Hollywood Production Spikes after Tax Breaks

Lights Camera Action (Satish Viswanath / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Satish Viswanath / Flickr / CC / Cropped

In May, the California State Assembly unanimously passed AB 1839, a bill that expanded California’s existing film and TV tax credit and incentive program. According to a new report, the move is working, as Hollywood has seen a resurgence in the number of TV programs being filmed in the state.

California’s new rebate program is based on a production’s ability to create jobs and boosted annual incentives from $100 million to $330 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In an attempt to lure existing shows back to Los Angeles, a portion of those funds specifically is reserved for relocating series.

Citing an Oct. 6 FilmL.A. report, THR reports TV production in Los Angeles is up 12 percent compared with last year, and hit a record high this quarter.

The number of days in which sitcoms are shooting is up 168, while filming days for dramas and pilots are up 24 and 32 percent, respectively.

Despite the good news, reality TV production is down 20 percent.

Still, stars and showrunners alike are excited about the incentives, if for no other reason than to enjoy the social aspects and geography of Southern California.

One of the programs moving back to the Golden State over the legislation; HBO’s Veep, which had previously been shot just outside Baltimore, MD.

The thriller series American Horror Story has also made the jump to Los Angeles, having filmed the two seasons in Louisiana.

USA network’s upcoming alien drama Colony, which doesn’t qualify for the rebate program, has even opted to stay in California.

Executive director of the California Film Commission, Amy Lemisch, told THR, “You can’t compete with the talent pool both in front of and behind the camera.”

She added, “There’s an ease to working here in terms of the level of expertise, the availability of the equipment and, for most people, the proximity to home.”

Timothy Simons, who plays a minor roll on Veep, told the industry publication one of his favorite things about coming back to California is simply having coffee with friends.


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