California signs new $330m filming incentive into law for 2015
California has signed into law a boosted filming incentive that will take effect from 2015. Formalising a deal agreed in August, the move increases the state’s annual film fund to USD 330 million for the next five years.
Production support is to be extended to big-budget features and high-end TV dramas for the first time, and the controversial lottery-based fund allocation system will be scrapped. Shoots that create the most jobs – those with the largest budgets – will be prioritised for support.
“This legislation will keep the cameras rolling in California and strengthen our position as the entertainment capital of the world,” said Senate President pro Tem-elect Kevin de León: “We're bringing Californians who are working away from their families in Georgia and Louisiana back to California where they belong.”
Added Steve Papazian, Warner Bros Pictures President of Worldwide Physical Production: “Over the last 20 years, our California [industry] has lost much of its film and television production work and with it the solid technical and creative jobs that our industry provides.
“The legislation is a catalyst to grow those positions for the thousands of current and future crew members who want to work here and for the myriad small businesses that supply and support our industry every day.”
Production support is to be extended to big-budget features and high-end TV dramas for the first time.
Just two big-budget Hollywood productions – Star Trek Into Darkness (above) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier – have made California their main base of operations in the last few years so the state’s production industry will be hoping for a change.
California faces intense competition from the likes of Louisiana, New York, Georgia and Toronto in North America, and from international territories such as the UK, South Africa and Australia. A shift in the production landscape is likely to be a gradual process requiring a long-term incentive commitment.
(Image: Paramount Pictures)
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