April 14, 2009 |
Location filming for movies and TV commercials on the streets of Los Angeles, once as prevalent as the corner taco truck, is rapidly fading to black. Double whammies of the recession and out-of-state economic incentives for producers have caused on-location film shoots in the Los Angeles area to fall to their lowest levels on record.
February 6, 2009 |
In recent months, this city's soundstages have been teeming with film and television productions, the result of a generous tax credit aimed at luring more shoots to New York. But it remains to be seen how long those stages will be full. On Thursday, the state confirmed that it had run through the $515 million set aside for the tax credit program through 2013.
January 28, 2009 |
It's only a matter of time before local film and TV buffs experience a sense of déjà vu around Los Angeles. That place looks familiar. Did you see it on the way home from work, or when you checked in with your favorite characters? Could be both. Most productions not filmed on studio lots are shot within the 30-mile zone (known as the TMZ) from Beverly and La Cienega boulevards, with some locations more popular than others. "There are so many factors that go into choosing a location and it becomes a huge juggling act," says Geoffrey Smith, a longtime location manager and director of community relations for FilmLA, an organization that processes film, TV and commercial production permits.
January 14, 2009 |
As if Los Angeles doesn't have enough grim economic news, here's one more sobering fact to add to the pain: Feature film production on the streets of the city dropped to its lowest level on record last year, according to FilmL.A., the group that coordinates on-location film shoots. On-location shoots of feature films fell 14% in 2008 to 7,043 permitted days, the lowest level since tracking began in 1993, according to FilmL.A., which coordinates film permits in the city and much of the county.
December 23, 2008 |
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is not happy that an upcoming HBO drama exploring prostitution is set to be filmed in the city. The show, "Gentlemen of Leisure," is based on the 1999 documentary "American Pimp" and would focus on a middle-aged pimp who wants to get out of the business. Production is scheduled for next year, though no permits have been issued for filming. Dellums and other city officials say they worry the show would promote a negative image of the city. Oakland's film coordinator says another HBO crime show, "The Wire," has had a positive impact on tourism and the economy in Baltimore, where it was set. Dellums' chief of staff said the mayor's office is open to further talks with HBO.
November 2, 2008 |
In the freezing forests of Belarus, as the Nazis swept through Europe, handfuls of Jewish refugees banded together under the leadership of the Bielski brothers to survive the killing winter and beyond. But they didn't just survive; they struck back, attacking German soldiers and collaborators, performing acts of sabotage and supporting other partisan groups. All told, the Bielskis are said to have rescued about 1,200 Jews. And you've probably never heard of them until now.
October 2, 2008 |
Hollywood would get a little unexpected boost from the proposed $700-billion bailout of the nation's financial system. The bill wending its way through Congress would provide tax breaks worth more than $470 million over the next decade for movie and TV producers that shoot in the U.S. That's not a lot of money, given that the average studio movie costs $106.6 million to make and market, but it could keep some low-budget productions -- and jobs -- from going offshore.
October 1, 2008 |
First it was Louisiana. Then it was New Mexico and New York. Now it's Michigan's turn as the latest hot spot for film production. Not since Michael Moore's documentary "Roger and Me" has the Great Lakes state garnered so much attention from Hollywood. Once considered a relative backwater as a film destination, Michigan has lured more than 60 features and made-for-TV movies this year, up from just three last year, according to the Michigan Film Office.