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Applications for California’s Film & TV Tax Credit More Than Double Over 2010


On June 1, the California Film Commission began accepting applications for the next $100 million round of tax credits provided annually by the state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program, which was enacted in 2009 to help curb runaway production.

The number of applications submitted this year on the first day of the application period more than doubled to 176, compared with 70 last year. At the same time, the number of projects selected to receive credits before the entire $100 million was allocated dropped to 27, from 32 last year.

Applications were accepted on June 1 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. At 3:30 p.m, Film Commission staff members, with assistance from a California Highway Patrol officer, conducted a lottery to select projects at random. Each application was given a number between 1 and 176; the credits were then doled out in that order until all $100 million was assigned.

The breakdown of projects selected (based on type of production) is as follows:

– Feature (Studio) – 4 projects (14.8%)
– Feature (Indie) – 10 projects (37%)
– TV Series – 10 projects (37%)
– MOW (Studio) – 0
– MOW (Indie) – 1 (3.7%)
– Relocating TV – 2 (7.40%)

Based on information provided by each applicant, it is estimated that these projects will spend more than $662 million in California, including nearly $234 million in qualified wages. They will employ an estimated 3,048 cast members, 3,307 crew members and 49,778 extras/stand-ins (calculated in “man-days”).

The California Film Commission will continue to accept applications throughout the fiscal year for placement on the waiting list. Those on the list will be accepted only after credits are freed up by other projects that withdraw from the program due to scheduling delays, casting problems or other production-related issues.

Prior to the current fiscal year (which began June 1), projects approved since California’s tax credit program went into effect in 2009 have been responsible for $2.2 billion in direct spending within the state, including $736 million in wages paid to below-the-line crew members.

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