Response to Richard Rollins sign now

Richard Rollins
Michigan Office 248.932.3500 EXT 245
Los Angeles 310.492.5211

[email protected]

30300 Northwestern Highway
Suite 313
Farmington Hills, MI 48334

468 N. Camden Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210


Mr. Rollins,

Your delightful full page ad in the recent Metro Times has been making its way through every movie set in the greater Detroit area. Too bad you're so terribly misinformed. I'm embarrassed for you. Had you done your homework, you would immediately realize the following:

Out of state production companies generally receive less than the 40-42\% kickback in qualified expenses.

Roughly 70 vendors per feature film incur increased sales which trickles down through our broken economy.

We have a strong production community here and we're working and upgrading our skill set (in a state with the highest unemployment numbers). Young people are being enticed to stay here with the opportunity to break into a new industry in their own community, instead of taking their youth and education to another part of the country.

50-70\% of all the crews are comprised of local filmmakers. The out of town crew members are a necessary part of this process. As they help educate and train our local crew base, it will become less and less necessary to bring in out of state talent. In the meantime, they are living, eating, and spending in our communities.

Michigan companies are buying new equipment to keep up with the demand.

When Hollywood comes calling, they dump millions and millions of dollars into our core communities through everything from hardware stores to museums. Everyone is affected.

Our auto industry has crumbled to almost nothing. The very moment this incentive was made available, things started to happen. It didn't take 10 years of government red tape to get it done, it happened immediately.

It's not taking anything away from the schools. Our schools were in trouble before the incentive took place, and you know that.

Our state budget isn't out of balance because of these incentives. They're out of balance because Michigan's core industry has all but shut down.

The state government pays various corporations to set up shop here, gives them tax shelters for several years at a time, expecting profits at some point in the future. You don't seem upset about these subsidies.

This is the first time in 20 years that people are actually returning to our state for employment.

Our relatively low cost of living coupled with the wages these film productions offer make an enticing package that is bringing and keeping skilled technicians here in Michigan.

As a state that shares a border with Canada, we saw a gold rush of film productions leave for Toronto and VanCouver in the 1990's to take advantage of nationally offered film incentives. These projects are now stopping short of the border.

At the moment, this is all Michigan has to boost its economy. It's obvious to all of us that you're pissed off, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the taxpayers. They're just a vehicle to drive your point around. Were you actually worried about the taxpayers, you would have included some sort of retaliation they could take, like writing to their representatives. No. Maybe you got snubbed by the process and are feeling left out. Maybe you wanted to be a part of it and no one would let you in. It's a childish tantrum and everyone can see that.

These are not "mooching relatives". They're helping us out of our financial pickle. Let's keep our eye on the ball, shall we?

Very, Very Sincerely,

The Michigan Creative Class

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Armando McdanielBy:
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Richard Rollins


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