On June 18, KPCC’s John Horn and Rabert Garrova spoke with entertainment lawyer and Hollywood Reporter journalist Jonathan Handel on Southern California Public Radio program “The Frame” about the current state of film scoring work in California. Handel discusses AFM Local 47’s efforts to amend the Film & TV Tax Credit Program to bring more music jobs to the state with AB 1199:
What is runaway composing?
“What the musicians union has been hearing — or feeling the pinch of — is that a lot of scoring of movies, and some TV shows as well, I think, has moved overseas. And that means a loss of jobs here in Los Angeles.”
So what are the musicians trying to do?
“Well the musicians are trying to bring work back to the U.S., and they’re doing it in two ways. One is that the parent union, the American Federation of Musicians, has filed lawsuits against multiple studios alleging that they are in breach of contract on the collective bargaining agreements, the union agreements. Because of the fact that they’ve been scoring overseas, and also they say that they’ve been reusing existing music excessively in violation of contract.
“The other prong is that Local 47, the Los Angeles local of that union, has introduced a bill in the Assembly — and it passed the Assembly, it’s moved to the Senate — that would increase tax incentives for producers if they score in California.”
This bill (AB 1199) was authored by a Democratic assemblyman from Van Nuys, Adrin Nazarian. What is the status of the bill, and what are its chances?
“Well it passed the Assembly, and now it moves to the Senate, where my understanding is that it’s going to face a somewhat tougher row perhaps. But the bill is revenue neutral — it does not increase the total amount of California tax incentives. So given that fact, it doesn’t affect the overall budget, and there may be a shot at passage.”
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