“Ugly” Motion Brings Lovely Results

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On March 26th, the Los Angeles City Council passed what became known as the “Ugly Betty” package of recommendations designed to make it easier to film in Los Angeles.

The blueprint for the seven-point package approved by Council was a report by the Chief Legislative Analyst’s Office (CLA) on runaway production, which Councilmembers Garcetti and Greuel called for after the highly-publicized May 2008 departure of the Ugly Betty TV show for New York, for financial and creative reasons.

Though the recommendations do not include a City tax incentive like the five percent tax credit offered by New York City, the Council did direct the CLA, the City Administrative Office and the Office of Finance to develop criteria for providing a credit or tax incentive program for productions that film in the city.

Additionally, the motion requested that the Department of Water and Power begin construction on utility nodes downtown, which would allow film productions to tap into power and eliminate the need for generators at base camps and on set.

A film industry parking task force is to identify vacant land that can serve as low-cost or no-cost staging areas for film productions and to develop recommendations for managing parking resources in a manner that supports the continued use of downtown for filming while recognizing the needs of residents and employees.

The CLA is also instructed to report on the feasibility of constructing parking for film productions under parks and to develop design standards for parking lots that accommodate film production vehicles.

A City Film Task Force, comprised of City departments and agencies, is to meet regularly to consider emerging film policy issues and to address industry needs.

Additional details of the Council motion can be found here on the City’s website.

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