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FilmLA: TV Production Soars In Q2 As Features Stay Steady With 2013

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 4:59am PDT

FilmLA: TV Production Soars In Q2 As Features Stay Steady With 2013They’re not quite ready to declare the production state of emergency in the City of Angels over, but today even the notorious pessimistic FilmLA saw things looking up – especially in the TV categories. A Q2 2014 report released by the nonprofit permitting group this morning said total on-location television production in LA County roared up 33.7% over the same quarter last year to 5,761 PPD. The report attributes the “ unseasonably strong” results to shifting production schedules as broadcasters get episode of shows like the upcoming TNT series, Legends in shape for summer airing. The news was nowhere near as good today when it came to feature film production in L.A. County this quarter compared to Q2 2013 but minimal ground was lost, which is a victory unto itself as the region as been hit so hard by runaway production in recent years. Quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year, Q2 2014 dipped 5.3% from Q2 2013 to 1,665 PPD. That reasonably steady result gets a bit sour when you look at Q1 2014. That quarter saw a 24.2% rise compared to the year before for features. However, this quarter, both features and TV production exceed their respective 5-year quarterly average with the former up a mere 0.1% while the latter rocketed up 34.0%.

filmla logo smallOf course, doing a little bit more math, those 5-year quarterly averages hold extra significance when they’re noted in this latest report. It was half a decade ago back in 2009 … Read More »

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Wish We All Could Get California Cash: Fox’s Beach Boys Pic & BET’s ‘Being Mary Jane’ Among Tax Incentives Winners

Wish We All Could Get California Cash: Fox’s Beach Boys Pic & BET’s ‘Being Mary Jane’ Among Tax Incentives WinnersJust under a month after the California Film Commission plucked this year’s recipients of the state’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program in a lottery, we learned today who the winners are. Fox’s movie musical revolving around the songs of the Beach Boys and Universal’s Scarface reboot are among the 11 feature films getting a piece of this year’s incentive pie. (See the full list below.) In a rare runaway production reversal, a victory for those who want to bring Hollywood home and a very early renewal, BET’s Being Mary Jane will be relocating from Atlanta to L.A. for its upcoming third season thanks to the Golden State’s tax credits. This is the first news of the high-rated Gabrielle Union-starring show, which just got its official second-season green light back in February, getting a third season. Being Mary Jane joins 12 other basic cable TV series and two TV movies getting money to be made here.

Related: It’s Time To End Lottery For Calif. Tax Credit Program (Video)

Unlike the years since the credits were first introduced in 2009, the list of initially successful projects was not released almost right away by the state Commission because it wanted to make sure everyone was truly eligible. But now that due diligence has been done and the lucky ones have been privately informed, the Commission has revealed that a total of 26 … Read More »

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Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Passes First State Senate Hearing

By | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 10:38am PDT

Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Passes First State Senate HearingIt got a bit of a rockier ride than previous hearings but today legislation to expand California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was approved by the state Senate’s Governance and Finance Committee. In a 4-0 vote, the multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act now heads to the body’s Appropriation committee. If it passes there, the Act will go to the full Senate for a floor vote and soon after to Gov. Jerry Brown for a signature. Introduced in late February by Democrats Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra ad intended to halt the flood of production out of the Golden State in recent years, the Act was overwhelmingly passed by the state Assembly on May 28.

california state senate sealDespite big support from unions, studios, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, regional film commissions and others, the Act did not however get a vote from committee chair Sen. Lois Wolk today. “Right now this is a blank check, I don’t like blank checks,” said Democrat Wolk after closing testimony from Gatto this morning in wolkSacramento. While changing the present program by allowing movies with budgets over $75 million and network pilots to be eligible for tax credits, the Act, also known as AB 1839, still doesn’t yet have a dollar figure attached to it. Something that Gatto says he expects to change in the coming weeks as … Read More »

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L.A.’s Share Of Total Pilot Production Falls Below 50% For First Time Ever

