- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Los Angeles is losing big on the movie business, and the mayor says his recently appointed movie czar better help producers cut through red tape and bypass bureaucratic business walls or else Tinseltown will forever lose its luster.

Other states are snapping up the business, offering better tax credits and lower production costs.

Variety magazine reported that the number of positions related to the movie business in Los Angeles dropped from 136,000 in 1997 to 116,000 in 2011. And of this summer’s highest-budget films, few were shot in the City of Angels. “Iron Man 3” was filmed in North Carolina; “The Lone Ranger,” in New Mexico and Utah; and “The Great Gatsby,” in Australia.

Meanwhile, it’s not just the big productions that are abandoning the state. California’s total share of hour-long, network-based drama shows has dropped considerably, from 89 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2012, The Daily Mail reported.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said his movie czar — whom he appointed shortly after taking office — and local governing officials had better get in gear. Expanding tax credits so producers won’t look elsewhere is one solution, he said. At the same time, he doesn’t want to make the tax credits the sole solution because the competition with other states might prove too costly for the city.

“It is not in some people’s interest to see California win,” Mr. Garcetti told the magazine. “They may benefit from this competition being in as many places as possible, because it has been a race to the bottom. And I certainly won’t lead a race to the bottom.”