Written by on Feb 18, 2014. Posted in Incentive News

California production industry prepares fight to boost filming incentives

Production professionals in California are preparing legislation that they hope will lead to a boost in the state’s filming incentive programme. The aim is to increase the annual film fund well above the current USD100 million and expand support to big-budget feature productions.

Campaigners will focus on what they say is a threat to middleclass jobs in California, should the incentive remain as it is, The Wrap reports. One of the main misconceptions of filming incentive programmes in the US is that they only benefit wealthy producers, so incentive advocates often seek to highlight how film tax credits benefit below-the-line crew.

“It’s all about job creation and keeping our crew members working, and that filters down to all the small businesses that depend on a vibrant entertainment economy,” California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch told the outlet.

“Our programme is more modest [than rival filming incentives in places like New York, Louisiana and now the UK], but you don’t want to give away more than you have to. You want to make it competitive enough so it makes financial sense when producers realise they don’t have to incur as much shipping and travel expenses.”

Why should California allow other states to take the entertainment industry away?

Yusef Robb, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office

Yusef Robb, Director of Communications for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, told the outlet: “Florida is not going to let its sunshine get taken away, Texas is not going to let its football get taken away and New York is not going to let the financial services industry get taken away, why should California allow other states to take the entertainment industry away?”

Improvements to the California filming incentive will ultimately have to be approved by Governor Jerry Brown, who is not known to be a supporter of the programme. In a bid to placate Brown’s administration, the legislation will take a softer approach by not initially recommending a specific dollar value for an expanded incentive.


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