A Haverhill company that provides services to the international entertainment industry is among those urging the legislature to renew incentives to attract feature film productions to Massachusetts.
Jon Sharpe, president of United Staging and Rigging of Haverhill, was among the signers of a letter to Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ronald Mariano and other legislators. They seek to stop the expiration of the Film, Television and Streaming Production Incentive program.
“Because we have successfully created a sought-after industry here, and safely reopened our economy, we are poised to satisfy that demand and capture the industry growth that will bring even more investment and good-paying jobs to Massachusetts for years to come. But without eliminating the sunset of the production incentive now, continued investment in Massachusetts by Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, Disney, HBO, Hulu and others, will cease and go elsewhere and thousands of current and future local jobs will follow,” a portion of the letter reads.
The industry notes more than 270 films and television programs have been produced in the Commonwealth since the law went into effect in 2006. In addition, they said, filming has occurred in over 225 cities and towns, productions have spent more than $2.8 billion here and thousands of middle-class jobs were created.
A study, conducted by Industrial Economics, analyzed the first season production of Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” which shot scenes in Haverhill. It found the show created 1,026 full-time equivalent jobs, generated $69 million in economic activity, spent money in 210 cities and towns across the state, 72% of expenditures directly helped the state economy and generated $4.73 of economic activity for each dollar spent by the state in anticipated tax credits.
“If the roadblock of the impending expiration date is removed, the film industry can help lead Massachusetts in economic recovery, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and supporting local businesses when they need it the most,” the letter notes. “But if action isn’t taken very soon, the Film and Television Production Incentive program will end and the local film and television industry, and its jobs, businesses, and contributions to our economy, will disappear.”