In his first civic event since being named LA’s Film Czar last month, Tom Sherak today said he intends to have a plan to increase production in the city around the beginning of next year. “My job is to get the lions of industry, people I’ve known for years, to come up with a plan that I can take to the mayor and we can take to Sacramento,” he said during a signing ceremony with Mayor Eric Garcetti, politicians and others at Raleigh Studios. The optics of the day were clear: The public event was for the inking of the city’s recently passed ordinance to waive fees for pilot productions in LA — a law Garcetti authored for the City Council before the mayoral election — and marked the first signing ceremony of his new administration. Runaway production has emerged as a high-profile issue for the mayor and Hollywood is one of his major constituencies. The event attracted such industry reps as PGA chief Mark Gordon, Sons Of Anarchy actor Ron Perlman, producer Dean Devlin, Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk, ABC Studios SVP Production Gary French, Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman, SAG-AFTRA Executive Director Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, and Good Robot’s Rebecca Goldman.
Sherak, meanwhile, also told Deadline that he is talking to a high-profile industry individual to serve as his “consigliere” to put together an informal committee to come up with the proposals for City Hall and the State legislature. “When I make it public who he is, which I’m not willing to do yet, everyone will know him. He’s a good friend and well known,” the former AMPAS president said. Sherak says he intends to fully start in his Film Czar job by early November and will have a Deputy as well. He also said he wants the committee of a dozen or so to be wide-ranging and “not 13 studio executives.” Of course, whatever plan Sherak and Garcetti come up with — especially if it involves increases to the state’s current $100 million Film & TV Tax Credit program — they will have to convince not just state legislators but also Gov. Jerry Brown. “I’ve spoken to the Governor 3 or 4 times about this, some short conversations, some long conversations,” Garcetti told me. “He remains somewhat skeptical.” The credit program comes up for renewal in 2014 just before the midterm elections and there have been various hearings and discussions about increasing the funding or altering the process. Brown, who is set to attend a big mogul-hosted fundraiser for his re-election in late November, has not spoken publicly on the program but is known to have reservations about allocating more money.