L.A.’s Share Of Total Pilot Production Falls Below 50% For First Time EverRunaway production and new broadcasting strategies have really cut into one of the backbones of Los Angeles’ TV industry, a new report out today from FilmL.A. says. For the first time since records have been kept, the home of Hollywood’s share of total pilot production has fallen below 50% according to the nonprofit local-permitting organization. In fact, with a 6% drop from 2012/2013, the total share for 2013/2014 is 44%. The closest things have gotten to that bad before was in 2010/2011 when the share was 51%. “Overall, Los Angeles retained only 90 projects (19 one-hour dramas and 71 half-hour comedies) out of 203 tracked during the ‘13/’14 development cycle.” bluntly notes FilmL.A. “Needless to say, it is a very far cry from L.A.’s record 82 percent share in ‘06/’07,” adds the 2014 Television Pilot Production Report (read it here). The report also notes that this is the first time that NYC has topped L.A. in terms of being the No. #1 location for 1-hour TV drama pilots with 24 such projects in the Big Apple compared to 19 in the City of Angels.

imgres-12__130108220458__130410052538__131008175926-1__140306175215This report comes one day before the California state Senate is set to hold its first hearings on legislation to expand the Golden State’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program. While no dollar figure has yet been attached to the multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act, it passed the state … Read More »

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IATSE Petitions Gov. Jerry Brown To “Champion” Expanding Film & TV Tax Incentives

IATSE Petitions Gov. Jerry Brown To “Champion” Expanding Film & TV Tax IncentivesIATSE wants to flood Gov. Jerry Brown and Sacramento with letters urging an expansion of California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program. Last week the union sent out packages to members urging them to sign letters to two state Senate committees and the Governor to stop runaway production and pledge support and passage of the multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act. “We are in a fight to save our families and our livelihoods,” said the letter to Brown (read it here). “I respectfully ask you to be our champion and to save our iconic industry,” it adds. Though he takes money for his re-election from Hollywood moguls, Brown has refused to publicly state his support for a recent bill to expand the Golden State’s tax incentives to make them more competitive with other states, various Canadian and countries like the UK and stop jobs fleeing out of the home of Hollywood.

california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021__140602232905Introduced in late February by Democrats Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra,the state Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Act on May 28. While now allowing pics with budgets over $75 million and network pilots to be eligible for tax credits, the legislation, also known as AB 1839, still doesn’t yet have a dollar figure attached to it even though the state budget is now complete as of June 15. However, sources tell me a figure could be named in the next couple of weeks. The legislation is … Read More »

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DeadlineNow: California Primary Elections Offer Hope For Production Tax Credit Program (Video)

By | Wednesday June 4, 2014 @ 2:32pm PDT
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The Politics Of Hollywood Tax Credits

Gov. Jerry Brown has been mum on whether he supports the buffed up California Film and TV Tax Credit Program bill that just passed the state Assembly, but others who strongly favor the legislation are alive and well after yesterday's votes were tabulated. Dominic Patten reports.

Related: Final Election Results: Wendy Greuel Concedes; Tax Credit Co-Sponsors Win; Patric Verrone Loses Senate Seat

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UPDATE: Final Election Results: Wendy Greuel Concedes On Congress Bid; Tax Credit Co-Sponsors Win; Patric Verrone Loses Senate Seat

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The Politics Of Hollywood Tax Credits

Gov. Jerry Brown has been mum on whether he supports the buffed up California Film and TV Tax Credit Program bill that just passed the state Assembly, but others who strongly favor the legislation are alive and well after yesterday's votes were tabulated. Dominic Patten reports.

Voting boothUPDATED, 11:14 AM: Former DreamWorks executive Wendy Greuel has conceded after coming up short in her Congressional bid. The Democrat finished third in the race to succeed retiring long-time U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, earning 17% of the vote compared with Republican Elan Carr (23%) and Democrat Ted Lieu (19%) in a crowded field of 17 candidates. Lieu and Carr will face off in the Nov. 4 general election for one of the wealthiest districts in the nation, and a district where Democrats from around the country have long come to raise money for their own races. The mostly coastal district includes heavily Democratic areas such as Santa Monica, Malibu, Westside Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and more conservative areas on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and in Agoura and Calabasas.

