Filmmaker Eric Raddatz Wants to Start a Revolution

Originally published in PULSE Magazine SWFL

 
 

It all started when…

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Eric has been an active player in the SWFL arts community

for many years, producing several independent short films and

appearing in other larger budget feature motion pictures. He is

founder and CEO ofthe Naples International Film Production

Association and founded the Naples International Film Festival in

2009, serving as its Executive Director. Currently he is producing

The Driskell Defense with Alan Kenny-Rudolph in Lee and Collier

counties. Yet he's still hungry for more.

Not content with the acclaimed success of the Naples

International Film Festival, which brought award-winning films

and filmmakers to Collier County from all over the world, Eric sees

the SWFL's potential to become a center of film industry activity.

The Naples International Film Production Association (NIFPAJ has

united filmmakers and created a potent organization ofprofessionals

dedicated to producing quality films. Already working

in the industry and exercising their talents, they form an army

of revolutionaries ready to make SWFL into one of the most

desirable film communities in the country. Eric understands what

this confluence of talent and circumstances means for the artistic

community if it can be harnessed.

"lt really is just a matter of time now before we get bigger

projects in state," says Raddatz. "We have local filmmakers like

fohn Scoular, Lance fulian, and Elam Stolzfus whose independent

films have done well in film festivals

around the country. Not to

mention the quality actors,

musicians and technicians

who would like to be able

to fulfill their greater

potential and nurture

their artistic side."

In addition to an outstanding pool of local talent, recent

developments in Tallahassee have made the film industry an

atffactive addition to the local economy. In April 2010, the Florida

House of Representatives passed The Entertainment Industry

Economic Development Act, which creates tax incentives to those

areas which are able to bring more productions to town. These

incentives have the possibility of spurring entertainment job

growth and contributing to the struggling SWFL economy.

The communities of Collier and Lee Counties have already

showed a firm commitment to the arts. They are the home

of internationally renowned painters, musicians, authors,

entertainers, and filmmakers. Yet it's time to take it to the next

level. It's time to make Naples and Fort Myers places where

artists go to aspire, not just to retire. It's time to make the

Paradise Coastthe place to create films.

"Combine the economic incentives with a keenly focused and

highly passionate group of industry professionals living here,

completely equipped to handle the largest of projects in one of the

most unappreciated internationally known tropical backdrops,

and you have got something that will ignllg. I guarantee it." ei

Is this all a little idealistic? "No" is EllR resounding answer.

"l guarantee that Rockefeller, Edison, and Carnegie were called

dreamers. Renegades even. Probably even considered a little *

strange. Bu! really, looking back, who really cares what they were

called? Nobody."

Still, isn't that too much to expect from a town full of r*rees

and part-time residents? Again, Eric disagrees and compares it to

Hollywood's ascension. In 1911, Hollywood was second to New

York in motion picture production, but in three short years the

city captured the top spot, a place it continues to hold as the

largest revenue-grossing film city in the world. In 2009,

Hollywood's box-office brought in a record-setting $10.6 billion,

fueled by the growing international market for American films.

The second-fastest growing U.S. export is audio and visual

recording media. This means that bringing more of the film

industry to SWFL will create jobs that are in increased demand in

the global market.

"Now, at last with cameras in hand, we

will have the opportunity to fertilize

and invigorate our economy," says

Raddatz. "United, we can

innovate greater methods to

create jobs, to entertain, educate

and inspire. Raise your voices

with me now! Viva La Film

Revolution!" ARE YOU READY?

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