LOS ANGELES -- Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the next phase in his entertainment industry agenda in the wake of his successful leadership of the effort to pass a tripling of the state’s film tax credit. In addition to his “Greenlight Hollywood” campaign to ensure L.A. productions maximize the benefits of the $1.6 billion in incentives that will be available, Garcetti signed an executive directive today to make City Hall more film-friendly and announced budget proposals to invest in city services that would encourage filming and entertainment job creation. He also announced that Board of Public Works President Kevin James will serve as City Hall's chief film liaison. He is ideally positioned to facilitate the industry’s needs in cutting through city red tape. He will work closely with the Mayor’s senior advisor for entertainment industry issues, Ken Ziffren.
Mayor Garcetti signed his directive and made his announcements at a reception thanking the film and television industry coalition that worked on the AB 1839, the expanded film tax credit.
“I have no greater priority as Mayor than to protect and expand L.A.’s economy and middle class – to make sure the American dream is alive and well here in our city of angels,” Mayor Garcetti said. “With the new film tax credit in place, we now must make sure L.A. is as film-friendly as possible by cutting red tape, coordinating city departments and investing in city services that promote entertainment job production.”
Mayor Garcetti’s executive directive requires all city departments to appoint a film liaison who will work with the industry to make departments more film friendly. These individuals must attend the quarterly Film Task Force meetings and help train staff to emphasize the importance of filming to our local economy. Each department is responsible for cooperating fully with FilmLA; ensuring that all city fees be simple to understand and administer; that billing is completed immediately; and that all city fees will be set at the lowest possible amount.
In addition, the Economic and Workforce Development Department will ensure that the city has a comprehensive list of city-owned properties for the industry to use free of charge.
Mayor Garcetti also announced that Board of Public Works President Kevin James will become the new point person within city hall for the film and TV industry.
"The recent passage of AB 1839 was a tremendous victory for Los Angeles and the entertainment industry,” said newly appointed Director of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Television Production and Board of Public Works President, Kevin James. “I look forward to working with Ken Ziffren, representatives throughout the entertainment industry, and all of the necessary City Departments in order to deliver on Mayor Garcetti's priority of ensuring that Los Angeles effectively capitalizes on this terrific opportunity for continuing job growth in our city."
Mayor Garcetti also announced that after a full year analysis with members of the entertainment industry and Councilmember and Budget Committee Chair Paul Krekorian, he will augment the FY 2015-2016 budget to include increased funding for city services that are important to filming -- increased clerical, monitoring, and after hours operations at the Recreation and Parks Department and the Fire Department; more efficient sign posting at the Department of Transportation; and computerized hiring and permitting systems linking FilmLA with Recreation and Parks and Fire.
“Film and TV production is essential to our city’s economy and to our cultural history,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who is also chair of the City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Film and TV Production Jobs. “It creates good jobs for Angelenos, spurs economic activity and keeps L.A. on the map as the entertainment capital of the world. I share Mayor Garcetti’s bold vision for our city—to make Los Angeles the most film friendly city in the nation. The steps we are taking today will simplify the film-permitting process and show that the City of Los Angeles is ready to improve the way it does business with the film industry.”
"The passage of AB 1839 provides us the tools to make the City of Los Angeles even more film-friendly," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, who represents Hollywood. "I look forward to working with my Council colleagues Paul Krekorian and Curren Price of the Ad Hoc Film Committee, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and all of our vital industry partners in creating more jobs and making the City of Angels the most recognized location across the globe."
Mayor Garcetti has made protecting and expanding our entertainment industry a centerpiece of his administration because it is critical to the strength of our middle class. He helped lead a statewide coalition of policymakers and business leaders to successfully push for a tripling of the state film tax credit and created the first-ever Mayor's Office of Motion Picture and Television Production.
During Oscar Week in Hollywood, Mayor Garcetti announced his “Greenlight Hollywood” campaign, an effort targeting studio greenlight committees and talent agencies to promote Los Angeles as the premier destination for entertainment production. The campaign will take place during the months of March and April, ahead of the new film tax credit program’s rollout.
"Greenlight Hollywood" will recruit and deploy a corps of entertainment professionals to identity film and TV productions in the planning stages that would be most beneficial to L.A.'s economy if produced here. These "Greenlight Hollywood" representatives would then contact the productions -- through studio greenlight committees -- and make the case for filming in L.A., including new financial incentives and cuts in red tape.