The latest round of California tax credits has given the nod to the latest A Star Is Born, horror pic Annabelle 2, and Disney’s toy store based Overnight On 42nd Street among others, the California Film Commission said today. As my colleague Mike Fleming Jr. reported last March, the Warner Bros-produced A Star Is Born is set to be directed and possibly star Bradley Cooper alongside Beyonce. (See the full list of projects selected below.)
Overall, 13 projects were selected to receive some of the $56.9 million available in this round for what are bureaucratically termed Independent Projects and Non-Independent Projects. Disney’s Overnight snagged the biggest amount with $9.5 million in tax credits; A Star Is Born was second with $8.9 million. In total there were 174 applications during the January 11-26 period, aiming for a shot at as much as a 25% credit to ease productions’ bottom lines to stay in the home of Hollywood.
This round saw 10 Non-Independent Projects and 3 Independent Projects selected:
With an estimated $400 million in in-state spending by the projects announced today, nearly half of the films chosen this round are expected to shot outside of the Los Angeles Film Zone. Get It While You Can and Save The Cat, for instance, are set to film in San Francisco and the central part of the state. Part of the current program awards an additional credit of up to 5% to projects that go into production outside South California.
Overall, feature films make up about 40% of the dedicated funding from the annual $330 million tax incentivesGov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September 2014. Today’s announcement is the second round of film funding under the expanded, enhanced and now non-lottery-based state program. The next application period for TV actually starts February 15 with series, pilots, MOWs, miniseries and relocating shows eligible for up to $32.2 million in credits. The CFC has not made the next film application period public. This last film period, which closed last month, saw 29 non-independents, aka studio pics, apply, along with 145 indies.
Under the current plan, projects are primarily assessed on their job-creation scope. The CFC says the projects approved this round will pay out around $174 million in wages to more than 2,000 below-the-line crew members. They are also estimated to be employing nearly 540 cast members in total over all 13 projects.
“Before the passage of AB 1839, constituents in my district told me stories about their families being torn apart due to production fleeing the state,” Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) told Deadline today. The pol, whose jurisdiction includes Hollywood, was one of the authors of the 2014 legislation that revamped the tepid $100 million-a-year credit program. “The success of this program provides stability for these families and certainty to small businesses.”
According to a recent report by FilmL.A., however, while overall on-location production grew 1.3% in 2015 film production actually dipped 4.2% despite the increased moves to lure movies back to California. A lot of that has to do with our neighbor to the north, with the low Canadian dollar and experienced crews attracting productions to the strong infrastructure of Vancouver and Toronto. Additionally, incentive lucrative Georgia, Louisiana and New York are still proving big magnets for tentpoles.