L.A. Will Waive Fees to Attract TV Pilot Production

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti

UPDATED: This is another step in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s efforts to stem runaway production and encourage movie and TV work to take place in his city.

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday passed a measure to waive fees for producers who shoot television pilots on location in the city.

The measure, which comes after years of declining pilot production in L.A., was first authored last year by Eric Garcetti, who in his recent campaign for mayor promised to find ways to stem runaway production and improve the environment for movie and TV production.

Garcetti is expected to sign the measure into law within a week and it should take effect soon after.

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

"Our economy is my top priority" said Garcetti, "and the entertainment industry generates more than 500,000 jobs in L.A. Focusing on TV pilots not only supports a key part of the industry, it can lead to a huge long-term dividend if a series gets picked up."

The production of TV pilots in Los Angeles, as tracked by Film L.A., has fallen from 2006-2007 when 82 percent were shot in the city to about 52 percent in the most recent pilot season. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between where a pilot is shot and where the show is ultimately produced, so grabbing pilot activity is crucial to keeping the jobs in Los Angeles.

In urging passage, L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian told his fellow council members: ""When production leaves Los Angeles, the loser is not the big studio, the loser is not the famous producer, the loser is not the A-list actor. The loser is the person who gets up early in the morning, drives to work in a pick-up truck in order to serve as a carpenter on a set, or the person who has been working their entire career as an electrician in the film industry, or the seamstress, or the other below-the-line workers or other middle class workers who don't travel to Vancouver or to New Mexico or New York to go with a production. Those are the people who don't work when we don't have production here in Los Angeles. 

This is another step by Garcetti, who in late September appointed former TV Academy president and Hollywood executive Tom Sherak as his film czar, to work to stem runaway production and lobby Sacramento legislators to increase and extend the current $100 million annual allocation of tax incentives to keep movie and TV jobs in California.