Hollywood Continues to Flee California at Alarming Rate

California Tax Incentives
James Walton

When Paul Audley took the job as president of FilmL.A. in late 2008, he was astounded to discover that physical production on the $70 million pic “Battle: Los Angeles” wasn’t being done in Los Angeles.

“It stunned me that the movie was shooting in Louisiana, and that the state of California was letting this happen,” he recalls.

In the subsequent five years, the situation has only worsened, despite the film production incentive program California enacted in 2009, which provides for $100 million a year in tax credits for what’s usually 20% of production costs. That’s significantly smaller than programs offered by other states such as New York, which offers $420 million a year in credits for 30% of production costs.

The trend has been mounting for high-profile films set in the Golden State to be filmed almost entirely outside California, due to lucrative tax breaks elsewhere that producers can’t turn down. One key component of new legislation to strengthen California’s incentive program, introduced Feb. 19, would raise to $100 million the current budget cap of $75 million on eligible productions. To drive home the need for state support, attendees at a Feb. 22 rally in Burbank held by Hollywood unionists were handed petitions to send to Sacramento citing that only one of 41 big-budget feature films shot in 2012 and 2013 was shot entirely in California.

The latest example of a locally set runaway is New Line’s upcoming earthquake thriller “San Andreas,” in which a helicopter pilot played by Dwayne Johnson rescues his daughter in San Francisco after a 10.0 quake. Except for six planned days of shooting in San Francisco, the entire $100 million movie will be made in Australia at the Village Roadshow Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland.

In December, “San Andreas” was granted a portion of Australia’s $20 million film fund set up specifically to attract overseas movies. Additionally, the film benefits from offsets from the Queensland Production Incentive Scheme, as well as local payroll tax rebates and federal rebates. Queensland officials have estimated that the movie will pump $30 million into the state economy, employ 70 local production crew, and provide roles for more than 2,000 extras.

“It’s frustrating to get only a few days shooting in San Francisco, but it’s better than nothing,” said San Francisco film commissioner Susannah Robbins. “Once again, the producers are going to where they’re getting the best incentive.”

There were even fewer days — four — shot in San Francisco for Legendary’s upcoming tentpole “Godzilla,” with most of the filming being done in Vancouver and Hawaii. Fox took a similar tack with its forthcoming summer release “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and that pic’s 2011 predecessor “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” both of which were shot primarily in Canada with a few days of establishing shots in San Francisco.

“Producers tell us, ‘I’d love to shoot here but I have to go where the incentives are,’ ” Robbins notes.

Robbins has been touting San Francisco’s rebate program — which provides for up to $600,000 of production costs including rentals, street closures, permit fees, payroll taxes and police officers — in order to overcome the ingrained belief that such programs don’t exist in California. “We had eight productions use the rebate in its first six years, and we’ve had seven more since July.” San Francisco has a tradition as an iconic film location, with such titles as “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry” and “Vertigo” having filmed in the city.

Further south, not a frame of “Rock of Ages,” set on the Sunset Strip, was shot in Los Angeles, although filming did take place in Hollywood — Florida, that is — at the Hard Rock Casino, along with a six-block section of North Miami Avenue in downtown Miami, decorated as a late-1980s version set of the Strip, replete with the Whisky-a-Go-Go, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Tower Records and the Angelyne Billboard.

Even the ruins of a future Los Angeles shown in “Elysium” were shot in Mexico and Canada.

Steve Dayan, who serves as vice chairman of the state film commission and secretary-treasurer of Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters, spoke at the Feb. 22 labor rally, promising his union would be willing to repeat its 1999 action of encircling the State Capitol in Sacramento with 200 Teamster trucks — a tactic used to campaign for incentives. “We are not going to let other states poach our jobs,” he said, evoking loud applause from the 700-plus attendees.

