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Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:44

California Film Incentives on the Rise

Written by  Thea Green
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California’s incentives may get a lot more filmmaker friendly.

After a recent boost in efforts towards upping incentives to keep more business in state, a new agreement between lawmakers and governor Jerry Brown could make staying local more alluring to large productions that have, as of late, been forced to go elsewhere for financial reasons. A recent article in Wall Street Journal covered the developments and potential impact for California.

The agreement, a $330 million a year commitment, happened with Brown, who was formerly skeptical, on Wednesday. The new program would last for five years, a huge jump from the current $100 million a year in credits. Numbers have decreased dramatically from the mid-90’s to 2013 with over 50% with productions moving to Georgia, New York, Canada, and other locations offering generous incentives, but now California may rival those very places while allowing filmmakers to stay in state closer to home.

The new program would update the current lottery program in place that selects projects for incentives from a pool of films once a year. Though the lottery would remain, it would take place twice a year instead of once and be partially dependent on the number of days shot in California, thus offering more opportunities. Since around $600 is requested each year, the new numbers could up the odds of the lottery enormously.

Even though credits would only be available for the first $100 million spent, the cap that has previously been in tact forcing productions over $75 million to be ineligible would be removed. This could potentially keep bigger budget productions with more crew members close to home with tax credits between 20% to 25% of the total budget. (Wall Street Journal)



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