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The Death of Hollywood
When was eight, all three of my brothers and I piled into the van and drove to a church in Santa Clarita. The Church was filming a movie called "No Greater Love." Obviously the film wasn't going to be a blockbuster and at the time I didn't even know if it would make it onto DVD, but they were filming a movie and I was going to get to be in it. Yet after about eight or ten takes we were done. We had waited four hours for five lines and ten takes and a blooper they promised to put on the DVD. However the movie did make it to DVD and that's when I saw that my patience, dedication, and brilliant acting had paid off. I had become a movie star. The camera zoomed in on my face for about three seconds.
Well my attempts to become a movie star didn't quite out the way I wanted. However I still am thinking about becoming a screenwriter when I grow and what better place to live than twenty minutes from Hollywood? Does anyone want to be a director when they grow up? An actress? A cameraman? Maybe you're just doing a video for your personal project? Hollywood is the place to be. Or at least it was.
Today we will see that our Entertainment Industry is leaving Los Angeles and we need to do something to stop it.
We need to do something now because competition for Hollywood is more widespread and effective than ever before. We need to something now because we cannot afford to lose the jobs that Hollywood provides your friends and family. We need to do something now because we cannot afford to lose the millions of dollars that Hollywood spends in our community.
Why is Hollywood leaving? Well other states want our entertainment industry, and they are taking it. Take a look at the graph. In 1996 seventy one “big budget” movies were filmed in your neighborhood, this year we barely made five. We lost 60% of our on site movie production to other states in less than fifteen years. Why? Look at New Mexico. New Mexico has the same climate, blue skies, and landscape as Los Angeles, but by offering fifteen million dollars to the entertainment industry, they went from being the place to shoot cheap westerns, to the location of one of the world's most successful films, the Avengers. Have you heard of the recent movie Battle LA. A little cheesy, but at least it was filmed in LA right? Actually filmmaker went all the way to Louisiana to film Los Angeles.
The reason that Hollywood is abandoning us is because our taxes are so high. California has the the highest sales tax, the highest tax on gasoline, and the highest corporate tax in the Western United States. Hollywood is leaving because they make the least amount of money in California. They want to go where there successful.
We need to be successful. We need to lower taxes to bring Hollywood back, because when Hollywood is successful. We are all successful. How are we successful? If we bring holly wood back to Los Angeles, we bring will bring back countless jobs and millions of dollars.
David Henke, a location manager, always had plenty of work. Now he and his son a director live in his mother in law's house. Los Angeles must lower taxes on the Entertainment and bring home Hollywood because we cannot afford to lose the jobs. A television show like CSI, employs 840 people. What jobs are we losing? All the cameramen, make up artists, costume designers, set designers, stuntmen, and lighting technicians, who work on shows like CSI, are all facing 30% unemployment. Where did the jobs go? Canada, New Zealand, Louisiana, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, Hawaii, Georgia. Pennsylvania budgeted 600 million to attract the film industry, the film industry took the bait, and Pennsylvania took 21,159 of our jobs. We need to bring those jobs back to Los Angeles, and as we saw with Pennsylvania, the most effective way to give those jobs to our friends, family, and neighbors, is to make Los Angeles more economically friendly.
Finally, We must fight to keep the money Hollywood pours into our economy. Hollywood gives Los Angeles 57 billion dollars a year. Several years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger actually passed economic incentives of our own, and our state made 325 million dollars in tax revenue and employed 39,000 people.
New economic incentives are being considered by Governor Jerry Brown, however people are asking– Can we afford it. These tax cuts and benefits may cut funding to education. And for many, it seems that we may have to take money from the schools to pay film makers who don't need any more money.
What we need to understand is that when film makers make money, they don't hoard it away and buy gorilla hand ash trays. When you have a 75 million dollar budget and six hundred people working on your movie, your workers need food, gasoline, a place to sleep, entertainment. Very quickly you begin spending your money on buying your crew food from Auntie em's kitchen, gasoline from the 76's on Colorado, booking the hotel at the Sheridan, and maybe taking everyone out to the All Star Bowling on Eagle Rock Boulevard. If you are a film maker with 75 million dollars you spend it on the community.
The competition for the movie industry is intense, and the stakes are high. Hollywood employs your friends and neighbors, spends millions on your relatives business. We can't lose those jobs and we can't lose the money. The only way to do this is to lower taxes in Los Angeles. Because when Hollywood is successful, we're all successful.