Los Angeles Business Journal

Garcetti Signs Waiver for TV Pilot Fees

By Jonathan Polakoff Friday, October 25, 2013

Mayor Eric Garcetti has signed an ordinance to waive fees for the filming of television pilots in Los Angeles, the mayor’s office announced Friday.

It’s an attempt to make filming in Los Angeles more attractive and to stem the outflow of television pilot work to other parts of the country such as New York. Only about half of all TV pilots were shot in the Los Angeles area during the most recent pilot season from January through April – a sharp decline from 2007, when 82 percent of pilots were shot in the region.

The pilots are desirable since they employ an average of 150 people, according to non-profit FilmL.A., which processes film and TV production permits. If a pilot is picked up by a network, it could also lead to more spending in the area.

Garcetti introduced the ordinance as a councilmember and it was approved unanimously by the City Council last week. It was the first bill Garcetti has signed as mayor, and an indication of his priority to bolster local production, he said.

“Our economy is my top priority, and the entertainment industry generates more than 500,000 jobs in L.A. Focusing on TV pilots not only supports a key part of the industry, it can lead to long-term dividends if a series gets picked up,” Garcetti said in a statement. “This isn't about the stars on the screen but carpenters, caterers, and electricians and the stores they shop in.”