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Hollywood’s horrified reactions to good news

News today that film, TV and commercial production in our fair city set a combined record last year for the second year in a row has done little for Hollywood’s rep up in Sacramento.

While shooting days were actually up 4% last year, Hollywood’ PR tubthumpers like Film L.A. have been pushing for state tax credits to keep motion pictures from moving elsewhere; predictably, they pooh-poohed the good news and offered quotes that sound as though the bottom just fell out of Hollywood film production.

“It’s a huge drop-off from what we had [in 2004],” said Film L.A. President Steve MacDonald. “These numbers aren’t something that we should be proud of at a time when other states are continually becoming more and more aggressive in luring production away.”

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That’s right: Filming was up 19% in 2004, for a total increase of 23% in the last two years, but MacDonald calls it a “huge drop-off.” At least the guy knows how to spin effectively, viz, today’s Backstage piece.

We’re all for keeping movies shooting in L.A., but offering refundable tax credits to the tune of $3 million a film, even when producers owe no corporate income taxes? Come on.

Ah-nold is facing reelection at a time when most Californians think the Governator needs to be sent back to the future; it’s probably safe to say he won’t be asking for a $1 billion giveaway to Tinsteltown’s multinationals anytime soon. There’s clearly other fat to be trimmed first.

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