L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Film Czar Tom Sherak Unveil Plan to Stem Runaway Production

3:14 PM PST 11/12/2013 by Alex Ben Block
Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Mayor Eric Garcetti

The pair promised a Hollywood Chamber of Commerce audience that they'd cut red tape, start a public campaign touting the benefits of shooting locally and storm Sacramento to increase the state's film and TV incentives.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, appearing at a daylong Hollywood Chamber of Commerce event with his new film czar, Tom Sherak, laid out a blueprint for stemming the loss of film and TV production from Los Angeles.

The plan calls for a drastic reduction in red tape by the city; a push to increase the state's $100 million in tax incentives, which are currently eclipsed by New York, Louisiana and Georgia, among others; and a public campaign to increase awareness of the importance of filmmaking to the local economy.

"We're going to Sacramento and storming that place like never before," the mayor said of his plan to convince legislators of the importance of the entertainment industry.

Red tape remains a problem for TV and movie productions that come to California, the mayor said. One legislative fix was free permits to shoot TV pilots in the city. "And if [the pilot] gets picked up," added the mayor, "we want to work with you to make it affordable to do the series here."
 

Garcetti said he's working on a campaign to educate L.A. residents about the importance of filmmaking to the local economy, and plans to plea for tolerance when crews and productions come to their neighborhood.

Sherak, a veteran studio executive and the former Film Academy president, said half of Los Angeles' blue-collar workers have below-the-line jobs in the entertainment industry. "We have to give them jobs," said Sherak. "We can't be dormant and watch production leave because others are giving incentives when our friends and families and relatives need work."

"This is a town of storytellers and storymakers -- the best on the face of the Earth," said Garcetti, adding, "When we protect the story, we protect the city, and we protect the nation as well."

The master of ceremonies for the daylong conference put on by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was producer Vin Di Bona, who said that while it is possible to film anywhere, people still want to do it where they can wake up in their own bed every morning.

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