June 22-26, 2001

 
 
ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS: ARTS, CULTURE AND RECREATION

RUNAWAY FILM PRODUCTION

WHEREAS, the production of filmed entertainment is a cornerstone of America's economy; and

WHEREAS, globalization and the emergence of new technologies has changed the nature of how motion pictures are made, sending ripples through the workforce and displacing thousands of working men and women; and

WHEREAS, nations like Canada have targeted the motion picture industry and its jobs by enticing producers with tax incentives, funded with tax dollars from Canada's federal and provincial governments; and

WHEREAS, foreign give-backs have penalized America's below-the-line workforce by creating a financial variable that precludes them from competing for these jobs, since their counterparts in Canada or Australia are working with subsidized wages, and

WHEREAS, furthering complicating matters for American motion picture industry workers is the emergence of computer-generated imaging (CGI) and related digital technologies, which not only creates the need for newly-trained workers skilled in these areas but also may likely render some industry workers obsolete; and

WHEREAS, municipalities across the country rely on the entertainment industry as an economic development tool, particularly those cities that serve as production centers, employing thousands from the crews behind the camera to those working in the prop houses or equipment rental companies; and

WHEREAS, a January 2001 study by the U.S. Department of Commerce on the impact of runaway production on U.S. workers and small business further underscored that a compelling case can be made that runaway production threatens to disrupt important segments of a vital American industry and the thousands small businesses and below the line workers who depend on it; and

WHEREAS, it is vital that policy makers at every level of government act to preserve the well-being of this industry, and ensure the men and women who comprise its workforce have the tools and ability to ensure its continued growth and contributions to our local economies; and

WHEREAS, a National Entertainment Alliance of organizations and guilds representing the film and TV industries have long studied the runaway film production problem and its devastating effects on U.S. jobs; and

WHEREAS, the National Entertainment Alliance has agreed that the most effective approach for producers is one that levels the playing field;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the importance of the entertainment industry and its workforce to the health and prosperity of America's cities; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the U.S. Congress to recognize the need for action at the federal level and adopt legislation that promotes domestic film production in the form of a Federal income tax credit and other options that would provide similar financial relief to filmmakers that produce motion picture projects in the United States.

Projected Cost:
Unknown