Audley’s agency is tasked with troubleshooting and simplifying the permit process. He’s been pressing the point that although location-based feature production increased by 18% in Los Angeles last year, to 6,900 days, that number is only half what it was in 1996. And the growth is not coming in higher value projects. Audley said. “(Other states are cherry picking the best stuff away from us,” he noted.

Dayan admits that producers have been substituting locations for as long as films have been shot. “Downtown L.A. has been used for New York City many times,” he said. But he noted that production costs on big features are now so high that it’s impossible for producers to shoot in town.

“We’re making the argument that by creating and retaining jobs, the new legislation would pay for itself,” he explained.

While statistics abound that show the extent of the economic impact of locally set runaways, on another level, the issue is emotional. The Feb. 22 rally featured an impassioned declaration by Maria Elena Durazo, secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, who pledged that organized labor will back the push for an improved film incentive.

“We are going to stand with you to make sure Hollywood does not become Detroit,” she declared. “I’ll be damned if we’re going to stand by and see the last film industry worker here turn out the lights. Hell, no!”

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  1. Rio Valentin says:

    Turn your eyes to
    Las “VegasWood” and Origin Releasing. We are now launching our Studio division here to take advantage those great incentives and we’re just a rock skip away from LA.
    I feel it’s important that film makers make films… how else can I distribute them. How else can we give talented people out there the opertunity to gain the exposure to share their works, to share their dreams.

  2. Gimmel Yod says:

    Repeat after me” Florida, New Hampshire, Texas”. There are the (3) states where there is no personal income tax. Beat that incentive!

  3. Andre says:

    There is no such thing as “these jobs belong to us”. Unless there was some signed contract which states it to be so. If this is a free market – then those jobs can go wherever they want. Stop crying about it! Unless an industry is tied down – they move around. This is going on in every region in some form.

    • jon fitz says:

      What many do not know, is this has almost nothing to do with the free market. This is a result of Government subsidies and tax breaks given to the Big six corporations in Hollywood.

  4. Julie says:

    I don’t want to be cynical but I wonder if any of our elected officials are taking money from lobbyists who want production to move. If any of them are, they need to be voted out.

  5. Debbies21 says:

    What are they going to do now that one of the biggest movie theatre chaines was purchased by a Chinese billionaire.

  6. elector says:

    If the Producers want to leave Hollywood then I feel they should film in another state and not another country. I don’t blame the film makers for leaving Hollywood. The United States need the revenue instead of giving it to other Countries.

    • Ross says:

      If you want films to stay National then don’t ship them INTERNATIONALLY! ‘Cause you are taking money from other countries when they choose to spend money on made in USA films! By your logic the other countries need that revenue! >:I Get a clue! ‘Cause your type of thinking is the thinking of a person with NO MONEY! >:I

  7. Ross says:

    You know what I like about these comments. They focus on what is happening on the LOCAL level in California, rather than blame other countries for offering incentives to shoot productions in their locations. A character named VFXSoldier wants other States to stop offering incentives….yet doesn’t point out that California is TOO EXPENSIVE to merit any business wanting to operate there!

  8. Zappa Fan says:

    I want to print that, have it mounted and placed wherever it needs to be seen. Start with the union halls and the halls of govt.

  9. Chris in L.A. says:

    JohnM nailed it! This is exactly how Sacramento thinks. Haha, I love it! I wish they would. Austin here we come!

  10. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    “Its not all about cheaper costs and Incentives other States offer. California is “Shot Out”. In other words Locations have been used so many times on Film that the Location becomes a dead Location. Such as “How many times have you see the Capitol Records Building destroyed? If scripts were written for more rural Locations in California such as the Big Sur region or the Gold Country then productions would stay and flourish. LA & San Francisco are getting old… on Film that is.

