Growing but not aging
That is a big word for a relatively simple concept. I believe business guru and author Tim Ferriss coined the word to describe the relationship between economies when spending and selling. In other words, if you are able to purchase something in a weaker economy for less and sell it in a stronger one for more, you will make money.
An example of this is if someone earns money in the United States and lives in Bulgaria, their money will go further. Why do I bring this up? Because it seems as if this is an area that we as Americans need to work on.
Sunday night I rented a movie titled “Wrong Turn 5.” It was OK, but nothing to write home about. I’d give it a 6 out of 10. Upon watching the special features, I was shocked to learn the movie was made in Sofia, Bulgaria, with mostly Bulgarian actors. They really had me fooled. Their American accents were perfect.
What was really strange about this is that the movie was set in a small, rural town in West Virginia. This, of course, begs the question why, when the film company making the movie is a wing of Lion’s Gate Entertainment, wasn’t the movie shot in a small town in West Virginia? I’m sure there are plenty of small towns that wouldn’t mind the economic influx that comes with making a film as well as the notoriety to come to their town.
At first I was mad. I have met enough aspiring American actors and filmmakers who would do anything to land any part in a movie, that seeing an American company spend its money and give its opportunities overseas leaves me cold. Especially when it is pretty easy to tell the movie is designed for American audiences.
I guess I’m wondering if the film company actually saved enough on the cost of production to make it worth traveling halfway around the world, building a set that looks like a rural American town (when there are so many pre-made in America), and teaching their actors to speak with American accents?
One of my beliefs is that no one ever does anything because they think that it is stupid. My guess is that the film crew must have saved enough money to make it worth traveling to Bulgaria.
Sofia actually has a long history of filmmaking. Sofia’s film industry – mostly Boyana Films — suffered during the 1990s. A revival of the industry picked up after 2001 when an American company purchased Boyana, with many American films being shot in Sofia. There are some scenes from “Expendables 2” that were shot in Sofia.
It has often left me cold when businesspeople simply complain about how their market is not “purchasing locally,” or some other catch phrase. However, I am willing to purchase things – even at a higher cost that I can get it elsewhere – when a businessperson actively engages me and gives me a reason to purchase the goods or services. As an aside, Sofia’s motto is “grows but does not age.”
In Iowa we formerly had a fund that allowed economic incentives to make films. That was, however, marred with scandal. Whether the scandal was real or a political invention is open to debate, but the result is that Iowa is no longer giving filmmakers a reason to shoot their movies in Iowa.
My concern is that too much of this attitude and soon all movies we see will be shot overseas. Filmmakers will go to countries that aren’t squabbling among themselves and work together to give economic and social incentives to film in their locations. If I were a filmmaker, I wouldn’t want to go somewhere that cost more and there is social strife to my even being there.
The bottom line is that I am always hearing how the best thing to do to solve the evils of rising taxes and inflation is to grow the economy. My question is what are we really doing to accomplish that?
This is something we as a society need to work on. If we don’t, I’m sure the Bulgarians will be more than happy to steal any economic growth right out from under us.