Blog: Scott Dunham

Scott Dunham is the festival manager for next week's Detroit Windsor International Film Festival (DWIFF). A relentless networker, Scott has made it his mission to faciltate creative opportunities for Metro Detroit's film community. He will be writing about building a vibrant film community, the virtues of Michigan's incentive package and, of course, the film fesitval he helms.

Post No 3: Encouragement

I've always been an artist. The story goes, that when I was about 2 years old, I was drawing on my grandma's dining room table with a crayon… I mean- right on the table, no paper, just right on the wood! That could have been the end of my art career, but instead of knocking me into next Tuesday, grandma just slipped a sheet of paper under my hand and I kept on drawing.

I like that story because it's about encouragement. Grandma didn't yell or scream or tell me how bad I was. She just saw the artist in me and encouraged me to keep drawing.

I tell you that story to tell you this one.

The Michigan Film Incentives are… encouraging. It's a good word, it means to help along, to support.  And this state package is certainly doing that. Through the film incentives, lots of people I know are encouraged to find work on films or for new studios, schools and businesses that are preparing for the incoming work.

The tax incentive itself won't fix a thing. It just sits there unless real, dedicated hard working people roll up their sleeves and do something! But that's exactly what's happening. Producers, camera people, concierges, production assistants, actors, extras and many others are out there right now creating the action that will make changes to our economy.

There have been incentives and government support before, especially for our automotive industry (right, Lee?). Hard working people took that encouragement and kept on going, and it made a difference. 

Today, I am still an artist. I may have moved from crayons to computers, but I'm still drawing because grandma kept me quietly supplied with fresh paper and crayons and that encouragement made all the difference.

When grandma passed, one of the things I inherited was a folder about 3 inches thick, full of all my drawings. She'd kept every single one. That encouraged me even more.