Long dry spell may be coming to an end for SF film biz
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Once upon a time you often heard the shouts of "lights, camera, action" in Bay Area neighborhoods. But film productions have become few and far between in this economy. Now producers shoot in Canada, New Mexico, or other places where it costs less. However, that may change.
In the film "Going the Distance," the male lead is in New York while the female lead, played by Drew Barrymore, is in San Francisco. Yet Barrymore's scenes were shot in New York.
"There's actually a tax incentive to shoot in New York, so for budgetary reasons we had to shoot most of the film in New York," says director Nanette Burstein.
"It's expensive to film here," says Lorrae Rominger, president of the San Francisco Film Commission. "That's just the bottom line, and with the economy the way it is today, that it's about money."
Rominger says San Francisco has to be competitive.
"New York is a city that really gets it," she says. "They understand how much money that the film industry brings into your economy."
Turnabout is fair play. The musical "Rent," set in New York, was shot in San Francisco. Seven years ago, 'The Matrix' shot in Oakland and Alameda; it meant $10 million in income according to Oakland film coordinator Amy Zins.
But that is the past.
"We had a dry spell for about six or seven years. We invested," says San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "We are the only city in California that has tax incentives -- film tax incentives -- San Francisco. But it's still not been enough."
Those incentives give back a percentage of the money spent on city services and payroll taxes. Newsom says part of the problem was that California was dragging its heels. But the state has presented $100 million in film incentives this year.
State film commissioner Amy Lemisch says loss of movie projects has cost the state billions in lost wages and thousands of jobs. However, there is hope. After all, the Bay Area has a film legacy of great classics, and we can make claims for being Hollywood North with Pixar in Emeryville and "Toy Story 3," and ILM in the Presidio and LucasFilm in Marin, home of the "Star Wars" empire.
And things are changing. Part of Clint Eastwood's brilliant "Hereafter" was filmed in San Francisco.
"I think we just have to try to make our odds a little better," says Rominger.
pixar, ilm, lucasfilm, movies, entertainment, don sanchez
- Mold forces firefighters to evacuate TI firehouse
- UC system issues new policy to handle sexual assaults
- Husband arrested in cold case murder of SJ woman 41 min ago
- Cyberbullying bill responds to Audrie Pott's suicide
- 10-year-old San Leandro boy found safe
- Malaysia loses contact with plane carrying 239 16 min ago
- Salesforce celebrates birthday with fundraiser party
- Oakland school locked down after report of assault
- Little girl donates hair to cancer patients
- Three-year-old boy thrown from fire in Hayward
- Homeowners blame Caltrain for rising flood insurance
- Special ed cheerleading squad thrills Livermore HS
- Wheel of Fortune is in Northern California!
- roundup: Embassy Suites body; SJ home fire