Lights, action, Boston jobs

By Laura Crimaldi
Boston Herald
January 25, 2009

A sell-out crowd of 700 people dreaming of a Hollywood ending for their recession job search yesterday got a close-up with film industry professionals hoping to create 3,000 to 5,000 jobs in the Bay State in the coming years.

“This is the one glimmer of hope in an otherwise gloomy economy,” said Nick Paleologos, director of the Massachusetts Film Office.

The daylong exhibit at the InterContinental Boston marked the first time that the state hosted a film industry career fair since tax credits brought Hollywood to the Hub in 2006, Paleologos said. “We are trying to prepare for the next wave of business,” said Paleologos. “We’ve been scrambling to develop the workforce to meet the job demand.”

In 2005, “The Departed” was the only movie filmed in the state. Last year, 13 movies filmed here. Represenatives from Boston Casting, soundstage developers Plymouth Rock Studios and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (Local 481) were on hand.

“Unemployment is rampant, but Hollywood is not going out of business,” said Matt McCormack, 29, an unemployed writer from Hudson, N.H. “It’s good that they are growing here.”

A steady crowd stopped by the Boston Casting table to inquire about a database of 30,000 actors. Feature films need extras of all ages and pay about $100 for a 12-hour work day, said Boston Casting’s Carole Souza.
Jim Baker, 35, a Starbucks barista from Londonderry, N.H., said he’s worked as an extra on the set of “Bride Wars” and “My Best Friend’s Girl.”

“I haven’t had a bad experience as an extra,” said Baker. “It’s very hard to complain about.”
Boston University film student Sara Stenchever, 21, said that she’s interested in a production job when she graduates in May.

“I’ve contacted a lot of companies and sent resumes places,” Stenchever said. “People say, ‘Keep in touch,’ but that’s about it. It doesn’t seem to be a good time right now.”

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NECN: Jobs, Camera, Action: what it takes to make a movie - Jan 09
A cast of hundreds



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