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Nancy Skinner Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 12:28 PM
Original message
Please help us help Michigan's film industry
To my friends at DU:

I have a very personal appeal for you.

As you all know, the working people of Michigan are under attack. One of the things under attack are the film incentives that have spawned our burgeoning film industry. Check this out to see what the incentives have done for our state in the short time since they have been in place - . The number of films (and TV shows) that have been done here in the last two years have created thousands of jobs for Michigan residents -- not just direct jobs in the film industry, but jobs in ancillary businesses like hotels, restaurants, animal trainers, casting agencies, accountants, lumber yards and much, much more. This isn't about Hollywood, it's about real Michigan residents working in real jobs. To read some of the thousands of stories we've collected, check out and our Facebook page at . Both the website and the FB page have over 5,200 sign-ups in just a month! You can also follow us on Twitter at @rickswrong and use hashtag #rickswrong.

After hundreds of hours of work (through sickness and weekends) by our very small team, Saturday night we launched a Kickstarter fundraising project featuring video stories of real people whose lives have been affected by the film industry to fund a statewide ad campaign. This website raised $60,000 for a Robocop statue in Detroit in a week.

Now, with the numbers we have signed up on our petition at (and the 720,000 Facebook visitors since Snyder's announcement) we can light the match on the bonfire and get this done in a week!

Here's the short link to our project:

Whether it's $1, $10 or $100, it will CHANGE THE GAME when these ads hit the air!

The first $2500 in contributions will be matched by Michigan-based Exxodus Pictures.

Here's why this will be a game-changer:

Thousands of people were devastated when Rick Snyder said before the election on WDIV's Flashpoint, that "the film credits aren't working out for us and I would go to the industry and phase them down."

I knew we had to act.

The day we heard this, my film crew ran out to an industry event and got responses from industry players. We created a great 30-second ad. I called other industry people to help fund it and everyone felt Mr. Snyder really wouldn't follow through and do it.

In my many years of politics and media, I knew better. When a politician says something like that on TV, that's what they do. We funded a small ad buy out of our own very small business because I believed it needed to reach the larger public. It was just a $1000, and not enough.

BUT - this issue is not only up to the Governor. It's up the legislators to carve it out of his budget and protect the jobs that have been created and nurture a growing industry.

NOW - as a political and media strategist for the last 13 years, I will tell you what WILL work.

Getting TV ads up across the state that showcases the stories of "real people" in Michigan whose lives have been changed because they reinvented themselves and found work and "HOPE" for a new Michigan in the film industry.

My team created and managed a website and a Facebook page, we hosted a video day using our equipment and staff and have spent hundreds of hours editing these stories and getting them ready for a statewide ad campaign. All of the videos can be seen at our YouTube channel.

Our new KICKSTARTER project launched late Saturday night to raise the funds and get the ads on the air in Lansing, Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids to begin.


A Kickstarter project was what got the Robocop statue $60,000 in a week. If we can't raise $46,000 for ads to save an entire new film industry, then we are not trying hard enough.

At we have 5200 people who have signed our petition and 702,000 page views, up 69,000% since the Governor's announcement.

Whether or not you live in Michigan, I know you all support working people, and I am asking you all to help us light the flame! Go right now to our kickstarter project at, watch the 10-minute video compilation of some of the stories we've collected and contribute whatever you can, then send the link to everyone you know who cares about keeping working people employed in Michigan. If everyone who signed the petition gave just $10, our ad buy would be complete. Think about it - $10.

I have many industry folks (here and in LA) ready to match when different levels get reached. The first $2500 match is from Exxodus Pictures, a Michigan film company.

If you can do more than $10, great - there are some great rewards my company is offering in terms of videos for you, participating in our live webcasts, etc. If you can only do $1, then do that.

If a Robocop statute can do it, we can fund these ads, change the poll numbers, and persuade the legislators to "Honor Their Commitment."

If they don't do that, we will let the people decide on film incentives in a ballot measure in November. The public is on our side! We need to get the word out! Once these ads hit, you will see a new willingness to listen to "real people" and keep the jobs we do have right now in this industry.

I want to thank you in advance for taking a few minutes, giving a few bucks, and telling all your like-minded friends by spreading the word about our project and the link.

We can get this done in a week. Let's do it and change our fate!

So I ask you to spend 10 minutes at this link . You can also spend some time reading the stories at -- some of them will break your heart. You can also view the videos we have so far at .

The stories we collected moved me; I've cried at how resilient a people we are in Michigan. My small team and I have poured our every minute (weekends and all) into telling them.

Now, it's all up to everyone who cares about the future of Michigan. Thank you so very much for making this happen.

Nancy Skinner ( )
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louis-t Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Very worthwhile, thank you. I have been involved in this.
I have friends and relatives in the business, one who was about to lose his home until he got a job on Detroit 187. My sister-in-law is a costumer who has worked on 16 movies in a row over three years. Does that sound like a "temporary job"? She also appears in one of the videos.

The people of Michigan are down on their knees, it is time for Rick Snyder and his fellow Republicans to stop kicking us.

You may use that quote.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, louis-t
Can you spread the word for us?
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louis-t Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Doin' the best I can. FB, online petitions, etc.
Hopeless activist, am I.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks!
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
5. Passing this on to my lists
Great post! :toast:
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks, Julie!
Please ask them to pass it on as well. We really need to get this money raised quickly and if we don't hit our goal, we get nothing.
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Anything for you girl!
And since your such a fan of Ms. Skinner's, so am I.

Also, lots of film work gets done here in my burg (Michael Moore kept a team here for a year putting together his last flick) and that's great for our economy!

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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. This is a huge issue for the state of Michigan
For decades I've listened to Michigan politicians of both parties tell us how important it is for Michigan to diversify it's economy.
For decades I've listened to Republicans tell us that the secret to "creating jobs" is to cut taxes.
Now we have a plan in place that allows tax breaks for film makers that come to Michigan and shoot their films.
The tax incentive has clearly worked as Hollywood has shot several films in Michigan bringing stars as big as Robert DeNiro to our state, while working on his film "Stone". I personally had a "brush with greatness" when I ran into one of DeNiro's co-stars in a local restaurant.
I also saw a scene from "Cedar Rapids" being filmed in Ann Arbor.
Drew Barrymore came to town. Sigourney Weaver came to town. Ed Norton and many others came to Michigan to shoot films. George Clooney plans to film in Michigan too.
CLEARLY, the incentives are working and they are creating jobs right here in Michigan, while DIVERSIFYING our economy and weaning us from our dependence on the auto industry.
Now, Rick Snyder tells us that we can't afford the tax incentives anymore.

Can't afford them?


They're working! It's soooooooooo obvious!

The truth is that the one and only reason Snyder wants to destroy the program is because it was started by Jennifer Granholm. Even with her out of office and out of politics, the Republicans just can't bear to allow a plan of hers to succeed, so they're trying to kill it.

At the expense of the workers and state of Michigan, no less.

Shame on them!
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