Monday, October 19, 2009

TV Star Coming to Tallahassee

From Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda:

I am as excited as I can be! We've just learned that Jeffrey Donovan, the lead actor in the television series "Burn Notice" will be joining us at the Capitol on November 3rd for the kickoff of the Film, Entertainment, and Television Caucus.

Donovan, who plays Michael Westen, a blacklisted US intelligence spy who loves his mom (Sharon Gless), his bomb expert girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar), and fights the bad guys on Miami's streets with his sardonic partner Sam (Bruce Campbell) in USA Network's Burn Notice, will spend the day with legislators advocating for a recognition that the motion picture industry has a great deal to give to the Sunshine state's economy.

A study done by the University of West Florida shows that for every dollar Florida invests in the industry it gets $1.44 back in tax revenue.

Donovan is also scheduled to meet with students from Florida State University's College of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts -- considered to be one of top three motion picture schools in the nation - for a Q&A session.

States such Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan are competing heavily for an industry that is clean, has a well educated work force, and is particularly known for its financial benefit to the bottom line of small businesses including caterers, florists, the building trades and hoteliers. Additionally, there is a strong connection to the tourist industry. Shows like Burn Notice, much like earlier predecessors of Flipper,Gentle Ben, and Sea Hunt show Florida at its most beautiful.

There is such an upside to this industry for Florida. What's sad is that in the last year alone, more than 600 film industry craft workers living in Florida have been lured to other states because Florida has failed to offer a stable system of incentives or credits compared to the majority of other states.

The purpose of the caucus is to turn that trend around.

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