    • lmp says:

      @Ross
      Your statement that “California is too expensive to merit any business wanting to operate there” is incorrect. California has the 8th largest economy in the world (just behind the United Kingdom) and the largest (by far) economy in the United States so obviously many businesses want and do operate here. These businesses are choosing to take advantage of tax payer funded subsidies in other states (and countries) because it is in their best interest to get the best deal at the moment. If anyone on reading this article truly believes that these companies will still come and shoot so many of their films away from the major production centers if the tax payer subsidized tax incentives were removed they are very sadly and completely wrong. Look to the major production center of NY who saw revenue lost to outlying states and had only to rework its own tax incentive to have all the work return plus much more. It is much more expensive and difficult to shoot in NY than it is to shoot in any part of California. This is about tax incentives and tax incentives only. California has been slow to react choosing instead to spend the money on other needs. Hopefully for film workers in the state this will change soon and the state will ramp up it’s efforts to compete and bring back the work it has let go astray.

    • tim in seattle says:

      If that were true then the studio production part of the film would still be done in Hollywood. ALL the shooting is being poached out of state due to very high labor costs, confiscatory taxes, and onerous regulation in California.
      But Hey, all is not lost, there’s still lots of porn being made in Orange County.

      • lmp says:

        @ross
        Thanks again for sharing your articulate and focused points of view. In fact I think it’s important that California does as NY has done and offers its legacy business of film production a competitive incentive program. I don’t agree that industry incentive programs are always the best use of tax payer funds however I think that in today’s competitive environment they are necessary and warranted in the case of major production centers like NY and CA. These expenditures may prove less wise in the case of outlying states were the production infrastructure is not mature. Here’s some reading for you: http://www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/publications.taf?function=detail&ID=38801463&cat=resrep

      • Ross says:

        @Imp: You act like incentives are a thing to be terrified about? Seriously that’s how life works! Get with the program! If there is NO INCENTIVE to shoot in a State, why would you shoot in a State? When people go on dates they each offer an INCENTIVE as to why they should pick the other person and not someone else! Same with territories and BUSINESSES. “What is my incentive to wake up every morning?” “What is my incentive to pay my electric bill?” “What is my incentive to set-up shop here and not there?” “What is my incentive to spend time making this product and NOT this other product?” If your State can’t offer a good reason to stay or do business, well, who’s problem is that? Definitely NOT the business owner’s!

        You’re like the Fat person who demands a date with a Fit person regardless of the Fit person’s personal taste!

      • lmp says:

        @tim
        it appears that you and many others on this comment list are reading from a script when you say that “high labor costs, confiscatory taxes and onerous regulation in California” is driving away the film production work. Just clear your head for a moment and ask yourself this: why weren’t these films being shot on this scale in these other states before the incredibly generous tax payer subsidized film incentives were offered? These states all offered much lower wages, lower taxes and for goodness sometimes zero regulation. Here’s the takeaway…it’s all about the incentives.

  11. SS says:

    A lot of places they are going have unions. You guys really think there are no film unions in Canada or other states? Big budget pictures especially wouldn’t dare to work without the union, they require a certain level of expertise on set. No, the issue is taxes.

  12. David N says:

    Why would anyone think that this just applies to the entertainment industry? Industry of all kind has been moving out of California for the last decade. My wife and I are engineers and we left in 2006 and moved to Texas. I estimate that we have saved, at least, $20,000 per year in income taxes. Over the last eight years that is $160,000. If you are rich, California is good. If you are poor, California is good (lots of benefits). But, if you are middle class, California has become a one word IQ test. The correct answer is: leave.

  13. Jim Foles says:

    Unions? They run the Newspapaers, Airlines, Hollywood, Your Childrens Education, Your Cities, Your Mail, Your Colleges, Your Buses, Trains, Steel… We have been re-programmed by the unions.

  14. sanityisrae says:

    We should all hold a telethon to help these poor folks out…

  15. Weeone says:

    i had an in depth conversation with a life long 2nd gen worker from LA a while back, he was bemoaning the demise of the industry in LA; and proceeded to tell me of working on a well know film where the shot at an highway underpass. the company had to pay the homeless campers $1,500 each to get them out and and then clean up the mess. Of course there was a line of them wanting their piece of the action. The amazing part was he wasn’t making a connection between cost and location.

