Board of Sups Tries to Stop Runaway Film Production - Fox 2 News Headlines

Board of Sups Tries to Stop Runaway Film Production

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(FOX 11/CNS) - The Board of Supervisors agreed today to push for stronger tax incentives to promote film and television production in Southern California.

"In the last decade, Southern California has lost more than $3 billion in entertainment production wages," said Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who recommended sending a letter to state officials, with copies to the 88 mayors and city managers in Los Angeles County.

An industry spokesman painted a grim picture.  "We've been talking for years about runaway and runaway production," said FilmL.A. Inc. President Paul Audley. "We used to be 65-plus percent of major features ... now (it's) 8 percent."Overall, feature filming in the region has dropped 50 percent from its peak in 1996 and the production of television documentaries is down 39 percent from its high in 2008, according to Antonovich.

The migration of production to Georgia, New York, Louisiana, Canada and other jurisdictions offering attractive tax subsidies to woo filmmakers affects lots of related businesses, like lumber yards and prop houses, Audley said.Georgia's 20 percent tax credit led to a three-fold increase in that state's share of top-grossing movies, according to Antonovich. Louisiana's tax incentives added 6,145 film production jobs.

Audley pointed to a convention to be hosted this weekend in Century City by the Association of Film Commissioners International, where film commissioners from 38 different countries and locations across the U.S. will reach out to grab a share of upcoming productions. He dubbed it "The Poacher's Conference."

Assembly Bill 1839 -- heard in a legislative committee today -- would expand the range of films eligible to apply for an existing 20-25 percent state tax credit package.

It also would open the credits to television pilot production and include costs related to music scoring and editing. It would eliminate a $100 million annual cap on aggregate credits, but does not call for a specific total to be spent to make sure that California gets a competitive share of film and television production.

The board's vote was unanimous.

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