TV, MOVIE BIZ BOOSTS L.A. ECONOMY
In what today’s (Wednesday) Hollywood Reporter described debatably as “a sign that the recession is over,” the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. reported Tuesday that location film permits in the county jumped 16 percent in 2010. While that increase may sound impressive, it comes after the number of permits declined by 23 percent in 2009, leaving the result 7 percent behind 2008. Nevertheless, Nancy Sidhu, who is serving her first year as chief economist for the county, told the Los Angeles Times, “We’re looking at an economy that is poised to start to growing again in 2011.” Much of last year’s activity came from a 28 percent increase in the number of permits issued for filming TV commercials. The LAEDC report also took note of another positive indicator for the entertainment industry: 16,500 jobs were added to the TV and movie businesses in Los Angeles County in 2010. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times pointed out that one of the most booming areas in the county for production is the city of Long Beach where the number of film permits rose 9 percent in 2010 and where the exterior scenes are shot for such TV shows as CSI: Miami (that’s right, the California city serves as a stand-in for the Florida one), Dexter (also set in Miami), NCIS: Los Angeles, Medium, Criminal Minds, and Glee (set in Lima, Ohio). For movies, the city also became a suburb of Washington D.C. for the third (not-yet released) Transformers movie, having already stood in for Shanghai in the second Transformers movie. In fact, the city’s film commissioner, Tasha Day, noted that Long Beach has served as many cities in movies and TV — but rarely as Long Beach itself. “We can be just about anywhere in the world,” she said.