Related: It’s Time To End Lottery For Calif. Tax Credit Program (Video)

Incumbent Assembly Democrats Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra, who co-sponsored legislation to expand California’s Film and TV Tax Credit Program, cruised to easy primary victories Tuesday and are likely to win re-election in November. Their film tax credit bill, which california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021was approved unanimously by the state Assembly last week, now moves on to the state Senate, and if approved there, it will go to the governor. Whether the budget-conscious Gov. Jerry Brown will sign it remains to be seen, though two years ago he signed a two-year extension of the program. In his race, Gatto got 67% of the vote against Republican challenger Todd Royal, who only got 33% in the heavily Democratic 43rd Assembly District. Bocanegra received 63% of the primary vote in the 39th District against fellow Democrat Patty Lopez (23%).

Related: Where Hollywood’s Union Jobs Are Going: The Runaway 3 States

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Record Number Of Projects Apply For California Film & TV Tax Credits

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California's Tax Incentives Lottery System Is Broken

Despite this year's record number of applications, a lot of people are unhappy with the lottery system used for California's Film and TV Tax Credit Program. The current random-drawing method negates merit and is uncertain, explains Deadline's Dominic Patten reports.

ca film commissionWe won’t know for nearly a month who gets a piece of California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program pie this year, but we do know today how many projects were picked via lottery and how many applications were submitted. The California Film Commission says 23 projects have been initially selected and that 497 applications were submitted before Monday’s 3 PM deadline. In terms of the initial projects pulled in the lottery, there’s a slight decrease from last year. In terms of applications, that’s a record for a program where demand always outstrips supply. It’s about 30% more than last year’s record 380, when the likes of Warner Bros’ Entourage movie, the fourth season of MTV’s Teen Wolf and the fifth seasons of FX’s Justified and ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars emerged as winners. Last year saw 29 projects initially successful in the lottery. That went up to 31 projects a day later on June 4, 2013, when a TV series CFC Lottery 2014-1dropped out and freed up funds. With a Deputy Fire Marshal pulling the numbers, the lottery started yesterday afternoon but was suspended around 4:30 PM when the CFC offices were evacuated due to a nearby bomb scare. Picking up where they left off, the commission restarted the lottery at 9 AM today.

Related: DeadlineNow: Don’t Blame Canada, Fix California’s Film & TV Tax Credit (Video)

Now that the initial winners of the credit covering about 20% of production costs also has been determined in a random selection process, the state office plans to take the next few weeks to check the applications thoroughly to make sure they are eligible for the incentive. A list of successful projects will be made available on July 1. In past years, the commission has announced the name and number of projects that scored on the lottery, but this time round it wants to thoroughly check each potential winning application individually to make sure it qualifies. Read More »

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California Production Tax Credit Lottery Suspended Due To Hollywood Bomb Scare

ca film commissionThe lottery for a piece of California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was interupted today after a suspicious package was discovered on Hollywood Boulevard, closing down the busy stretch near La Brea Avenue. About 45 minutes into the lottery process, where a deputy fire marshal had the ceremonial duty of pulling winning numbers for successful candidates, police ordered the California Film Commission’s offices evacuated, sources tell me. The lottery is expected to pick up Tuesday morning where it left off. Commission officials left behind documents in the office that recorded the winning projects selected so far, I’m told. Hollywood has been closed between La Brea and Sycamore with traffic being pushed onto side streets (in other words, it was a nightmare). (UPDATE, 5:46 PM: LAPD says the bomb squad determined the package was not harmful and is planning to reopen the streets in the area soon.)

Related: HBO, City Of LA, Disney & Unions Praise Passage Of New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill

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UPDATE: HBO, City Of LA, & Unions Praise Passage Of New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill

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Don't Play The Film & TV Tax Credit Blame Game

Production is flowing out of the home of Hollywood as politicians seek to expand California’s 5-year old $100 million Film and TV tax credit program. Next week, new applicants will be picked by lottery for the upcoming year. Deadline’s Dominic Patten explains while there is lot of blame to go around from the loss of jobs and the sad state of the industry in California, don’t blame Canada.

