Hollywood Outsourced


Media Work discusses the issue of outsourcing film and TV production to locations beyond LA and the affect it is having on available jobs for Hollywood-based workers in the industry. In a recent Blog post by Kevin James (not the “King of Queens”)—a Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate— addresses this issue as part of his platform for mayor.  It is notable that the issue in this location is such a prominent one that it is on the forefront of political issues affecting Los Angeles during election season.

According to FilmLA, since 2005, the percentage of pilots made in Los Angeles has dropped from 82% to 51%, and the amount of on-location movie production has plummeted 60% since its peak 15 years ago.

James proposes a reduction in the tax burden on film/TV businesses, and a new film and television tax incentive for producers.

In 2010, the Milken Institute conducted a research study on the impact of “Film Flight” on the California economy and concluded that, in order for the state to continue to thrive as a leader in film and television production and compete with cheaper locations and labor forces (both nationally and internationally) it must:

• develop a series of production incentive programs designed to keep all types and sizes of productions in the state, whether they are network broadcasts, cable television shows, commercials, independent films, or studio blockbusters

• adopt policies to encourage long-term investments and upgrades in infrastructure and technology at production and post-production facilities. As competing locations continue to improve their facilities, California needs to provide incentives for studios and companies to invest within California, not elsewhere.

• make tax incentive programs permanent, thus creating a stable policy environment and signaling long-term commitment.

• consider implementing a new digital media tax credit to attract and retain developers of digital animation, visual effects, and video games

• empower key ombudsmen positions at the state and local levels to simplify and expedite the permitting process. This has been done successfully in other states and countries, and needs to be done here.

• educate politicians and the general public alike about the economic importance of the film industry, focusing the message on job creation and investment, not just the appeal of the end products


Karyn McNay

James, Kevin (2012) Outsourcing Hollywood, Billions Leave Local Economy, Families Separated, http://venice.patch.com/blog_posts/blog-outsourcing-hollywood-billions-leave-local-economy-families-separated

Milken Institute: Film Flight (2010) http://filmworks.filmla.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/filmflight.pdf



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