DFW 2014:06

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The Official E-Newsletter of the Dallas-Fort Worth Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the Dallas-Fort Worth Local
June 2014

GET ProACTIVE

By Sharon Garrison
ProACT Chair, SAG-AFTRA Dallas-Fort Worth Local 3rd Vice President

Sharon Garrison

ProACT – Professional Actor Career Training — offers a variety of educational seminars for SAG-AFTRA members at $35 for the year.

Our ProACT Conservatory is expanding with a new vision and member involvement. Our ProACT Committee has been proACTive in creating relevant and innovative workshops for members, providing timely information for any stage of your career. In case you’ve been looking the other way, here’s what you’ve missed so far:

• Social Media 4 Actors, Performers, Musicians with L.A. media guru Ben Whitehair
• Building Your Own Brand with Tara Di Leva, John Kolinofsky, Alvin Hysong and Lisha Brock
• The Business of Acting: Live Locally – Act Globally with David Moffat and David Small
• Commercial casting director workshop with CSAs Kim and Brad Burton

Time to ramp up your career? 

Join ProACT Conservatory and get ready to attend our upcoming workshops:

• Indie Contracts Made Simple for Producers and Actors – June 10
• Business of Acting: Realities of Working in Multiple Markets – June 23
• Casting director workshop – Aug. 16
• Diversity in casting – Sept. 15
• Stunt workshop – Oct. 18
• Kids in the Biz – Nov. 8

A Message from the Local President

By Brent Anderson
SAG-AFTRA Dallas-Fort Worth Local President

Brent Anderson

I don’t know about you, but as a Texas resident (primarily) for roughly 40 years now, I think this may be the first time I can’t wait for the heat of summer to get here. Or at least, the 35-degree temperature shifts to settle down. As I write this, we’ve experienced 80s on the weekend, 40s on Monday, back to 70s at the end of the week … definitely ready for a little consistency!

Ironically, our industry here in Texas has seen some similar up-and-down patterns in terms of growth over the past several years. 

As you may remember, the establishment of the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP) back in 2005 to compete with other states’ incentives was a big first step towards increasing production in the Lone Star State. However, it was two more years before the program was funded, with $22 million allocated for 2007. At that time, the TMIIIP was expanded to include video games and digital media as well. As a result, we experienced a considerable increase in production work as compared to the previous two years. 

Based on this early success, the program was expanded in 2009 to include educational and instructional videos, and the minimum spend to qualify for film and TV incentives was lowered. Additional incentives were offered for productions shooting in historically underutilized areas, and the two-year budget for the fund was increased to $62 million.

However, as part of statewide budget cuts in 2011, funding to the TMIIIP was slashed nearly in half, to $32 million. This was better than no incentive program at all (and actually more than the initial amount funded), but it clearly put Texas at a disadvantage when trying to lure projects away from other states offering more aggressive incentives.

The drop in production was noticeable, and I remember personally hearing from many members asking, “Where did all the film and TV work go?” 

Apparently, SAG-AFTRA members weren’t the only ones noticing the drop-off. After cutting the TMIIIP budget for 2011-2012, the Texas Legislature approved a whopping $94 million for the program for the 2013-2014 fiscal year! Since then, we’ve seen a large increase in work across the spectrum of available jobs, including film, television, and educational and digital media. I’ve personally noticed an upswing in the number of union television commercials recently, in addition to available voiceover work. More projects equals more potential jobs for members. And that is a good thing.

So as summer approaches, here’s hoping that production in Texas continues to heat up along with temperatures. Right now, the forecast is looking very sunny indeed.