Many Coloradans may not know that Governor John Hickenlooper is a card carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). He may have opened up some casting opportunities for himself Friday, May 18 as he signed Colorado’s Film Incentive bill (HB-1286) into law.
At 10:00 a.m. on Friday the Governor was joined by members of congress, Director of the Office of Film, Television and Media Donald Zuckerman and members of the Colorado Film & Video Association and Denver Film Society in the courtyard of local production company, High Noon Entertainment. Jim Berger, CEO of High Noon, introduced the gathering and talked about the long road this Bill has been on.
Berger said, “The film business in Colorado had taken a hit, and it faded a bit over the past 15 years.”
Few know this hard road better than Rep. Tom Massey, at Republican from Poncha Springs, CO. As Massey has often said at rallies and events supporting film incentives, this is the 8th time around for a bill to be introduced to congress. It failed 7 times and now it seems 8 is the magic number for Colorado.
Sen. Linda Newell, a Democrat from Littleton and co-sponsor of the bill, said,” They said it couldn’t be done, but here we are.”
Massey has been a stalwart for film incentives in Colorado, drawing blood, sweat and tears with fellow supporters. One of the driving forces behind the bill’s success this time around has been the new blood in town: Donald Zuckerman. Hickenlooper, also a tireless advocate for boosting Colorado’s industry, brought Zuckerman on board as director of the Office of Film, Television and Media.
At today’s bill signing, Zuckerman said, “It took a village to get this done and we are that village.”
The village Zuckerman referred to consists of the 200 supporters who showed up on the steps of the capitol building on February 8, 2012. Coloradans filled the house that day with unprecedented jubilance (see our rally report) as congress claimed it Colorado Cinema Day. House Bill 1286 was introduced and 4 months later, it has emerged, from the ringer of committees in both the house and senate, victoriously.
The bill provides an annual $3 million fund to the Office of Film, Television and Media, who will disperse rebates to independent producers of films, TV shows and video games, spending at least $1 million of their budget in Colorado. The bill also enables a loan-guarantee program that will aid producers in obtaining private loans for productions, according to the Denver Business Journal.
At the signing, Hickenlooper expressed, “We are giving the industry a new beginning.”