The black-clad crowd of around 100 film workers and supporters hovered beneath the state’s equestrian Andrew Jackson memorial and lined Charlotte Avenue soliciting supportive honks from passers-by. Creative bunch that they are, their signs included more than a few clever references to Tennessee films that got away.
Underscoring one of the group’s main arguments — that in the absence of competitive incentives, state film workers and their families are being forced to leave Tennessee in search of more consistent work — some came to the rally with children in tow.
One such crew member / parent was Matt Lindahl, a set dresser who draped a sign around his neck and held his 6-month-old son Atticus. Lindahl and his wife, who also have a 3 year-old, are both in the business — he says they met on the set of The Help in Mississippi. But lacking consistent in-state work, he says, they’ve been contemplating a move to Georgia, where incentives have turned the state into a production magnet.
“I don’t want to leave,” Lindahl says. “But if we can’t work, I will be gone in a couple of months.”
As of this writing, the group was still awaiting expected visits from bill sponsor Rep. Steve McManus and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell.