California to launch boosted $330m filming incentive from next year
California will launch a reformed filming incentive programme with an annual fund of USD 330 million that will come into effect for the 2016 fiscal year. The fund will still be less than in New York, but the hope is that California’s locations and production infrastructure will give the West Coast the edge.
Jerry Brown, Governor of California, negotiated the annual fund down from an initial figure of USD 400 million, but the number is still a big improvement on what’s currently available. The programme has been confirmed through to the 2019-20 fiscal year, which could help secure more high-end TV dramas looking for long-term incentive support.
California plans to use the boosted filming incentive to reverse a runaway production problem that has seen a dramatic decline in the number of feature films and TV dramas shot in the state. Star Trek Into Darkness and Captain America: The Winter Soldier have been the only big-budget movies to shoot mainly in California in the last few years.
Since 2009, the California filming tax credit has offered just USD 100 million annually, allocated using a lottery system. Big-budget shoots have been excluded from support.
“Not only does extending the Film Tax Credit keep cameras rolling in California, it will keep costumers designing, craft services catering, and carpenters hammering,” said California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.
Added Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway: “For too long, film and television productions have been leaving California for other states and countries. With California's legacy as home to an entertainment industry that generates billions for our state's economy, lawmakers must do everything we can to lure back these productions and the jobs associated with them.”
California plans to use the boosted filming incentive to reverse a runaway production problem.
The change in California could impact the production industry across North America. British Columbia’s proximity to the US west coast and its comprehensive filming incentive programme have made it a popular double for California locations in recent years but more productions could now choose to remain in America.
On the east coast of the US, North Carolina will downgrade its filming incentive from 2015. California will now be an option for TV dramas like Under the Dome and Sleepy Hollow that will not get the same level of production support next year.
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