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‘Entourage’ Pic, ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Among California Film Tax Credit Selections

'Bunheads,' 'Purge 2' among those chosen

A total of 31 productions have been selected to receive California’s Film and Television Tax Credit — 14 features, 14 basic cable TV series and three movies of the week — including the “Entourage” movie and “Pretty Little Liars.”

Notable feature selections in the lottery conducted by the California Film Commission include Lava Bear Film’s “Intrusion, “Purge 2” and Lionsgate’s “The Wash.” Significant TV selections include “Bunheads,” “Dirty Laundry,” “Franklin and Bash,” “Justified,” “Major Crimes,” “Murder in the First,” “Perception,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Switched at Birth.”

The credit was also awarded to a pair of relocated series — “Teen Wolf,” which has shifted from Georgia; and TNT’s “King & Maxwell,” which has been shooting in Vancouver but will move to California. Vancouver has seen a sharp drop in productions recently.

California producers submitted 380 applications for the state’s latest round of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit — up 18% from last year’s 327 submissions.

“The record number of applications this year serves as affirmation that the production industry wants to stay at home in California,” said exec director Amy Lemisch. “But tax credits now drive much of the decision making process, and sadly many projects that weren’t selected to receive California credits will be shot elsewhere.”

Other selections this year include feature projects “Bordering on Love,” “The Dating Game Killer,” “Havenhurst,” “The Meddler,” “Mission Blacklist,” “Shangri-La Suite” and “Sweetwater.” Other TV series selections include “Hit the Floor” and “Lost Angels” while TV movies include “Babycakes,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Love” and “Roll with It.”

Past recipients of the credit include Oscar Best Picture winner “Argo,” “Gangster Squad,” Halle Berry indie feature “The Hive” and TV series “Body of Proof.” A total of 11 TV series that had previously received the credit — “Pretty Little Liars,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Justified,” “Franklin & Bash,” “Hit the Floor,” “Major Crimes,” “Switched at Birth,” “Bunheads,” “Lost  Angels,” “Perception” and “Teen Wolf” —  continued to do so in the new round.

With only $100 million in credits available annually and features with budgets over $75 million not eligible, demand far exceeds supply with less than 10% of applications receiving the credit. And a significant amount of the $100 million is already committed to the 11 TV series that are continuing to shoot in California and have been selected in previous rounds, which have seen a total of $400 million doled out so far.

California’s credit is smaller than those of rival states with a maximum of 25% of the budget. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a two-year $200 million extension of the program last fall. Those funds will be doled out in June, 2014 and June, 2015.

The film commission estimated that the 31 projects will spend more than $771 million in California, including more than $290 million in qualified wages, and employ an estimated 2,980 cast members, 3,730 crew members and 80,680 extras/stand-ins (calculated in “man-days”).

With the addition of the latest round of projects, the commission asserted that the four-year-old program has helped generate $4.67 billion in direct spending within the state, including $1.59 billion in wages paid to “below-the-line” crew members.

The 31 projects announced Tuesday could change. A year ago, 28 projects were announced initially but 75 projects ultimately were cleared for last year’s tax credit allocation as some projects dropped out of the program due to scheduling delays or other production-related issues, clearing the way for projects on the waiting list.

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