Oklahoma OKs Bigger Incentives for Film, TV Production

The Flight Attendant Minari
● G L O B A L P R O D U C T I O N U P D A T E 6 0 2 The Flight Attendant: Phil Caruso/HBO Max; Minari: Melissa Lukenbaugh/A24

Oklahoma Boosts Biz Services

Oklahoma got a big boost this year from A24’s Oscar-winning “Minori,” which filmed in the state, creating 180 jobs around Tulsa. Additional filming took place in the communities of Sand Springs, Broken Arrow, Skiatook and Rose. In 2020, Oklahoma declared the film and TV production business — and the recording industry — essential businesses, allowing the state to host 33 productions, and in late May, the state increased the cash rebate available for film and TV production, from $8 million to $30 million a year till 2031. The new legislation includes a base rate of 20% with the opportunity to reach 38% in a cash rebate.

The state has beefed up its production infrastructure with the opening of the Green Pastures Studios and the Oklahoma Film and Television Academy in Spencer. This year, Prairie Surf Media launched Prairie Surf Studios in downtown Oklahoma City.

The state also offers an exemption on sales tax on property or services related to the production, with no minimum budget or expenditure requirement. ”

California adds to war chest

California Gov. Gavin Newson in May made the Golden State even more competitive for producers, adding $30 million to the state’s film and TV tax incentive program of $330 million. More and more productions come back online in California over the past several months as the state’s vaccination program has seen 40% of its population fully vaccinated at the end of May. There are more openings in Los Angeles County and COVID-prevention measures have been relaxed in the run-up to the state’s full reopening on June 15.

“This is an opportunity for all of those productions, TV and others, in places like Georgia whose values don’t necessarily always align with production crews, to consider coming back to the state of California,” Newsom said at a press conference announcing the boost.

In April, the California Film Commission announced that HBO’s “The Flight Attendant” was moving from New York to the Golden State for its second season, while TBS sitcom “Chad” was relocating to California from British Columbia. Per the film commission, the two series are on track to generate a combined $58.3 million in qualified spending — below-the-line wages and payments to in-state vendors.

Winnipeg’s Big Sky Aims High

Canada’s booming production scene will get a new player in Winnipeg with Big Sky Studios, which is targeting a fall opening. Situated on close to 9 acres, the existing 137,000-sq.-foot building is being revamped to house a soundstage, production offices, meeting rooms, workshops, on-site equipment rentals and specialty areas for different film departments. Construction will begin soon on two new soundstages, adding 30,000 sq. feet of filming space.

Manitoba’s Film and Media Tax Credit offers up to 65% on Manitoba labor, or up to 38% on eligible Manitoba expenditures — one of the most competitive tax credits in Canada.