California Expanded Tax Credit Program Draws 254 Film Applicants

California Film Commission

The California Film Commission has announced 254 movie projects applied for $55.2 million in tax credits under the state’s recently expanded program — underlining the strong interest in keeping production in the Golden State.

The commission received 32 applications for studio films from $48.3 million in funds and another 222 applications for $6.9 million in funds for independent projects. The application period lasted from July 13 to July 25.

California’s 6-year-old incentive program has been expanded from $100 million in tax credits annually to $330 million — and feature film projects with budgets of more than $75 million are now eligible. Eight features received credits last year: Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” and “American Sniper,” “Horrible Bosses 2,” Mark Wahlberg’s “The Gambler,” “Earth to Echo,” “The Purge: Anarchy,” “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” and “Ouija” with $7.9 million.

In early June, the commission announced that “Veep,” “American Horror Story,” “Secrets and Lies” and “Hindsight” had been approved to receive $27 million in tax credits for relocating to California, with six other new series — “Code Black,” “Crazy Ex Girlfriend,” “Rosewood,” “Heart Breakers,” “Utopia” and “Westworld” — and the pilot for “Snowfall” receiving a total of $55 million in credits.

The new program also provides that the selection for tax credits be based on each project’s “jobs ratio score,” which provides a ranking according to wages paid to below-the-line workers and qualified spending for vendor payments/equipment. Producers of the top-ranked movie projects were notified July 27 that they have been selected to begin the second phase of the process for further evaluation, with notification set for mid-August.

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  1. Roger says:

    How about this, California: Approve every single movie and television show that wants to film in this state and let’s get the movie economy growing again. Between the perfect weather, tens of thousands of talented crew members, and hundreds of soundstages that see more tourists than filming, it’s about time to stop runaway production and bring it home.

    • yirmin snipe says:

      Or maybe California could just cut their budget for welfare recipients and lower the taxes across the board… Because the reality of having to bribe studios to make movies in California is that it means the state isn’t competitive on its own merits… and as you say it ain’t the weather or the labor that’s the problem… its the taxes and the regulations.

      • Roger says:

        California should use some of the tourism revenue to bolster filming in the state, since Hollywood or the idea of Hollywood is the basis for said tourism. Like what Wall Street is to New York, the movie/tv industry is a necessity to the state more than other businesses. I don’t like the idea of bribing studios, but it’s the reality of the nature of the business now. So we may as well bribe them better than NY, Georgia, Louisiana, or Vancouver. The only taxes in this state I have any issue with is the per-gallon gasoline tax. Other than that we’re competitive with everyone else.

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