×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

California State Senate Leader Touts State’s Production Tax Credit

One of the California’s most powerful legislators has offered a strong endorsement of continued support for the state’s seven-year-old production tax credit program.

“The program has been an overwhelming success,” said Kevin de Leon, president pro tem of the California State Senate, in a speech on Thursday. “And we want California to remain the entertainment capital of the world.”

De Leon was the keynote speaker at the State of the Entertainment Industry Conference, sponsored by Variety and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, at the Loews Hotel.

The 2015-16 fiscal year marked a major expansion for the tax credit program, aimed at halting the erosion of California-based production to states with bigger incentives, such as Georgia and New York. The annual allocation rose from $100 million to $330 million, and applications are ranked on how many jobs they will produce, rather than being selected by lottery.

The program expansion, enacted in 2014 by California lawmakers, covers five years and $1.55 billion in tax credits. The credit is set at 20%, but producers are eligible for an additional 5% “uplift” if they shoot outside the L.A. zone, commit to music scoring or music track recording in the state, or to do visual effects in California.

De Leon did not indicate whether new legislation will be introduced when the California Legislature goes back into session in early January. But he noted that several states, including Florida and North Carolina, have dropped or reduced their incentive programs since California’s expansion.

“I don’t believe other states should be in the business of luring production out of California,” de Leon said. “We’ve made it clear that no one is going to out-compete California. Hollywood is here to stay and we have to keep the momentum going.”

De Leon pointed to statistics showing that since the program was expanded, the amount of hours worked by crews has increased by 12% and that the incentivized projects have led to $3.7 billion in direct spending in California.

The expansion of the program included a provision for big-budget studio movies to apply for the credit. Disney’s “Wrinkle in Time” was the first title to receive the allocation. The California Film Commission, which administers the program, selected “Call of the Wild” and Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Charles Manson movie  as recipients of the state’s production tax credit on Nov. 20. They join other big-budget projects for California, including “Captain Marvel,” “Island Plaza,” “Midway,” “Ad Astra,” and “Bumblebee.”

Thursday’s event included state film commission executive director Amy Lemisch interviewing “Wrinkle in Time” producer James Whiteaker about the shoot. The producer noted it was the first time he’d worked in California on a feature film since “Flight Plan,” and said that shooting in the state — mostly in rural northern California — had a positive impact on the crew.

“You want people to feel good about where they are,” he added.

More Film

  • Bradley Cooper speaks at the 30th

    Producers Guild Shifts 2020 Awards Show to Hollywood Palladium

    The Producers Guild of America will hold its 31st Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium, shifting the site from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The PGA had already announced that the show would take place on Jan. 18. The organization, which represents more than 8,000 producers, announced Thursday that it has launched a new [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Elton John performing at Earls Court,

    Elton John Has a Message for Struggling LGBTQ Youth: 'Be Proud of Who You Are'

    Elton John isn’t at a loss for words when asked if he has a message for young LGBTQ people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. In an exclusive interview with Variety at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, just hours before the world premiere of his long-in-the-works biopic “Rocketman,” John spoke candidly about the [...]

  • Salma Hayek Owen Wilson Bliss

    Salma Hayek, Owen Wilson to Star in Amazon's Sci-Fi Drama 'Bliss'

    Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson have signed on to star in Amazon’s science-fiction drama “Bliss,” with Mike Cahill directing from his own script. Wilson portrays a recently divorced man whose life is falling apart when he meets Hayek’s character, a woman who lives on the streets and is convinced that the polluted, broken world around [...]

  • Donald Glover Beyonce

    Beyoncé and Donald Glover Harmonize in 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' Ad Preview

    Anyone who’s longed to hear Beyoncé and Donald Glover harmonizing got just enough to further whet the appetite in a first snippet of their version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” that’s included in a new commercial for Disney’s upcoming “Lion King” remake. The TV spot lasts just 30 seconds, hardly time at all [...]

  • Pride Allies

    The Hollywood Allies Who Helped Protect, Advance the LGBTQ Community This Year

    Strong and proud as it is, the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality needs allies — from loving and accepting families to galvanized colleagues and corporations to the movie star you’ve never met calling for boycotts of a homophobic nation-state. Several of those queer supporters in Hollywood and music used the megaphones of social media, public [...]

  • 'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works

    'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works From Original Screenwriter (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nearly a decade after the success of “Easy A,” a spinoff of the coming-of-age comedy is in the works. Sources tell Variety that Screen Gems has appointed Bert Royal, who penned the first script, to write and direct the upcoming movie. Insiders stress that the film is still in early development, as Royal is still [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content