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Unexpected Heat over Bringing ‘Bones’ to Maine

1 Apr , 2009  

Written by Erin Trahan | Posted by:

Maine residents take differing stances on giving tax breaks to film production and whether or not big-city filmmakers should shoot Stephen King's Bag of Bones in the author's home state. NewEnglandFilm.com adds a few editorial thoughts.

Last month Maine Governor John Baldacci and Maine film industry representatives met with director Mick Garris and producer Mark Sennet about bringing a $20 million production (Bag of Bones — based on a Stephen King novel) to Maine this summer. Sounds good, right?

Not according to an editorial in the Kennebec Journal, which warned “the cool dudes from movieland” to “talk straight and be nice.” Apparently the dudes cited the tax incentives offered by other states such as Massachusetts as potential competition for their business.

“Whoa, there, boys!” prickled the editorial at comparing Maine to Massachusetts and calling it a threat: “That’s a perfect way to be shown to the far side of the Piscataqua Bridge.”

Film advocate (and occasional NewEnglandFilm.com contributor) Cameron Bonsey met both sides and shot back with a letter to the editor that defended Garris and Sennet’s character, as demonstrated by friendly interactions with Maine youngsters.

Meanwhile ‘Dan’ over at MaineBusiness.com wrote that the editorial, “brought to light everything businesswise that is wrong with this state.” Maine, says Dan, ranks 48th in being “business friendly.” He wants his state to open its eyes and see that the “only cards we hold are high business tax rates, unfriendly insurance programs and yes our good old Maine pride which comes with a deep set suspicion of anything not invented here.”

Funny thing. Maine does invent films, from scratch! Just a few highlights from the last year of NewEnglandFilm.com’s Maine reporting include stories about Ice Blink by Gregory Roscoe, the many films about Maine masters as produced by Richard Kane and Melody Lewis, and the unique film programming brought to Maine audiences by people like Kari Wagner-Peck at the Maine Jewish Film Festival.

So while the state of Maine debates whether or not to pass tax incentives, just thought we’d point out that not all film innovation comes from outside the state’s borders.

For further reading/viewing about the Bones dialogue, Bonsey and Barney Martin compiled and sent the following to NewEnglandFilm.com:

Mick Garris and Mark Sennet
Film Version of Stephen King Novel May Be Shot in Maine
Cameron Bonsey and Barney Martin, Film Advocates

Film version of King novel may be shot in Maine

Filmmaker Finds It Expensive to Film Stephen King Novel in Maine

Two men turning Stephen King’s ‘Bag of Bones’ into a feature film are looking for financial incentives.
A financial program to attract moviemakers to Maine also must benefit the state, officials say.

Men seek incentives for filming in Maine

Hollywood Needs Help To Film In Maine

King Movie Could Be Shot In Maine