entertainment

Hollywhere? Los Angeles unable to halt film exodus

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The cost of living in LA is too high and rising and the quality of life degrades every decade.

In relation to the showbiz industry, too many producers and financiers hover over writers and directors like helicopter parents and micro manage the hell out of everything. Then there is the cost of all the support vendors. Everything from tech crew to props to food, costs more than ever because of... the general cost of living for the average worker.

Americas large cities will implode sometime in this century. Unlike some large world cities, the costs go up and the quality of life goes down.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The cost of living in LA is too high and rising and the quality of life degrades every decade.

It's not so much as the cost of living in LA, but the general atmosphere of doing business in California and the taxes and fees that go with working there.

Even though the big studio execs like to give to the Dems and blast any Republican on not paying their "fair share" of taxes, they are businessmen who realize that it is cheaper to film in places like Canada and Lousiana and save on the bottom line to make sure that the shareholders are happy, and that they keep getting their big salaries. For example, the movie "Battle of L.A." where LA was attacked by aliens was filmed in Louisiana (around New Orleans). The state offered huge tax incentives and the studio took it. Also, with the lower taxes, the studios were able to hire local people to do a lot of the production work. They weren't just paid minimum wage but they were the industry regluated (i.e. union pay scale) and the money earned by these people was not eaten up by CA taxes.

The same thing with professional athletes. If a profootball player had the choice to play for the SF 49ers or the Jacksonville Jaguars (FL) for the same $20 million salary, they would come out ahead in regards to taxes since CA has a max tax rate of 14% (which would be $2.8 million) whereas FL has no state taxes (that's $2.8 million they get to keep).

CA has the worse business climate in the USA, yet the people there keep electing the same people to office. They get what they voted for.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

CA has the worse business climate in the USA, yet the people there keep electing the same people to office. They get what they voted for.

I understand what you're saying, but people still flock to California because it's a nice place to live. And businesses from around the country come to California to tap into the immense wealth of the state's residents. Why not charge them a premium for that privilege if that's what the market will bear? Why should the state give itself away for free?

It's not a mystery why Florida, Alaska and North Dakota have decided to lower their state tax to 0% in order to entice people to move there.... they aren't California.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yes, California can be a very nice place to live, with its weather, but not to do business or work. Tax Hell!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If people could live within their means, California isn't that expensive. That renowned, chill-out CA lifestyle makes everyone and their mother want to live in BH and drive expensive cars.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

it's okay to have taxes, it means you have things of value. Giving away value for free just subsidizes companies. Companies will always chase the freebies and marks any unrealistic industry. Like automotive or oil. If for example the oil subsidies were dropped then the companies would have to work harder for the same dollar, and alternatives would get the time of day if the public had choice. The public is always subsidizing somebody, but at their loss or their community's

California not subsidizing the industry to the same extent as other states should be commended, not condemned.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

California not subsidizing the industry to the same extent as other states should be commended, not condemned.

Exactly. This is the reason why Los Angeles does not have an NFL team: They simply refused to play the "build us a stadium and give us massive tax breaks" game. Meanwhile, LA gets by with college ball (can't do much worse than the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans).

Similarly, the aircraft assembly business left town decades ago. Why build a massive plant in Long Beach, with its sky-high property prices, when you can do the same thing in Wichita?

California is an expensive place to live because it is an expensive place to maintain, but the maintenance is worth it. At any rate, the big money comes from post-production work, not from sight shooting, and that work is still predominantly in LA.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

California is an expensive place to live because it is an expensive place to maintain, but the maintenance is worth it. At any rate, the big money comes from post-production work, not from sight shooting, and that work is still predominantly in LA.

Have you driven on any of the CA roads lately? Or have you heard how LA's water system has had water mains break and millions of gallons of water lost, and yet they claim that they need more money to fix it up while the Dept of Water and Power has been for the past few years charging customers extra to the tune of having an extra $40 million dollar in "extra money" that they are not going to rebate to the customers. One LA city council member has said that to fix the roads and sidewalks in LA would take over 100 years, and that if the voters just passed another increas in the sales tax (already the highest in CA) they can get started on fixing things up. My question, what has happened to the money that has been taken in taxes for all these years, and why haven't the roads, sidewalks, and water mains been fixed?

Yes CA has nice beaches and climate, but so does FL and the Gulf Coast of Texas. It's not that the states are subsiziing the companies for everything. Yes they are on some things, but these companies then turn around and hire people to work for them. Remember, because of the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and other cinema trade unions, if a film is made, they have to pay union wages. So those people doing the shooting on locations and other support services are getting union pay, yet not having to worry about some of the high cost of living in CA. That means those middle class jobs are not being done in CA, and when you have thousands of people who are working at good midddle class income jobs, and being able to save and spend and contribute to an economy far outweighs the 5-10% reduction in taxes that a company may have to pay to the state.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nice to see Hollywood get a wake-up call. They were complacent. Also, I'm tired of seeing TV shows and movies purportedly set in non-Cali places but obviously filmed in California. Game of Thrones is a great example of breaking the Hollywood monopoly.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I understand what you're saying, but people still flock to California because it's a nice place to live. And businesses from around the country come to California to tap into the immense wealth of the state's residents. Why not charge them a premium for that privilege if that's what the market will bear? Why should the state give itself away for free?

