Canada has seen far more production spending on Fox's 'Alcatraz' than has San Francisco.
Not too many people have ever attempted to escape from the former Alcatraz Federal Prison, but a whole television series seems to have done the impossible.
Fox's 'Alcatraz' TV show has left the Bay Area for a much cheaper shooting location. It has set up shop nearly 1,000 miles to the north in Vancouver, British Columbia. The show's production crew did spend several weeks last year shooting video of The Rock and other iconic landmarks before heading up north. 'Alcatraz' debuted last month and is currently trying to find an audience.
San Francisco city leaders are expressing frustration even after offering it's rebate program which was designed to attract film and television production. Vancouver's huge tax incentives of 33% credit for production proved too much to compete with.
The City's film industry has been in the decline for more than a decade. In 2000, there were 2,263 film jobs, but it fell sharply to little more than 1,100 jobs just five years later. The City lost more than just prestige, it lost more than $120 million in spending and tax revenue during that period. The last TV show to be filmed entirely in San Francisco was NBC's short-lived 'Trauma' back in 2009.
The Board of Supervisors is now considering extending the City's rebate program which expires at the end of the year. Despite 'Alcatraz' filming elsewhere, more than $40 million dollars has been spent in San Francisco by production companies since the program first started in 2006.