• Studio Lab

Help Us Save the NH Film Bureau from Being Eliminated

Updated: Apr 1



Take Action Now to Save the New Hampshire Film Bureau!


Governor Sununu's proposed FY22-23 State Budget, which is now being finalized in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, both de-funds the New Hampshire Film Bureau and repeals the statute that created it. Your action is needed now to restore the Film Bureau to the House version of the Budget.

The House will vote on its version of the Budget during its sessions Wednesday, April 7 – Friday, April 9. Please contact your House Members now and ask them to offer or support a floor amendment to restore the Film Bureau to the House version of the Budget. Templates for communication are provided at the end of this article.


Don’t know who your Representatives are or don’t have their contact information? Click here.


Background

The NH Film Bureau has been located in the Department of Business and Economic Affairs Division of Travel and Tourism since July 1, 2018. It is established in statute (state law) in Section 12-O:11-a of RSA Chapter 12-O, which created the Department of Business and Economic Affairs.


Why Work to Save the Film Office?

State governments have long recognized and valued the economic benefits of film and media production. A specialized creative and high-technology business sector, film and media production creates skilled employment, stimulates tourism and helps state and local branding. It also contributes to the cultural life of a state by enhancing a sense of place and belonging. A state Film Bureau or Office is an important and necessary vehicle to nurture new and established film and media makers, help their businesses succeed and benefit the state’s economy. These governmental agencies:

  • Create a “brand” that captures the state’s film and media production atmosphere to increase the awareness of out-of-state film and media decision-makers.

  • Assist with location scouting and permitting for all kinds of film, television, print and other media productions, through relationships with municipal offices, state agencies and non-governmental organizations.

  • Facilitate workforce development and business growth by maintaining rosters of industry professionals and companies located in the state, including technicians, designers, artists, actors, musicians, studios and more.

  • Further nurture the state’s film and media community through educational and networking opportunities.

  • Partner with educational institutions and governmental agencies to increase access to skill-building programs at the high school and college levels, to support the next generation of film and media makers and help keep them in the state.

  • Capture and measure the economic and cultural impact of projects.




Advocacy Strategy

Right now, we see a four-pronged strategy for advocacy while the budget process is in the House:

  1. Writing to the Governor to request that he ask the legislature to not repeal the Film Bureau statute;

  2. Advocating with members of the House Finance Committee Division 1 Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Business and Economic Affairs to remove the repeal language from HB 2;

  3. Advocating with your own Representatives and others you may personally know; and

  4. Encouraging other film and media folks to do all of the above.


Messaging Communication with the Governor and legislators should be short, sweet and to the point. Please keep your focus on the Film Bureau issue only (tax incentives for film and media production is another issue entirely, to be dealt with at another time). You can include:

  • Brief information about yourself as a film/media creative professional living and working in New Hampshire and/or information about your company.

  • Any financial data you have about the impact of film and media on New Hampshire's economy. Mentioning that film/media production is part of the state's creative economy would be important here, especially in communication with the Governor.

  • Why having an entity within state government is important to sustain and grow the industry. Here you should express concern that it might never come back if it is removed from statute.

  • Respectfully request that the person/committee you're writing to not repeal and/or re-fund the Film Bureau in the state's FY22-23 budget.

When asking your colleagues to participate in this effort, we suggest:

  • Copying and pasting the text of this post into a new post of your own;

  • Posting short messages on social media that link to a website (like this post) or email address. For example: "Did you know the NH Film Bureau has been repealed and defunded in Governor Sununu's proposed FY22-23 state budget? Click here (or email me, if you're using an email address) for information on how you can help keep it alive! #NHFilm #NHArts"



Templates: feel free to copy and paste these messages


Social Media Post:

If you know me, you know how important the film and media industries are both personally and to the work that I do, but now these industries are about to take a crushing blow here in New Hampshire.

The NH Film Bureau is incredibly important to the future growth of film and media in New Hampshire. Now, not only does the proposed budget from Governor Chris Sununu propose to defund the Bureau, but it ELIMINATES THE BUREAU ALTOGETHER, by removing it from the law which created it. I believe that this is an incredibly short-sighted decision which will cripple our ability to grow for years to come. Once eliminated from statute it is near impossible to try to bring it back. Rather, the goal should be to gather industry professionals and reimagine what the Film Bureau should be and fund it in the future. Surrounding states and territories like MA, ME, and Montreal are becoming flooded with projects supporting thousands of jobs and bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to state and local economies. Not only does this decision not help NH, it goes further and actively prevents work from coming here. If you work in the industry, run a business in the industry, or are simply passionate about your state and the creative professionals who are working tirelessly to create amazing things, please share this post and email our House Finance Committee Division 1 (housefinancedivisioni@leg.state.nh.us), and let them know you oppose the elimination of the NH Film Bureau. We want to remove the repeal language from HB 2. For more information and help with who to reach out to and what to say, visit www.studiolab.community/advocacy

Email Template:

Dear Representative [Name],


I am writing to voice concern about the proposed elimination of the NH Film Bureau, which is both de-funded and repealed in Governor Sununu’s FY22-23 State Budget and the House version which will be voted on April 7 – 9, 2021.


The Film Bureau is important to the future growth of film and media in New Hampshire. As it stands, the proposed budget from Governor Sununu and the House version would both defund and eliminate the Bureau altogether by removing it from statute. I believe that this is a short-sighted decision that will cripple the NH film industry’s growth for years to come. Once eliminated from statute it will be difficult to bring it back. The goal should be to save the Bureau now and in the new fiscal year gather industry professionals to reimagine what it should be and how to fund it in the future.


Surrounding states and cities like MA, ME, and Montreal are flooded with projects supporting thousands of jobs and bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to state and local economies. Not only does this decision not help NH, it goes further and actively prevents work from coming to our state. For these reasons, I ask that you oppose the elimination of the NH Film Bureau in the House version of the Budget and offer or support a floor amendment to restore it.

Respectfully,

[Your Name]



Contact Information

Honorable Christopher T. Sununu Governor, State of New Hampshire State House 107 North Main Street Concord, NH 03301 governorsununu@nh.gov NH House of Representatives Finance Committee, Division 1 Hon. Lynne Ober, Chair LOB Room 212 33 North State Street Concord, NH 03301 HouseFinanceDivisionI@leg.state.nh.us (this address emails everyone on the Committee) NH House of Representatives Finance Committee Hon. Kenneth Weyler, Chair LOB Room 210-21133 North State Street Concord, NH 03301 HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us (this address emails everyone on the Committee) How to: Find your State Representatives