The California Film Commission announced its list of the first studio and independent feature films selected to receive tax credits under the state’s recently expanded Film and Television Tax Credit Program. In all, 11 productions have received conditional approval, including eight studio features and three independent projects.
The list includes projects set at least partially in other locales that have been especially aggressive offering tax credits to lure film and TV production. These projects include Conjuring 2 (United Kingdom) and Why Him (Michigan).
“We’re fighting back and winning thanks to our newly expanded tax credit program,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “We were losing projects that were set here at home, and now we’re back to doubling for other locales. This demonstrates that when the playing field is more level, the industry views California as the first and best option.”
In May the commission allocated the first tax credits, which were earmarked specifically for TV projects. That allocation resulted in four TV series relocating to California from other states (Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina).
Lemisch also noted that the independent film projects announced today are from production companies that rarely work in California, opting instead to shoot in states where tax credits have been more readily available.
Alcon Entertainment, one of the independent production companies selected to receive tax credits, has not filmed a project entirely in California in more than a decade.
In addition to attracting projects set in incentive-rich locales and/or from producers who traditionally bypass California, the list announced today also includes projects that will shoot in-state but outside the dominant Los Angeles 30-Mile Zone.
“Five of the selected films are planning to shoot a combined 77 days outside the 30-mile zone,” Lemisch explained. “This is an early indicator that the new program’s added incentives for filming outside the zone are working and achieving the intended result.”
Approved projects are selected based on their jobs ratio score, which ranks each project by wages to below-the-line workers, qualified spending for vendors, equipment and other criteria. Based on data provided with each application, the 11 approved projects will generate an estimated $533 million in direct in-state spending, including $171 million in wages for below-the-line crew members.
For more information, visit http://film.ca.gov/incentives.