Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action!

I was reading PageOneKentucky today when I cam across several articles about jobs in Kentucky. One is from Huffpost and it list the cities hit the hardest by unemployment. If look at the map they provide you notice that Jefferson, Co and some of it's surrounding counties are in the hardest hit section.

The next article I read was about where Kentucky ranks compared to other states on wide swath of health issues. I'm sure it doesn't surprise anyone that we are near the bottom in most categories. We are #1 in smoking, 7th fattest, #2 when it comes to adult physical inactivity, and #6 when it comes to over 15% of kentuckians living in poverty. The original article can be found here.

If you read the entire article and scroll down to the bottom you find something very interesting. It list the states top 5 industries. #1 manufacturing, #2 government, real estate (rental and leasing), health care, social assistance, and retail trade. A very interesting mix. i was surprised that none of the Kentucky's signature industries were listed. Horse industry. No. Bourbon. No. Coal. No.

Looking at the list of Kentucky's top 5 industries it's no wonder why we are in the shape we are in. It's also no wonder why Louisville is in the shape it is in. Louisville is still grappling with the transition from manufacturing economy to the new age/information/service economy. We are still trying to use our geographical location and our history as a transportation hub to our advantage. We are trying to become the logistic hub of the south/west/ and midwest. That's not a bad idea, and it's one that should be a top priority for the city. However, the city should also find a way to transition and brand itself for the new world.

We are Possibility City. I think that is a perfect brand for the city, now we just have to live up to the hype. I think the city should set aside $200,000 and start the Louisville Film Commission. There are a lot of filmmakers here in Louisville, and they could use our help. I think the first thing the film commission should do is just get a handle on what exactly is going on in and around Louisville. I don't think there is one agencies in city government that can tell you how much is being spent on film in Louisville. That needs to change. Once we get a handle on how big the industry is then we should try to expand what we have. The commission could hold workshops on how to get financing from venture capitalist. Walk them through pitching their ideas to the Venture Club of Louisville. The commission could then help raise money for Fund for the Arts, as long as the funds raise go towards filmmakers. These are just the initial steps. As the commission gets a handle on the local scene then we can look to attract outside filmmakers, and starting a film school. I would also advise the commission to advertise Louisville in indy film magazines.

I like the idea of the film industry a lot in Louisville because it's such a natural fit. We have one of the best theater companies in the world with Actor Theater of Louisville. Film would be a great tie-in. The Film industry also needs carpenters, caterers, tailors, electricians, drivers, and a ton of other skilled/non-skilled jobs. It touches so many other industries that Louisville already has.

The Film industry also has something else going for it. It attracts creative people. Creative people attract other creative people. Painters, musicians, directors, tailors, chefs, 3D computer artist, and many other creative sorts attract each other. We each feed off of the creative energy of other creative people. The film industry would be another piece to Louisville's creative puzzle. I think it could be the biggest piece over time.

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