UPDATED, 3:18 PM: The California Film and Television Production Alliance has weighed in with its support for today’s Assembly vote to expand California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program. “California Film and Television Production Alliance logoThe strength of the unanimous vote demonstrates the Assembly Members’ clear understanding of the vital economic importance of the motion picture industry to California and their determination to return this state to a competitive position,” reads a statement from the coalition of guilds, unions, producers, small businesses and associations that promotes TV production in California. Its members include the Television Academy, SAG-AFTRA, CBS Studios, HBO, PGA, MPAA, DGA, Disney, more than 30 California cities and dozens of other groups. Read the full statement below the original post.

california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021__131112185634__140109040050__140219155328__140424175515__140501004243__140513170807PREVIOUSLY, 1:38 PM: It’s not yet the law of the state, but efforts to expand California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program took a legislative leap forward today. In the midst of a bill-passing frenzy, the state Assembly voted overwhelmingly for legislation that hopes to halt production flooding out of the home of Hollywood. Introduced in late February, the multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act drew 62 yes votes from Assembly members in the chamber with zero opposed. Another 9 votes were added to the bill afterwards, as the Assembly’s rules allow, bringing the total to 71. The state Assembly has a total of 80 members. 

Related: Where Hollywood’s Union Jobs Are Going: Call These States The Runaway 3

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Proposed New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Takes Second Step Forward In Sacramento

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 4:13pm PDT

california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021__131112185634__140109040050__140219155328__140424175515__140501004243As expected, the bid to expand California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program passed its second legislative test in Sacramento today. The state Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee voted 8-0 to move forward the multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act. The support comes as no surprise as the Committee is chaired by proposed legislation’s joint author Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima). AB 1839 now heads to the Appropriations Committee, which is chaired by its other joint author, Assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles). “At least 37 other states and jurisdictions have introduce incentive programs to take the

California State Capitalentertainment industry out of our own state of California,” said Gatto in committee testimony today. “I hope that Bill ADF 1839 will combat the national and international competition for production,” he added. “My joint author and I set out at the beginning to make the film tax credit not only larger and more sensible but also something that I think we could be very proud of and that which tried to solve a lot of the issues that both the state and the current tax credit are facing.”

Related: California Gov. Jerry Brown Still Mum On Film & TV Tax Credit Support
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California Gov. Jerry Brown Still Mum On Film & TV Tax Credit Support

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 12:52pm PDT

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Meets With California Gov. Jerry Brown In San FranciscoGov. Jerry Brown today still wouldn’t commit to supporting an expansion of California’s $100M Film & TV Tax Credit program. “Certainly my office will engage in a lot of conversations on many issues like the movie tax credit,” he said today during a press conference in LA after he announced a revised proposed state budget that included a rainy-day fund, debt reduction, an increase in health care coverage and safeguarding teacher’s pensions. However, Brown’s revised budget didn’t have any increase to the state’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program.

“There’s a lot of things to talk about and certainly the topic you mentioned will be right there,” Brown said in response to a pair of Deadline’s questions, naming off several other state-funded programs outlined in his $156.2 billion budget. ”My job is to present a balanced budget dealing with the core services.” Brown said there undoubtably be a revised version of the revised budget before June 15.

Related: California Mayors Back Expansion Of State’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program

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California Mayors Back Expansion Of State’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program

california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021__131112185634__140109040050__140219155328__140424175515__140501004243Efforts to expand California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program got a boost today from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and the mayors of the state’s nine other biggest cities. “Extending California’s film and television production tax credit program is a smart, prudent investment in California’s future and economic competitiveness” said Garcetti and the mayors of San Francisco Sacramento, Long Beach, Fresno, San Diego, Bakersfield, Santa Ana, Oakland and San Jose today in a letter (read it here). “In order to once again be competitive, California must put in place a meaningful, expanded credit that will bring back jobs, increase revenue, and support small businesses and vendors all across the state. Too much is at stake for the people of California to let this key industry slip away.”

Related:
Analyst Throws Cold Water On California Film & TV Tax Credit Expansion
Official Dodges Governor’s Stance On Film & TV Tax Credit

The desire of the 10 Mayors to curb runaway production was expressed in writing to Assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima). The duo are co-authors of the multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act. Introduced on February 19, the legislation proposes allowing pics with budgets of more than $75 million and network pilots to now be eligible for state tax incentives, among other measures. In an attempt to make this a statewide issue and not just an LA matter, the act also proposes an additional 5% credit to productions shot outside Southern California. No dollar figure has been attached to the legislation, but figures in the realm of $300 million-$400 million have been advocated by industry leaders. Sources tell me a figure should be named sometime this month. Having been unanimously approved by the state Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, And Internet Media committee on March 25, the proposed act goes today to the Bocanergra-chaired Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee for a hearing. Though he signed the last extension to the current program in 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown has not yet indicated whether he is in favor of expanding the program.

