from Alternative Media Network
May 12,1999
By Jerry Schmidt
Listserve: [email protected] 

Los Angeles -The best kept secret in Southern California today, for which we can credit the corporate media, is the virtual collapse of the film industry which was one of Los Angeles's two largest (and best paying) employers.

Film production started to slowly move to Canada about three years ago- now the movement is a virtual avalanche. At this very time many new large and modern studios are under construction in Vancouver, B.C. Wages paid there are about 20% lower than here and in addition the Canadian Government kicks back 10% to the film producer of whatever wages they pay workers in Canada!

A new organization of film industry workers and suppliers called the FILM AND TV ACTION COMMITTEE (FTAC) is trying to get two bills through the California State Legislature, ABs 484 and 358 that would, basically, supplement the income of producers who make pictures here offsetting the present Canadian contribution to them when made in Canada.

While all this is happening to the film industry, in the midst of a highly promoted "prosperity" the stock market leads the example of such a "great" economy. But there are many other economically unsound props to the system that, undoubtedly, will eventually pop the bubble. These issues will be covered at another time and place. Historically the film industry was Southern California's first major industry (as opposed to agriculture) and was the principle factor in the area's long term growth and prosperity. Now this great industry is in an unreported spectacular collapse. For example, last week the executive committee of the set decorators branch of the giant 90,000 member (IA) film industry union held their regular monthly meeting. Thirty people attended and only THREE claimed full time employment as compared with ALL who were fully employed three years ago!

Several thousand film contractors and suppliers such as commissaries, cleaners, film equipment, autos, costumes etc. have been already washed out. More are in critical contraction. This is impacting landlords, retail stores, professionals such as doctors, dentists, and all other community services and public institutions. 

The Corporate Media is doing its best to hide this sleeping giant of a social phenomenon in order to preserve the existing myth of universal "prosperity" for as long as it can be sold. But how long can you hide a sleeping tiger?

The FTAC has as its well designed slogan "BRING HOLLYWOOD HOME."

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