Forget the governor’s wait for a photo op so he can sign the incentives bill — it’s meaningless now

The photo op the governor’s office has been waiting for, so that Gov. Blagojevich can finally sign the Filmmakers Tax Credit bill, almost happened last Monday.

Super stars Johnny Depp or Christian Bale, who are working in the area would have been ideal. But pragmatic director Michael Mann had more important things for them to do.

At this point, we heard, a frantic SOS call went out for a celebrity substitute to smile with gratitude as they shook hands. One such willing person in Hollywood agreed, if their expenses, plane fare and the like, were paid.

Alas, that didn’t happen. We’re back to the waiting game, but not for long, as it turns out.

A lot of money and jobs went down the drain because of this frustrating, unnecessarily long wait from the passage of the bill by the Senate to its ultimate enactment when the governor gets around to signing.

What is troubling, to me at least, is the lack of industry indignation. The IPA led a letter-writing campaign the last time the community was upset by Springfield. It didn’t have the desired effect, in the end, because the appointment to which the industry objected was done deal that hade been secretly made months earlier.

One person, however, actually has taken action on his own initiative. Actor Jim Halas picked up the phone and dialed 312/814-2121 — the number for Gov. Blagojevich’s Chicago office — to urge him to stop waiting for a star and sign the bill so the state can get back in the game.

“The vote in the legislature showed that there was a lot of support on that level, so I figure we have to get the Governor’s attention with the calls,” Halas told the Reel.

Well, Jim, all this complaining about the inaction of our governor — who publicly stated he wanted to be IN the movies, and courted Hollywood (embarrassingly ? arriving so late to an A-list brunch in his honor that guests walked out) as part of his strategy to run for president — is moot.

Whether or not Blagojevich signs the bill, it automatically becomes law on June 13.

After all, after losing FIVE full worth of movie business waiting for the 2008 incentives to kick in, what’s another week or two.