The California Film Commission’s Hollywood offices played a leading role this weekend in the filming of “Deuces,” a psychological sci-fi thriller.

The offices were discovered while “Deuces” producer Benjamin Liu was using the CFC resource library and CinemaScout, the commission’s online locator that allows filmmakers to research and inquire about more than 8,000 images of locations throughout the state.

Liu had an added incentive to use the location — Gov. Gray Davis’ new Film California First (FCF) Program.

Under the three-year, $45 million program, production companies will be reimbursed for certain costs incurred when filming on local, state and federal property. In addition, FCF makes shooting on state property virtually free.

“Film California First will significantly reduce the production’s bottom line, and was a major factor in our choice of location,” said Liu.

Going public

In addition to filming at the CFC offices, Liu elected to shoot other scenes on public property eligible under the FCF Program: the Junipero Serra and Ronald Reagan State buildings in downtown L.A. The CFC issued the permits to film on both. California does not charge permit or locations fees for the properties it permits.

“Film California First is the latest addition to the many existing services and incentives offered by the California Film Commission, including our on-site resource center, CinemaScout, and permitting assistance for filming on state property,” said CFC director Karen R. Constine.

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Wyoming wants to give production companies an incentive to shoot in their state. The Film, Arts & Entertainment Division of the Wyoming Business Council and the Casper Area Film Commission have invited state businesses to help woo the film industry by participating in the Wyoming Production Incentive Program.

Local businesses are being asked to take an aggressive marketing approach by offering a 10% discount on services targeting production companies.

Michell Phelan, Film, Arts & Entertainment Division manager, said, “Through partnerships with motel owners, restaurants and other services, Wyoming can compete in the global market to attract the film industry.”

A list of businesses participating in the program can be found at http://www.wyomingfilm.org or http://www.filmincasper.com.

Production companies can request an official non-transferable Wyoming Production Incentive Program card, but just to keep it interesting, there are a limited number available.

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Attendees stood in line to get over-sized carry-all bags from first-time participant and new Assn. of Film Commissioners Intl. (AFCI) member, Malaysia, during February’s Global Locations Expo. The bags advertised Malaysia’s Creative Multimedia Cluster (CMC) headed by Kamil Othman, the facilitating officer for film production.

Exotic enticement

Malaysia, seeking to establish a presence in L.A.’s movie community, touted its trained crew base, which contributed to productions such as “Entrapment” and “Anna and the King.”

As additional inducement, Malaysia boasts of its strong infrastructure, English as a second language, five-star hotels, thriving American industry, a generous currency exchange rate and scenic forests, beaches and colorful locales.

The British Virgin Islands hoped the expo would establish its film commission as a stand-alone office from that of its Caribbean neighbors, and improve its production reputation as more than a location-oriented backdrop.

To that end, the islands’ film commission touted its duty- and tax-free production policy and growing crew base. The islands also stressed easy access from the U.S. as an additional incentive to entice feature productions to expand on the commercial shoots that serve as a main source of lensing revenue.

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