Hollywood Slows Down

26th August 2008

According to the LA Times film production in Hollywood has ground to an almost total halt.

The Los Angeles region has seen a steady outflow of feature film projects to other countries and states, about 40 of which now offer a plethora of production rebates and tax breaks that aren’t available in California. Since peaking in 1996, annual film production has declined in nine of the last 11 years in Los Angeles.

But Brown and others in the industry say the slowdown has been exacerbated by labor unrest this year, which saw the first Hollywood writers strike in two decades.

To plan for a possible actors strike, studios decided as far back as a year ago to revamp their lineups so that most films would wrap shooting by June 30, when the actors contract expired. As a result, studios have already filmed most of the movies that will be released in 2009, leaving them with fewer movies to shoot this year.

“We had 17 films in production between January and June, which is unheard of,” said Donna Langley, president of production for Universal Pictures, which recently shot “Fast and Furious,” the fourth film in “The Fast and the Furious” series, in L.A. “We all had to prepare for the worst-case scenario.”

Actors and studios have not been able to reach agreement on a new contract and the sides remain far apart, especially in how actors are paid for work distributed in new media.

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