Board members and staff from Washington Filmworks (WF) attended the Seattle Film Industry Caucus event on Tuesday, February 18, at St. John’s Bar & Eatery on Capitol Hill. The Seattle Film Industry Caucus is a group of film industry professionals invested in working with City of Seattle and Washington State officials to ensure the continued growth and success of the Seattle film industry. The brainchild of Krk Nordenstom, the inaugural event attracted over 100 attendees. Several members of the film community, including Kate Becker, the new Director of the Seattle Office of Film + Music, were invite to speak about their vision for the Seattle film industry. For our colleagues who were unable to attend, here is a brief overview of what WF heard during the conversation.
- Key to the sustainability and success of the industry moving forward is a significant increase in the production incentive program managed by WF.
- Those that attended the event all agreed that the City of Seattle needed to get more aggressive to attract film productions and suggested the City initiate their own city-based incentive, similar to those already in place in Everett.
- Several speakers talked about the need for our industry to become more politically active so that elected officials feel compelled to reach out before major transitions or changes are made that impact our industry. Most agreed that attending Town Hall and fundraising events with legislators would be important to achieve political influence, and that these efforts should be timed so that there is one collective movement with one message.
- The City should greatly increase their investment in Commercialize Seattle because commercials give our community the financial freedom to live and work in Seattle.
- Others suggested that the Office of Film + Music must add more staff and resources to keep up with the increased demand of motion picture production. Everyone agreed that it is imperative that filming in Seattle city limits continues to be streamlined, efficient and easy.
The conversation about the future of filmmaking in Seattle will continue in a number of breakout sessions, scheduled for tomorrow evening, Tuesday, February 25. Topics include:
- Education and Mentorship
- Film Incentives
- Commercialize Seattle
- Pitching, Producing and Distribution
These small groups will workshop ideas and work collaboratively to produce a list of actionable items that will be brought to the caucus finale on March 4 where a “statement of purpose” will be ratified by the community and presented to Mayor Murray.
Each of these groups will meet at various venues throughout Seattle. To find out more about topics and schedule, visit the Seattle Film Industry Caucus page on Facebook.