  16. ConservativeBeaner says:

    Oh the irony! Hollywood productions fleeing high California production costs due to the very party and policies THEY supported…

  17. anoano says:

    it nothing to do with either party, it to do with how the economy functions,

    executives are DEMANDING what you would call socialist tax incentives, ie subsidies

    look at what was stopping Avatar ?

    movies are now 90% CG and VFX artists are being treated like dirt while audiences fawn over talentless bimbos like Kardashian etc….

    Ontario now offers 58% of an artists salary that is paid for by the Government.

    Hollywod lost connection with it’s talent by not supporting PROGRESSIVE films, with new visions, by BS VFX society politics and arbitrary nepotism,.

    The industry is globalised and the US no longer has the capital to risk, all that is wanted by US investors now is predictable returns, which creates predictable content and ultimately kills the audience off.

  18. Matt Hall says:

    and TV, where the real money is, is moving to NYC.

  19. Denver says:

    No one is surprised, right? My cousin, a stage manager, born in Vernon 60 years ago, has moved to Florida.

  20. Bone Lee says:

    I’m fortunate enough to work on some of the filming projects here in South Florida… Keep em coming :)

  21. Gil says:

    We here in Atlanta are torn over the influx of huge film and TV productions. On one hand, it does bring jobs (although most are temporary and low-paying), but on the other hand, taxpayers are practically paying these producers to ‘pick us’.

    For these ‘New Hollywoods’, it’s not really a developing industry – just a very large, very expensive marketing campaign for the city.

  22. Persona Split says:

    “It stunned me that the movie was shooting in Louisiana, and that the state of California was letting this happen,” he recalls.

    Holy Big Government! California has no right to NOT let this happen. Government cannot force business to open and spend money in their state. The inability to think independently from government is shocking. Gotta hand it to the left though. They do everything to make Government in control of their lives and force competition to bend to their will, instead of offering what products or services the people want.

  23. HowardB1 says:

    As it turns out elections really do have consequences…

  24. ColKlink says:

    Too many immigrants ey. Gangland. Put a fence around it and become the real battle for LA.

  25. Left out of the article, is the entire porn industry has left the state. And at the State Government level; no one cares. That’s the problem when no one cares, everybody leaves, then they care. Too late…

  26. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    Most States today want a piece of Hollywood with creative and effective incentives to lure major Films and Television but the hard fact and reality is few States profit from such incentives. The real problem is that California is getting “shot out”.

  27. starsword says:

    Reblogged this on starsword and commented:
    They’re all running to Texas!

  28. djman says:

    Didn’t CA run the porn industry out of state too? Seems like the sets, background and lighting has been different in the work I’m seeing lately or is it just my eyes going bad like Mom warned me about?

  29. C Cummings says:

    Along with the film industry, Tiger pulled his tournament and Phil is moving to a more business friendly state. Don’t forget Nissan is gone, 50 top Honda execs, and a 2000 emp company is leaving the bay area. What does it take to get the majority party in SACTO to wake the hell up?

  30. lmp says:

    I’m getting the distinct feeling that you have never even been to California. : )

  31. lmp says:

    ugh…I’m so bored with the Republican vs. Democrat narrative that really smart people have used to divide and conquer the people of this country. These techniques have been in use and successful for thousands of years. So boring.

  32. lmp says:

    You seem confused. Are you saying the producers and actors and production companies are leftists and that it is ironic that they now have to leave the state to find the cheapest place to shoot? If so, you are very confused about this issue.

    The irony here is that they are leaving to shoot in what happens to be mostly conservative red states who have graciously siphoned their own taxpayers money in order to hand it over to the production companies in exchange for spending a few months in their state. California has offered only a very small limited tax incentive for the past few years. It is the so-called conservative states who have forked over all their taxpayer’s money in exchange for having some movie stars hang out for a bit. The studios will always be very happy to take your taxpayers money if you want to hand it over.

