Colleen Bell is a former soap opera producer and United States ambassador to Hungary, but her work looks a little different today. At the California Film Commission, her priority is keeping the film industry in Hollywood. “My job is tasked with doing absolutely everything that we can to keep production in the state,” Bell told Alta Live. That job has gotten more complicated as production companies have sought out better tax breaks in places like Georgia and Vancouver, which are able to provide rates that California can’t match or beat. “We can’t compete dollar for dollar with some of the other tax credit programs out there, and we recognize that,” Bell said. “But what we can do is continue to level that playing field, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do, because we truly believe that we provide the best value.”
Bell, Spotswood, and Alta Live viewers shared their favorite California movies shot in Hollywood, from waltzing around the Griffith Observatory in La La Land (2016) to driving through 1960s Los Angeles in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019). Movies filmed in California, Bell explained, can boost local economies both during production and long after the movie is released. “Production is big business, and it is a very big job creator. We want to keep Californians employed, doing the work they love to do,” Bell said. “The talent and depth of our workforce here in California is one of our great assets.”
Check out these links to some of the topics Bell and Spotswood brought up this week.
- Read “Keeping Hollywood in Hollywood,” by Robert Ito, from Alta Journal’s Winter 2022 issue.
- Learn more about the California Film Commission.
- Find out more about tax credits for California film production.
- Check out these iconic California movies mentioned in today’s episode: Lady Bird (2017), La La Land (2016), Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood(2019), Clueless (1995), Dirty Harry (1971), Licorice Pizza (2021), L.A. Confidential (1997), Top Gun (1986), and True Confessions (1981).•