Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/washington/news.aspx?id=128081
Story Retrieval Date: 5/18/2013 9:38:37 PM CST
The Motion Picture Association of America paid more than $40 billion in wages and $38 billion to vendors throughout the United Sates in 2007, according to a recent report.
Despite the downturn, the film industry contends that it has a large role in supporting the national economy by providing jobs with competitive salaries and even paying billions in income and sales taxes.
Last week the MPAA released its economic impact report. In 2007, it created 2.5 million jobs with an average salary of $74,700 and paid $13 billion in taxes.
The television and movie industry provides not only entertainment but jobs, said Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.
“You have to look beyond the images you see on the silver screen to fully appreciate the hundreds of working men and women that go into making a single 20-second scene from your favorite movie.”
The recession has made it challenging for Hollywood but independent filmmakers are put at a tougher disadvantage.
Albert Zogby is a 25-year-old media studies graduate and avid film lover from Reston, Va., a suburb of Washington. As a part-time production assistant at a video gaming company and a part-time independent filmmaker, his contributions to the economy are minimal.
For the last few years Zogby has competed in the Washington DC 48 Hour Film Project. Over the weekend he used whatever he had around the house – desk lamp, car keys, hunting spotlight and mulch – to put together the film. In just two days with the help of his three-person crew, his parents and no budget, he wrote, shot and edited the movie titled “The holiday after Christmas.”
“We don't have a lot of nice equipment, or film school training, and the team was thrown together with a couple of people I know and whoever else I could get,” said Zogby.
Independent filmmakers may be struggling and they may not deliver a boatload into the economy but sometimes the impact on the community may not be measured in dollars.
Zogby’s film will be shown at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Md.