Studio Spending Benefits All

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Last week, we posted some detailed expenditures of a major motion picture filmed in California to highlight the economic impact just one film can have.  The post was extremely popular, and many readers were astonished by the eye-popping numbers.  As part of our ongoing effort to educate Californians about the economic importance of the film and television industry, this post shifts the focus from the economic impact of a major motion picture to the economic impact  the presence of a  major film studio can have on the community.  We intend to profile each of the major studios (Walt Disney, Sony, Universal, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.).  First up:  Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.


Originally built on a plot of farmland by First National Pictures, which Warner Bros. acquired in 1928, the studio encompasses 110 acres.  Warner Bros. is home to 30 sound stages and maintains a 20-acre backlot, which can double for virtually any location on the planet.


In 1972, Warner Bros. acquired what is now known as the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The Ranch is a 32-acre facility home to five additional sound stages and many exterior sets.

So what does it mean, in terms of economic impact for California, by having this massive and historic film studio based in the state?  On any given day, there are nearly 5,000 people working on the lot and spending money in the community.  Without a doubt, the Jamba Juice and the Starbucks Coffee locations on the lot itself are happy Warner Bros. is here.  Similarly, Poquito Mas, which is a small locally-owned restaurant chain, is even happier–one of its 11 locations is on the lot.  Paquito Mas’ employees do not work in the entertainment industry.  But, like so many others, their livelihoods depend on it being here.

But what about the studio itself?  What kind of economic impact does it have?  Warner Bros. was kind enough to give Film Works a glimpse at some of their expenditures from 2009 to show us how and where they spend just some of their money in the community.  For confidentiality, the names of individual vendors have been withheld.

As you can see in the following table, the sample expenditures (which are just a fraction of total studio expenditures for the year) show an impact of millions of dollars rippling through communities across greater Los Angeles for goods and services from a multitude of industries completely unrelated to the entertainment industry:


Just another reminder, the economic well-being of all Angelenos is tied to that of the local entertainment industry, whether or not we consider ourselves “in the biz.”  We need to educate Californians who don’t work in “Hollywood” how the entertainment industry benefits all of us.  We need to remind California to support local filming, because it already supports them.  Let’s keep Film Working for California.


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