An article by Brian Watt on KPCC Southern California Public Radio’s website speculated on the future of Los Angeles’ efforts to boost film production after the recent death of the city’s first Film Czar Tom Sherak. As Film Czar (that’s their term), Sherak was planning to involve other cities in California in planning a push to expand the state’s $100 million per year film and TV tax credit program. New York’s tax credit program was expanded in 2012 to some $420 million per year.
Kevin Klowden, director of the Milken Institute’s California Center, was quoted in the article as saying that Mayor Bloomberg had done a “good job” in building a film office that connects with the production industry. Klowden also speculated that new Mayor Bill de Blasio wasn’t “necessarily as aligned with the film industry” as Bloomberg had been. Paul Audley of FilmLA, which manages on-location film permits in Los Angeles City and County, said that ”From a selfish point of view, I hope the stories are true that the new Mayor of New York is not likely to continue” his support for “taking filming from California.”
However de Blasio’s still up-and-running campaign website contains a page of specific details on how his administration would support a “Progressive Vision” in its support for film and TV production in the City, including supporting the new Graduate School of Cinema at Steiner Studios (announced under Bloomberg), a new Film & TV Lab, and more.
The Los Angeles-based film industry also has a hard argument ahead if it expects Sacramento to pitch in money for increased film tax credits. California Governor Jerry Brown, while clearing out the $26.6 billion budget deficit he faced when he took office three years ago, has instead put the state’s money into such items as a rainy day fund, paying off past borrowing, and an expansion in education spending.