The following message comes from Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths:

Filmmaker Megan Griffiths. Photo by Marie Griffiths.

Megan Griffiths. Photo: Marie Griffiths.

It’s been a tough week in the world of Crewtopia*. When new Seattle Mayor Ed Murray decided not to re-appoint James Keblas as the head of the Office of Film + Music, the city lost a true champion of our burgeoning industry. James has, over the course of his nine-year tenure at the Mayor’s Office, changed the face of this community, helping to build a true industry that benefits not only local professionals making our living through film, but countless businesses that see a boon whenever a new production arrives.

As heartbreaking as it is to bid adieu to James, Murray’s decision has been made and there’s no going back. It’s time for this amazing community to rally around new appointee Kate Becker, who by all accounts is ready and excited to take on the challenging task of filling her predecessor’s shoes.

To that end, let’s band together (we’re good at that here in Crewtopia) and start a dialogue about where to go from here and how we can work in tandem with our new mayor to build a vision for the future of film production in this region. Let’s encourage Mayor Murray to work alongside Washington’s experienced industry professionals to capitalize on the strides that have been made over the past decade and also push for further improvements in areas such as our incentive program, sustainable film production, and our permitting process.

I’ve been working in this community for fourteen years. In this time Seattle has made enormous progress in fostering an environment where creative people can simultaneously enhance the cultural landscape and boost the economic vitality of the region. We can’t lose momentum now. I have a lot of love for, and a lot of faith in, this city and the Crewtopians that inhabit it. Let’s continue the grand tradition of open communication that James Keblas has fostered between the government and its constituents, and keep Seattle’s film community growing and innovating.

*Crewtopia (proper noun): collective term describing the filmmaking denizens of Seattle, WA, who share a common belief that the process of creating a film/commercial/web-series/corporate video should be mutually enjoyable, creatively enriching, professionally rewarding, and devoid of negativity.

Megan Griffiths