Mayor Eric Garcetti officially waived fees charged for television pilots shot in Los Angeles on Friday.
The mayor was joined at Raleigh Studios by Tom Sherak, a former Academy
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president who was recently brought in as
the city's "film czar" adviser.
On Oct. 16, City Councilman Paul Krekorian told the Studio City Neighborhood Council that in addition to working with Garcetti on waiving the fees for television pilot production, he's independently focusing organizing around the issue locally in the entertainment industry to act, as well as how to make it easier to film in L.A.
The fee exemption, which was approved by the City Council earlier this month, was originally proposed by Garcetti while he was a councilman.
Garcetti hopes the fee waivers will help sweeten the deal for entertainment companies that are being drawn away by incentives and subsidies offered by other states and countries.
"Focusing on TV pilots not only supports a key part of the industry, it can lead to long-term dividends if a series gets picked up," Garcetti said.
"Sons of Anarchy" actor Ron Perlman and Raleigh Studios owner George Rosenthal also joined the mayor, as did producers, grips, lead men, carpenters and engineers.
"This isn't about the stars on the screen, but carpenters, caterers and electricians and the stores they shop in," Garcetti said.
Under the signed ordinance, television pilot productions will be exempt from a $100 special event permit application fee. A $312 charge for late submissions of the permit applications will also be waived.
Productions also will no longer be on the hook for Department of Transportation costs related to posting and removing streets signs.
The city collected $231,000 in fees for television pilot production in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to a city report.
While the city will lose out on the fee revenue, Garcetti touted the benefits of pilot productions that employ on average 150 people and account for $100,000 to $250,000 per day in spending, according to Film L.A. figures.
Los Angeles was the backdrop for 96 pilots in 2012 and 2013, which resulted in an estimated 14,400 production jobs, according to Film L.A.
The entertainment industry, incidentally, was among the top contributors to Garcetti's mayoral campaign, bringing in at least $955,000, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of special interest election spending.