Work for Los Angeles studio musicians continues to decline as production companies find cheaper alternatives elsewhere, so musicians’ union executives are backing California legislation designed to provide financial incentives to return film- and TV-scoring jobs back to Hollywood.
Assembly Bill 1300, the “Music Scoring Tax Credit Bill,” recently introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, would offer a 30 percent tax credit to U.S. productions made in foreign countries, as well as for low-budget films, that use California musicians. Union officials believe that passage could mean millions in regained wages for studio players.
According to International Recording Musicians Association president Marc Sazer, L.A. musicians – who once routinely scored nearly all American movies – have lost substantial ground to London and other European venues. In 2003, nearly 60 percent of feature films were scored by American Federation of Musicians members; by 2015, that number was down to 30 percent.