Flim Alaska

Are you a growing film company aching to shoot an independent project about an Alaskan hermit that collects garden gnomes and writes mysteries? Or perhaps it’s time to dust-off that long forgotten “Godzilla vs. Ursamonstra” script you’ve been keeping in a desk drawer for an emergency. If you’ve got a film to shoot, actors to pay, craft service to skimp on, and costumes to steal from the set of some other film, Alaska wants your money. That’s right, glitterati, Alaska’s willing to subsidize your film to the tune of 33%! In fact, Alaska’s program is by far the most generous:

As other states wrestling with budget deficits roll back or rethink their own film industry subsidies, Alaska’s program continues, so far doling out $13 million to a string of reality-TV shows and, increasingly, feature movies. Producers for movies big and small say it’s a key reason they’re here.

Alaskans are notoriously fame-hungry. You all saw Sarah Palin whore it up when she reached the national stage, but for a more local example, just find a person that lived in Alaska for a month, or perhaps just had a layover at Anchorage International (I will not say fucking Ted Stevens International, and you can bite my sack if you want to argue about it). Chances are good they’ll regale you with various tales of bearded ne’er-do-wells and bear statues the likes of which you’ve never seen. So really, this is perfect for Alaskans, because it gives them what they want the most: attention. Theoretically, it also gives them jobs:

In many ways, the film incentives appear to be a success. Producers spent tens of millions of dollars shooting movies in and around Anchorage over the past 13 months, drawing stars such as Drew Barrymore and Ted Danson, Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Many Alaskans scored jobs as actors, camera operators and crew. Stars ate at local restaurants and stayed at local hotels, and film boosters imagine a subsequent wave of tourists.

And if you want proof that the program is working, look no further than the latest schmalzy turd “Big Miracle,” which is about those dumbass whales who got stuck under some ice in the 80s. Yeah, whales, a lot of us had problems with ice in the 80s, but none of us made a national event out of it, you fameballing bastards! The film, which could have easily been made in Canada, was not, and because the studio chose Alaska, they’re able to claim that sweet subsidy, to the tune of about $9 million, or $.33 on the dollar.

Apparently, this subsidy is due to expire in 2013 (it had a five-year test period), and in order to renew it, Alaskan lawmakers will have to fund it to the tune of $200 million bones. Which, quite frankly, is not likely. But don’t worry: there are thousands of Alaskans, desperate for attention, who will continue to churn out short films for film festivals. And eventually, one of them will get noticed. And after that, well, he or she will probably pull a Jewel and GTFO! San Diego’s own Jewel my ass.

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Alaskan Lawmaker Does Something Halfway Decent for Once

After languishing in committee for almost a year, supporters are galvanizing behind Alaskan senator Donald Olson’s (D-Nome) proposed bill to fund the creation of a Native Alaskan Language Council. The council would advise the governor (Secret Evangelical Dictator-for-Life Sean Parnell) on programs to preserve and strengthen Native language education. Sadly, such a council comes too late for Eyak, a language spoken in the southcentral part of the state whose last native speaker, Marie Smith Jones, died in 2008.

The bill was held in committee by Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) pending talks with Native groups, which in Alaskan politics likely means “pending bribes from Native groups.”

What Does it Take to Change the Essence of a Park?

Apparently, Alaska lawmakers have proposed a federal takeover of Central Park in an effort to highlight the federal government’s prohibition on drilling for oil in ANWR. From the Anchorage Daily News:

Rep. Kyle Johansen, the lead sponsor of HJR31, says such a takeover would never happen. But he wanted an extreme example to make a point about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and its being off limits to development.

In other news, logic just died.

Super Bikini Coffee Party!

Having lived in Anchorage, I was well aware of the “hot women selling coffee in modified trailers” trend. Hell, there was even a news story about it on Channel 2 once upon a time. That’s like Hollywood for Alaska!

However, I’ve been away for some time and I did not realize that the Singularity had appeared, thus codifying years of hot-chick-in-a-trailer-selling-coffee evolution by reducing the amount of clothing required. Now, hot chicks sell coffee while wearing bikini tops! And sometimes lingerie! And it’s cold outside, so you can imagine what happens when that cold air hits! Huzzah!

Natasha Thompson, the genius behind Java Junction (and Lingerie Friday), realized during a downturn in business that sex sells. Please do not confuse her with Don Draper, the fictional advertising genius. According to Thompson,

“Women can be astronauts, women can be firemen, women can make coffee in bikinis,” she said standing in the cart in her “Alaska Girls Kick Ass” shirt. “We can do anything we want.”

Suck on that, Gloria Steinem.

One of her employees, Ashley Holder, a former business student at UAA, has apparently quit several times, citing the outfit at least once. However, Ms. Holder’s other job as a receptionist for a funeral home just did not break the fun barrier:

That was all death and sadness, she said. It made her cry and think about her parents getting old.

So she returned to the coffee cart, where according to ace reporter Julia O’Malley, “it smells like coffee and coconut belly balm.”

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