TXMPA Lobby Day Draws Crowd to Capitol Supporting Film and Television Production in Texas

10 03 2009

Austin, Texas
March 4, 2009
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An overcast sky gave way to a beautiful day in Austin as hundreds of people in the moving image industries (film, video, gaming) converged on the Texas State Capitol showing support for legislation which, if passed, will help repair the severely damaged industry in our state. It was an eye-opening experience for me, a Director of Photography, as I spend most of my time working on small crew productions, with little interaction with others in my industry. So, to be on the steps of the Capitol with a nice crowd who all have similar interests helped me understand the scope of the industry and how each of us play a part in a vital economic engine of the state.
This is an important cause, which has ripple effects to a multitude of support businesses, including hotels, restaurants, rental car companies, and on and on. Statistics show that we have lost more than $500 million in revenue and more than 7000 jobs across the state in recent years. Why? Because other states, most notably Louisiana and New Mexico, instituted major tax incentives to lure big budget projects to their states, and it has worked. Many of our fellow Texans have had to move out of state or commute back and forth to these neighboring states in order to stay in business. Given our long history with film production in Texas, this is a crying shame.
See Films Shot in Texas since 1910

The Texas Motion Picture Alliance is a statewide grass roots organization that I am proud to be a part of, and it is only through their tireless efforts that this legislation exists and has a chance at reversing the trend of jobs and revenue related to moving image industries shifting to other states.

This is an effort which should concern ALL Texans, not just those of us working directly in the industry, because television, film and gaming production in the state brings more jobs in various related industries, and because we at one time were considered “the third coast” for film production, and we have seen it seep away. There are many projects where Texas would be the first choice for production, because of the great locations available, and well trained, well equipped crews, but we are losing out because of the incentives offered by our neighboring states, and others around the country. Once this business is completely gone, it will be hard to bring it back.
Please support HB 873 and SB 605. It’s important to all of us.

Get involved! Join Texas Motion Picture Alliance
Read the story from Associated Press

From Don Stokes, President of Texas Motion Picture Alliance:

“Our lobbying effort is a community affair. It will take the efforts of all of us in the industry to make the enhanced incentive program a reality. Lobby Day 2009 was a phenomenal success and certainly raised industry awareness among the legislators. It is my honor as President of TXMPA to be part of this immense team.

We participated in the initial hearing on HB 873 on Wednesday, March 4 during our Lobby Day efforts. The witnesses that spoke on our behalf did so passionately and from the heart. Their testimonies spoke to the problems facing our industry in Texas and to the solutions for bring the business back. The committee members listened and I believe understood our message. I think we will make it out of committee and look forward to the placement of our bill on the House Calendar. At this juncture I feel good about our legislation passing but I know there will be challenges ahead especially on the appropriation front.

I would like to thank everyone for their efforts. Without all of you we wouldn’t stand a chance.

Don Stokes
President TXMPA

From David Friedman:

“Throughout TXMPA Lobby Day 2009, it became evident that legislators from across Texas were gaining a better understanding of how the moving picture industry impacts the economy. Many legislators were already onboard; whereas, some legislators were early in their understanding. The force of everyone pulling in the same direction, starting with Governor Rick Perry and the 700+ constituents at the Capitol, was felt by all the legislators. It was hard to miss on the Senate floor, the House floor, and on the front lawn of the Capitol. It was a great day for the state of Texas and our economy will be better off for it. The bottom line; is, creating and retaining jobs in Texas. Our collective efforts on TXMPA Lobby Day 2009 contributed to the bottom line in a significant way. Many thanks to all who attended in person and to those that were there with us in spirit.”

