Santa Clarita Gets 'Bigger Piece' of Smaller Pie As CA Film Production Decreases
With overall film production decreasing in California, Supervisor Michael Antonovich has asked the board to pen a letter to state government, requesting that they help stem runaway production.
The Santa Clarita Valley may have had a record year for film production in 2013, but overall film production in Southern California has dropped by 50 percent since its peak in 1996. Only two movies with production budgets higher than $100 million were filmed in the area last year, according to a recent press release from county Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
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The decline is attributed to high taxes and strict regulations imposed on the entertainment industry in California, Antonovich said in a motion submitted to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
“As a result of California’s excessive regulations, high taxes and erroneous water policies, other states have successfully lured film and television production and aerospace companies from California and the Central Valley has become a dust bowl,” the motion reads.
Film and television production in states such as Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and Massachusetts have gone up in recent years.
Antonovich asked that the board sign a letter to the governor and state legislature, requesting that they provide similar tax incentives as other states that have captured some of the film production market.
California does currently have a tax incentive program in place.
The California Film and Television Tax Credit Program was passed by state legislature in 2009 and authorizes the California Film Commission to allocate $100 million dollars in tax credits each fiscal year through 2016-17.
“Georgia offers a 20 percent tax credit that led to a 300 percent increase in its share of top-grossing movies,” according to Antonovich’s press release. “The tax incentive program in Massachusetts propelled it from 18th place in film-production to 11th place in only five years. Louisiana's tax incentive program added 6,145 jobs in film production between 2010 and 2012 and quadrupled its share of top grossing movies.”
In the meantime, the SCV is still capturing a quarter of all state-approved film projects and 34 percent of approved television projects.
Related Article: Santa Clarita Sets TV, Filming Sets New Record For 2013
But Santa Clarita is not immune to the effects of runaway production, said Jason Crawford, economic development manager for the city.
“Runaway production is a huge problem for California,” he said. “Other states luring our TV shows and movies out of California hurts everybody in the state. We in Santa Clarita have been lucky enough to see our numbers increasing while the whole state’s numbers (are) decreasing.”
On location filming has resulted in more than $36 million in economic benefit to the local economy since 2009.
And, January and February production numbers are up from last year’s January and February numbers, Crawford said.
“It’s like we’re getting a bigger piece of the pie, but that pie is getting smaller every year,” he said.
That increase might continue for the next several years.
“I see the future in Santa Clarita continuing to have that momentum for the next three, four, five years, with the new Disney studios being approved,” Crawford said.
He mentioned the success of the city’s film incentive and the focus on attracting television shows, while other states focus on taking movie production out of California.
But runaway production hurts everyone in the state, he said.
“The runaway production affects us--it hurts us--but we’re also in a very lucky position right now, he said. “If anything jeopardizes our growth, it’s runaway production.”
If the board passes Antonovich’s motion, a copy of the motion and letter to the governor would be sent to the 88 city mayors and city managers in the county.
The board is also set to hear a report from the Chief Probation Officer on services being provided to the AB 109 population.
No information about the content of that report has yet been made available online.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agenda and supporting documents are available online, here.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. and can be streamed live online, here.
For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, click here.
Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.
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