PAFIA STATE OF UNION JUNE 2017
Our vision is to build a government relationship committee that can identify senators and legislators who favor the PA film credit, those who are opposed, and those who are indifferent - so that we can create a targeted and effective lobbying strategy. We will be disseminating information to all PAFIA members, both corporate and individuals, with who their senators and legislators are and where they stand on the PA Film Tax Credit program. We will then enlist PAFIA member’s help to appeal to and solicit those senators and legislators. Our voice is stronger, aligned with numbers, and we want to show our legislators how many PAFIA members reside within their districts and document the importance of the PA Film Tax Credit in a positive and constructive way.
We need to create a political base so that we can harness the energy of our members and translate that commitment into political donations, whether it is $5, $10 or more dollars. Creating this political base is important to PAFIA to raise our visibility and our voice as an influential organization with influential members. The PAFIA board will be working on position papers, explaining our support of the PA Film Tax credit and reasons it remains important for employees and employers in Pennsylvania. We will arm our members with fact sheets and data to approach and solicit their individual district legislators with one voice. We are empowering our board members with a comprehensive understanding of how the film tax credit works and provide the tools and training to help them develop and educate all PAFIA volunteer leaders and committee members about this key industry program.
PAFIA raises money through individual and corporate donations. Individuals are from crew, union and nonunion, filmmakers, businesses, and anyone interested in promoting the Pennsylvania film industry. Events and programs are specifically designed and provided free to all PAFIA members. They provide both information and networking opportunities in Eastern, Western, and South Central, PA.
There are approximately six events per region, per year, and they also serve as a mechanism for new member recruitment, fundraising, and as renewal opportunities for our current members. The PAFIA Board need to set this year’s fundraising goal at $200,000 and its membership goal at 2,000 members. While ambitious, we are dedicated and committed to these goals. Achieving our $200,000 goal would enable PAFIA to hire a part-time executive director, enhance our event programming and outreach activities, raise the visibility of PAFIA with our government officials and provide grant opportunities for independent film makers.
PAFIA has had great success with enhancing its social media capabilities, with weekly posts to Facebook, Twitter, and soon-to-follow Instagram. Using social media is cost effective way for us to engage with our members, our sponsors, the public, and with the film community at large. Efforts are underway to enhance the content of www.PAFIA.org and some of this content will be coming from pictures and reviews of our social events and current films or production sets from around the state. We need to increase readership and the number of visits to our website. We can achieve this goal through the creation and marketing of our site content and by providing resources for our members. Some of those resources may be in the form of paid advertisements, allowing PAFIA members easy click-through access to companies or individuals who are connected to the PA Film Industry.
We can create campaigns for sponsoring branded t-shirts that are given to crew people highlighting different vendors. By utilizing social media, we can increase our financial resources by having new members join and recognize them by posting their pictures. Photos of our members and their names enhance connectivity and member engagement, whether our member is a department head, experienced member of a film crew, or an independent filmmaker. By approaching key stakeholders and inviting them to our events, we will increase the interest and attendance at our programs.
PAFIA also needs to keep its pulse on what film activity is happening in other states. This can be achieved by recruiting member to write articles, blog, and post about positive film-related events. Perhaps we identify writers who can interview different film crew people, have them talk about their careers, and how they got started in the industry. Lastly, we are investigating an event where Vans Stevenson, Vice President of MPAA comes to speak about the film industry within the next year. These are just a snapshot of some of the possibilities as we reboot our focus.
We are pleased to have the newest region of PAFIA organizing in the Lancaster area, which we will refer to as South Central, PA. We are also looking in to expanding into other regions such as Erie and the Poconos. These areas will provide new active members, committee members, and a pool of potential board members to help us ensure that each area of the state is represented and has input into the strategic direction of PAFIA. These expansions will help to strengthen our Nominating Committee, usually run by the vice chair, so that PAFIA has a skilled-based Board of Directors who are actively engaged, dedicated, and can spearhead the goals and mission of the organization.
We are continually recruiting new members, committee members, and ultimately new board members, therefore the role of the Nominating Committee is key. They must solicit and vet potential candidates and consistently evaluate the skills and passion our members can bring to the Board room and table. We must also ensure that we strike a reasonable balance related to workload between volunteers and the management company; one should not be doing more work than the other. Ideally we would need approximately 32 board members and 36 committee members to move our agenda forward.
Overall, with the help of the board and committee members, we want to create an environment throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where if you work and benefit, directly or indirectly, from film or television work, then you want to belong to PAFIA. Our members will want to wear this membership as a badge of honor and be proud that they are committed and engaged in our great organization. That can be done by creating momentum and personal testimonials through social media.
Our image will be enhanced through our marketing outreach efforts, such as creating “PAFIA Fridays”, where everyone on the crew would wear their PAFIA shirts, and/or colors. To create camaraderie and social networking, we might schedule an annual softball game between the productions, sell ads on our website, and continue highlighting and acknowledging people who joined (with pictures) and through the posting of positive and informational articles on the website and social media channels about the film industry in other states.
PAFIA understands that film-making is a who-you-know industry, and we provide a great environment for networking those future film makers, cast, and crew with industry insiders stretching from Philadelphia to South Central, PA to Pittsburgh. A PAFIA membership will provide those in the Indie film community with resources for project financing, marketing, and a vast workforce of talented individuals.
PAFIA will provide a platform to showcase indie projects and spotlight indie talent through the PAFIA website and social media outlets. Our aim is to foster growth within the indie community by providing a pathway to future larger endeavors; and it all starts with the PAFIA network. We will continue to vigorously engage the dynamos of the indie film community to participate in PAFIA in order to help grow indie film work in the state as well as grow PAFIAs influence.
This State of the Union will act as a road map for the organization to follow over the next 5 years. With our focus on the six key areas outlined above we will succeed in positioning ourselves as the leading ally to the Pennsylvania film tax credit; in order to keep the credit viable and working for the people and economy of this great commonwealth; so let’s get going!