David S. Friedman, TXMPA, North Texas Regional Representative

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Tracy Ready is an independent Writer / Producer / Director of Photography based in Dallas, Texas
See: www.tracetv.tv





Trace Elements – Studio News

7 12 2008

TRACE ELEMENTS – STUDIO CD – MUSIC RELEASE

Trace Elements is a Texas based recording band project spearheaded by vocalist Tracy Ready, whose career as a Director of Photography in television and documentary production has been interspersed with a passion for music with recordings and live performances as a vocalist in Dallas and San Antonio, Texas. Additionally, Tracy has been writing song lyrics and collaborating on original music since 1978. He was fortunate in his youth to know and be mentored by legendary musicians Augie Meyers and Doug Sahm, of Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados fame. As an adult, Tracy pursued a career in television, spent 5 years as a cameraman for CNN, and has now owned Trace Productions, an award winning video production business, for more than 12 years.
Trace Elements consists of some of the finest blues, rock and jazz musicians that Texas has to offer, a “who’s who” of Dallas and San Antonio professional players. The core band for recording is Sparky Montoya – Keyboards, Kevin Lewis – guitars, Mike Beall – drums, and John Echols – bass.
The first Trace Elements studio CD “Welcome to the Color Bar” (working title) is in production, with initial sessions completed at January Sound in Dallas and Blue Cat Studios in San Antonio.
In it’s entirety, the CD will be far from a standard blues record, but it will have some excellent blues numbers. It will be more conceptual in nature, also encompassing rock, Americana, and jazz styles as they have been an inspiration on Tracy’s personal experience growing up in the music scene in San Antonio, and later in Dallas. It will be a unique project, heavily marketed online, with additional promotional ties as part of the soundtrack to the documentary films “Dallas Electric”, and “South Texas Soul”. The idea is to have a multilayered approach to the marketing of the music and the documentary films whereby people who like the film will be interested in checking out the Trace Elements CD, and vice versa.
Musically, Trace Elements is a culmination of all the bands and songwriting collaborations Tracy has been part of since 1978. It features stellar professional musicians and guest appearance by Augie Meyers, whose status as a Grammy award winner, and legendary performer should by itself garner attention from music press and spur radio airplay, both in the U.S. and in Europe. The song “Elvis es mi Gato”, written by Tracy and Augie, is an infectious polka with a novelty hit lyric in the midst of a blues / progressive rock album, with Augie on accordion. Americana radio will love this one.
Additionally, blues great Brian “Hash Brown” Calway appears on 2 more songs, T-Bone Walker’s “Tell Me What’s the Reason” and the Willie Dixon classic “I Live the Life I Love”. His appearance is expected to attract additional attention from the blues music community in Dallas and North Texas.
These initial sessions produced 7 tracks, including one song “Prosperity Street” written by Augie Meyers some forty years ago, reworked with a New Orleans style groove by the band. This song has never been released in any form, is an uncovered gem that will surprise many.
Tracy’s original songwriting and collaborations with other writers will figure heavily in the album, with modern rock tracks, a funk / jam powerhouse called “Open Mind, Open Eye”, plus a driving Texas shuffle, “Turning Blue”, a blues rock showcase featuring guitarist Kevin Lewis.
The recording will continue with another tracking session in April 2009, with mix down and completion by August of 2009. Co-Producing the project are Tracy Ready and Composer / Arranger Sal Salvador. Songs from the San Antonio recording sessions are co-produced by Clay Meyers and Tracy Ready.
Engineering at January Sound – Tye Robison; Engineering at Blue Cat – Joe Trevino. These folks all were true professionals to work with, and we appreciate their skill and dedication to the craft.
SEE:
www.myspace.com/traceelementstx

STATUS ANALYSIS:
Basic tracks recorded for seven songs. Currently working with Sal Salvador producing demos for four more songs, to then record in two more sessions with the band. Vocal, guitar and keyboard overdubs and mix to be conducted at Sal’s home studio to ready the CD for release.
Promotion: We are building fan base using social media networks and preparing to release selected tracks for review on jambase.com and garageband.com. New website is being built by Clay Meyers, CDM Grafx.

Thank you for your consideration of this project.
Trace and Kevin Lewis - Trace Elements

Tracy Ready, Vocals; Kevin Lewis, guitars and fretless bass