After a years-long battle by film industry supporters, business and labor groups, job creation advocates and committed legislators to secure a film and television tax incentive, Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation creating tax credits for film and television production in February of this year.
With the Legislature’s passage of the program, California became one of over 40 states to offer incentives to lure film/TV jobs and the economic benefits they bring.
The California Film Commission received over 50 applications from filmmakers on July 1, the program’s first day. Later that month, the Governor announced the first 25 productions to qualify for the incentive.
FilmL.A. began to process on-location permits for some of these productions in the month of August. Two of the qualifying feature films — Priest and You Again — are employing hundreds of local cast and crew members in Los Angeles as you read this.
Glenn Gainor, Head of Physical Production for Screen Gems, had scouted other states for Priest, including New Mexico, which has built its crew and sound stage infrastructures over the past several years. He decided to film in California, in part because of the new incentive.
“The California tax credit helped even up costs with other incentivized regions,” said Gainor.
“Creatively, I felt that the world of Priest, which requires desert, cityscapes and the finest sound stages on earth was best served in Los Angeles. No other location on the planet can offer all of these within one region,” he added.