Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal - page 1

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The Signal
FightorFlight?
As Calif. struggles with production
flight, SCV film community fights
to grow industry
By Jana Adkins
SCVBJ Writer
N
early 100,000 jobs
have been lost in
California’s filming
industry since 2000, accord-
ing to state statistics.
There are now 96,800 few-
er jobs in five of the motion
picture, video and broad-
casting industries tracked
by California’s Employment
Development Department.
In January 2000, the state
reported 514,100 jobs in five
industry areas: motion pic-
ture and sound recording,
motion picture and video
industries, motion picture
and video production, broad-
casting (except Internet),
and radio and television
broadcasting.
By the same period in Jan-
uary 2013, the state recorded
only 417,300 jobs — and
nearly half of those jobs reside
in Los Angeles County.
L.A. County’s film in-
dustry employed 162,000
in 2011, or the equivalent of
5 percent of the private sec-
tor’s workforce in the county,
according to the Los Ange-
les Economic Development
Corporation.
It also kept 85,000 inde-
pendent contractors working.
More than one-quarter mil-
lion people – or 247,000 – are
employed, making this one of
the largest industries in the
county.
Some 108,000 businesses
make up the industry, and
85 percent are small busi-
nesses employing fewer than
10 people, reports the Mo-
tion Picture Association of
America.
Spending by these busi-
nesses and their workers
yields nearly $6 billion annu-
ally in state and local taxes.
In L.A. County, more than
13,000 organizations created
161,862 jobs and generated
over $18.9 billion in payroll
in 2011.
But, the industry is much
bigger than just motion pic-
tures or TV productions, said
Christine Cooper, vice presi-
dent of the economic and
policy analysis group for the
See
Fight
, page 4
Local BusinessesStrive forBreakoutRole
SCV companies share their experiences tapping into the filmmarket
By Kirsten Quinn
SCVBJ Editor
T
hough the Santa Clarita Val-
ley film industry is a tight-
knit one, it shakes hands
with businesses in every industry,
trade and retail market.
As a local business, opportunities
to break into the tapping market are
plentiful, although they may require
the right connections.
Depending on the script and set,
productions require a broad range of
services, materials and venues to get
their film rolling.
“For on-location filming venues,
productions require a wide variety of
businesses: restaurants, bars, coun-
try clubs, gyms, office buildings
– whatever is in the script,” said
Monica Harrison, owner of the lo-
cation scouting service, L.A. Film
Locations. “Once a production sets
up in Santa Clarita, it could require
Key Calif. Industry Lacks UnifiedVoice
By Jana Adkins
SCVBJ Writer
S
cores of trade associations op-
erate in California to support
industries, except in one area
– filming.
Despite being a key economic
industry, no single group exists to
advocate on behalf of the entire film
industry and the billions of dollars
it delivers to the state and jobs it
supports.
As a result, a very loosely formed
coalition of guilds, unions, vendors
and studios joined together to suc-
cessfully lobby the legislature and
governor in 2009, helping to create
the $100 million California Film
& Television Tax Credit Program
– though even supporters of the
program say it is still too weak to
compete with other states, and other
countries.
“We’re all focused on trying to
expand the incentives in order to
bring more work back here,” said Ed
Duffy, business agent for Teamsters
Local 399. “It affects the entire state
when a production goes.”
For every film production job
that is lost, $122,000 is lost to the
community, according to the San
Francisco Film Commission.
“A lot of production that should
be shot in San Francisco moved,”
Duffy said. “The TV series “Al-
catraz” didn’t even shoot in San
Francisco.”
Losing production on a rapid ba-
sis hurts jobs; it’s all about jobs and
See
BreakOut
, page 6
See
Voice
, page 10
$2 • Volume 5, Number 6
September 2013
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