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Film production in San Francisco increases 500%, Newsom announces

Stephanie Coyote,
Film Commission Executive Director
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

From the Mayor's Office of Communications

February 28, 2006

Mayor Newsom today was joined by the City's film community to release much anticipated good news for the local film industry, which has been struggling in recent years.

Statistics compiled by the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development show that the City's film industry is experiencing a dramatic upswing: Feature film production has seen a more than five-fold increase since 2003, and television production has seen a more than four-fold increase in that same time frame.

The upswing is most clearly seen in a comparison of shoot days, which are considered the most accurate gauge of the health of the City's film industry.

Shoot Days on major motion pictures, increased from 20 days in 2003 to 133 days in 2005 - an increase of over 500%. This reflects the fact that two major film productions, "Rent" and "Pursuit of Happyness," based their operations in the City, a marked change from 2003 and 2004, when no feature film based its operations in San Francisco.

Shoot days for television series also increased from 13 days in 2003, to 73 days in 2005.

Mayor Newsom acknowledged the good news by saying "Film in San Francisco is back."

The Mayor continued saying "A 500% increase in filming is great news - but we need to create the infrastructure and supports necessary to build on this momentum. That's why we are developing the Film Cluster Development Strategy, to put in place a strategy to ensure the film industry's continued growth."

The Film Cluster Development Strategy, which is to be integrated in the Citywide Economic Development Plan, will assess the feasibility of building new soundstages in the City; as well as provide analysis and comparison of San Francisco to key competitors nationally; quantify the economic impact of film production on San Francisco; and propose a strategic direction, and key catalytic actions, to advance the development of the City's film industry.

A clear example of the economic impact that the film industry has on the City can be seen in the major three productions that shot principal photography or based their operations in the City in 2005, including feature films "Rent," "Pursuit of Happyness," and the TV pilot "The Evidence."

These productions alone spent $52 million locally, generated $1.2 million directly to the General Fund, and created 2900 temporary jobs - the equivalent of 392 full time jobs.

Additionally, the Mayor announced plans to host a Film Symposium in October, in partnership with the Digital Media Advisory Council, SF State, the SF Film Society, and the Bay Area Video Coalition.

The Symposium will provide a platform to launch the Film Cluster Development Strategy and bring together the City's film community to begin implementation of the strategy.




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