CA has a few people who do have immense wealth, but the rest of the state is not that wealthy. If you look at the latest statistics, you will see that CA has the most people on government assistance. If you are a middle income family of 4 say in an area like San Francisco or LA with an income of $100K, you are barely making it. You will spend most of your money on education, since the public schools in places like LA (which has some of the highest paid teachers in the USA) are underperforming immensely.

At any rate, the big money comes from post-production work, not from sight shooting, and that work is still predominantly in LA.

Take a look at the end credits of TV shows/movies and you will see a long list of names from caterers, carpenters, set designers, drivers, etc. Those people are the local folks that get these jobs, which if you manage to get work on a series can provide a nice steady income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011 estimated film and video industry electricians and lighting workers earned an annual mean wage of $71,380.

You multiply that times the numbers of these types of personnel who used to be employed in LA and you will see that LA and CA is missing out on a lot of tax revenue, more than what ever incentives that they could give.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a California resident, I wish there was another way. I'm proud of my state's history in the film and television industry and its' plentiful history. But I think at the end this is probably a good thing. I mean, sure it means jobs being cut down in California in place of other tax friendly places, but come on. Once these bastards end up having to pay their taxes, they take their toys and leave like a bunch of children. I think we're setting an example that everybody has to pay their taxes. Now if we could just extend this ideology to the oil, gas and corn industry I think that'd be great.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The story of the California film industry is the story of Progressivism in general. They support Leftist ideas such as high taxes and a 'living wage' which purport to be selfless and for the good of all. But as rational human beings they naturally act in their own self interest. The genius in the original design of the American system was to channel innate self interest in a way that benefits society as a whole. Despite their assertions that they believe otherwise, Progressives do not actually act selflessly as you would assume based on their professed beliefs. So instead of staying in California and paying the high taxes and wages, they flee to other states and countries where they can get a better deal.

Just since 2006, production is off by 50%.

Americans since WWII have gradually decided to ditch the system of government that made America great and have continued to devolve into European socialism. The disappointing results of this fundamental transformation of the American character have become more evident every year. America is a hallowed out version of its once great self. Coerced dependency upon government has sapped the vitality and ambition of the people. While Hollywood would gladly agree that all states should be forced to govern their people as they do in California, they are the first to take advantage of their freedom to travel abroad to make a better return on their business investments. It's a perfect analogy of the unsustainably of Progressivism and socialism.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

can't do much worse than the UCLA Bruins and the

Actually they aren't doing bad under Mora these days. Not bad considering UCLA's academic standards either.

I am also glad that LA refuses to use taxpayer money to build stadiums that the very very wealthy NFL franchises should pay for (tired of the "privatize profit-- socialize costs" system that is all too common in the US these days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are some state where there is no State Income Tax or Corporatopm Tax Beverly Hill mansions are old now and there is no inside of house elevators. Already many award winning game shows such as Wheel of Fortune moved out CA. Housing costs are very high in SO CA. School systems are better than many states, though, When top stars sell their houses, buy cheaper in another state where houses with elevator cost less than 1/3 and no income tax, Hollywood moves out CA.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Showbiz has no bounderies. As Hollwood focuses on the Chinese film market, expect more "Hollywhere" headlines. But in the end, the fat cats will remain in BH & the film's opening weekend box office gross will be attributed & pocketed in West LA, BH and Hollwood anyways-

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The days of having to be near the production facilities are long gone. Anywhere with a computer powerful enough to run NLE (Non-Linear Editing) software such as Adobe Premiere® or Avid® can serve as the production location. Sound stages are common enough around the world that the need for Hollywood has all but disappeared.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I heard they are suing us here in Canada for "unfair" tax credits, but nobody is stopping the state of California or the federal gov from providing the same credits and environment. Plus B.C. gives many natural locations to shoot other then just a film set. B.C has both film sets and plenty of natural forest locations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OK. Let's break it down for the downers.

In terms of "filming on location." OK, in case you haven't noticed, the nature of "on location" filming has changed in the past decade or two. What used to be filmed on LA lots can now be filmed anywhere.

As for "on location," in the past, people used to film in the LA environs because the budget demanded localized filming and the stars actually lived in the area. Now we are in the era of 100 Million plus budgets, so filming a movie set in, say, Korea, in LA? Now with the tax breaks as well as the ease of transportation and on-location filming around the world, in the long run in makes more financial sense to film that movie...in Korea!

Now, here's the rub! This AFP (i.e. a report coming out of Paris, France) wants you to conclude that since movies are being filmed less in the LA environs...Hollywood is failing! But hey! Check this out: from 2014, of the top 10 movies made, look at who produced those blockbusters and you'll find...Hollywood-based studios such as New Line Cinema, MGM, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Walt Disney Pictures, Lionsgate, Marvel Studios and so on. In fact, of the top 10 grossing movies made last year, only one studio was owned by non-Hollywood foreigners (the LA-sourced Columbia Pictures, now owned by Sony.)

In other words....they may not be shooting on LA streets as much as they used to do, but the cash is right where it's always been. In HOLLYWOOD.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hollywood movie production studio? They already moved out to Burbank years ago.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, yes, do go. I shall not miss you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sony Pictures Entertainment dominates TV distribution business recently. Almost every old TV series on TV channels have Sony logos before they switches to next series. No Chinese Movie makers. You see, USA audience do not use Chinese language to watch TV series. There are many voice actors who speak in English on Pokemon and other Japanese TV Anime series. CN TV series are full of Japanese Anime.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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