A bill introduced in the California Assembly seeks to change the state’s pending $330 million film incentives program by requiring that more of a film project’s music scoring be performed in California to qualify for the full amount of the rebates being offered. Assembly Bill 1199 is being applauded by Musicians Local 47, but it remains to be seen if it has the backing of the MPAA or by state and local politicians, who might see it as a disincentive to film here.
An MPAA spokesperson declined comment.
The upcoming tax incentives, which go into effect July 1, the beginning of the state’s fiscal year, offer a 20% credit on qualified expenses up to $100 million for feature films and television shows; allows network pilots to qualify for credits; and has a 25% credit for relocated TV series and independent films. The law allows for an additional 5% credit of qualified expenditures when an unspecified portion of the music scoring and music-track recording by musicians is done in California. AB 1199, however, would require that a minimum of 75%, or an expenditure of $100,000, for music scoring and track-recording be done in-state for productions to qualify for the added 5% credit.
Musician union officials say they hope that passage of the bill would stem the flow of runaway music scoring to other states and other countries. “The magic of movies is remembered by the music,” said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-San Fernando Valley), who introduced the bill. “When Jaws roars onto the screen, it’s the music that flutters your heart. We need to support our homegrown talent in Los Angeles. This tax credit will ensure the creation and production of our musical magic remains and thrives in Los Angeles.”
Asked who else is supporting the bill, a spokesman for Nazarian said, “The outreach has just begun, and we’re trying to get as much support as possible.”