IMAX is moving its west coast headquarters down the coast of Silicon Beach.
The big-screen entertainment technology company broke ground Thursday on a 66,000 square foot office building in Playa Vista's commercial campus. The building is expected to take one year to complete.
IMAX currently has 120 employees working in a Santa Monica office. But IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster says the company is just a tenant there. It will own the Playa Vista facility, creating a shareholder asset. Plus, over in Santa Monica, there's a a potentially noisy neighbor coming in.
"The new Expo Line is coming literally right into the back yard of the building we’re in," Foster told KPCC. "We do a lot of production work, a lot of sound work, and from a practical point of view, with the noise it wasn’t really possible."
KPCC's Larry Mantle moderates a panel discussion on runaway production and what California must do to remain competitive in the entertainment industry.
California could lose its status as an entertainment industry leader if it doesn't take action to stop the flight of film and television production jobs to other states that offer more tax incentives, an economist warned on Thursday.
New York gives $420 million in film tax credits each year, roughly four times more than California.
Kevin Klowden, a managing economist at non-partisan think tank the Milken Institute, said that in California the damage is already done.
Klowden spoke at Milken Institute on Thursday in Santa Monica during a panel discussion co-hosted by KPCC with early 200 people in attendance.
From 2004 to 2012, California lost more than 16,000 film production jobs, while New York added roughly 11,000 jobs in the same period, according to a Milken report released Thursday.
Photo by Brendan Biele via Flickr Creative Commons
The downtown Los Angeles skyline could welcome a high-rise appartment building at 4th and Broadway
Good Day! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday, KPCC compiles a list of interesting business stories in the region.
- Hollywood's (quiet) Hooray for the GOP: the Motion Picture Association of America is quietly ramping up outreach to Republicans and conservative-leaning groups. The Wall Street Journal calls it a "Hollywood-style remake." Look for more on this later from KPCC's Kitty Felde.
- California lost more than 16,000 film and television jobs in an eight-year period due to production leaving the state, according to a report by the Milken Institute on Thursday. KPCC's Wendy Lee reports on the economic risks. California Governor Jerry Brown remains uncommitted on whether the state should up its tax incentive program for film and television productions, according to The Hollywood Reporter. KPCC and the Milken Institute are sponsoring a panel discussion this evening on how to keep production jobs local. Here's more information.
- Visual Effects Artists might be encouraged by one recommendation from the Milken Institute report: that money spent on digital visual effects and animation also qualify for filmed production incentives in California. Nearly a year after VFX firm Rhythm and Hues declared bankruptcy just days before winning an Oscar for its work on "Life of Pi," I checked in on the industry searching for sustainability.
- High hopes for a high-rise. At 4th Street and Broadway, developer Izek Shomof wants to build a 34-story apartment skyscraper more than twice as tall as most other buildings in the historic core of downtown L.A, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- San Pedro's oldest business closes today. According to this article in the Daily Breeze, the Seaside Pharmacy, founded in 1889, will close permanently, unable to survive changes in the pharmacy industry.
- Calpers Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear, has passed away. Business Insider reports Dear was 62, had been diagnosed last year with prostrate cancer, and had been on leave since last month from the largest pension fund in the U.S.
Christina Lee Storm and Scott Leberecht were working at Rhythm and Hues when it went bankrupt. They've made a documentary called "Life After Pi"
At the Academy Awards show in 2013, the Oscar for achievement in visual effects sparked a bit of controversy. In accepting the statue, visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer tried to tell the world his company had declared bankruptcy just two weeks earlier.
“Finally, I want to thank all the artists who worked on this film for over a year, including Rhythm and Hues,” Westenhofer said as the orchestra loudly played theme music from "Jaws" over him. “Sadly, Rhythm and Hues is suffering severe financial difficulties right now. I urge you all to remember…”
Then Westenhofer's microphone was cut off.
RELATED: KPCC's coverage of the 2014 Oscars
El Segundo-based Rhythm and Hues had been doing visual effects since 1987 and employed more than 700 people. But just before filing for bankruptcy, the company laid off more than 250 people in a matter of hours. At that time Christina Lee Storm was running the lighting department.
David McNew/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: A crew sets up cameras for the filming a mobile phone commercial on-location on November 18, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
California lost more than 16,000 jobs in an eight-year period due to film and television production leaving the state, according to a report by the Milken Institute on Thursday.
The report blamed mounting job losses on staggering competition from states like New York that lure production away from California with generous tax credits. New York hands out $420 million in film tax credits each year--roughly four times what California offers.
The report's authors warned that if state leaders don't act soon, more jobs will be lost and the state is in danger of losing its status in the entertainment industry.
"We've been seeing this ongoing erosion," said Kevin Klowden, one of the authors of the report. "What is happening is we're essentially sending our California-based workers out of state or out of the country."