It’s in the books

Late yesterday morning, Senate Bill 1808 – a resolution recognizing the value of film and television production to the State of Florida –  was unanimously adopted by voice vote on the floor of the Florida Senate. Now it’s in the books. Where to go next?

Originally drafted by COMPASS and introduced and sponsored by Senator Annette Taddeo (D-40 Miami Dade), SB 1808 is a full-voiced, state-level endorsement of our creative public-sector and private-sector efforts to rebuild Florida motion picture production in Florida communities without having to rely on the State. So that’s where we go next – out across Florida, to every region that wants to bring back film, working in tandem with business and community leaders, tilling the soil and planting seeds and growing production opportunities that make sense locally. Simply put, SB 1808 is a new tool in our toolkit. Now it’s time to put it to use.

There’s a long stretch of time between now and the start of the 2020 legislative session. Things don’t grind to a halt when our senators and representatives depart Tallahassee for home. In fact, out of session is the best time to work with them: when they’re thinking locally and working closely with local officials and once again rubbing elbows with their constituents on a daily basis. Having followed this approach consistently, COMPASS already has commitments of support from key legislators and community leaders all over the state. We will soon set forth a strategy to make the Sunshine State a primary domestic destination for film production once again, and encourage all industry members to stand with us and focus on what is possible to achieve together.

We are thankful for the small, solid step forward that is SB 1808. We show our gratitude to Senator Taddeo for her determination and unwavering support by not breaking our stride even slightly, by immediately turning our attention to what we can do at home to bring production back. We are positioned to use the months ahead wisely, confident that we can figure this whole thing out. And with the passage of SB 1808, we finally have a little taste of success.

Thank you for following COMPASS. To work together with us, give me a call at 904/806-6369.

Chris Ranung

Legislative threat to talent agencies checked

We are pleased to report that earlier today an amendment was filed to Senate Bill 1640 (Deregulation of Professions) by bill sponsor Senator Ben Allbritton (R-District 26) preserving protections currently in place for Florida actors that are designed to discourage those who would violate agent-artist relationships for predatory purposes.
As a legislative goal, deregulation can produce both positive and negative results. In this instance, our industry perceived the result of talent agency deregulation would be harmful, placing Florida actors – particularly the young at the beginning of their careers and the elderly and disabled – at risk of potential exploitation.

 

A joint effort by industry advocates that included targeted lobbying by COMPASS representatives appears to have been successful. By removing all reference to talent agencies in SB 1640, the amendment proposed by Senator Allbritton will divert an effort to deregulate Florida talent agents that could have jeopardized the safety of Florida’s actors. If passed by the Senate, the bill will then head to the House for consideration and final approval by the end of the week.

 

COMPASS seeks to work on all levels for the betterment of motion picture production in our state. We recognize that actors – particularly those who are establishing their careers in the Sunshine State – are essential to the success of programs to promote and rebuild our industry currently being developed by COMPASS and other groups around the state. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to assist in the effort to protect this valuable component of our workforce as we move forward, developing a program and strategy to bring film and TV production back to Florida workers and Florida communities.

 

SB 1808 heads to Senate floor

The seventeen-member Senate Committee on Rules this afternoon passed SB 1808 by unanimous vote. Having cleared two committee stops, the resolution of support for Florida’s film industry now heads for approval by the full body on the Senate floor. Upon passage there, Florida’s upper legislative chamber will have publicly and conclusively planted its flag on the side of those who are working to restore movie and television production in the Sunshine State.

Under the chairmanship of Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, bill sponsor Senator Annette Taddeo gave a insightful and purposeful presentation of  the COMPASS-driven film resolution, after which the committee approved by their vote.

Senate Committee on Rules Chair

Senator Lisbeth Benacquisto

SB 1808 Sponsor

Senator Annette Taddeo

This is a big day for Florida’s film community. The resolutions set out in SB 1808 – in particular “that the Senate encourages the continued collaboration of both public-sector and private-sector efforts to develop programs and partnerships realted to film and television production” – comprise a clear and emphatic declaration that Florida as a whole, its legislators as well as its citizenry, values the historical significance of the motion picture industry, recognizes it as a primary economic driver, and will champion all efforts to preserve and restore movie and television production jobs and infrastructure in the Sunshine State.

Having established state-level support and continuing to build on our community and business relationships around the state, COMPASS now is strongly positioned to advance its highly-anticipated production financing concept on a regional level. Our thanks go to Senator Taddeo for opening the door to bi-partisan approval at this critical juncture for the industry. Our appreciation also is due the many legislators and their staff who are helping us along the road to success. We anticipate working closely with them and the private sector to create opportunities for feature film projects of substance and quality in the many film-friendly communities around the state.

COMPASS Chair, Chris Ranung is twenty-plus years a filmworker and president of Local 477 of the I.A.T.S.E. – the AFL-CIO affiliated labor union that represents working crew in Florida: grips, lighting technicians, paint & scenic, wardrobe, construction and propmakers, craft service personnel, greens, set dressing, special effects technicians, sound mixers and sound department personnel, studio teachers, animal wranglers, first aid, the marine department and much more.

Chris believes ardently that Florida’s film community – its actors, working crew, production teams, supplementary personnel, support businesses – ranks among the best in the United States.  He sees COMPASS as the necessary vehicle to reinvigorate production and restore jobs, revenue, and dignity to the Florida men and women who work in motion picture production and the Florida small businesses that sustain this historically important Florida industry.

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