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There's still gold in the Golden State

August 31, 2011 | 11:35 am

Dark Knight

Wait, this can't be right. "Another busy week for feature filming in L.A.,"  says The Times headline.

Naw. Must be a misprint. Everyone knows that movie and television productions are fleeing California like rats from a sinking ship. Right?

Apparently not. According to the story:

Feature film activity in Los Angeles continued to grow at a brisk pace, with on-location shoots for movies once again posting double-digit increases.

Filming for features generated 189 production days for the week ended Sunday, up 66% from the same time a year earlier, according to recently released data from FilmL.A. Inc., which handles permits for film shoots on streets and noncertified soundstages in the city and unincorporated areas of the county.

So, it turns out that movie stars don't want to live in Austin, or Vancouver, or Cleveland, or wherever else our homegrown industry is supposed to be setting up shop.

But what about the fact that California supposedly refuses to compete with the tax credits other states are offering the movie industry?

Again, from The Times' story:

Activity is expected to remain strong as two other high-profile movies get underway: “Argo,” about the Iranian hostage crisis, starring and directed by Ben Affleck; and “The Gangster Squad,” a star-packed period drama with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone about the Los Angeles Police Department’s anti-mafia unit in the 1940s and 1950s.

Both films received approval for state film tax credits under a program whose future is being debated in Sacramento. The state Senate is expected to vote next week on a bill to extend the credits beyond 2012, though it’s unclear whether the final bill would extend the $100 million in annual funding for five years or just one.

Well, what do you know. As a state, we're not all-thumbs after all.

Also in the Business section was this little story: "CoreLogic to move from Santa Ana to Irvine."

Property and credit data provider CoreLogic said it would move its headquarters from Santa Ana to Irvine, and also said it was considering a sale of the company, causing its stock to surge.

What are those folks at CoreLogic thinking?  Don't they know California is a terrible place to do business, and that they're supposed to be packing up and moving to Texas? 

Guess not.

I know, I know, one company staying here and a few good weeks of film production don't solve California's problems.  The unemployment rate is terrible.  Sacramento is a mess.

But let's not get carried away.

After all, even Rick Perry, Texas' governor and a GOP presidential candidate, loves California –- when it comes to raising campaign cash.

As The Times reported last week:

So where is Perry turning to for cash?

California, not surprisingly, is a major target. The Texas governor plans a busy swing through the state on Sept. 8 and 9, packing in six fundraising functions from San Diego to East Palo Alto, according to an invitation being distributed to donors. The cheapest tickets go for $1,000 a head, but fundraisers are also being asked to consider bundling $20,000 to $50,000 each to co-host events.

Hmmm, guess we've got just enough rich people left in our bankrupt state to pour money into the coffers of a guy who is constantly trying to steal jobs from us.

Try that on the stump, governor, when you're looking for California votes.

Honestly, though, I've never understood the folks who live here but seemingly hate their own city, or state. 

California is blessed. It has a great climate. It has wonderful recreation. It has professional sports, and theater, and music, and food. It has great universities, and great businesses.  And it has talented, hardworking people.

Yes, times are tough. But California is still a great place to live and work. Just ask Ben Affleck -– or Rick Perry.

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-- Paul Whitefield

Photo: Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from "The Dark Knight." Follow-up "The Dark Knight Rises" is currently filming in L.A. Credit: Warner Bros.

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