Written by on Sep 19, 2013. Posted in On Location

Mayor of Los Angeles under pressure to appoint city film czar

Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, is under continuing pressure to appoint a so-called ‘film czar’, whose job it will be to boost the city’s production industry. Los Angeles has a problem with runaway productions and the film czar will have the unenviable task of reversing the trend.

Key to the job will be persuading state authorities in Sacramento to sweeten California’s state filming incentive. Currently, the programme operates on a lottery system with annual funds of USD100 million – significantly less than rival states like New York – and films with budgets above USD75 million are not eligible for support.

“We need a person who can navigate the complexities and work with the big and small players in the entertainment industry, and someone who can work effectively in City Hall and instil a customer service culture that's needed here,” Garcetti administration spokesman Yusef Robb told the LA Times.

The shortlist of possible candidates includes former studio heads and seasoned producers, the outlet reports.

Los Angeles is still popular for television and particularly multi-camera comedies that make use of Hollywood’s extensive studio facilities. However, dramas that involve a stronger location filming element – as well as big-budget features – are heading east to New Mexico, Louisiana, New York and Georgia.

Marvel’s upcoming superhero sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the only big-budget features to have filmed mostly on location in California in recent years. Before that, Star Trek Into Darkness filmed in Los Angeles principally because filmmaker JJ Abrams covered some of the production costs himself.

(City Hall photo: Brion Vibber)


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