Los Angeles has taken an important step in putting the brakes on runaway production. Will Burbank be next? Yesterday, Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, signed a city ordinance to waive fees for pilot productions in L.A. In a way, this is a no brainer, but it has been a long time in coming for the City of Angels. Garcetti wrote the legislation back when he was a city council member. Garcetti recognized then, the importance of keeping entertainment jobs in the Southland. Here’s what the L.A. mayor says about this in a city website blog post he wrote.
“The importance of the film, television, and entertainment industries to our regional economy cannot be overstated. Beyond the stars, producers, and big names that people often associate with Hollywood are the more than 500,000 jobs that this industry supports. They’re carpenters, truck drivers, electricians, and crew who depend on these jobs to pay the bills, put their kids through school, and build our middle class. And while these folks may be referred to as “below the line”, they are my top priority. The ordinance I signed today is just a first step in the marathon effort my administration has before us: to not just stop but reverse runaway production.”
Clearly, Garcetti has decided to be proactive in the fight to make the Southland more user-friendly for production. He’s appointed the former president of Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Tom Sherak, as his new film czar. Sherak reportedly has some ambitious plans of his own to attract production to L.A.
The Burbank City Council should take note of this. I have heard that the permit process in the Media City is difficult to navigate. Also, why not roll out the welcome mat by waiving permit fees for all production shooting and streamline the process in this entertainment town? Think of the number of jobs that could saved and the kind of boost to the economy for the city of Burbank. Like I said, it’s really a no brainer.