FilmL.A. President Urges Governor to Sign Extension of Film Incentive to Create Jobs, Preserve Industry

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Late last week, following the lead of Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, FilmL.A. President Paul Audley sent Governor Brown a letter of his own urging him to sign AB1069, which extends the California Film & Television Tax Credit by an additional year.  The content of that letter is reprinted below.  To see a copy of the original letter sent to the Governor’s Office, click on the following: FilmL.A. letter to Governor Brown re: AB1069.

As we have said on many occasions, writing a personal letter is one of the most important and effective actions concerned citizens can take to get their elected officials to respond on an issue.  Elected leaders are 1000% more likely to take notice of, and  respond to, consituents who take the time to write a letter of their own over those who send generic form letters through email and fax or online petitions with thousands of names.  In order to get elected officials to care about an issue, they have to see the voters care too.

Underneath Mr. Audley’s letter, check out the embedded YouTube video of his remarks at a filmmaking roundtable about some of the inititives Los Angeles has taken to make the city more film friendly.

September 16, 2011

The Honorable Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State of California
State Capitol, Governor’s Office
Sacramento, CA 95814


Dear Governor Brown:

Soon, you will be asked to consider signing AB 1069, a one-year extension of the California Film & Television Tax Credit, into law. I’m writing to share what we have learned about this program’s record of creating jobs in California.

When California’s film incentive appeared in 2009, it could not have come at a more urgent time. By then, fewer than 4 in 10 studio features were made in the state, down from 7 in 10 just six years earlier.

That same year, the number of permitted production days for feature films made in Los Angeles reached a historical low of 4,976, down more than 64 percent from our peak year in 1996. It seemed as if California had virtually lost its hold on one of its signature industries. Fortunately, when the Film and Television Tax Credit was introduced, we saw a resurgence of interest in filming in California from filmmakers.

In 2010, on-location feature filming in L.A. saw its first year-over-year increase after years of decline. Films that qualified for California’s incentive comprised 26 percent of ll permitted production days in the Los Angeles area, preventing 2010 from becoming the worst year on record for moviemaking in L.A.

Moreover, according to data provided last year by the California Film Commission, the incentive created more than 20,040 full-time equivalent jobs. To date, incentivized productions have paid out $1 billion in wages to state residents (below-the-line, middle class workers — not studio executives). They have also injected nearly $3 billion in aggregate production spending into the private economy and communities throughout the state.

Perhaps most importantly, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) recently found that for each dollar California spends on the credit, $1.13 in new revenue is returned to state and local governments.

The effectiveness of the Film & Television Tax Credit Program at retaining an incredibly mobile California industry, while preserving tens of thousands of high-wage, middle class jobs and the state’s tax base, is astonishing.

I hope that you will consider these facts as you weigh your decision on AB1 069.

Sincere regards,

Paul Audley, FilmL.A.

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