    Now that there is significant loss of business California is looking at making their incentive larger in order to keep more of the work here. This welfare for the movie studios started in Canada and the outlying states. It makes sense for California to bump up it’s own incentive in order to tease back some of the production business which originates here anyway. New York had to do the same thing. So in review: it is the most conservative states in the South which started this train rolling. The production centers of NY and Los Angeles are just looking to ratchet up the pressure on those states a bit. If you want to keep production companies traveling out all their key employees and rolling out the convoys of support trucks to the current incentive states you might have to cough up more taxpayer dollars to beat keeping the producers, actors and key crew at home in NY and California.

  33. Roger says:

    I have read many articles about film incentive programs in states like New York, Louisiana, North Carolina, Michigan and California. The programs are never clearly explained. Does that mean even journalists can’t figure them out? When something is described as a tax credit, is a production excused from sales and other taxes or is a state treasury issuing a check?

    • lmp says:

      The point of this article which appears to have been forgotten in the sea of misinformation, cluelessness and partisan railings that this comment area has become, is about the loss of film work from California which offers very limited film incentives to other states and countries which offer very generous film incentives. If you’re interested in some research that has just been released on this subject check this out:
      http://www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/publications.taf?function=detail&ID=38801463&cat=resrep

      • Julie says:

        I read the report. Its recommendations include expanding the existing incentives to cover big budget movies, hour long dramas and special effects. It also recommends restructuring existing credits to align with television schedules. That one just sounds like common sense. It also recommends expanding the credits to cover the whole state.

        The report also emphasizes that we do not want to engage in a race to the bottom as other states have done.

    • lmp says:

      Here you go: http://www.entertainmentpartners.com/incentives/
      They are different everywhere. You can find out a lot about what is offered by different states and countries. In my opinion New York and the UK have the smartest programs in place. The are the best return on investment for the tax payer. Important to keep in mind that the more infrastructure and skilled labor already in place, the better return on investment to the local taxpayer.

  34. lmp says:

    curious which knucklehead radio host or maybe one of Rupert’s stooges got on the air today and referenced this article? holy cow, somebody really rattled their cages! : )

  35. hot12dog says:

    From your mouth to Gods ears

  36. Floyd R Turbo (American) says:

    I saw a movie from 2004: “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (with Angelina Jolie), where part of the filming took place on a giant flying Aircraft Carrier, and part took place underwater. Obviously neither of those locations was real (not to mention Pixar’s “Toy Story”), so why is it necessary to shoot in a REAL California city? Not only that but those shots were made using “blue Screen” technology – but I think it’s possible to do the whole thing inside a computer now. Why not do the production on a server located in Mongolia (where production costs are really low), and have the actors phone it in from their Carribean retreats? California can make up for lost tax revenues by putting a tariff on TV sales.

    • Andrew says:

      Floyd, having worked in the industry I can tell you that those Green/ Blue Screen movies are just as expensive if not more expensive to make than on set movies. The computers required to do the rendering are insane- the artists to do the backgrounds and integrate the actors into the scenes are sometimes 1000/ hr. Plus it still requires 3/4 or more of an actual film crew to shoot the actor- lighting has to match, cameras have to match etc… Movies like that usually require two Cinematographers which can cost upwards of 3000 per day. each. I no longer work in the industry due to not liking the egos and the hours- however I can tell you on location is still the best and cheapest way to go.

      • J Rogowski says:

        But Andy, with blue/green screens you don’t have to have a sunny cloudless day. You can do it in any warehouse in any part of the country.

  37. Phantom says:

    Why not just have low taxes for everyone and keep all jobs maybe get more jobs.

  38. Rusty says:

    Too late.

  39. many says:

    “Once again, the producers are going to where they’re getting the best incentive.”

