Originally Posted by Xing
As time goes on, locals become department heads, and locals either start unions, or evolve the ones that have already been there.
...but no one hires a department head on the basis of where they live. Hollywood is a relationship-driven business; DPs hire the gaffer they want
, not the one whose residency qualifies the production for a tax break.
Where unions are concerned, all the major studios are signatory to the IATSE basic agreement covering the United States and Canada. If Paramount shoots a film in Butte MT, they must do so with a union crew. The advantage of hiring locally is lower wages; union locals outside of NY and CA often accept lower rates as a trade-off for getting the work.
How far such locals will go to "evolve" their membership is hard to say. They generally are loathe to expand their ranks more than absolutely necessary, given the cyclical nature of the business. Most prefer to err on the side of exclusivity to protect their membership.
As far as Michigan goes, it fell apart under the guise of a Republican governor, but not without a fight.
Rick Snyder correctly identified Michigan's program as an over-scaled money drain that would never deliver a self-sustaining industry as promised. Rather than commit several hundred-million per year to subsidize out-of-state producers in perpetuity, he chose to cut taxes for established Michigan businesses. Many other governors are watching that decision closely.