You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kevin James Named L.A. Chief Film Liaison

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is naming Kevin James to the post of chief film liaison.

James, who ran for mayor in 2013, is president of the board of public works and will remain in that role as well.

James will be working with Ken Ziffren, the L.A. film czar. James will continue in his post at public works but will be the City Hall point person on film and TV production.

Rajiv Dalal, who has been director of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Television and deputy to film czar Ziffren, is stepping down from his post.

Garcetti credited Dalal with being a key figure in pushing for the expansion of the state’s incentive program as well as in drawing up efforts to streamline city bureaucracy when it comes to film and TV production.

Last month, Garcetti announced the launch of a campaign called Greenlight Hollywood to convince studio decision makers to shoot in the city.

On Wednesday, Garcetti, appearing at a ceremony atop City Hall, also signed an executive directive calling for all departments to appoint a film liaison and to cut red tape. The department liaisons will be required to attend quarterly film task force meetings, as well as making sure that there is cooperation with FilmLA, the city-county permitting office.

Following the successful lobbying effort to expand and extend the state’s film and TV tax incentives, he described the new initiative as the next phase in trying to stem runaway production.

James, a former radio host and entertainment attorney at Lavely & Singer and Greenberg Glusker, said that he will be drawing on experience in the industry as well as in City Hall. He said that he already has met with the heads of city departments.

The film liaison post, he said, will require “the ability to speak the language of the industry, if you will, along with what is the bureaucracy of City Hall, and to try to find ways to be more efficient, more welcoming, easier and cheaper for the productions that we know are going to come.”

Garcetti also announced that he will augment the 2015-16 budget to include increased funding for clerical tasks, after hours operations at the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Fire Department, more efficient sign postings from the Department of Transportation and computerized hiring and permitting systems that will link FilmLA with city departments. The mayor’s office said that the allocations are being made after conducting an analysis with Councilman Paul Krekorian, chairman of the budget committee as well as  an ad hoc committee on film and TV, as well as representatives from entertainment.

In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that more than tripled the size of the film and TV tax credit, to $330 million annually. It also expanded eligibility to include big-budget features and all one-hour drama series.

At the event on Wednesday, Garcetti noted that it was Brown who took some convincing that the tax credits would be worth it.

He said that Brown was “still a skeptic, but he’s our skeptic.”



More Biz

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Lawsuit Expected Next Week in Response to Universal Music Fire

    A Los Angeles law firm representing several Universal Music recording artists affected by the 2008 fire that destroyed a huge number of master recordings is expected to file a lawsuit as early as next week. King told Variety that he expects to sue for negligence and other torts. He declined to identify his clients, saying [...]

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Responds as LGBT Discrimination Claim Resurfaces

    Nicholas Sparks, the prolific author of romance novels, is facing renewed allegations that he discriminated against gay students at his Christian school in North Carolina. The allegations were first leveled by Saul Benjamin, the former headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, in a wrongful termination suit he filed in 2014. Benjamin’s suit alleged [...]

  • Tyler the Creator and DJ Khaled

    Inside the DJ Khaled-Tyler, the Creator Chart Battle

    The controversy surrounding the recent chart battle between DJ Khaled and Tyler the Creator — in which a bundle promoting Khaled’s album was disqualified from adding to its sales tally for the May 24 Billboard 200 album chart, allowing the No. 1 spot to go to Tyler’s “Igor” — has been a first-class problem for [...]

  • Cuba Gooding Jr. Diversity

    Cuba Gooding Jr. Charged with Misdemeanor Forcible Touching

    Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., has been charged with a misdemeanor count of forcible touching following an incident at a nightclub, the New York Police Department said Thursday. Gooding turned himself in to NYPD detectives on Thursday, surrounded by a throng of media. Later in the day, he was arraigned in front of Judge Herb Moses. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    CAA Challenges Writers Guild of America's Legal Standing in Packaging Fee Lawsuit

    CAA has challenged the Writers Guild of America’s legal standing for bringing forth the lawsuit against Hollywood’s four largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees. CAA’s latest legal response to the suit filed by the WGA in Los Angeles Superior Court in April asserts that the guild does not have the right to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content