By City News Service
The Los Angeles City Council a week from Wednesday is expected to consider forming a committee that would focus on keeping and expanding film and television jobs in the city.
Council President Herb Wesson proposed the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Film and TV Production Jobs to "coordinate the city's various efforts on film and television production jobs."
Wesson spokesman Ed Johnson said "there was a concern that we try to take a comprehensive look at our city's relationship with the film industry, with an eye toward maintaining as much of a presence here as possible."
The committee would be chaired by City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who seconded Wesson's motion.
The committee would work to "pressure Sacramento to continue the effort" started by the councilman, who authored and got passed a film incentives package while serving in the Assembly, Krekorian aide Jeremy Oberstein said.
Krekorian said the film industry has "defined this city, has been so much a part of its heritage, and an important part of our economic future, as well."
"If we don't continue to fight for incentives, we will continue to lose jobs that have defined California for decades," he said. "If Sacramento doesn't act, there is very little we'll be able to do as a city that would offset the damage."
The committee's first step would be to "quantify the degree of the problem and its impacts" on Los Angeles, signaling to "our legislative representatives about the need for urgent action," Krekorian said.
Groups like industry advocate FilmL.A. would also be brought to the table to discuss ways to improve the filmmaking process in Los Angeles.
Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who represents the Hollywood area, also would sit on the panel. He said he looked forward to working with fellow panelists to "turn over every rock" to find ways to help "halt runaway production before we lose the industry entirely."
FilmL.A.Vice President Philip Sokoloski welcomed the proposal, which comes a day after the organization released a report tracking steep declines in film and television jobs in the Southland over the past two decades.
"Over the past few years the city of Los Angeles has demonstrated itself to be a solid partner to the filmed entertainment industry," he said. "When it comes to identifying opportunities to facilitate local filming, committees of the Los Angeles City Council have a solid track record."
FilmL.A. worked with the council in 2009 to develop a set of 19 recommendations "aimed at improving the local filming environment," he said.
More recently, the City Council last year voted to waive up to $412 in city fees normally charged to television pilot productions.
Last September, Mayor Eric Garcetti named former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak the city's film czar. He is serving as a senior adviser and director of the mayor's Entertainment Industry and Production Office.