The Film & TV, commercial and student production communities within San Diego County are asking our elected officials to help create needed jobs and increase economic growth by supporting our efforts to boost San Diego's appeal as a production destination.
With the closing of the San Diego Film Commission, there is a large gap that will cost our city production, jobs, tourism, tax revenue, and spending at local businesses. In order to fill the gap and capitalize on the tremendous opportunity, we suggest elected officials at the county, port and city level act quickly by taking the following steps.
1. Create an RFP (Request for Proposal) and put the duties of the former Film Commission out to bid.
This would allow any entity interested and capable of meeting the needs of film community the chance to complete a proposal
2. Work with the entity selected to create an incentives program that may include discounts on services provided by the city to aid production crews (ie.police), sales tax discounts etc
3. Work with the entity selected to market San Diego as production destination
We believe that the San Diego Film Commission, although meeting a specific need for some segments of the production community, has for a very long time been percieved as disconnected from the many others in the local film community. This includes local businesses, local schools, community organizations and student and low-budget film productions. (For example, due to budget cuts, students have been unable to obtain permits since 2010). Besides community outreach, the San Diego community would benefit heavily through use of best practices such as:
1. Having an online application accessible 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world
2. Having an online searchable database of resources for crew and other production needs
3. Having a location library that is easily accessible, online and searchable.
4. Hosting an updated website with accurate information
A strong film industry is built from a combination of attracting large studio production to the region, having a well connected and developed infrastructure, keeping an accessible base of strong industry professionals, constant infusion from up and coming talent and well-trained students who keep the talent pool fresh and current. We feel that any entity that is chosen for the task should have an approach that addresses each of those areas. There are many great models in other cities that can be used as a benchmark.
San Diego is the 8th largest city in the US. Film, television and commercial production has a tremendous economic impact on our city through increased spending on local business, increased hotel stays and TOT tax, jobs for local cast and crew, training and internship opportunities for students, and increased tourism. The economic impact of film production generated in San Diego last year was estimated at $9 million dollars-(Rob Dunson, 2013) which is minimal compared to the amount of economic impact the film industry has in other cities. Our city has an enormous potential to be a strong economic thriving film industry, yet the film, television and the production industry are crippled by lack of administration and funding support. Many San Diego filmmakers, cast and crew have long faced the reality that there is not enough production work in San Diego to keep them here. A lot of them have left San Diego to find work in other places or have had to take low wage and unrelated jobs to pay the bills. With all that San Diego has to offer as a production destination, we believe that with the support of elected officials and regional leaders, we have a great opportunity to build a thriving film industry in San Diego and in light of the closing of the Film Commission, we are ready to take action!
To help further you can also contact your representative or contact other local government via: http://www.sandiego.gov.