Prop houses still recovering from Hollywood strikes – NBC Los Angeles

It takes a village to make a movie or television show, and right now, that village is struggling — even four months after the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.

Jeff Johnson, president of the Property Masters Guild, an association of some 200 prop masters and houses — estimates that approximately only 20% of his members are currently working post-strikes.

“A lot of our members aren’t working — a lot of property persons in general are not working,” Johnson said. “I’m not currently working; I’ve spent 30 years working show-to-show-to-show.”

According to Film LA, the number of filming permits and shoot days in Los Angeles are down 10% and 12%, respectively, since the beginning of 2024, and that productions are hiring fewer people. People both in front of and behind the camera say studios are cutting back on productions and moving them out of California, causing a domino effect across the state’s economy. 

“I can afford to change the tires of my car, I can’t afford to get dry cleaning done,” Johnson said. “There’s a ripple effect that goes to the gardener, to the grocery store, to the local coffee vendor.”

Johnson also says he would like to see California’s tax incentives for productions be more attractive, more available and less complicated — and that avoiding another potentially crippling strike could help avoid complete disaster.

“I think we’re in a kind of a seismic shift in how the local film and TV community is going to be working moving forward,” said Johnson.

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