LA City Council waives fees for television pilots

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The City Council agreed today to waive more than $400 in fees normally charged for television pilots shot in Los Angeles in an effort to attract productions and keep entertainment jobs in the city.

Television pilot productions will be exempt from a $100 special event permit application fee. A $312 charge for late submissions of the permit applications will also be waived.

Productions also will no longer be on the hook for Department of Transportation costs related to posting and removing streets signs.

The city collected $231,000 in fees for television pilot production in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to a city report.

The fee exemptions, approved 15-0, represent relatively minor savings for the entertainment industry, with statewide incentives and subsidies providing a greater impact on encouraging local production. But Councilman Paul Krekorian, who seconded the original motion, said the action was a way to “send a signal to the television production industry that we want these jobs here.”

Shooting pilots locally will also increase the chances that if the series is picked up, it will also be shot in Los Angeles, Krekorian added.

The motion was originally authored by Mayor Eric Garcetti while he was a councilman. He said today the entertainment industry creates 500,000 jobs and that by “focusing on TV pilots,” the city stands to gain a “huge long-term dividend if a series gets picked up.”

The percentage of television pilots using Los Angeles as their backdrops decreased from 80 to 51 percent in recent years, with other municipalities and countries, such as Canada, siphoning away television production with the promise of incentives, officials said.

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