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Show business industry should stay in Burbank

August 03, 2002

To the Burbank City Council:

My name is Pat Toma and I am an 18-year resident and homeowner in

Burbank.

I have worked in the entertainment industry for more than 25

years. I have seen many changes in the business, but none more

frightening and destructive than this. The shift of business away

from town has and does affect the income of not just the movie

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workers. It has hurt many businesses' incomes, both worker and

business owner tax bases, on local city, state and federal levels.

How can it not? There is simply less money being spent here. One

who doesn't have as much work does not spend as much, anywhere,

anytime.

When I work locally, the production company (big or small) spends

money like gangbusters on local business. Gas, food, fashion,

rentals, permits, construction materials, office supplies, specialty

stores ... the list goes on and on. There is even extra advertising

for the businesses that do supply us, in the form of screen thank-you

credits at the end of the show. There is also broad branch of the

movie worker's friends and family that learn about and use those very

same businesses, and that list is large.

The Media Center is the Media Center because of movies and TV. All

the hoopla and attraction of "Hollywood, the movies and media" is

used here in the present tense to profit everyone. The prestige of

where we live bringing in more money is a given. We are a "higher

rent" area just because of this fact.

If movies, TV, animation and related facilities continue to be

farmed out to other countries and states, then this area will become

"old history Hollywood," where the media projects used to be done.

Not the same draw as current stuff, with history. No stars would live

here anymore. Why should they? The work will be elsewhere. No shoots

will be here, our local mystique and glamour will be gone. No looking

at stars homes, spotting stars in public or at famous locations,

nada, zip, zilch, all gone.

Even network tapings could go to the wayside -- just a few offices

here and there. Why should they all be here when it is cheaper to do

it somewhere else? Why should they bother when nobody is film

friendly?

It's hard enough to coordinate and shoot a film as it is. More

hassle, more expensive? Never mind. But people will hassle more and

clamor about for a good deal.

A producer once told me that "cost effectiveness" was the only

reason his company shot films in Canada.

It was definitely more bother to be up there than here, and not

any better. The bottom line was the money.

Sure, there will be some films shot in other locations than Los

Angeles. That is an artistic fact. But keeping the main business here

in Burbank and Hollywood will always be a boon to the cities in and

of itself.

People from the industry being able to be in one close-knit area,

networking, spending good money on good things, keeping good homes in

community, will continue to everybody's profit, uplifting the area.

As long as there is entertainment to be made, we should always be

that center.

I like that, don't you?

Something really needs to be done about the current situation.

Support the tax credits in AB 2747. Show business leaving us is real,

so please help us and help the city.

PAT TOMA

Burbank

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