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California Film Commission

August 16, 2011 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
At the height of the Iranian hostage crisis, artist-turned CIA technical officer Tony Mendez pulled off a stunning ploy when he helped six American diplomats in the Canadian embassy in Tehran escape by disguising them as members of a Hollywood film crew. Thirty-two years later, Mendez's daring plan has been turned into a movie called "Argo" that will begin filming next week on the streets of Los Angeles. The movie, starring and directed by Ben Affleck and produced by George Clooney, is one of several high-profile studio feature films shooting in L.A. this summer and fall, including "The Gangster Squad," a star-packed crime drama starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone in a story about the Los Angeles Police Department's efforts to keep the mafia out of L.A. in the 1940s and 1950s.
September 22, 2010 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
Along with sunny weather and world-class crews, California offers something else sought by filmmakers: an abundance of state parks with diverse landscapes, from the redwood forests in Northern California to the desert of Anza-Borrego and the vast beaches and rocky coves of Point Dume. Not surprisingly, the beauty and variety of the state's 278 parks have provided countless backdrops for movies, TV shows and commercials for a century. In 2009 alone, nearly 500 permits were issued for nearly 1,000 days of filming in state parks for various productions, including "Iron Man 2" (Point Dume State Beach)
August 23, 2010
It took just one day for the California Film Commission to allocate all $100 million in subsidies the Legislature provided to lure film and TV crews to the state this year. The commission granted tax credits to 30 productions; at least 30 more landed on a waiting list, where they're not likely to stay. Instead, they're expected to set up shop in other states with competing subsidies. That's the reality of the film business today — it's a mobile industry that can take much of its work to whatever state or country that makes the most sense economically.
August 18, 2010 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
As New York heralds the long-awaited renewal and expansion of its film tax credit program, California confronts a sobering reality: Its film tax credit money for the current fiscal year has run dry. The California Film Commission has allocated all of the $100 million in tax credits available this year to 30 projects and now has a waiting list of 45 projects. "The demand is far exceeding the supply," the commission's executive director, Amy Lemisch, said. "We ran out on the first day of funding.
May 5, 2010 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
Steve Carell 's latest romantic comedy was originally set in a nondescript suburb in New York or New Jersey. But the actor's tight schedule and starring role in NBC 's locally shot sitcom "The Office," combined with California's film tax credit, made Los Angeles more attractive. So the setting was changed. The star of the current release "Date Night" and "The 40 Year Old Virgin" recently began shooting the movie about a harried father and his marital woes in various locations in the L.A. area.
April 14, 2010 | By Richard Verrier
Some Hollywood star power is lighting up local film production. Topping the list is Tom Hanks, whose production company, Playtone Productions, is about to begin shooting "Larry Crowne" next week in various locations around Los Angeles. Hanks directs and stars in the comedic drama opposite Julia Roberts, with whom he paired in the 2007 Universal Pictures film "Charlie Wilson's War." Adam Sandler also is starring in and producing a romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston called "Just Go With It" that has been filming for several weeks around town, including scenes last week at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
February 24, 2010 | By Richard Verrier
Hollywood has never been shy about self-promotion, except when it comes to touting its own backyard. New York touts a "Made in N.Y." program featuring local film and TV production crew members who share their work experience in the city. Los Angeles, however, has been low key -- some would say complacent -- when it comes to singing the praises of filming close to home at a time when rivals beyond California's borders are grabbing a bigger share of the production pie. Now, a coalition of industry, labor and city officials wants to remedy the situation by launching a broad-based public education campaign that would herald the economic benefits of the film industry to Los Angeles -- while thanking local residents for putting up with the occasional inconvenience of crews in their neighborhoods.
November 29, 2009 | By Maeve Reston
In a campaign where jobs and unemployment have become a signature issue, the two candidates seeking to replace former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel are fighting over who will do more to stem the exodus of Hollywood production. With feature film production down 37% citywide compared to the same period last year, former Paramount Pictures Corp. executive Christine Essel and Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (D-Los Angeles) agree on one thing: City officials have waited far too long to address the issue.
October 8, 2009 | Richard Verrier
Can free parking in Los Angeles help to stem the migration of TV and film production to other cities and states? Probably not. But that most coveted of Los Angeles benefits was one of a series of recommendations adopted Wednesday by the L.A. City Council aimed at making it easier for producers to film locally and discouraging them from taking their business elsewhere. Among the recommendations are to consider a tax credit for building owners who make their properties available for filming and a refund of sales tax paid by production companies when at least 75% of the filming is done within the city.
July 18, 2009
Re "Getting quieter on the Hollywood sets," July 12 I do not know whether it is the mayor, City Council, Board of Supervisors or the governor, but whoever it is, they need to do whatever it takes to keep film production in Los Angeles. My neighbor, along with a crew of almost 50 people, left recently for 90 days for a Disney film shoot in Toronto. Need I write more? Andrew E. Woodward Los Angeles -- The Times reports that we have lost a huge percentage of businesses related to movie and television production, one of the crown jewels of the state's history, culture and economy.
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