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Hollywood Losing Tax Incentives Battle for Big-Budget Productions

Hollywood Losing Tax Incentives Battle for Big-Budget Productions

Hollywood denizens generally avoid talking up tax breaks to spur economic activity, but they are seeing what happens when one state can’t compete with the incentives doled out across the country.

The state in question is California, and a new study shows big-budget film productions are dwindling due to stiff competition from other states.

The overall production picture in the Los Angeles area remains grim — despite double-digit percentage increases in both movie and TV drama shoots in 2013, a study released Tuesday by FilmL.A. reveals.

On-location feature film shoots rose 19 percent from 2012 but are still 50 percent below their 1996 peak. And scripted TV drama shoots, next to movies the most economically beneficial for the region, were 39 percent below their 2008 peak despite rising by 16 percent over 2012.

Just two big-budget film projects released in 2013 were shot in L.A.–The Hangover Part III and Star Trek Into Darkness. It’s no mystery why L.A. is losing the war to attract, or at least retain, film productions and the economic benefits they provide.

It’s all about the incentives,” FilmL.A. President Paul Audley told TheWrap. “That’s what we hear from the studios, the independent and commercials producers, everybody. And unless we start competing, we’re not going to be able to continue to say that we’re the best place for filming.


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