Dear Honorable Conference Committee Members,
I am writing today to express my support of the MN Film and TV Board’s Snowbate program and urge you to continue this vital program. My name is Jeremy Wilker and I am a filmmaker, small business owner, and board member at IFP Minnesota. Snowbate affects me directly as a director, producer, and cinematographer based in the Twin Cities. I’ve created two feature films (“Death To Prom” and “TRIUMPH67″) and a short (“The Negative”) over the past few years, all right here in Minnesota, and have been a recipient of the Snowbate benefits.
In “Death To Prom” (available on Amazon, Hulu, and Xfinity On Demand) we set out to make a completely 100% MN-made production, from talent (many first-time film actors), locations (Minneapolis, St. Paul, Golden Valley, Stillwater), wardrobe (Christopher Straub), music (many MN pop/rock/punk bands) and post-production (Splice Here) and we have wildly succeeded. But it would have taken my team of 60 cast and crew much much longer at the least, and perhaps derailed final production at worst, if we had not been a part of Snowbate. If we did not receive the rebate funding, the eleven local people responsible for post-production (sound mixing and design, color grading, titles and credits, final deliverable tapes and files) could not have been hired and our product would have suffered delays and quality as a result. Snowbate meant success for our film.
Our film industry may be small compared to the coasts, but I’ve seen sustainable growth occurring over the past three years from local and visiting filmmakers choosing Minnesota as their location for cinematic creation. The small amount of funding for Snowbate would encourage that emerging growth further, right when it is most needed. Please continue the Snowbate program. It means we can keep it local and represent our unique voice and qualities in the cinema of the world.
Small business owner / Filmmaker
PS — I also want to briefly mention that the process to qualify for Snowbate was straight-forward and easy and the rebates on our expenses were promptly delivered.