By: Courtney Gumpf
Partner | Flying Scooter Productions
PAFIA Board Member
When I became a Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA) board member about a year ago, I realized I was unaware of its core objective. Absolutely, I was familiar with the organization and was a supporter of the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit, but I lacked an understanding of their mission – to educate legislation on the benefits of the Film Tax Credit.
I began my career in film and television and have many friends who are still in the industry today. It is because of my experiences I have been able to witness first-hand the job security and economic growth the film tax credit provides. So, when the opportunity presented itself to travel to Harrisburg and meet with the lobbyists and legislators, I was eager to attend, learn more and share my point of view.
Arriving in Harrisburg, I didn’t know what to expect and have to admit was a little nervous. I quickly met with fellow board members David Haddad, Lela Checco and our Lobbyist Jim Davis. The Senate was in session, so Mr. Davis filled us in on the latest developments, and both Lela and I had the opportunity to share stories of impact we’ve seen both personally and economically due to the film tax credit. We then stopped by the capital building where we introduced ourselves to Senators from both the eastern and western sides of the state and explained the importance of continuing and raising the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit.
A dinner with a State Senator quickly followed and we were able to spend one-on-one time explaining our stories in more detail. He was extremely pleased to hear how many local businesses and crew members have been affected and grown due to the movie and television industry. I explained how after college I planned on moving out of the state; however, with the amount of filming that took place in 2008-2009 was able to start the career I always wanted in my hometown state of Pennsylvania.
Overall, the experience was more beneficial than I could have imagined, and I definitely learned the importance of building relationships and connections in Harrisburg. The opportunity for face-to-face conversations is crucial in educating the House and Senate members who have the power to vote by keeping the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit at the top of their minds.
Our crew here is incredible, and it is up to us to continue the discussion, reach out and all share our stories!
You can start by calling and emailing if you can't make it to Harrisburg: http://bit.ly/ContactPARep
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 firstname.lastname@example.org
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