Boston, MA

Contact Name
Diane Pearlman
Project Dates
2006 - Present
Workshop Leader
Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) 2011
Policy, Workforce Development
BFMC was created after Massachusetts instituted lucrative tax credits that brought major feature films to the state beginning in 2006. All of these productions (and the dollars they bring into local economies) has been focused in and around the Boston area. We are working to bring some of these vital monies to the western part of the state.
Project Goals
What were the project goals?
BFMC's goals have been to create a vibrant film community in western Massachusetts. We have achieved this by creating a web presence that has allowed us to feature western Massachusetts locations as well as the professional talent in the area.
Have they changed over time?
We are looking to increase this presence as well as more actively establish ourselves on Facebook and Twitter to market the area to the entertainment community.
Who are the project partners and stakeholders?
Berkshire Creative and The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Project Specifics
How was the project implemented? What were the steps taken?
The establishment of a Berkshire Film Commission was discussed as early as 2006. We became part of Berkshire Creative in 2008 and with their guidance were able to raise initial funding and begin our website design that year. In 2009, we became a fund of The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, established a Board of Directors and have been working toward building ourselves as a true production resource.
Have they been refined over time?
See above.
What were your major obstacles?
Our major obstacle has been fundraising and establishing market presence. As an economic initiative, it is difficult for people to understand why we aren't state funded.
Who or what was instrumental in overcoming these obstacles?
Through the vision of several extraordinary individuals, we have raised the money needed to establish ourselves in just over a year. They know that the impact of film and media production on a local economy can be immediate and quite powerful.
What top three suggestions would you give to others attempting a similar project?
1) Find others with your vision 2) Be open to suggestions as to how you can accomplish your goals 3) Allow yourself to be supported and don't be afraid to ask for help
Project Impact
How has this project contributed to creative community building?
There has been a momentum about including western Massachusetts in the "selling" of the state to Hollywood. Our colleagues in Boston see us as a resource for bringing more work into the state. In the past 2 weeks, I have had 3 requests for possibly movie scouts in the region. Also, we are beginning to build relationships with other arts organizations in the area. We are in meetings to help the Norman Rockwell Museum with an animation exhibit this summer and helping them with a lecture series. We are also meeting with IS183 and the Berkshire Museum about educational collaborations with BFMC.
Why do you consider the project successful, as related to your project goals above?
In just a short time, there has been an awareness and recognition of the talented film community in the western Massachusetts region. Local film professionals can network with others in the area on their projects. Despite living in a rural area, people know there are other people working in the industry and are excited about building the film/media community here.
Were there unexpected impacts?
I think when we started, I didn't envision how we could work with so many organizations in the area. The potential is truly exciting!
CCX Workshop Handout