Local filming ties into state’s stimulus program.
There were many years when California was the most desirable place to film, due to its availability of crew members, variety of landscapes and proximity to major studios. However in the last decade one major factor has become more important than all of those: money.
Little relief from taxes exists in California for film and television productions. As a result, nearly every other state in the U.S. created rebate incentives that lured productions elsewhere.
However state lawmakers and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were able to hash out a film incentive of their own a few months ago, which provides $100 million per year in tax incentives for productions.
“I fought hard for economic stimulus measures including the film and television production incentive, because we must do everything in our power to stimulate the economy and put Californians back to work,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This is about the make-up artists, the caterers and the countless other small businesses that rely on film and television production to succeed and create jobs for Californians.”
The Governor recently announced the first 25 films that were chosen to receive the tax incentives, and one of those films will shoot locally in Santa Clarita.
According to Jessica Freude with Santa Clarita’s economic development office, “Elevator Girl” has obtained a permit to film locally.
Santa Clarita relies heavily on film and television production, as the industry provides close to $20 million dollars each year in local economic activity. Furthermore, many of the skilled workers employed by the industry call Santa Clarita home.
“We are happy to welcome them here, and certainly we look forward to welcoming other productions that qualify here to the Santa Clarita Valley,” she said.
Not content with merely one incentive, the City has released an additional perk to entice film and production companies to stay local, as part of a recently passed economic stimulus package.
“We are able to help subsidize permit fees for locally based productions, and also productions that qualify for a variety of reasons,” she continued.
The 25 films that were chosen by California to participate in the rebate program represent only a portion of those productions who applied. This apparent success indicates the program’s worth, according to Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who originally supported the legislation.
“This was exactly what we had hoped for,” he said. “We’ve been trying to convince our colleagues up and down the state of the importance of this type of tax credit, which brings a lot of jobs and a lot of revenue back to the state, especially at a time like this when we need it.”
According to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, every $1 spent on film production in California results in an economic output of $2.95 statewide.
The 25 film and television productions that have received notifications to date include:
- 1/2 Life – 1/2 Life LLC
- Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 – Tiny But Mighty Productions, Inc.
- Burlesque – Screen Gems Productions, Inc.
- Christmas in Beverly Hills – Fast Lane Productions, LLC
- Circle of Eight – Bronson Avenue II, LLC
- Cooper – Gramps Company, Inc.
- Dead Broke – Lucky Monkey Pictures
- Dinner for Schmucks – DW Studios Productions, LLC
- Elevator Girl – Garding Limited
- Faster – CBS Films Productions Inc.
- Fire In The Hole – Woodbridge Productions, Inc.
- Hero Factory (Animated) – Threshold Animation Studios, Inc.
- Important Things with Dimitri Martin – Central Productions, LLC
- Men of a Certain Age – Turner North Center Productions Inc.
- Naked Gun 4 – Paramount Famous Productions
- Perfect Family, The – Perfect Family, LLC
- Priest – Screen Gems Productions, Inc.
- Raise, The – Unclaimed Freight Productions, Inc.
- Second Wives Club – Paramount Famous Productions
- Slumdog Virgin – Steinbeck, LLC
- Social Network, The – Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
- Spanish Harlem Project, The – Mano Productions, Inc.
- Takin’ It Back – Elixir Entertainment, Inc.
- Untitled Movie – Close To Home Productions, LLC
- You Again – Briarvale Productions, Inc.
For details on application procedures and guidance on qualified expenditures and program requirements, visit www.film.ca.gov/incentives.