Have dreams of becoming a big film star? Forget moving to Los Angeles. You might be better off where you are right now. Over the years, Los Angeles has lost a lot of revenue due to runaway film/television production. Total productions in the city have declined 21.4% last year, with a 37.4% decline in feature film production. That's according to Film LA, the agency that handles production permits for all projects in Los Angeles. More and more producers and studios are heading to other locations, taking money and jobs with them. Now the Los Angeles City Council has declared a "crisis" and formed a committee to explore the feasibility of an LA Film Commission. The commission would promote Los Angeles as a go-to destination for filming. The commission would also work to undo some of the red tape and hassles that lured producers and studios outside of Los Angeles.
Competing with other cities to cement Los Angeles as a go-to destination for filming projects is a dangerous game for the city to play. Sure, production jobs within the city’s film industry have shrunk, but I wouldn’t call it a crisis. Spending more money to woo production back to the city, however, takes away resources in an already cash-strapped budget. Los Angeles hasn't been the primary destination for production in over a decade. That's according to Phil Sokolosk, the Manager of Communications at FilmLA.
It has been proven that during recessions and hard times, people go to the movies in droves, making the industry "recession proof." It is of unsound reason for the city to invest in an industry that distracts people from the issues that exist within the city. It’s like being short on your monthly rent and saying to yourself, “I can’t pay rent, but how about I throw a party here and MAYBE I’ll raise a little money to pay it. But if not, the good times will distract me from my painful situation.”
Instead of competing with these other cities, it should compete with itself to strengthen the base of its industry. Implementing and strengthening film production courses in high schools and city colleges will attract more people to the city and cultivate a whole new set of producers and studios IN the city. The LAUSD Arts program is facing nearly $15 mil in cuts for the 2010-11 school year. It makes more sense to educate the youth of LA about the intricacies of film production so that they can seize and create those opportunities WITHIN Los Angeles. Right now, the city does NOT need to strive for a lead over the rest of the nation in film production. A film commission in Los Angeles, itself, is a distraction