Don’t cry for Hollywood

The rest of this LA Times piece covers the issue of “runaway production” in a predictably dreary way, but here’s your money quote:

Without the savings that Romania offered, ‘Cold Mountain’ absolutely would not have gotten made,” said producer Albert Berger.

Films shot someplace else might use local crews, extras and stage builders, but they typically also use good ol’ American actors, producers, editors, special effects staff, composers, etc. If the choice is to make the movie or not, ask those folks what they’d prefer:

[Berger] estimated that the country’s affordable labor trimmed more than $20 million from the film’s budget, which he said would have exceeded $100 million had the movie been shot entirely in the United States.

And here Matt Welch points to an often overlooked point:

According to the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., the nonprofit organization that coordinates shooting in Los Angeles, local film production reached an all-time high in 2004, up 19% over 2003.

Instead of passing out special goodies to filmmakers, why not work on making life a bit easier for all businesses?