additional $40 million we are asking to be allocated to the
recent passage of our incentive bill.
What does SB 1929 do? Well in brief is allows for Film Production
Facility Tax Credit(the Legislative summary description title). While
there was a small amendment made today, in brief, it allows for
production Zones to be created by cities and or counties with
metropolitan area with a population of 250,000 or more. Since the final
wording of the bill hasn't been posted yet due to the last minute
amendment, I must wait on a detailed description due to how it may
effect the rules which will regulate how many in any one part region of
the state with a maximum of 10 in our entire state.
In essence this bill is designed to stimulate production facilities in
different parts of the state, like Houston, San Antonio, and El Paso
along with many others. Everyone should be excited about this great
moment. While the Texas Film Commissions had great news during the
recent Location Expo event out in Los Angeles, we will have even more to
bring table at our next event! The Film Commission already reports that
they Studios are pleased with our progress, and with SAG (knock on wood)
about to ratify their two year agreement with the AMPTP, we seem to be
in a good position for bringing back Texas production work.
Very soon, we should be having announcements of productions verifying
that their intentions to shoot in Texas are funded and opening offices.
Long Live Texas Film making!
You are receiving this email because you joined the Texas Motion Picture
- Dear TXMPA Members,
Thank you for all your help and feedback regarding changes to the voting
process for our upcoming elections. We have read all your responses, and
based on that feedback, have developed a plan for online balloting for
our At-Large seats.
The regional caucuses, where Regional Representatives and Alternates
will be nominated (for those regions with expiring terms this year), as
well as At-Large Board candidates, will be taking place during the month
of May and in early June. Your Regional Representatives will be
contacting you with more details very soon.
If you are interested in running for one of the Board's At-Large
positions, the requirements are as follows:
• To establish the mission and goals of Texas Motion Picture Alliance
• To determine policies for the operation of TXMPA
• To ensure the financial stability of the organization and its
programs; and to monitor the achievement of its goals
• Serve for the full 2 year term
• Attend and participate in Board meetings, retreats, committees, etc.;
• Become familiar with TXMPA’s history, activities, and programs;
• Stay informed about TXMPA activities and participate in at least one
o Current committees include:
Membership and Fundraising
• Actively promote TXMPA through professional and personal connections;
• Represent TXMPA when required;
• Keep Board President and/or appropriate committee Chair advised of
efforts made on behalf of TXMPA;
• Be a member of TXMPA and make an appropriate annual financial
contribution (organizational and/or personal)
Our online voting will be handled by Ballot Bin (www.ballotbin.com) and
will take place between Wednesday, June 17 and Wednesday, June 24. To be
eligible to vote, one must be a paid voting member of TXMPA by 5PM
Tuesday, June 16.
As a precaution, please “whitelist” Ballot Bin by adding their e-mail
address (notices@...) to your contact list, so that when
voting begins, their e-mail will come directly to your inbox and not to
your spam folder.
The final results will be announced at our Annual Meeting at Texas State
University in San Marcos on Saturday, June 27 (more details to come).
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
As always, thank you for your time and for all your help!
Texas Motion Picture Alliance, Elections Chair
- TXMPA would like to thank everyone who participated in our Regional
Caucuses, and a very special thanks to all the candidates who stepped up
to run for the open positions in each Region!
Below is the list of candidates for the six (6) open At-Large positions
on TXMPA's Board. Please take some time before voting begins to review
this list and become familiar with the candidates. An e-mail with
pictures of the candidates, their bios, and endorsements for these
candidates will be placed on the TXMPA website (www.txmpa.org), and
distributed to the general membership on Thursday, June 18; if you would
like to have your endorsement included, please e-mail TXMPA at
info@... no later than Wednesday, June 17.
1) Craig Berlin
2) Garry Potts
3) Jeanette Scott
4) Jeff Horny
5) J. Schuh
6) Justin Muller
7) Larry Cashion
8) Linda Alcazar Jurado
9) Michael Druck
10) Rick Olmos
11) Robert Curlin
12) Ron Bush
13) Will Raymond
Online voting for these positions will begin at 12:01 AM on Monday, June
22 and will continue until 11:59 PM on Thursday, June 25. Just a
reminder: online voting will be handled by Ballot Bin
(www.ballotbin.com); as a precaution, please “whitelist” Ballot Bin.
This is simply done by adding their e-mail address
(notices@...) to your contact list, so that when voting
begins, their e-mail will come directly to your inbox and not to your
To be eligible to vote for At-Large members, you must be a paid-up
member of TXMPA (at the full or supporting level) by 5:00 PM, Friday,
June 19. If you are unsure of your current membership status, please
contact your Regional Representative for clarification [or send an
e-mail to membership@...]. You may find more information about
your Region, and contact information for your Regional Representative,
at TXMPA's website.
Results of online voting, along with the three (3) newly elected
Regional Representatives and their respective Alternates, will be
announced at our Statewide Annual Meeting, to be held at Texas State
University in San Marcos on Saturday, June 27. For more information on
the meeting, please visit our website.
As always, thank you for all you do for the moving image industry here
in Texas, and we'll see you on the 27th!