A Hollywood Exit: What California Must Do to Remain Competitive in Entertainment - and Keep Jobs

February 27, 2014

7:30pm - 8:30pm

Santa Monica


Fred Baron, 20th Century Fox
Rajiv Dalal, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Kathy Garmezy, Directors Guild of America
Joseph Henchman, The Tax Foundation
Kevin Klowden, Milken Institute
Larry Mantle, KPCC-Southern California Public Radio



For the past decade and a half, California has seen its position as the center of the global entertainment industry come under siege. Although past rivals such as Bollywood and Hong Kong have been prolific in serving their home markets, they have had little impact on the economic underpinnings of Hollywood, least of all its feature film workforce. California is losing film and TV jobs as its workers are lent out to states that subsidize production (and post-production). New technology is making the relocation trend easier than ever.

This Forum, co-hosted with KPCC - Southern California Public Radio, was moderated by Larry Mantle of KPCC's AirTalk program. It featured a panel of entertainment industry leaders, along with economist Kevin Klowden, director of the Milken Institute's California Center. Klowden is co-author of "A Hollywood Exit: What California Must Do to Remain Competitive in Entertainment -- and Keep Jobs," a research report about the erosion of California's filmed entertainment job base, and just as important, how other states have established sustainable entertainment industries of their own.

About the speakers

Fred Baron is Executive Vice President of Feature Production at Twentieth Century Fox. With Fox since 1990, he has overseen the production of feature films that include The Book Of Exodus, Frankenstein, The Counselor, A Good Day To Die Hard, Date Night, Knight & Day, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Live Free Or Die Hard, Borat, the Ridley Scott crusade epic Kingdom Of Heaven, I Robot, The Day After Tomorrow, Just Married, Airheads, Last Of The Mohicans, Grand Canyon, Home Alone 2, Edward Scissorhands, Hot Shots, Hot Shots Part Deux, Broken Arrow, Romeo and Juliet, Volcano, Alien Resurection, Bulworth, and both X-Files features. Fred took a hiatus from Fox from 1999-2001 to produce the critically acclaimed film Moulin Rouge with Baz Luhrmann. Previously he was a producer and executive at HBO Pictures.

Rajiv P. Dalal is Director, Office of Motion Picture & Television Production Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Dalal works closely with LA Film Czar Ken Ziffren, assisting Ziffren in efforts to increase tax incentives for the entertainment industry. He also seeks ways to cut red tape to make sure Los Angeles remains a film-friendly location. Previously he was the Executive Director of Time Warner's public policy program in the Asia‐Pacific region, working with the company's operating divisions and brands to advance business and public policy objectives. Before this he served as the Managing Director of the Motion Picture Association of America's India office located in Mumbai.

Kathy Garmezy is the Associate Executive Director for Government & International Affairs for the Directors Guild of America. She directs the Guild's legislative and regulatory activities in Washington, D.C., in Sacramento and Albany, and in other state governments and cities around the country. She chairs a number of entertainment industry coalitions that focus on issues ranging from intellectual property protection to enacting film production incentives. She helps chair the California Film and Television Production Alliance, a coalition of guilds, unions, producers, local film offices, and associations that have worked together for more than a decade to promote and improve film and television production, with an eye toward keeping the state competitive.

Joseph Henchman is an attorney and policy analyst who supervises the Tax Foundation's state policy (since 2009) and legal (since 2007) programs, analyzing state tax trends, constitutional issues, and tax law developments. Before joining the Tax Foundation as a law clerk in 2005, he worked in the historic 2003 California recall election as press/policy aide to gubernatorial candidate and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, engaged in activism in his native San Diego County, and interned with the Office of the DC Attorney General, Citizens Against Government Waste, and University of California outreach in California's Central Valley. Joe has testified or presented to officials in 31 states, testified before Congress six times, and has written over 75 major studies on tax policy.

Kevin Klowden is a managing economist at the Milken Institute, where he serves as director of the California Center. He specializes in the study of demographic and spatial factors (the distribution of resources, business locations and movement of labor) and how these are influenced by public policy and in turn affect regional economies. Kevin has been the lead author of a number of the Institute's research reports. In the area of entertainment, these include "Fighting Production Flight: Improving California's Filmed Entertainment Tax Credit Program, "Film Flight: Lost Production and Its Economic Impact in California," and "The Writers' Strike of 2007-2008: The Economic Impact of Digital Distribution," each of which analyze the changing dynamics of the entertainment industry. Kevin regularly testifies before committees of the California Assembly on economic development needs and solutions.

Larry Mantle has been the host of AirTalk on KPCC since April 1st, 1985. It is now the longest continuously running daily talk program in the Los Angeles radio market. Mantle also hosts the movie review and interview program FilmWeek on AirTalk, heard every Friday at 11:00 a.m. on KPCC. A fourth-generation Angeleno, Larry has interviewed thousands of prominent guests on an extraordinary array of topics, and received many journalistic awards in the process.

The Forum was streamed on KPCC.org and posted there as well.

This Forum was part of our effort to present multiple perspectives on current business and public policy issues.