Film Works Weekly Reel News Update: California Edition
Welcome to another installment of Film Works Reel News Update, where we highlight recent news of interest to Film Works supporters. If you have thoughts about anything we include here, or if you want to recommend new topics for us to cover in the future, please leave us a comment below.
Extension of California Film & Television Tax Credit Program Clears First Hurdle:
A bill to extend the California Film & Television Tax Credit program — which is set to expire in 2013 — for an additional five years cleared its first legislative hurdle in Sacramento this week. The bill (AB 2026) received overwhelming bi-partisan support with a 7-0 vote in the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media. Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, who authored AB 2026, said the the incentive is aimed at “leveling the playing field” with other states and nations offering bigger incentives:
“We can’t afford to let this signature industry walk away from California,” said Assembly member Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar)…
Fuentes stressed that the bill is aimed at “leveling the playing field” by encouraging producers to shoot in California rather than opt for a wide variety of sweeter incentive deals outside the Golden State. “This is not a giveaway to film stars,” he added.
The committee approved the legislation, Assembly Bill 2026, on a 7-0 vote with one abstention. The measure will be heard next by the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation.
Film Works will be tracking AB 2026 as it progresses through the legislature. Stay tuned.
San Francisco Film Incentive Helps Increase Production Activity:
The editorial board at The San Francisco Examiner is calling for an extension of the city’s film rebate program. The program, which began in 2006, allows qualifying productions a refund on all of their payroll tax and city fees up to $600,000. With the help of the city’s incentive, “there was a 26 percent increase in the number of films, TV shows and commercials shot in The City in 2010″:
While the streets of San Francisco remain highly visible in many movies and television shows, it takes more than just good looks these days to attract filmmakers to San Francisco. That is why The City’s film rebate program needs to be renewed in this upcoming budget cycle.
According to statistics provided by The City’s Film Commission, the filming of TV shows and movies in San Francisco peaked in 1999. Part of that decline stems from the tax incentives offered by competing filmmaking locations…
To combat the decline of moviemaking in San Francisco, the Film Commission started its own incentive program in 2006….
All indicators suggest this program has worked in luring productions back to San Francisco. According to the Film Commission, there was a 26 percent increase in the number of films, TV shows and commercials shot in The City in 2010.
That business was more than worth the $1.5 million The City has spent since 2006 to lure it here. In the 2010-11 fiscal year, film productions spent an estimated $56.23 million on labor, hotel accommodations, supplies and other costs, according to Film Commission statistics. Some $158,500 was spent on city permits alone. Film productions that received rebates have spent $40 million in The City since then.
Such productions also create local jobs. Since 2006, the Film Commission estimates, 1,135 San Francisco residents have been employed in film productions, bringing in $12.5 million in wages.
Humboldt County Economy to Get Jolt From Big Budget Sci-Fi Film Starring Will Smith:
According to an article in today’s Times-Standard, a new Sony Pictures science fiction movie starring Will Smith will be infusing the Humboldt County economy with production spending for two weeks of shooting expected to wrap on May 5th. According to film permits, filming will take place in Humboldt County’s old growth redwood stands and “is expected to bring desirable Hollywood dollars to the community”:
Filming permits show that the production, which takes place in some of the county’s old growth stands, will be closely monitored by rangers. The production is expected to bring desirable Hollywood dollars to the community, and could potentially employ local vendors and services….
[Humboldt County Film Commissioner Cassandra] Hesseltine said that Humboldt is a prime destination for commercial and independent film shoots, and said enticing more film productions in the area would be a boon to the local economy.
”I don’t think any amount of money is too small,” Hesseltine said.
Last year, Humboldt County brought in about $1 million in revenue from commercial shoots, shorts and an independent film.
”You can imagine, when a studio comes, that number is considerably larger,” Hesseltine said, adding that a multiplier effect means every dollar spent here circulates in the county for a larger impact.
Whether it’s the seven California State Lawmakers who voted in favor of AB 2026, the editorial board of The San Francisco Examiner or the people in the northern-most reaches of the state in Humboldt County, it’s heartening to see people across the state recognize that Film Works for ALL of California.