James Bacon needs to do a bit more in-depth research regarding film subsidies and where money is spent when making films (“Final Take,” Back Page, June 8). He does a nice job of repeating the critics’ views of the [incentive] programs, but fails to understand a few things. First, yes, every job on every movie ever made can be classified as temporary, but somehow tens of thousands of crew members over the years have managed to make careers out of stringing those jobs together. How is that less beneficial the economy than any other job? When “Lincoln” finishes, we will still be living here and we will still need to work to pay our bills. Secondly, the lowest-paying job on a movie set is that of a production assistant. The current rate for them starts at $125 a day, substantially more than minimum wage. Not exactly “low-paying.”
I’ve seen the budgets for numerous feature films and I know how much is spent. What you fail to take into account is listed below:
• Hotels for 60 days for 60-plus crew members.
• Food for 150-plus people for 60 days.
• Sixty-plus rental cars for 60 days.
• Money spent by out-of-town crew members while being tourists on weekends.
• Period movies can gave a construction budget of more than $2 million for wages and materials, all of which is spent locally.
• Sales tax on all of the above.
• Sixty to 110 local crew members working five days a week for 10 weeks earning between $15 to $50 an hour.
•The income tax from crew members.
In the future, please don’t trivialize the jobs people do in order to pay their bills. We can’t all write blogs for a living.
Rex M. Teese