A record number of TV Pilots were made last year…169 to be exact. This is largely thanks to cable stations really going after original programing for their channels. Where at first glance, this is a giant step in the right direction for the industry, a closer look reveals that the money isn’t necessarily making it down to the worker bees…IE the actors, writers, and other industry professionals that truly are the heart of the LA Entertainment indeustry. How can this be?
Well, remember when TV was basically three major networs? Now it’s litereally hundreds of stations. All production was done here in LA? Now it’s branching out into other cities…and taking the jobs with them. If you are in one of these secondary or tertiary markets, it is of course, wonderful as it’s bringing opportunity to your doorstep that you would not have otherwise. And of course, increase in production is good overall for the industry….but in LAthe toll is heavy with actors and writers struggling to find work, and making less money when they do find it.
So where are they going? The simple answer is where the tax breaks are better. NYC and Canada seem t be top choices for production. But fear not my fellow LA based actors!! California still boasts excellent soundstages, awesome weather, and the biggest talent pool. These and other factors are what made Hollywood Hollywood and still give LA a leg up on these expanding industries. But here’s what we’re looking at: NYC offers up to $240 million total in film and TV credits each year and that remains in place through 2014. California offers up to $100 million each year of which $10 million is set aside for independent films. California IS offering TV incentives for basic cable, encouraging a relocation after initial shoot.
What can you do as an actor? You hear all the time about create your own content! I’d take it a step further…create your own content and seek to have it produced in LA. From an economic standpoint, LA needs more production, and from a look at the numbers, it should be in primetime dramas. Do what you can to support youir industry. Keep it home and create jobs for yourself and others.
In the next few blog posts we will tackle some of this create you own content and really all things internet for the actor…stay tuned…the information coming will rock your world!