A year ago due to budget cuts, the City of Fresno had to release it's Film Commissioners office. Luckily, the non-profit organization, Creative Fresno, took in the Fresno Film Commission so it could stick around and do some of the good work it was doing fostering filmmaking in Fresno.
But working under a non-profit's umbrella meant that the Commissioner, Ray Arthur, would have to pretty much do the same job he had been doing, only not get paid for it.
Well now the office and Creative Fresno are liking the deal so much they've signed up for three more years. This is big enough news that it made the pages of Variety, Hollywood's biggest trade paper. Cool stuff. And in the article, we learn that Fresno's had a good year, film wise:
In the interim the Fresno Film Commission flourished on the production side, with 33 film shoots in 2010, a 27% increase over 2009.
In case you're thinking "I guess it's a good thing the City Of Fresno dropped the Film Commissioners office." Well, in the article, our Commish explains why that isn't true:
Film commissioner Ray Arthur noted that it is not all good news, however. "While the number of productions has increased, the amount of revenue from those productions has fallen," he said. "Without marketing or operations budgets we are, unfortunately, unable to attract the number of Hollywood-based productions that we have in years past."
Much respect to Ray for the work he and all the Fresno filmmakers have done in the past year without getting paid. Hopefully at the end of the agreement with Creative Fresno, the city can afford to have the film commission around again.
*If you'd like to read the press release about the new contract that the Film Commission and Creative Fresno have, download this file: Download FFC P R 12411