UPDATE: State Politician Tossed From Film Commission After Bribery Allegations

UPDATE, 1:14 PM: The state Senate leader has removed Ron Calderon from the California Film Commission in the wake of allegations in an FBI affidavit of bribery and influence peddling of the state’s $100 million Film and TV tax credit program. “If for no other reason, the appearance of impropriety dictates that the senator no longer sit on that commission,” President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said yesterday after details of Calderon’s supposed actions were made public. Steinberg added that regardless of whether the claims — first revealed by Al Jazeera America — turn out to be true, he doubted that one person could change the state’s film and TV tax credit program the way Calderon is said to have told an undercover FBI agent he could. Steinberg also told reporters Thursday that any effort by Montebello Democrat to drop the $1 million minimum budget requirements for a film to eligible to qualify for the program down to $750,000 was never brought up in committee talks. Additionally, the FBI has asked the DOJ to look into how the sealed affidavit got out. 

PREVIOUSLY, OCT. 31 AM: California State Sen. Ron Calderon took tens of thousands of dollars from undercover FBI agents to make changes to the state’s $100 million Film and TV tax credit program, according to Al Jazeera America. Citing a sealed FBI affidavit, the channel aired a report Wednesday providing details into the well-known investigation of the influential state politician.
Read More »

Comments (14)

UPDATE: 28 Projects Make First Cut In State’s $100M Production Tax Credit Lottery

UPDATE, 5:22 PM: The lottery is over and 28 projects were selected today for this year’s California’s $100 million Film and TV tax credit program. That’s even with the 28 projects that were initially approved on June 1, 2012 in last year’s lottery. The doors closed Monday at 3 PM at the Film Commission’s office on Hollywood Boulevard with the last few applicants getting their submissions in under the wire. Soon afterwards, the random picking process began. A total of 380 projects were submitted between 9 AM and 3 PM today before the deadline. That’s a record for the program since it was introduced in 2009. The previous high was the 322 projects submitted last year for 2012’s $100 million allocation. A Deputy State Fire Marshal actually picked tickets out of a cylinder built for just such a lottery purpose. Each ticket had an allocated number on it that each submitted project was given Monday. All the remaining projects will now go on a waiting list in case approved film or TV projects drop out or have production or scheduling delays and lose their place and credits. Though 28 projects were first approved last year, the total figure that actually received tax credits actually ended up being 75. Today’s approved figure could also change as the Commission conducts a more thorough review of the projects. This year’s initial successful applicants will be contacted tomorrow. A full list of the features, miniseries, MOWs and TV series that were awarded a portion of this year’s $100 million and how much they received is expected Tuesday afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed Hollywood.

Related: Governor OKs $100M Film-TV Tax Credit Until 2017

PREVIOUSLY, 2:05 PM: There’s less than an hour left if you want to take a chance at getting a piece of this year’s $100 million California film and TV tax credit program. The state Film Commission is accepting applications until 3 PM PT at its Hollywood Boulevard offices for this year’s lottery, and then Lady Luck works her magic. “At 3 PM we’ll close the door so that we can conduct our lottery with assistance from the Deputy State Fire Marshal” who adds another layer of transparency to the process, Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch told me today. “The lottery ensures credits are distributed fairly”. Once the $100 million is used up, remaining projects that didn’t receive funding will be put on a waiting list. That list isn’t quite the purgatory one might think: If already-approved projects drop off due to scheduling or production delays, those on the list will take their place and credits. Last year, 28 projects initially won a piece of the up-to-25% tax credit program. Read More »

Comments (11)

LA Production Sees Double Digit Rise Over Q1 2012: FilmLA

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 12:01am PDT

After years of decline and a few small rises, production is strongly up in LA according to FilmLA. In its 1st Quarter report, the non-profit permitting group says overall production in LA County rose by 17.6% over the … Read More »

Comments (1)

LA Production Sees Small Rise In 2012 Despite TV Drama Drop: FilmLA

By | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 2:05pm PST

2012 was a rollercoaster of a year for production in Los Angeles County, said FilmLA today. In its end of year report, the non-profit permitting group noted that while overall on-location production in LA County rose a meager 1.7% from 2011, TV Drama fell a harsh 20% from the year before. FilmLA’s data comes from filming permits for shooting on streets, non-certified sound stages and in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. With the likes of the upcoming LA-set Gangster Squad actually filming in LA, 2012 Feature production saw a slight 3.7% rise over 2011 with 5,892 PPD as compared to the 5,682 of the year before. That is actually the best year since 2008 before the state passed the California Film & TV Tax Credit Program, which now hands out up to $100 million a year in a lottery system. On the flipside, the drop in Drama-permitted days and the 11.8% slide in the TV Reality category pulled overall TV production in the region down 3.4% with 16,762 permitted days in 2012 compared to the 17,349 PPD in 2011. However, TV Sitcom filming was up 52.9% with 2,048 PPD compared to 2011’s 1,339 PPD. TV Pilots were up 2.2% from 2011. Commercials rose 14.1% in 2012 over the year before. Read More »

Comments (6)

‘Body Of Proof’ & ‘Justified’ Among Productions That Won California’s $100M Tax Credit Lottery

Justified, Teen Wolf, Pretty Little Liars and Body Of Proof are among the 28 projects picked by lottery to receive tax credits from the California Film Commission’s $100 million allocation, the commission revealed today. The basic breakdown: 10 film productions and 18 TV productions will receive credits. The commission says 53.5% of the projects were independent and 46.5% were studio-based. It estimates the projects will spend more than $683 million in California, including nearly $265 million in qualified wages.

Related: Will ‘Body Of Proof’s California Production Tax Credit Win Help Secure Back Order?

The selected projects, which could change based on schedules and other production-delay issues, will mean employment for about 2,800 crew members, an estimated 2,900 cast members, and 57,000 extras/stand-ins. (UPDATE: The Hollywood guilds have come out with a pro-tax credit statement praising the lottery results; see their statement below.) The commission received 322 applications for this year’s production tax credit lottery by Friday’s 3 PM deadline. It will continue to accept applications for placement on the waiting list. Here’s the breakdown of today’s winners, followed by the projects by name: Read More »

Comments (8)

California TV/Film Tax Credit Lottery June 1

UPDATED: The California Film Commission will hold a lottery on June 1st to select which qualified movie and TV production projects will receive the next $100M allocation of tax credits awarded under the state’s production incentive … Read More »

Comments (9)

Sony EVP Keith Weaver New Calif. Film Board Chairman

By | Friday January 6, 2012 @ 6:28am PST

Sony Pictures executive Keith Weaver has been elected chairman of the board of the California Film Commission. Weaver is Sony’s EVP worldwide government affairs. He has served on the commission board since 2008. Commission executive director Amy Lemisch said of … Read More »

Comments (1)

California State Assembly Votes To Extend Film Tax Credit To 2014

California’s film and television tax credits would be extended five more years if the State Assembly has its way, after a bill that would add an extra $500 million to the program was approved today by a 72-1 vote. The … Read More »

Comments (12)

Exiting Governator Names His Flack To California Film Commission

It wasn’t enough that the Guvernator Ah-nuld mucked up California. On New Year’s Eve, Schwarzenegger made a slew of last-day political appointments and re-appointments in a smoke-filled room, and put his 3-year press secretary Aaron McLear on the California Film Commission. … Read More »

Comments 55