Keeping Our Movie Industry In California - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Point of View

Keeping Our Movie Industry In California

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Los Angeles has traditionally been considered the epicenter of the movie industry. After all, the majority of movies were made here. That is -- I emphasize -- "were" made here. Now runaway production is out of control.

I'd like to hear your Point of View. Send me an email at POV@fox11.com.

In 1997, the lion's share of U-S blockbuster movies were shot in California. That's not the case anymore. Of the twenty-six top budgeted films for 2012-2013 -- only one was shot in our state. And it's not looking good for the future. Movie production is leaving because other states have a substantially better business climate than California. Rather than make "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" in California, director Marc Webb chose New York. At the premiere he commented how New York is simply "a great place to make a movie." The State of Georgia had no trouble landing The Hunger Games 1 and 2, plus the upcoming Hunger Games 3. California was not even in the running. It's the Texas example all over again.

For the California Legislature and for you Governor Brown, I have some ideas:

  • Raise production tax credits from $100 million to at least $400 million, to be on a more level playing field with states like North Carolina, Georgia and New York. According to Governor Cuomo, New York's film incentive program is a smart investment that attracts "businesses, creates jobs and generates economic activity." We now have an income tax surplus. This would be a productive way to use some of it.
  • Raise the movie budget cap substantially. Right now only pictures costing under $75-million to produce, qualify for tax breaks. No wonder tent pole movies are fleeing.
  • Eliminate having to win a lottery to even qualify for production tax credits. Movie companies are saying forget California. Tax breaks should not be based on luck.

Governor Brown - take these suggestions to heart. Get the state legislature moving in the right direction. Make keeping our movie industry in California -- a top priority.

Thanks for listening.

What do you think? We want to hear from you about this P.O.V. segment. Share your thoughts in the comments section below or email me directly at POV@fox11.com.

Kevin T. Hale,
Vice President and General Manager
KTTV-TV, FOX 11 News

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.

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