    Absolutely right and predictable; producers go or the costs are lower and the profits are higher. If California wants to stop the Hollywood Exodus, it needs to decrease regulations and taxes. Since that’s never going to happen, say goodbye to Hollywood.

    • lmp says:

      If you really believe this is about regulations and taxes why don’t you see what happens when your state drops its film incentive? I’ll give you a clue: your state will lose 99% of any film work it has managed to attract. It’s not about taxes, it’s not about unions, it’s not about regulations. Production companies and studios are flocking to the state that gives them the best bottom line and when you factor in all the hassles with shooting outside of a major production center it all comes down to the incentive.

      • lmp says:

        @rvahero
        you ignore the fact that all the states that are pulling production away have enormous tax payer subsidized film incentive programs as well as the same exact union. Agreed that labor costs are lower and living expenses are lower in these “area standards” states however the companies incur enormous costs traveling most key personnel from NYC or Los Angeles to these outlying states. And guess what, all the key personnel make the same wages that they make in the large production centers. The local workers in the incentive states earn about a third of what the key personnel earn(in the same job position). Also keep this in mind the business headquarters remain in Los Angeles and New York. They send out teams to hire contract workers locally for a couple months to shoot and then they leave and take the incentive money back to NYC or CA to spend there. The companies are not leaving California or NY, some have established satellites in certain regions but their headquarters and real spending happens in their home states. NY was smart and pro-active when it put into place an incentive program to compete with these smaller states that were drawing away production work. The State of California has been lax and maybe hopeful that the smaller incentive states would just burn out through enough tax payer money that the incentives in those states would be withdrawn by the states’ governments. This hasn’t happened so there is now more pressure that ever for California to increase it’s program enough to make staying home an equal or better option. That’s all. California did not start the taxpayer give away it is just now considering a response to it.

      • rvahero says:

        You ingor the fact that taxes, unions, and regulations all have a significant impact on their bottom line. So yes all of those issues are a major factors in any business’s decision to remain in California.

  40. big ed says:

    Hey we love all the films and TV shows being shot here in Florida… funny California is begging for the film industry to stay when they did their best to run them off…
    NY, California et al… people are fleeing your high taxes and abuse.. you seem to care more about those that take than those who actually produce..
    Oh and Detroit… South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama LOVE those great paying jobs in the Auto industry! No unions and great weather!

    • Julie says:

      And low wages.

      • lmp says:

        @Julie
        Yeah, I notice they keep leaving out the low wages part. I’m also amused by how many of these tough talking conservatives are reaping the advantages of taxpayer financed film incentives in their own “red states” without even seeming to realize it. : )
        I would agree that incentives are a last resort but with all the other states jumping into this first it’s become a necessity for California to dip our toes into their game and pull back some of the business. Hopefully it passes. If not, I guess we just keep traveling around to pick-up the work where ever taxpayers want to give our employers the most money and bringing it home to enjoy and spend in California.

      • IllKeepMine says:

        So, Julie what are the wages, since you obviously know.

  41. beavertonsteve says:

    I think we need to look into capping the pay of these greedy movie stars, producers and directors and spreading the wealth around to those who really need it. Everyone involved in making a movie should make the same amount. Why do these one percenters have to make so much money? Isn’t 10 million dollars more than enough to last a lifetime? I think movies made in California should be forced to distribute any profit over a million dollars to state teachers and union workers who do much more for the community.

    • section9 says:

      The notion, for example, the producers in Florida are paying minimum wage for gaffers, grips, roustabouts, carpenters, et al, is a fantasy put forward by dead-enders in California who simply are trying to defend the increased cost of doing business in a state run by a Coalition of the Rent-Seeking.

      It’s that simple: wages in Florida are competitive for those with needed skill sets to what one would make in California, but regulatory costs and other compliance costs will be a LOT lower.

      Uncle Walt forsaw all of this when he started moving the Maus Haus to Orlando.

