SAN FRANCISCO, April 26 Film production is a tremendous boon to everyone in San Francisco, according to Sean House, chairman of the Bay Area Film Alliance, in response to a recent media flap about "The Hulk" that created the impression that a majority of citizens oppose filming in San Francisco. "Unfortunately, the articles were able to focus only on the grievances of a few individuals, giving the false perception across the entire industry that production is not welcome in San Francisco."
"Countless businesses benefit from production for commercials, TV and feature films," House says. "Production companies can spend millions of dollars at local hotels, restaurants, gas stations, dry cleaners, markets and other local businesses. All filming brings money into our local economy money that helps your neighbors pay their bills. That money might even be helping you pay your bills."
Warren White, Director of the Presidio's Film Permit Office, agrees. "An estimated $10 million will flood into the community over the next three weeks, filtering out in a network of transactions that will affect everyone who lives here. In these times, when tourism and the high-tech meltdown have wreaked havoc with people's pocketbooks, a large production spending money here is a huge and welcome benefit to literally tens of thousands of people. That means dollars spent on hotels, restaurants, car rentals, lumber and other services items, which filter through every economic segment of San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area."
According to the Monitor Report, fresh income hitting a local economy is re-spent eight times, as paychecks are cashed and the money changes hands. The Monitor Report was commissioned in 1999 in response to the effects of film production moving to Canada, a move spurred by the efforts to trim budgets as prices have risen. The US has lost an estimated $10.3 billion to this "runaway" production, which has severely affected some 8,000 guild and union members involved in film production in the Bay Area, as well as thousands of nonunion workers and staff personnel.
"A whole industry has been affected, country-wide," says David Hakim of the Directors Guild of America. "And we are feeling it here at home. I would hope that our neighbors would understand that the film companies that occasionally inconvenience them are paying the salaries of their friends and neighbors and of the people they go to for goods and services."
While much has been made of the big gross-dollar figures that such films achieve at the box-office, few people outside the film industry realize that such money is divided up by exhibitors, distributors, marketing entities, studios, actors, directors, producers and crew members, as well as vendors and service providers.
"The Hulk" was originally conceived as a comic strip hero who called California his home, so it is natural that the film is being shot here. Films like "The Hulk" can take several years to complete from start to finish, with the filming schedule dropped into the middle of the calendar as a small fraction. "The Hulk" will employ dozens of local technicians, actors and hundreds of background players, each of whom will spend part or all of their paychecks right here at home.
About the Bay Area Film Alliance
The Bay Area Film Alliance is a group of local film-industry professionals who work in film, tape and television production. Most have worked on national advertising campaigns, network television shows and major feature films, while many are documentarians and independent filmmakers who produce projects with smaller budgets.
The goals of the Film Alliance include the development, recognition and promotion of film activities in the Bay Area. Its members work with other specific interest groups, councils, organizations, institutions and government agencies, to explore and promote both short- and long-term goals for filmmaking as a major emphasis of the Bay Area's economic and cultural base, encouraging the recognition of film arts as an art form with widespread economic components.
The Film Alliance works to improve relations between citizens, local and state agencies, and the producers of all kinds of media, from web content to commercials, TV and motion pictures. Its members are currently involved in several projects to educate the public on the effect that runaway production has had on the local and state economies.
©2002 Bay Area Film Alliance