Los Angeles has long been considered the entertainment capital of the world; home to studios, post production facilities, a myriad of outdoor locations and the most talented and well-trained creative and technical workers in the field. The glitz and glamour of this industry often get attention when the real showstopper is the high paying middle class jobs that support film and television.
The entertainment industry is a catalyst for economic development because it supports thousands of service and supply industries such as advertising, print media, makeup, costumes, craft talent, and craft services. It hosts events, parties, and award shows that support theaters, hotels, restaurants, catering, apparel and flower shops. This economic engine brings over $30 billion to the State of California and supports over 200,000 jobs in the Los Angeles area.
In addition, the film industry brings in more than $100 billion in tourism. Tourists come from all over the world because of movies and Hollywood. They come to see the Hollywood Sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame among many other film-related attractions.
Many states and countries are competing to lure this industry and they are providing lucrative incentives. Los Angeles is serious about attracting and retaining the good jobs Hollywood brings to this region, therefore, the City Council and Mayor have approved the following entertainment industry incentives, all designed to retain and attract film, television, and commercial productions in the City.
Citywide Filming Coordinator and Industry Liaison
The Board of Public Works has a dedicated Citywide Filming Coordinator and Industry Liaison, Eva Bitar, who addresses the needs of the industry and community to ensure a film-friendly experience. She is the FilmL.A. Contract Administrator and works with a designated staff person responsible for film issues within each City Department. Eva may be contacted at Eva.Bitar@lacity.org or call 213-978-0258
Reduced Business Tax Rates for Entertainment Productions:
The Los Angeles City Council and Mayor approved a reduction in the business tax rates charged for commercial, television, and film productions. The minimum tax threshold has been raised from $2.5 million to $5 million, creating a significant reduction in taxes paid by all productions. For more information, visit the Office of Finance website. Additional background concerning this tax benefit can be reviewed in City Council file 10-1238, Entertainment Production Cap.
Special Tax Breaks for Entertainment Creative Talent:
In 2005, the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor reduced the business tax rates on creative talent in the entertainment industry. Most businesses are required to pay taxes when their gross receipts exceed $100,000. The business tax rate for Creative Artists was adjusted so that taxes are due only when the artist’s gross receipts exceed $300,000. Details about this tax benefit can be found at the Office of Finance website.
Active citations for Filming Without a Permit and Intentionally Disrupting a Permitted Film Shoot:
The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance that revised section 41.20 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) to make it a misdemeanor offense for production companies to film without a permit or engage in activities not covered by their permits. It also introduced consequences for those who would intentionally disrupt a duly-permitted film shoot or other special event. Read FilmL.A.'s article, "LAPD Using Expanded Film Permit Enforcement Powers".
Film for Free at City Facilities:
Most City properties are available for commercial, television, and film productions at NO CHARGE (i.e. City Hall). Information is available at LocoScout.com, FilmL.A.’s searchable on-line resource for film locations.
Utility Nodes that Provide Affordable, Clean Electricity:
Three utility nodes have been installed to provide affordable, clean electricity to film productions as a substitute for diesel generators. Nodes are available at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, and at the DWP John Ferraro Building. Please contact FilmL.A. to learn how you can use this service. The City has installed these utility nodes in an effort to provide a clean and quiet energy source as a substitute for diesel generators, which generate exhaust and noise pollution.
Guide to Downtown Los Angeles Parking Lots available for filming:
Google Maps Interactive L.A. Parking Map was created to provide the film community with an easy-to-use tool to locate government parking lots in Downtown Los Angeles. View the map on your computer or smart phone and take advantage of features that provide directions and satellite or street views. You can also print the map for quick reference. Each parking lot is marked by number and includes detailed information on the address, number of spaces, type (whether surface or structure), days and hours of availability, and contact information.
Streamlined Road Closure Procedures:
The Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works have implemented new procedures that streamline the approval of lane and road closures in the City. Please contact FilmL.A. for permits and pre-approved closures.
To provide feedback and to tell us what you think about help with film permits, location, coordination, filming in your community and more, please take our Film Permit Customer Service Survey.