Los Angeles Steals a TV Production Away from Georgia

Project Casting

Los Angeles steals a production away from Georgia’s booming Film and TV Industry

Los Angeles is at war with the rest of the United States over the Film and TV industry. The newly-elected mayor Eric Garcetti says he will take his message to the California Capital in order to keep productions in the state.

Mayor Garcetti is quoted in one of the top movie industry magazines Variety as saying the movie and TV production industry is fleeing California and nesting in states like Louisiana. He calls it a “state of emergency.” Statements like that do not surprise Louisiana Entertainment Executive Director Chris Stelly.

“You know, ever since Canada and Eastern Europe came up with their incentive programs back in the early to mid 90’s there has been that phenomenon of runaway productions,” said Stelly.

The article in Vanity says Garcetti wants to appoint a sort-of film industry czar to ride California legislators into expanding their incentive program to keep productions in California.

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As of Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor may have won his first battle in reclaiming Los Angeles as the film capital of the world. In a report in The Hollywood Reporter, BET‘s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ has announced that they will be filming in Los Angeles and leaving Screen Gem Studios in Atlanta behind for Hollywood.

Another prodigal son was BET comedy Let’s Stay Together; the pilot shot in L.A. but the first four seasons were made in Atlanta.

Let’s Stay Together has a cast of 10 and a crew of about 86. Its qualified spend in the state where it shoots is $5.7 million for a season. By returning to California, it qualified for a special 25 percent tax incentive.

BET’s ‘Let’s Stay Together‘ previously received a 30% tax incentive with the Georgia Film and TV tax credit. Now, the TV series will receive a 25% percent tax incentive from California.

This would be the second show in the last two years that has left Atlanta for Los Angeles. Previously, MTV‘s Teen Wolfwas filmed in Atlanta, Georgia but was later filmed in Los Angeles.

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According to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, a majority of TV comedies are filmed in Los Angeles. But, the biggest productions are dramas. “Dramas are the most lucrative genre in terms of local spend and job creation. A drama pilot typically spends $6 million to $8 million on a pilot, sometimes more, and employs 150 to 230 people.”

Increasing the amount offered for incentives can make a real difference, according to Paul Audley, president of Film LA: “California’s current incentive program makes it hard to attract and retain new pilots and TV series. The data make plain why an expanded film incentive is needed to bring this part of the industry back.”

We will have to see if Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti war against runway productions will survive. But, for now he has gained one more production to add his list of accomplishments.

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