Entertainment a Topic for Panel’s Experts

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From left to right, panel moderator Eric Mika and panelists Paul Audley, Amy Lemisch, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and Frank Stiefel.On October 29, FilmL.A. President Paul Audley joined California Film Commission Director Amy Lemisch, State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and @radical.media’s Frank Stiefel as a panelist at the Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s (VICA) 21st Annual Business Forecast Conference in Universal City.
The Entertainment Industry panel was moderated by Eric Mika, publisher of the Hollywood Reporter and vice president of Nielsen Media and Entertainment Group.  The panel’s theme was “Bringing Hollywood Back Home”, and discussion centered on California’s competitiveness as a film production center and its nascent Film and Television Tax Credit Program.
While the program has qualified 50 film and television productions since its July start — productions which according to Amy Lemisch would not have shot in the state otherwise — the program’s shortcomings, such as its exclusion of commercials as qualifying productions, were also addressed.
“Close to 20 percent of network commercials are now shot off-shore,” said Frank Stiefel.  “The commercials industry may leave California,” he added.
Other topics addressed were the need to promote the state internationally and the oddly fortuitous decline of the US dollar’s value, which makes shooting here cheaper for foreign filmmakers.
“California has the gift and problem of having been a center of film production, because the Legislature views the industry as captive,” said Paul Audley.  “We need our cities, the region and the state to recognize the need to go out and compete for the film business,” he added.

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