Just days after Texas tripled its film and TV production tax incentives, Nevada has gotten into the game. Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed the state’s first program aimed at luring productions away from California and elsewhere. Starting Jan. 1, productions that shoot at least 60 percent in-state and spend $500,000 to $40 million there will be eligible to earn a transferable tax credit worth 15%-19% of their in-state qualified expenses up to $20 million. The tax credit can be used on all Nevada cast, crew, labor, materials, rentals and such. The bill, introduced in February by Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, moved quickly through the Legislature. It establishes a pilot program to be operated by the state Office of Economic Development. The OED will stop taking applications at the end of 2017, but those with unused credits will get the benefits until the program expires on June 30, 2023. Among those who testified for the state legislature to approve the program was Nicolas Cage. The actor went to Reno in May to speak with state officials.
Malaysia Enacts 30% Cash Rebate For Runaway Production
U.S. location scouts can now add Malaysia to the list of countries that offer incentives for offshore production and post work. The Malaysian government enacted Tuesday a 30% cash rebate for foreign film and TV productions that spend a minimum of RM5 million ($1.6million) in the country; for local projects it’s RM2 million. The minimum spend for the post rebate is RM1.5 million. The government aims to draw runaway productions to its new $130 million facility, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios. Located in Johor in the southern tip of the country, the studios were developed in collaboration with the UK’s Pinewood Studios Group. Five sound stages plus production offices, hair, make-up and wardrobe facilities and construction workshops are due to open in May. Two HD-equipped TV studios and the post facility are scheduled to open in September. “We are in discussions on several projects,” the facility’s CEO Michael Lake tells Deadline. ” Many producers were waiting for the release of these guidelines before committing to film in Malaysia.” The government hopes the “Film in Malaysia Incentive” will also encourage Malaysian film producers to produce content for domestic and international markets.- Don Groves
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
The soaring Oz dollar has all but wiped out Australia as a runaway production location, with no U.S. films and only one U.S. TV project, Sony Pictures Television’s drama pilot Frontier, shooting Down Under in 2011-2012. Foreign productions spent just $A49M ($50.9M) in that period, down from $86M the prior year which was boosted by Fox’s series Terra Nova, according to Screen Australia’s annual drama report released today. The report will intensify industry calls for the Australian government to lift the 16.5% location rebate to 30%. The government says it will announce its decision later this year. On the upside, the total spend on film and TV drama jumped by 25% to a record $623M. And last year’s hike of the post, digital and visual effects rebate from 16.5% to 30% resulted in the highest activity in that area for five years, with post houses attracting 17 films including Ted, The Hunger Games and Marvel’s The Avengers. Some 47% of total drama spend went on 28 Australian feature films including Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (which qualifies as an Australian production) and I, Frankenstein, plus three small foreign features.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Malaysia Offers Runaway Production Incentives, European Film Academy Honors Bernardo Bertolucci
Malaysia Chases Runaway Production With 30% Incentive, New Studios
Malaysia looms as the next hot destination for U.S. and other runaway production with the lures of a 30% cash rebate on production costs and a new $130M facility, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios. The incentive will be available to all productions which start principal photography in Malaysia from Jan. 1, 2013 and includes the salaries of foreign cast and crew while working in the country. There is a minimum production spend of RM5M ($1.6M) for foreign projects and RM2M for local productions. Located in Johor in the southern tip of the country, the studios are financed by the Malaysian government’s investment arm Khazanah and are being developed in collaboration with the UK’s Pinewood Studios Group. Five sound stages plus production offices, hair, make-up and wardrobe facilities and construction workshops are due to open next May. Two HD-equipped TV studios and post production facility are scheduled to open in September. “There is a lot of interest in the facility from the U.S., Europe, India and Australia,” the studios’ chief executive Michael Lake tells Deadline. Lake ran the Warner Roadshow Studios in Australia for many years and later served as president of WWE Films. “We are still finalizing our rate card and once that is done we will be aggressively chasing firm bookings,” he said. “ I am in advanced discussions with four productions at the moment.” - Don Groves