The California Film Commission tells AP it’s receiving tons of calls from independent producers, studios, TV shows and features and “all very excited and very anxious to get started” filming in the state because of $500 million in new tax credits. Even though the first credits aren’t applicable until 2011, applications will be accepted July 1.
The newly passed so-called Ugly Betty law is aimed at big movie productions with budgets up to $75 million, new TV series willing to relocate to California, and independent films with budgets up to $10 million. The credit, for up to 25% of production budgets spent in the state, is capped at $100 million a year. This, combined with the Los Angeles City Council’s new business tax breaks could persuade Hollywood to start filming close to home again. But, more likely, the studios and networks will pit states and their legislatures and their financial inducements against one other.
Meanwhile, legislators just realized that Ugly Betty, the ABC comedy that moved from LA to NYC last year for that state’s tax breaks (now outta dough), won’t benefit if it returns to California. Only TV shows that have not shot any previous seasons in the state can qualify. Aides to Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, who drafted the law, tells AP this was an oversight. So now the California Film Commission is drafting regulations to be finished in May to correct it.