Oct. 26--Surrounded by key grips, stagehands and other Hollywood studio workers, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday signed a new law that waives city fees for television pilots that film in Los Angeles.
Speaking at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, Garcetti said the ordinance will help protect local hiring and middle-class jobs. Since taking office, he has made economic growth and curbing runaway film production two of his top priorities.
Entertainment workers "represent the half million jobs that are here in the industry," Garcetti said. "Jobs that pay the bills, that pay the mortgage, jobs that put kids through college. They build our middle class."
The law applies to TV pilots that film on city streets but does not extend to private locations, as many pilot shoot in studios.
The city receives about $250,000 a year in fees related to filming, raising questions about whether the law might spur an increase in filming.
"We want to be clear; this is the first step," Garcetti said. "I think it's a significant one when you talk to folks."
His office is also looking at waiving other fees, such as police fees, he said. But the "biggest piece" of his entertainment focus will be pushing Sacramento leaders to increase the annual $100 million tax credit.
Garcetti introduced the television-pilot legislation when he was a council member. He called passage of the law a team effort and was joined at the signing by Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Krekorian and Curren Price. The council approved the ordinance earlier this month.
Friday's event marked one of the first public appearances of Garcetti's new film czar, Tom Sherak. The film executive, who makes $1 a year in his part-time job with the city, said he receives letters from Hollywood workers that say, essentially, "Help me work -- help me live in the greatest state in this country."
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