Runaway Rally Goes Hollywood
By David Robb
from The Hollywood Reporter
August 2, 1999

The Film and Television Action Committee will hold a mass rally Aug. 15 on Hollywood Boulevard to protest runaway production.

FTAC, a grass-roots coalition of film and TV industry workers, held similar rallies April 16 in Burbank and July 6 in Sacramento, each of which saw more than 1,000 people turn out to express their concern about the loss of industry jobs to Canada and other countries that offer generous tax breaks to U.S. producers who shoot there.

FTAC organizers said they hope 10,000 people will show up for the August rally.

"That's what we're shooting for. Many members of SAG, the Teamsters, the DGA and the IATSE are behind us. Everybody is putting the word out," FTAC vp Jim Shanahan said.

The march and rally will start at 3 p.m. in front of Mann's Chinese Theater and will end at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Hollywood Boulevard will be closed to traffic because of the rally.

A "Thousands of Hollywood film workers will march with us along Hollywood's Walk-of-Fame," FTAC chairman Jack De Govia said. "The hard-working people who make California the film and television production capital of the world are speaking out and organizing to save their jobs and businesses."

A recent study sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America found that films and TV shows that left the country for economic reasons last year cost the U.S. economy more than $10 billion in lost wages, taxes and direct and indirect spending.).

Canada offers huge tax incentives to U.S. producers who shoot in that country, so the FTAC supports legislation that would give tax breaks to producers who remain in California.

Assembly Bill 484, authored by Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, would give producers who shoot their films entirely in California a tax credit equal to 6% of their qualified labor costs on productions costing $5 million or less.

Assembly Bill 358, authored by Assemblyman Scott Wildman, D-Los Angeles, would establish a
10% tax credit for labor costs incurred by film TV and commercial production companies that maintain all production operations within California.

Both bills narrowly made it through the California State Senate's Revenue and Taxation Committee on July 7 and will go before the Senate's Appropriations Committee later this month .

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