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ing to a study done by the McDowell Group. When working on films, NANA deploys some of its core business lines, including catering, hospitality, and transportation, to address the needs of the production team. Piksik also works to find the best available providers to supply those services NANA cannot address in-house, such as lighting and sound. The company wants to engage more than just its own pre-existing businesses in the new field. “It’s utilizing the whole community of support services,” Kornfield says.

Homegrown industry

Piksik is still a new company. “Learning about what the requirements are in the industry has been part of the learning curve in this first year,” Kornfield says. One of the lessons has been about the pace and focus of the work. Each task has to be addressed with full effort until it’s time for the next one, much like an army moving in to perform a task, and then moving to a new task. “It is a very interesting, intense experience to work on a film,” Kornfield says. Next, Piksik is working to expand into post production services. Ideally, the company would like to be in a position to offer jobs to people interested in film, graphic design and other computer expertise. Those jobs would help keep the younger generation, and the generations to follow, in Alaska.

Photo by Murray Bartholomew

Deborah Schildt

Photo by Bob Crockett

her the most. “I want to see them do it again,” she says. “I want to help them do it again.” However, providing continued opportunities for youth requires more than just an internal decision. Piksik sees the state tax credit as crucial to keeping cameras rolling in state. “Alaska has become a high interest for producers because of the tax incentive that is in place,” Kornfield says. The incentive is called the Alaska Film Production Incentive Program. It offers certain productions a tax credit of up to 44 percent, which Schildt said seeing young Alas- they can then sell to businesses kans interested in the industry, within Alaska that pay a state corparticularly kids, is what excites porate income tax. The credit has

Fashion shoot at the Matanuska Glacier.


an extra incentive for work in rural Alaska for productions that employ Alaskans and work done in the winter. Productions must spend at least $100,000 in Alaska. Piksik sees more than the tax incentive as good reason to film in Alaska. Location and a general interest in the state are also helping propel the industry. In order to facilitate their vision of a growing film industry in Alaska, they must work cooperatively with various Alaska film support service companies outside of Piksik. “We all work together to produce a film,” Kornfield says. Despite the cooperative effort of many companies, and even while exploiting every other film resource in town, there are only enough service providers to make one film at a time. In order for the film industry to grow, those support industries need to grow. Ideally, the local service providers will expand in order to accommodate more than one film or commercial production crew at a time. Although Alaska has long been the subject or setting in several movies, most have been filmed elsewhere. “If we have a tax incentive in place it causes the producer to take a look at what we have to offer,” Kornfield says. Piksik hopes that when producers pause to consider Alaska, the advantage of qualified support in combination with the tax incentive and authentic setting will convince them to produce in the state. In a way, the company’s mission, style and purpose are all wrapped up in its name: “Piksik is a word that means quick response,” Kornfield says. The name has been well-received by shareholders and the film industry alike, who see NANA’s creation as a quick response to a need and opportunity for local business and community. And if anyone is able to personify such a name, it’s a company that has helped a new and lucrative industry bloom from what production crews used to regard as frozen ground. “We wanted to create this mentality of being quick to respond,” Kornfield says, “because that’s the nature of the film business.” q • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  

Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annu...

April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  

Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annu...