Government Shutdown Puts Hollywood On Hold - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Government Shutdown Puts Hollywood On Hold

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"AAAAND CUT!" Yes, even Hollywood is feeling the sting of the government shutdown. What is happening, or more to the point, not happening under the dome in Washington, D.C. is affecting the productions and pocketbooks of actors, directors, producers and countless crew members on Hollywood locations 3,000 miles away in and around Los Angeles.

FilmLA, the agency responsible for issuing permits in the LA area, is not even accepting applications to shoot in any locations now off limits as a result of partisan congressional bickering and inaction. Areas now placed on indefinite hiatus include the Sepulveda Dam, the West LA Veterans Administration Medical Center, even the very popular LA River and Angeles National Forest.

And the consequences may be more far reaching than many realize. A number of productions could be slowed down or put completely on pause because of the drag on visa processing. Since many studios import talent and crew from overseas, the backlog could become very costly. That's especially true for the tourism industry--places like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, which derive many millions of dollars in revenue from foreign visitors. In fact, according to TheWrap.com, the U.S. tourism industry lost hundreds of millions in income during the two government shutdowns in 1995.

All of this couldn't come at a worse time. For years now Los Angeles has been trying to win back many of the Hollywood productions that have been wooed away by the attractive tax incentives and goodies offered by other states and countries. Although on-location shoots rose 8.6 percent in the LA area in April to June of this year, overall, the big picture is not good. Lucrative TV drama and reality shoots are still running well below their five-year averages with TV dramas down a disappointing 12 percent.

That being said, Hollywood still contributes mightily to the area's economy. $47 billion in 2011 alone, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. That represents nearly ten percent of LA County's total output.  Which is why, in LA, "Hooray for Hollywood" is a lot more than just the title for a catchy toe-tapping tune.

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