Mayor Eric Garcetti appoints Tom Sherak as L.A. film czar

Tom Sherak, newly appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as L.A.'s film czar, is former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He's seen here in his academy office in Beverly Hills in 2012.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed veteran Hollywood executive Tom Sherak to be his senior film advisor.

Sherak, the former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will lead Garcetti’s efforts to support the local entertainment industry and increase local production, the mayor said in a statement.

“The entertainment industry generates more than 500,000 local jobs. Protecting and expanding it is an absolute necessity,” Garcetti said. “Tom will lead our campaign for production incentives in Sacramento and is empowered to work across city departments to make L.A. the best possible location for production.”

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Sherak, who will also serve as the director of the Mayor’s Entertainment Industry and Production Office, will earn a salary of $1 per year.

“The entertainment industry has a true champion in Mayor Garcetti, and I’m honored to work with him to make sure L.A. is always the entertainment capital of the world,” Sherak said. “I look forward to helping Mayor Garcetti stop runaway production, increase state production credits, and cut City Hall red tape.”

The appointment comes at a time when L..A. has experienced significant declines in film and TV production as business has flocked to other U.S. states and countries offering stronger tax breaks than are available in California.

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Garcetti campaigned to help fight runaway production and said pressing for increased state film tax credits was one of his top priorities.

He also has pushed for the city to do more to help the industry. The City Council is scheduled to vote soon on legislation he wrote to waive city fees for television pilots, with the goal of landing the full series.

Sherak currently consults for Skydance Productions, One Three Media and other entertainment entities.

As a partner at Revolution Studios, Sherak helped lead the release of 47 films including “Black Hawk Down,” and he consulted for Marvel Studios on films including “Iron Man.”

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His experience includes serving as chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Domestic Film Group, senior executive vice president of Fox Filmed Entertainment, and president of domestic distribution and marketing for Twentieth Century Fox.

He is the chairman of the MS Hope Foundation, which he helped create, and is a former chairman of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and a former board member of the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

Sherak received an honorary doctorate in the arts from the Academy of Art University and holds a degree in marketing from New York City Community College. He has served on the faculty of the UCLA Producers Program.


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