Right now there’s a mostly minor ruckus over the ways that movies are made in Missouri.
The push is on to repeal the Missouri Tax Credit Program that offers breaks to local motion picture production, especially when it comes from out of State. Filmmakers and a few other people have rallied to save the incentive program but they may not be seeing the big picture.
It’s correct that the tax breaks have brought some big budget movies to Missouri along with some smaller Movie of the Week productions that hire a bunch of local roustabouts like yours truly.
However, the most promising aspect of upcoming movie production doesn’t come from tax credits but new technology.
Micro 4/3rds technology holds the greatest promise for newbie movie makers because bigger processors mean better images at a lower cost. Right now DSLR cameras are deployed to help capture cinematic images for local filmmakers like Todd Norris and like all electronics the cost will eventually filter down to the laymen and require even less technical skill.
Additionally, movie theaters are now employing business and consumer grade digital projectors to screen these "films" that involve no film whatsoever.
A lot of people don’t really get the difference between film and digital other than the basic format but it’s really more of a philosophical distinction.
Shooting on film is akin to creating images on tiny sheets of steel whereas processors and chips that power digital moviemaking are literally equivalent to making movies with silicone chips that come from sand. Sadly, the proliferation of crappy digital movies often help drive that sand analogy home in the wrong way.
Nevertheless, like the Crossroads, it’s the small producers of content and any cooperation they’re able to maintain that will determine the success of the Kansas City movie industry.
The Kansas City Independent Filmmakers Coalition has maintained the local moviemaking community for years and are poised to capitalize on this digital revolution. Helping them along, the Cinema KC is an upstart organization that has already promoted local moviemakers with a new-found enthusiasm. Best of all Screenland Crown Center has quickly become Kansas City’s Independent Movie Premiere Destination.
So, without much help from tax credits or politicos, Kansas City’s Movemaking Scene is undergoing a Renaissance that should be noted and didn’t need much taxpayer help like so many other local business disappointments.