Since the creation of motion pictures, Hollywood has been known as the center of the film industry. However, due to rising costs and the fact that the city of Los Angeles makes it difficult to get permits to film, major studios are leaving Los Angeles to shoot in other cities that offer tax breaks, lower costs, and other incentives.
By luring film studios, cities in other states and countries are able to grow their own economies. Their employment rates improve, since their residents get hired to be on film crews, and they gain more publicity, which brings in business that feeds their infrastructure.
Independent film producer Claire Kupchak, for example, has a strong relationship with the film commissioners in states such as North Carolina and Louisiana because they make their states very desirable spots to film.
“When you’re making a film, especially an independent film, the budget is very tight. Places like Louisiana, North Carolina, and Canada create incentives as well as tax credits that help tremendously with an independent film’s budget,” Kupchak said.
Similarly, Warner Brothers Entertainment producer Lionel Wigram spends a lot of time away from his home in Los Angeles to film productions in the United Kingdom.
“I film mainly in the UK, partly because very often my films are set in the UK, partly because the UK has some of the best crews and facilities in the world, and partly because the UK has a particularly favorable tax credit,” Wigram said.
Wigram has produced movies such as Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter, neither of which were filmed in Los Angeles.
“It is a complete mystery to me why California isn’t competitive with other states for tax incentives and other incentives. I think it would be a significant boost to the local economy,” Wigram said.
According to The Los Angeles Daily News, Sarah Aubrey, producer of Lone Survivor, also shoots away from Los Angeles.
“It’s just a financial reality,” Aubrey said.
“It’s kind of brass tacks. We would all rather sleep in our own beds at night. It’s really difficult for our families with kids to travel out of town for work. So we would much rather be working in Los Angeles, but it is very hard.”