Showtime’s “Homeland” series is written in Los Angeles but shoots in South Carolina.
NBC’s new “Revolution” is based in Los Angeles but shoots in South Carolina.
The feature film, “Battle Los Angeles,” was shot in LA – but not Los Angeles. The other LA. Louisiana.
Supervisor Don Knabe wants to change that, and he thinks the filming fees charged by county-owned facilities like the Music Center, Natural History Museum and Descanso Gardens – sometimes as much as $20,000 per day – are a big part of the problem.
Knabe is asking his fellow Los Angeles County supervisors to call for a review of fees charged at county facilities, including those that are run by nonprofit contractors, with an eye toward “improving the structure of fees charged and ensuring that reasonable fees are being charged to film at Los Angeles County facilities.”
“We sometimes continue to be our own worst enemy,” Knabe said of the county’s apparent tendency to set prices at levels that would justify closing the facilities to the public.
“I do not believe charging excessive fees should be used to stop filming,” Knbe said. “Perhaps on certain venues reasonable fees can be charged with a limit on the number of days venues can be closed to the public.”
In the motion the supervisors will consider Tuesday, Knabe cites figures from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. showing the entertainment industry accounts for 176,700 jobs and $30 billion in annual spending throughout Southern California.
“However, there are 40 states and numerous countries around the world that are competing aggressively for this business,” he said.
In 2003, he said, more than 66 percent of studio feature films were shot in California. In 2011 the figure was less than 40 percent.
In 2005, seventy-nine percent of new one-hour network dramas were shot in California. In 2012, just two of 23 new one-hour network shows – 8 percent – are being shot here.
“The list of television and movies that are produced and written here, but filmed elsewhere continues to increase at a dramatic pace,” Knabe said. “In fact, from 2004-2011, California lost $3 billion in film crew wages to other states and nations.”
Unemployment is running 30 percent or higher among film union locals in greater Los Angeles, he said.