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
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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