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L.A. City Council to consider creating a city film commission to market Los Angeles

January 3, 2010 |  2:23 pm

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday will consider creating the Los Angeles Film Commission to market the city to the film industry and help stem runaway production.

Councilman Richard Alarcon proposed the idea, saying L.A. needs a more aggressive effort to "sell’’ Los Angeles to film and TV producers. FilmL.A. Inc., the nonprofit that coordinates on-location film permits for the city and much of Los Angeles County, does not market the city as a filming location, the councilman said.

According to the California Film Commission, the state’s share of U.S. feature-film production dropped to 31% in 2008 from 66% in 2003. Most of that drop-off was in the Los Angeles area, where feature filming in 2008 was nearly half what it was at its peak in 1996.

A survey by FilmL.A. found that only 57% of all TV pilots were shot in the L.A. area this year, down from 81% in 2004.

The City Council already is considering offering tax refunds to production companies and tax credits to building owners who make their properties available for filming. The council also wants to increase the availability of power outlets in downtown L.A. so that filmmakers don’t have to rely on portable generators, saving money and reducing noise levels for downtown residents.

Alarcon’s proposal would require the council’s chief legislative analyst to review the best ways to develop a film commission and also to provide an economic analysis of its potential effect on the film industry in Los Angeles.

-- Phil Willon at L.A. City Hall