The city’s first Film Czar was praised by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today in his inaugural State of the City address. “With the help of my dear friend the late Tom Sherak and Ken Ziffren, who’s continued the fight, we reignited the movement to expand film tax credits in Sacramento,” said the SAG-AFTRA card carrying politician this evening. A couple of months after Garcetti took office, the former AMPAS president and studio exec was named head of LA’s Film Office late last September in an effort to expand and evolve production in the city after years of decline due to runaway production. After
Sherak passed away on January 28, heavyweight entertainment lawyer Ziffren was appointed LA’s second Film Czar on February 10. “In just nine months, we are changing the landscape—one summer job, one red button, one film production and one balanced budget at a time.”
One production that looks pretty likely not to be coming to LA is CBS’ Late Show when Stephen Colbert takes over from David Letterman next year. Despite personal pitches earlier this week from Garcetti and Ziffren, the late night show seems certain to stay in the Big Apple. Still, Garcetti also made a point in his speech at the California Science Center today to note some of the successes the Film Office has had in recent months for the city “that gave birth to Hollywood.” Even with recent rises in production, LA has seen production fleeing to more incentive-rich states and countries like Canada and the UK in the past decade. “When one of Southern California’s biggest companies, DirecTV, announced they would create their own television shows, I called them up and put our new film office to work,” the Mayor said in his speech. “And while Georgia and New Mexico tried to woo these productions with tax breaks and other incentives, our new film office went to work. I can announce today that next month, DirecTV will begin filming two new series, Navy St and Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight right here in Los Angeles. Garcetti’s announcement was exactly news. Last month DirecTV said that the Venice, CA-based drama would shoot in LA and earlier this month the company said comedy Past Midnight would also be filmed in the city. The Mayor is correct thought that both series are set to start filming in May. In his speech, Garcetti also noted that Showtime’s Masters of Sex will now be filming in LA not NYC and that the new CBS series Battle Creek will be shot in the city and not Connecticut as was originally planned.