Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday named veteran studio executive Tom Sherak as the city’s first film czar.
Sherak, who was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2009 to 2012, will direct the city’s Entertainment Industry and Production Office, which is tasked with making it easier to film movies and television shows in the city and to lobby state legislators to boost the state’s film incentive program.
Upon taking office this summer, Garcetti declared runaway film and television production as a “civic emergency” and pledged to do more to keep production in the city.
“The entertainment industry generates more than 500,000 local jobs. Protecting and expanding it is an absolute necessity,” Garcetti said in statement announcing Sherak’s appointment. “Tom will lead our campaign for production incentives in Sacramento and is empowered to work across city departments to make L.A. the best possible location for production.”
Sherak, who will draw a symbolic dollar as a salary, has Hollywood experience that includes serving as chairman of Twentieth Century Fox’s domestic film group and as president of that studio’s domestic distribution and marketing operation. He was also a partner with Revolution Studios, helping release dozens of films, including “Black Hawk Down.” He had onscreen roles in “Columbus Circle” and “NYPD Blue,” and has helped produce several films, television specials and documentaries. He is currently a consultant to several Hollywood production houses.
“I look forward to helping Mayor Garcetti stop runaway production, increase state production credits, and cut City Hall red tape,” Sherak said in the statement.