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Hollywood Calling on California to Strengthen its Film Industry

Hollywood stakeholders are demanding the state to strengthen its film and TV tax credit to keep its homegrown industry from leaving.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo

By City News Service

Hollywood stakeholders are calling on California to bolster its film and TV tax credit to keep its homegrown industry from permanently leaving the state, it was reported Thursday.

Film industry and union officials are mobilizing to back legislation this year that would substantially increase funding for the state's film incentive program and lift some restrictions to make the program more competitive with those offered by New York, Georgia and other states and countries.

"The bottom line is, these countries and these states realize what production means to them, and we have to show them (lawmakers) why we're missing the boat here," Tom Sherak, Los Angeles' newly appointed film czar, said in remarks reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A. Inc., which handles film permits for the city and county, said the state must move quickly to strengthen its incentives.

"California is simply not working to keep its signature industry in the state," Audley said. "This is the year. If California doesn't get it, then it's going to have to accept the fact that it's going to be second tier in the international marketplace for making films and TV shows."

The Times last week highlighted the proliferation of film incentives and the growing trade in film tax credits in Georgia and other states. States paid out or approved $1.5 billion in tax breaks, rebates and other grants in 2012, up from only $2 million in 2002, leading to a sharp drop in production in California.

The number of top-grossing films shot in California has plummeted 60 percent in the last 15 years, according to The Times. During the same period, Louisiana quadrupled its share of top-grossing movies while Georgia's output increased more than 30 percent.

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