Related: New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle

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Cold Water Thrown On California Film & TV Tax Credit Expansion By Non-Partisan State Analyst

By | Wednesday April 30, 2014 @ 6:07pm PDT

california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021__131112185634__140109040050__140219155328__140424175515Efforts to expand California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program took a bit of a dousing today from the state’s Legislative Analyst Office. While not explicitly recommending nor rejecting the current legislation that’s moving through the state Assembly, today’s report says that “if the Legislature wishes to continue or expand the film tax credit, we suggest that it do so cautiously.” The 24-page report from the non-partisan office also takes a bigger-picture view that cast the “flagship” movie and TV industry as but one of many in the state in possible need of assistance. “Instead of approaching economic policy on an industry-by-industry basis, the Legislature may take actions that encourage all businesses to stay or relocate to California, such as broad-based tax reduction or regulatory changes.”

Related: New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle

The current program was introduced in 2009 in an effort to try to halt runaway production and lucrative challenges from states such as Georgia and Louisiana as well as Canadian provinces and countries like the UK.

Related: California Official Dodges Governor’s Stance On Film & TV Tax Credit

Today’s LAO report expresses doubt about the overall economic benefits of tax credits for the film and TV industry and whether they actually pay for themselves. It also worries about the “data limitations” on research to gauge the decline of the industry in the state is and warns against a “race to the bottom” with other states in terms of providing competing subsidies. “If a film project was attracted to the state because of the tax credit, and would not have otherwise filmed in the state, the economic benefit of the film is calculated based on how its spending trickles through the economy — a phenomenon called the multiplier effect,” points out today’s report. “However, the existence of a multiplier effect does not imply that the subsidy generates economic gains that are greater than its costs.” Read More »

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California Official Dodges Governor’s Stance On Film & TV Tax Credit

california-tax-credits3__120901092343__120929195413__131031165021__131112185634__140109040050__140219155328Even as new legislation to expand and evolve California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program weaves through the state Assembly, Governor Jerry Brown’s administration today refused to unequivocally come out in support of the effort. “I realize the tax credit is a concern,” said Kish Rajan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to the concerned industry heavy crowd at the state Film Commission’s annual locations breakfast. “There are difficult political considerations,” added the appointed official indicating Brown’s lack of open support of the Kish_0425 -400X300widely co-sponsored and industry supported bill that was introduced on February 19. Rajan spoke Thursday before an audience at the W Hotel in Hollywood that included LA Film Czar Ken Ziffren, Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemish, Disney/ABC’s Director of Production Finance Valerie Spiller, and reps from Film L.A.

Related: New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle In Sacramento

While naming no dollar amount yet, the anti-runaway production AB 1839 from Assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) aims to increase the figure available, remove ineligibility caps on pics with budgets of more than $75 million and TV pilots as well as put the program on a more stable footing. The bill unanimously passed its first test last month when the Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, And Internet Media committee voted in favor of it. Now, AB … Read More »

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FilmLA: Feature Production Surges In Q1 2014 While TV Sitcoms Fall

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 12:07pm PDT

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - April 01, 2014It isn’t the golden days of the 1990s, but FilmLA. reports today that feature film production is on the rise in Los Angeles while TV production slipped from last year. A Q1 2014 report released today by the nonprofit permitting group said on-location feature production in LA County jumped 24.2% over Q1 2013 and that the category had a big leap of 39.4% over its five-year quarterly average. Despite the small number of tentpole pics made in California and the lure of hefty incentives in other states like Louisiana and NY as well as Canada and the UK, the latest results build on similar advances in past quarters and shows increasing traction from the all-time lows of 2009.

