Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is Hollywood nervous about runaway production?

Yup. At least it appears so in this Los Angeles Daily News article by writer Greg Hernandez. FilmLA President Steve MacDonald is quoted at length.

Click here to read the entire article. New York, Louisiana and New Mexico are mentioned. Below are a two intriguing excerpts:

"On-location feature-film production [in Los Angeles] plummeted 22 percent during the first quarter of 2007 — the second-largest year-to-year decline on record, according to figures released Thursday by FilmLA Inc.

"The region continues to lose significant ground to rival states and countries that are luring productions away with significant financial incentives.

"On the surface, a 29.7 percent gain in television production during the quarter — which boosted overall production by 5.7 percent — would seem to cancel out the decline in feature films. But most of the gain is due to reality shows, which are not nearly as big of an economic boost."

...

"'Given the unprecedented growth in feature-film production in other locales, it appears the current drop in Los Angeles is a direct result of financial incentives now offered by more than 30 U.S. states,' MacDonald said. 'With substantial tax credits and rebates, other states have been able to lure big-budget films and the jobs and tax revenues that go with them.'"

2 comments:

Chris-Brad said...

I love the line about how Louisiana and New Mexico are serious (and not doling out incentives just for the fun of it). The fact remains, though, Louisiana had better keep ahead of the trend of other states giving incentives. This state WILL suffer if lawmakers just try to stay average when (not if) other states match Louisiana's program.

Like with the casino industry, just look west. If Texas gives filmmakers incentives that resemble those available in Louisiana, movies will go there. Despite best efforts and desire, Louisiana is still YEARS behind Texas (and other states) in infrastructure and work force. Sure, the state and various cities are doing the right thing right now. But all it will take is one wrong move or just the appearance that the state doesn't want to keep up to dimish, if not destroy, the "good will" the film industry currently has in this state.

So much positive light (and dollars) are being generated. A whole new industry is being born. But, as a lifelong Louisiana resident, I know how quickly our state can mess up a good thing. Our state has to recognize that it cannot falter, not even once. No broken promises, no renegging on incentives, nothing even remotely negative.

So far I have no reason to suspect Louisiana is headed down that route. But.... I hope, more than almost anything, the state recognizes how important this industry can be. Because once it's gone, there likely won't be a second chance. Here's to hoping!

Alexandyr Kent said...

Thanks, chris-brad. A great source I was speaking with today said there are two states which can seriously compete with La.'s tax incentives at present: New Mexico and Connecticut. It will be interesting to watch what happens in those locales within the next year or so.

Also, Canada remains hugely competitive.

With numbers suggesting that runaway film production is on the rise, the competition may just be heating up.