California moves closer towards boosted location filming incentive
California has moved closer towards boosting its filming incentive programme with a unanimous vote of approval in the state assembly. Labelled the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act of 2014, the bill still needs approval from the senate and the Governor.
The bill is intended to tackle California’s long-term runaway production problem by expanding the state’s existing filming incentive to include big-budget features and some TV drama. It also incentivises location filming outside Los Angeles.
“This expanded and improved programme will go a long way towards making California more competitive with other state’s programmes,” explained Assemblyman Raoul Bocanegra, the bill’s co-sponsor: “I appreciate the Assembly’s support of AB 1839 today and look forward to seeing it continue through the legislative process and ultimately protect California jobs.”
One crucial – and controversial – element currently missing from the bill is the dollar value of the film fund. At the moment the fund is worth USD100 million annually, but the production community wants this brought closer to the USD420 million available in New York.
Supporters of the bill have said they will wait until they have a firmer idea of California’s budget before they propose a specific figure.
The fact that the current filming incentive doesn't support big-budget productions has led to a sharp decline in large-scale feature filming in California. Studios frequently opt for cities like New York, New Orleans, Vancouver, Toronto or London instead, all of which offer better incentive programmes.
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