Mayor: Waive City Hall filming fee

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The first step, he said, will be to waive the fees the city charges production companies to film at the five City Halls in Los Angeles, including those in downtown and Van Nuys. “The amount we charge is only $300 to $500 a day – it’s negligible,” Villaraigosa said. “But what it means in jobs for Los Angeles is significant. We need to let Hollywood know we want them here.” And while he recently made a cameo appearance on “The George Lopez Show,” Villaraigosa said he is not star-struck. “When I do that, I do it as the mayor of all of Los Angles,” Villaraigosa said. “I do it to show my support for all of the entertainment industry and what it means to the city. “Film, television and commercial production contributes over $25 million a year to the Los Angeles economy. It’s not just the George Lopezes or Eva Longorias who get that money. It’s the grips and the gaffers, the camera people, the caterers. Sending a symbolic offering to Hollywood, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday proposed waiving the “negligible” fee for filming at City Hall – the first of several steps designed to halt runaway movie and TV production. Villaraigosa’s announcement was made at a news media briefing, the first of a series in which he will spotlight local issues, particularly those dealing with economic development. He said he chose the entertainment industry for his first session because of its importance to the local economy and its high-profile image around the world. He said he plans to develop other incentives in an effort to halt runaway production and will back proposed state legislation that would give a tax credit to companies that film primarily in California. “I will unite a broad coalition from the labor, entertainment and business communities to protect middle-class jobs and small businesses in California,” Villaraigosa said. “We need to keep production in California so thousands of middle-class workers don’t lose their jobs.” “It spreads throughout the economy,” he said. Steve McDonald, director of the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., which issues film permits, said it was an important step for the mayor to take and an important message from City Hall. “These film producers are wined and dined and feted by officials from across the country to take their filming outside of Los Angeles,” McDonald said. “This might seem like a symbolic gesture, but it is an important one to let the industry know Los Angeles does want to keep its business here.” Dan Glickman, president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, also said he appreciated the mayor’s action. “We are thrilled the mayor recognizes the critical importance of the movie industry’s contributions to the economy of Los Angeles,” Glickman said. “We appreciate his reference to some of our common interests and goals today and look forward to making them a reality.” During his presentation, Villaraigosa noted than the average hourlong television drama generates $2 million per episode in spending, while a full season of 22 episodes means $44 million in production-related activity. Even as he makes efforts to woo filmmakers, he said, the city, the EIDC and production companies will have to work with neighborhoods to deal with problems many areas have had in being barraged with film crews. Most recently, the growing downtown residential population has joined the list of areas – many of which are in the San Fernando Valley – that complain they are used too much as backgrounds for films and television shows. “We have to recognize the demands on neighborhoods and work that out,” Villaraigosa said. “We have to let the neighborhoods know how important it is to the economy, but we also want the companies to respect our neighborhoods.” Rick Orlov, (213) 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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