California's new head of state couldn't participate in the recent national governor's conference, but he did get on the phone for a conference call. One of the first things he said:
[Y]ou've got to promise me while you're at it, do not take any more movies into your states. Let's keep the movies in California, because this is the state of Hollywood. You've got to have the movies here, so don't take anymore movie production away from me.
The state of Hollywood is crossing its fingers that Sacramento's resident Friedmanite will help allocate taxpayer money to protect Southern California entertainment jobs from competition. Already he has appointed a senior adviser with the task of retaining Hollywood jobs, and his first gubernatorial trip to Washington, D.C. included some arm-twisting for federal subsidies:
In a recent meeting with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Schwarzenegger offered his help in lobbying Congress on behalf of the industry.
Included in the Hollywood wish list is a bill now in a congressional conference committee that could provide about $250 million over five years in incentives for keeping small- and medium-budget productions in the United States.
Schwarzenegger has made several films across the border, in both Mexico and Canada, and as recently as July 2000 was seen on CNN defending runaway production, and the work ethic of our Canadian friends:
When we make noise, or when we kind of block off streets, … they're understanding. They don't get negative. They don't have negative stories in the papers the next day like you have sometimes in Los Angeles when you block off streets.