      • Julie says:

        Read the Milken report that imp posted. When films are shot in FL and Louisiana they use imported crews who go back to CA when the film is over.

  42. Jamie Conn says:

    What’s wrong with Detroit?

  43. lee markle says:

    Suggest you look at you facts agan CA hasn’t been 5th largest economy for years. They are way down the list.

    • lmp says:

      California is the largest economy in the U.S. and 8th in the world, just after the United Kingdom. Honestly, this stuff is easy to look up. Why all the anger here? If you don’t like California please feel free to stay away. We’re doing ok and lots of us like it here.

      • Julie says:

        Yes, we are the eighth largest economy in the world. Thank you for posting facts. And thank you for linking the Milken report. More people need to read it.

        As for why so many are angry here, it’s really jealousy. The economic pie is shrinking and other states want what we have.

  44. Justin Chillin says:

    Why do the Hollywood stars let this happen? They all want everyone else to pay more taxes so why do they stand up against moving the filming out of state and then the producers would have to cave. Of course that might mean the stars would have to take a small pay cut.

    • Julie says:

      The stars don’t make the decision. The corporations do. Trust me, the entertainment industry would rather remain in LA. That’s the dream.

  45. bigalbert says:

    Unions were a great force years ago when they stopped management “abuse.” It didn’t take long for the unions to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs by forcing costs to go up. It is all about money and power. When union workers demand more money – it forces costs to go up. Investors have no choice but to go elsewhere. Simple math. You can try to put a different face on it, but it just comes down to costs.

    • E says:

      Clearly you know nothing of film unions. I’m in local 52 in New York and our hourly wage is less than many skilled labor positions. (Mechanics, iron workers, etc.)

      • Ross says:

        @ E: What? “and our hourly wage is less than many skilled labor positions. (Mechanics, iron workers, etc.)” That means you made a BAD CAREER MOVE! >:I At least monetarily! That’s nothing to celebrate! >:I

      • bob wire says:

        Then join that union that was found to have an average of 200k a year working in the theater district…guys setting up lights, moving furniture type nonsense…the story started based on a guy commuting all the way from Philly to NYC for that type of work…Unions are bad these days—-greedy, and dont reward the good ones, nor punish the bad ones….think Teachers.

      • Hank Riordan says:

        The difference is, they’re skilled labor positions!

  46. T-Bone says:

    The film crews I work with are happy to be working in Utah or Louisiana. The cost of living is much lower….So the rebates offered are not the only reason to get out of the state.
    I even took a film tour in Chicago where they admitted that it had become an awful and expensive place to film a movie. Places like Chicago and Hollywood have long favored the rich while leaching off of the middle class, but eventually they need more blood to suck and kill off those who have been most supportive of the leaching.
    I, personally, find the Louisiana film locations (which are happening more regularly) to be unique among the tired slew of movies with 30-something apartment dwellers in LA. I have no attachment to Louisiana, I fight regularly to win business from them, but while movies get more and more predictable, at least we see some new locations.

  47. robertfallin says:

    Your thinking proves my previous comment. California has the fifth largest economy DESPITE it confiscatory taxes and oppressive laws. As for other states providing tax incentives that will eventually return profits to the taxpayers, what is wrong with that. If two state governments successively puts its hand in my pocket, one to take money out and the other to put money in, to which state do you think am going to go? You going to bar a business from “simulating Los Angeles”? How do you think union members from other states are going to react to that?

    Tell you what, keep your oppressive taxation and laws; however, next election, let those who pay ten times the taxes be allowed to vote ten time; while those who pay no taxes don’t get to vote at all. Next legislative session your problems will be solved.

  48. Ralph Gizzip says:

    No, they put YOUR money where their mouths are.

  49. Shiftless says:

    Do it like they do everything else–make it illegal to show a film in California that depicts a California scene that was not filmed in California. Make them pay the higher California costs. It would have the same effect as a hike in the minimum wage!

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