Former Film Academy President Tom Sherak Named L.A. Film Czar

Tom Sherak
Tom Sherak
 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tom Sherak, the former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has been named Director of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's Entertainment Industry and Production Office.

"Tom will lead our campaign for production incentives in Sacramento and is empowered to work across city departments to make L.A. the best possible location for production," said Garcetti in a statement.

At his June 30 inauguration, Garcetti cheered Hollywood by vowing to create the position and help stem runaway production. California's share of America's entertainment employment plunged from 47 percent in 1997 to 40 percent in 2010.

RELATED: L.A Mayor Eric Garcetti Calls Runaway Production a 'Civic Emergency'

In an exclusive interview shortly after taking office, Garcetti told THR of a "great meeting" with a group of agents, producers, location scouts and labor leaders recently "to brainstorm what sort of person is ideal" for the czar’s role.

Some of the mayor's entertainment industry advisors included Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins; Sony Pictures senior vp production Eric Paquette; Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon; film producer Deborah Del Prete; location managers Chris Baugh and Marylin Bitner; Nip/Tuck producer-director Michael Robin; and actor-producer Jason Gurvitz.

Garcetti explained to THR in July about how he approached the search process for the film czar position. "Ideally, this is kind of like looking for Superman," the mayor said, "because you want 
somebody who has a good name [in the industry], but who also has experience making films as well as an understanding of the legislative process."

In Sherak, the city of Los Angeles gets a well-connected veteran studio executive who also has experience leading a big organization as well as being the driving force behind a major charity.

The exec served as president of AMPAS during a time of great change for the Academy. Under his tenure there were major rules changes, the contact with ABC to televise the Oscars was renewed and he oversaw the Academy’s role in approving the changes that led to the theater at Hollywood and Highland being renamed the Dolby Theatre.

"The entertainment industry has a true champion in Mayor Garcetti, and I’m honored to work with him to make sure L.A. is always the entertainment capital of the world," Sherak said. "I look forward to helping Mayor Garcetti stop runaway production, increase state production credits, and cut City Hall red tape."

Sherak, who currently consults for Skydance Productions, One Three Media and other entertainment entities, was previously a partner at Revolution Films, consulted for Marvel Studios on films including Iron Man and served as chairman of 20th Century Fox Domestic Film Group. During his long career at the studio he also served as senior executive vp of Fox Filmed Entertainment and president of domestic distribution and marketing for 20th Century Fox.

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