Movie exec: New film tax credit for California presents golden opportunity for Golden State

Christopher Sean Brown applauds California for expanding tax incentive opportunities for film and TV productions
(PR NewsChannel) / June 17, 2015 / LOS ANGELES  

HollywoodWhile states like Georgia and Louisiana have successfully lured movie and television show productions away from the West Coast in recent years, a newly expanded incentives program is trying to cement California as the premiere location for the television and film production industry.

The California Film Commission announced earlier this month that four major TV shows will start filming in the Golden State. FX’s thriller ”American Horror Story,” which previously filmed in Louisiana and the HBO political comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” which previously filmed in Maryland, are among the four shows set to relocate.

Hollywood-based executive producer, Christopher Sean Brown, is used to shooting on location in both California and other states and says the new incentive program is a game changer and greatly outshines previous incentive programs.

“Some television shows have relocated to other states after being unsuccessful in gaining incentives in the California lottery system,” said Brown. “It’s reassuring to filmmakers to know that the state has taken measures that will not only amend the previous system but offer expanded opportunities to the entire film industry.”

According to the commission, the four relocating shows lured by California’s incentives were among twelve selected to obtain tax credits under the new program.

The shows will shoot in Los Angeles and other Southern California locations that previously suffered losses in TV productions shooting locally.

In 2014, California lawmakers expanded the state’s film and TV tax credit program, which allotted filmmakers up to 25 percent off qualified production expenses, including salaries of crew and cast members.

The new incentive program will triple annual funding for the program to $330 million and give projects more opportunities to qualify, including new network series, premium cable and Internet providers as well as pilots.

“This is a great opportunity for new and upcoming projects to take advantage of so that production teams avoid getting ahead of themselves by relocating, shooting and employing crews in other states,” said Brown.

The expanded program also eliminates the lottery system previously used to distribute tax credits at random. Instead, credits will be awarded based strictly on the amount of jobs and spending required for each individual TV or film project.

A large allocation of funds will be set aside for productions relocating to California, totaling $27.6 million in revenue coming from just the four formerly out-of-state TV shows already announced. In addition, $55.2 million is also set aside specifically for new TV series, miniseries, and pilots.

Only time will tell whether or not the new incentives will successfully regain the business of major film productions in California. While the program points legislation in the right direction, Brown admits the new program still faces some hurdles.

“Even with an expanded incentive program, the state faces competition from states who are thriving from the TV and film production business,” said Brown. “Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi have become popular film friendly states and it’ll take a lot of hard work and effort to try and change that.”

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SOURCE:  InterCoast College

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