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Despite Obstacles, New Filmmakers Find Creative Ways to Keep Productions Stateside

Denver, CO, July 18, 2008 --( For many new filmmakers, the hardest part of making a movie is paying for it. Many rely on friends, family and grants to bring their visions to the screen. Denver-based filmmaker Thomas J. Chavez did the next best thing – he started a business.

Strikeset Brand Clothing was conceived of by Chavez as a way of funding his next film and shooting it here in the U.S. Strikeset makes T-shirts and other clothing with a humorous cinema theme. The profits will be used to pay the production and distribution costs for the film.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize what an important step these films can be for filmmakers,” says Chavez, “for a lot of us, it’s the first professional experience we get, and every penny we spend on production goes right back into the economy.” In addition to equipment rental, each film employs a virtual army of artists, actors, extras, designers, laborers, security personnel and coordinators who must be fed and housed. Set materials must be purchased from local suppliers, transportation arranged, actors clothed and tools purchased. It is estimated that for every $1.00 spent on film production, the local economy will see net income of $1.30.

“I just saw this as a way to help my cast and crew get their start, and bring a great film to the public.”

Chavez designed the entire line of shirts with his fellow filmmakers in mind. With shirts featuring such sayings as “I Dream in 1080p” and “Writer. Director. Barista.”, both film professionals and movie fans will find a sense of individuality in Strikeset shirts. “With the profits being used to put over eighty young filmmakers, artists and actors to work, I’m hoping this is something the film community as well as the public can embrace.”

Chavez is not alone in wanting to engage the community. The American film industry in 2005 was responsible for the employment of over 1.3 million Americans and over $60.4 billion in output to the U.S. economy. The resulting $9.5 billion trade surplus is one of the few industries the U.S. can claim a surplus in. For many of those professionals, the entry point to this industry is through not-for-profit short films like Chavez’.

Though high labor and production costs represent a significant challenge to shooting in the U.S., many filmmakers are making a concerted effort to film American. Several state governments have also recognized the potential to the economy and have enacted legislation that provides tax incentives to entice films to shoot in their state. To Chavez, Strikeset represents another opportunity to keep the work stateside. “Starting off, you always work within a relatively small budget, but I am hopeful that with the success of this site, we can realize another chance to keep the work American, and continue to build an industry that has been a bright spot in recent times.”

Strikeset Brand Clothing features t-shirts and printed gifts with a cinema theme and can be found at


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Thomas J. Chavez
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Thomas J. Chavez

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