When the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 debuted in July, supporters looked with anticipation to the fall, when the benefits of the new program would first be seen. And now, a little less than six months since initial program funds were allocated, production is booming in Greater Los Angeles and jobs optimism is on the rise.
All told, 22 new projects have been brought to California in 2015 with the aid of the new tax credit. Some, like the 11 feature films that were selected over the summer, may not officially start production until the new year. But a total of 11 new television shows are already in production, including three relocating from other states, juicing the local economy to the tune of $544 in direct production spending. One of the notable shows relocating to California is HBO’s Veep, which had been based in Maryland. As a result of the move, Veep is expected to spend $49 million in California on its new season, which will support over 400 cast & crew jobs and over 3,000 background positions.
On-location scripted television production increased 54.5 percent in the third quarter, production support vendors are recalling equipment from other parts of the country, and L.A. film workers are finding it easier to find jobs in California, where they’d prefer to stay with their families.
The celebration’s of film production’s return is ongoing. In October, FilmL.A. participated in a press conference organized by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to welcome American Horror Story: Hotel back to Los Angeles for its fifth season, which will inject over $58 million into the local economy. At the event, held in the show’s elaborate Hotel Cortez set at 20th Century Fox Studios, Mayor Garcetti joined California State Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon, California Film Commissioner Amy Lemisch, and local elected officials to thank 20th Century Fox Television for investing in Los Angeles’ future.
Optimism was also felt as business and community leaders gathered for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual State of the Entertainment Industry Conference on November 13. FilmL.A. President Paul Audley served as a co-chair of the event, which featured an opening greeting from Kevin James, Director and Chief Liaison of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Television Production. Among a morning of panels focused on the future of the film, television and music industries, Audley led a spotlight conversation on the California Film & Television Tax Credit with Amy Lemisch, Executive Director of the California Film Commission, and actor/director/writer Daniel Stern. Also at the Conference, the Commitment to California Award was presented to Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios.
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