Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and his film czar, entertainment industry attorney Ken Ziffren, are preparing an outreach campaign called “Greenlight Hollywood” to persuade studios to use the program they lobbied hard to create, including the film and TV tax credits approved by the legislature, it was reported Thursday.

Over the next two months, Ziffren and his deputy, Rajiv Dalal, plan a series of visits with studio executives, managers, agents and financiers to promote the law and explain its new provisions, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The idea is to contact studios before they make key decisions on what movies and TV shows to greenlight. Even with the new program, California still faces heavy competition from other states and countries that offer richer incentives.

“We need to speak with the greenlight committees, packaging agents and independent finance executives to make sure we get the right films and the right TV series here,” Dalal, director of the Los Angeles Film Office, told The Times.

The state will hold a final lottery under the old program on April 1. The new program does away with the lottery and will allot funds based on how many jobs productions employ, among other criteria, such as the use of California visual effects companies and in-state production facilities.

The California Film Commission will handle applications for television shows May 11-17, while those for features will be held sometime this summer, The Times reported.

The new program for the first time allows all new TV shows to qualify, not just those on basic cable, as well as movies with budgets above $75 million. However, the 20-25 percent credit applies only to the first $100 million of a movie’s expenses.

Separately, the city is working with FilmL.A. on a marketing effort to promote California’s new incentives at industry events, film festivals and trade shows, such as the AFCI Locations Show in L.A. next month, The Times reported.

Garcetti also is expected to announce a plan next week to provide more staff and resources to coordinate and streamline filming requests between various city departments, addressing a long-standing complaint among filmmakers that L.A. is overly bureaucratic, according to The Times.

—City News Service

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