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IRS Spent $60,000 Producing Star Trek Parody 280

An anonymous reader writes According to the AP, the IRS is being "scolded for spending $60,000 dollars on an elaborate parody video that played at a 2010 conference. 'The video features an elaborate set depicting the control room, or bridge, of the spaceship featured in the hit TV show. IRS workers portray the characters, including one who plays Mr. Spock, complete with fake hair and pointed ears. The production value is high even though the acting is what one might expect from a bunch of tax collectors. In the video, the spaceship is approaching the planet 'Notax,' where alien identity theft appears to be a problem.' You can find the hilarious and/or nausea-inducing video on YouTube."
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IRS Spent $60,000 Producing Star Trek Parody

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  • by game kid ( 805301 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @03:45PM (#43258749) Homepage

    Yeah, have we seen the US's military contracts and cost overruns []? Shit, I'm glad they only spent $60k on this!

  • by Nova Express ( 100383 ) <> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @04:11PM (#43258965) Homepage Journal

    They FAA is shutting down 149 control towers [], supposedly as part of saving $637 million due to the sequester, at the same time Obama is asking for $500 million for the corrupt oligarchy running the Palestinian Authority.

    But they still seem to be able to fund the TSA's security theater. But you know who won't have to go through the grope lines? People from Saudi Arabia. [] You know, the country that produced produced 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers.

    And of course, there are the billions in green crony subsidies [].

    Your tax dollars at work...

  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @04:17PM (#43258997)

    If even one of the production crew had been a real Trekkie with half a clue, they could have contacted James Cawley and the Phase II/New Voyages crew and rented their elaborate sets and maybe even their assistance for a fraction of what it cost them... AND it would've had dramatically better production values.

  • Re:Our Tax Dollars (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @05:10PM (#43259283) Journal

    Liens, yes. Seizing a primary residence is almost unheard of now, except in the case of tax fraud. Back in the day this was common, but reform in the 80s changed the rules.

    "I can't afford it" will get you liens, garnishment and a payment plan but not your primary residence taken.

    "Income tax is Unconstitutional, I refuse to pay" is a whole 'nother story. Better supply your own lube."

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @05:26PM (#43259371) Journal

    Somebody needs to work on their reading comprehension skills:

    Q Why does the IRS even have a film studio?
    A make training films and informational videos for taxpayers.

    If you'd even browsed you'd find out that they have one for training videos because they found out they could do them cheaper in house than farming them out. It's not too surprising if you have either (a) a large number of videos to produce or (b) in-house technical staff with surplus time. I suspect (a) is correct as the congress changes tax law - Every Fucking Year - and all of the agents need to be retrained. Sending in-person trainers is even more expensive.

    You'd be surprised at how many large companies have their own film and sound studios for in-house work. It doesn't take too big an operation to justify having one over paying a contractor to do it every time you need something updated.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:18PM (#43260315)

    $1,000? Let's say you pay minimum wage to the actors for a day of shooting.

    5 actors * 10 hours * $8 = $400
    Camera rental = $200 (Minimum)
    Light rental = $100 (Minimum)
    Greenscreen 20' = $100

    Whoops we've used up your $1,000 budget and we still don't have:
    An editor ($150 minimum)
    No sound (Add another $100)
    No poorly done 3D animation (Another $100)
    You didn't pay a camera operator to setup and point your camera (Another $150 minimum)

    Now you need to include the time for someone to "write" it. Probably would take a day. Another $150 minimum even if your employee was working for minimum wage.

    Are you going to shoot in a room at the IRS? You have to account for your Janitor then clearing the room of furniture. Let's say $50 for 2 hours work. Still cheaper by a factor of 10 or more than renting a stage.

    Oh yeah, the actors have to wear something. Add $60 per actor * 7 actors = $420

    Also that $30k per video number is meaningless since it includes setting up a whole new in-house studio, stage space, purchasing lights, buying computers etc. If they produced 30 videos (1 per week) for the rest of the year, every video next year would be saving tax payers money.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:28PM (#43260375)

    I'm a Global Entry member. If you and your idiotic right wing mouth foamers bothered spending 2 seconds actually reading what Global Entry is--you would realize it doesn't let you bypass any security. The only thing you get as a Global Entry member is that you don't have to talk to customs and you can use a kiosk instead of talking to a customs agent.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:32PM (#43260395)

    The point is it's obviously been misrepresented. $60K wasn't spent on making this film. There was no expensive set. Just a few cheap costumes from a costume store.

    An earlier posts suggests that actually the $60K was spent on creating a production facility. And making this movie was just a byproduct of the training. That sounds more likely. []

    Of course if you're one of those people for whom everything the government does is wrong, you'll choose to believe the worst regardless of the truth.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam