Hollywood Exodus – LA Filming Dwindles as Hungary Rises

  • 11 Apr 2024 4:15 PM
  • Budapest Reporter
Hollywood Exodus – LA Filming Dwindles as Hungary Rises
Los Angeles, the heart of Hollywood, is facing a challenge to its filmmaking dominance. Filming activity in the city has declined significantly in recent months, with productions increasingly opting for locations with more attractive tax incentives.

The allure of Los Angeles as a premier filming location is facing significant challenges as top entertainment companies are increasingly opting to shoot elsewhere. Despite efforts to revitalize the industry, filming in California, particularly in the Los Angeles area, has seen a notable decline in recent months.

In January, on-location shoot days in Los Angeles dropped by 26% compared to the same period in 2023.

Moreover, the number of cast and crew members involved in these productions decreased by approximately 30%, as reported by FilmLA. This downward trend in filming activity reflects a broader pattern of major motion pictures choosing alternative locations over California.

Industry experts attribute this ongoing exodus to California‘s tax credit system, which struggles to compete with the more attractive incentives offered by other popular filming destinations like Georgia, New Mexico, New York, Louisiana, the United Kingdom, and now Hungary.

The emergence of new production hubs globally has intensified the competition, prompting calls for California to enhance its competitiveness in the industry.

Paul Audley, president of FilmLA, emphasized the need for California to adapt and remain competitive in the evolving landscape of film production. He highlighted the importance of finding innovative ways to attract and retain productions in the state amidst increasing global competition.

Despite efforts by the California Film Commission to retain productions through tax incentives totaling around $330 million annually, industry insiders point out that these incentives are not as lucrative as those offered by rival filming locations.

The challenge lies in striking a balance between supporting local filmmakers and enticing major productions to choose California as their filming destination.

While filming activity in Los Angeles is experiencing a decline, Hungary‘s film industry is on the rise, attracting major productions and renowned filmmakers.

The allure of Hungary as a filming destination is growing, with its diverse landscapes, skilled workforce, and rich cinematic heritage making it a preferred choice for both Oscar-aspiring blockbusters and independent films.

Recent reports indicate that Rami Malek and Michael Shannon are set to start shooting in Hungary in March 2024, underscoring the country’s appeal to top talent and major productions.

Additionally, Hungarian films like the recent “Semmelweis” have garnered significant attention, showcasing the country’s cinematic prowess and storytelling capabilities.

As major productions like “Dune,” “Blade Runner,” and “Poor Things” find success in Hungary, the country’s film industry is thriving, offering a competitive alternative to traditional filming hubs like Los Angeles.

The shift in filming activity from LA to Hungary reflects a broader trend in the industry, highlighting the need for California to enhance its competitiveness and adapt to the evolving landscape of global film production.

Hungarian filmmakers have also significantly contributed to the success of films that have won Oscars and other prestigious awards, showcasing the talent and creativity present in Hungary‘s film industry.

Notably, Zsuzsa Mihalek‘s win for Best Production Design at the 2024 Oscars for her work on “Poor Things” exemplifies Hungary‘s growing influence in the global film arena.

This victory, alongside previous Hungarian Oscar winners like László Nemes Jeles and Zsuzsanna Sipos, highlights the country’s emergence as a fertile ground for award-winning productions.

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Budapest Reporter

Budapest Reporter provides a platform for filmmakers, critics and artists to share their views on the current state of the Hungarian and the International film industry. These views represent various personal insights and experiences, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Budapest Reporter.

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