WORKFORCE + LAWS AND TAXES + COMPETITION + LIVING IN CALIFORNIA: Why Is California Still The Best Place To Start A Movie Company
California and especially Hollywood, was always synonymous with American cinema. In the early days of the cinema at the beginning of the 20th century, Los Angeles became the center of the movie business center. The old cameras required a lot of light to produce good quality footage. Los Angeles and Hollywood hills attracted all significant studios because of their ideal weather conditions. Long and sunny days were perfect for shooting old movies.
By the year 1910. four biggest studios were in Hollywood (Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO, and Columbia), and the rest is history. At the beginning of the 1920s, Hollywood was the 5th largest industry in the United States of America. Often overshadowed by Hollywood, San Francisco also has a rich movie production history.
Some of the greatest American movies of all time were shot there. Just to name a few: Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”, Coppola’s “Conversation”, and the legendary “The Maltese Falcon”.
The long and fruitful history of the Californa attracted and still attracts a lot of talent. It is not an urban myth that all the people in Los Angeles are looking for movie work. They come to the city with big dreams and work ordinary jobs in the hope that they’ll have their shot. For example, Harrison Ford worked as a carpenter in Los Angeles before getting into the movie business. There are also numerous proven talents located in the city. Actors, directors, editors, lighting crew, and everything you will need for your movie company is at your doorstep. There are also a lot of talent agencies searching for new talents, handpicking the best ones.
Laws and Taxes
The city of Los Angeles offers many benefits and incentives for the filmmakers. You can shoot your scenes in every city-owned location and public place free of charge. Business tax exemptions are provided for new businesses and creative workers. There are numerous tax reduction plans you can use if you are in the movie production business. The Californa state offers assistance while shooting scenes on the highway or using explosives and pyrotechnics.
San Francisco offers a huge refund (up to 600.000$) of any fees paid to the city. That includes expenses like transport, shooting locations, traffic blocks, officers present on the set. There are many discounts reserved, especially for movie productions, like a hotel or car rental discount.
Starting a business is always challenging, and new companies should always try to cut unnecessary spendings. One way is to try and minimalize taxes by registering your company as LLC (limited liability company). LLC ensures that the owner is not liable for any debts or liabilities of the company. In the case of bankruptcy, your assets and finances will be safe. If you are looking to register a California LLC you should consider talking to a lawyer to avoid any unintended violations.
If you are opening up a movie production company in California, you will have a lot of competition. It is maybe counterintuitive, but competition is not always a bad thing. Competitors can be useful, especially when you are just starting. You can analyze their modus operandi. Learn from their mistakes, and avoid them, learn what makes them successful, and try to adapt and improve those concepts.
If you have an idea for your company and don’t know if it will succeed, try to find companies that already tried a similar thing. You can learn from their experience. Also, there is a chance that you will land an incredible deal for the movie but can’t realize it alone. Then you can collaborate with some of your competitors. Since you have analyzed the competitors, you will know exactly who can help you and who you need.
Living in California
If you are thinking about opening a company in California, you should consider the pros and cons of living there. Californian cities are known for their vibrant and easy-going communities. You have easy and fast excess to the ocean.
To have beautiful Californian shoreline near you is pure luxury. Californians are well above the national average for mental and physical health, and they tend to live longer. The typical hot and sunny weather can be viewed as a pro, as well as a con. You can enjoy all the outdoor activities and open-air parties, but sometimes it becomes too hot. Especially if you take into account that most of the houses don’t have an air conditioning system.
California has a rich and diverse culture, so much that is often called a melting pot of cultures. A great plus is quality education, especially if you have kids. That diverse environment enriches the art scene and diminishes the outsider feeling of not belonging. The most obvious con is the fact that it is costly to live in California. California is one of the most expensive states to live in.