Culver City’s Modern Props Runaway Production Fight

– from: Film Works L.A. –

One of the first things visitors notice in the lobby of FilmL.A. is a prominently displayed skateboard with artwork and messages urging films and television shows to shoot their projects in California.  The skateboard has, in effect, become a “prop” for the Film Works campaign effort to combat runaway production.  Appropriately, this prop was made by Culver City’s Modern Props.  The skateboard is one of hundreds designed by Modern Prop’s founder John Zabrucky, who distributed them in 2009 to city and state elected officials, as well as hundreds of Hollywood executives, in hope that the “don’t run away” message would make an impact. 

Zabrucky, who founded Modern Props 32 years ago, says he is fighting runaway production not just because he is trying to save his business — he is also trying to save the film and television industry.  At a recent State Assembly hearing in Pasadena about the effectiveness of the California Film & Television Tax Credit in stemming runaway production, Modern Props Vice President Ken Sharp told lawmakers that “the [film & television] industry is one of the last great industries we have left.  If we let it go, what will we have left?”  Sharp is increasingly frustrated at the “economic warfare” other states are waging against California.  “With tax incentives,” Sharp said, “these other states are trying buy our industry.”

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