Related: Bring Blockbusters Back to California With Increased Film Incentives, Says FilmLA

imgres-12__130108220458__130410052538It is no coincidence that 2009 was also the same year California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was first introduced. With overall production steady with Q1 2013 and  legislation presently moving ahead in Sacramento to expand and evolve the program, FilmLA today praised California’s incentives as helping to stem the tsunami of exiting production. “This quarter’s report hints at what would be possible if California were to truly step up and compete for new film projects and jobs,” said the organization’s President Paul Audley in a statement. “Just imagine where we could be five years from now if current efforts to expand the state’s incentive program are successful.”

Related: New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle In Sacramento

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L.A. Mayor Praises “Dear Friend” Tom Sherak In State Of The City Speech

garcetti april 10 speechThe city’s first Film Czar was praised by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today in his inaugural State of the City address. “With the help of my dear friend the late Tom Sherak and Ken Ziffren, who’s continued the fight, we reignited the movement to expand film tax credits in Sacramento,” said the SAG-AFTRA card carrying politician this evening. A couple of months after Garcetti took office, the former AMPAS president and studio exec was named head of LA’s Film Office late last September in an effort to expand and evolve production in the city after years of decline due to runaway production. After

sherak__130926172434Sherak passed away on January 28, heavyweight entertainment lawyer Ziffren was appointed LA’s second Film Czar on February 10. “In just nine months, we are changing the landscape—one summer job, one red button, one film production and one balanced budget at a time.”

Related:
L.A. Move For Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ Unlikely As Pols Continue To Pitch CBS
New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle In Sacramento

One production that looks pretty likely not to be coming to LA is CBS’ Late Show when Stephen Colbert takes over from David Letterman next year. Despite personal pitches earlier this week from Garcetti and Ziffren, the late night show seems certain to stay in the Big Apple. Still, Garcetti also made a point in his speech at the California Science … Read More »

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New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle In Sacramento

California-Film-and-Television-Tax-Credit-Program__140321050944A new bill intended to expand and overhaul California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program passed its first legislative test today as the state Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, And Internet Media committee voted unanimously in support of the measure. Introduced on February 19, the California Film and Television Job and Promotion Act now moves to the Revenue and Taxation Committee and then the Appropriations committee as it heads its way to a full vote, a state Senate twin and eventually Gov. Jerry Brown‘s desk by the end of the summer. A long political route that AB 1839’s backers think will prove successful. “We’ve worked very hard to make this bigger, smarter and more thoughtful than the existing tax credit,” said co-author Assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) today at beginning of hearing in the state capitol building in Sacramento. “This measure comes down to one thing and one thing only and that is retaining jobs and protecting California’s economy.”

Related:
California Pol Appeals to Jerry Brown to Expand Production Tax Credit Bill
LA Film Czar: Governor Not Yet “Committed” To Expanding Film & TV Tax Credit

Proposed last month by Appropriations chair Gatto and fellow Assemblyman and Revenue and Taxation chair Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), with 59 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, AB 1839 drew wide spread industry support at today’s hearing. Representatives from the MPAA, representing all the studios plus CBS and HBO, the DGA, a number of IASTE … Read More »

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SoCal Governments Group To California: Rethink Tax Credits Limit, Consider Including VFX Industry

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 5:40pm PDT

California Film and Television Tax Credit ProgramThe Southern California Association of Governments has weighed in on the local economic impact of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program and made a few suggestions about how state lawmakers could tweak it. The annual study by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation notably makes a case for raising the $75 million budget cap for productions to be eligible for tax credits and suggests that VFX work gets a share of the credits pie. The 22-page report (read it here) suggests that rather than limiting the overall production budget, the program instead could “allow qualifying expenditures up to a given cap (such as $75 million).” It notes that big-budget productions might see that as enough incentive to film in California while providing the program “a level of certainty.” The report also makes a case for helping the struggling local VFX community, noting that “California is only of only a handful of locations that does not subsidy programs specifically targeting visual effects. As a result, even California-based companies are opening offices in Canada, the United Kingdom and Asia to qualify for tax incentives.” Calling VFX a “lucrative business with a high-skilled, highly technical workforce, the study said “the threat to the industry’s long-term survival in California is real” and urged state lawmakers to consider a provision to allow access to tax credits. Read More »

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