CALIFORNIA – As a result of the California Film & TV Tax Credit Program, productions that were otherwise slated to leave California have been approved for the program and are filming in state. The program, which launched in July 2009, approved twenty-six projects for 2009 start dates. The remaining projects will begin filming in the first half of 2010.
Applications are still being accepted, with approximately $15 million in funds for “independent productions” remaining. Please contact the California Film Commission (“CFC”) for up-to-date allocation information, since projects may drop out, freeing up additional funds.
An additional $100 million (shared between independent and studio productions) will be available starting in July, 2010. The permanent regulations are currently under review. The CFC anticipates adoption of the regulations in February 2010.
ILLINOIS – Toronto-based Cinespace has announced development of an $80 million studio complex on an industrial site near the heart of Chicago. The project is being promoted as the biggest state-of-the-art production facility outside of Hollywood. Details soon.
LOUISIANA – With an increased tax incentive, Louisiana saw 63 productions completed over 2009.
New facilities: Los Angeles digital visual effects company Pixel Magic has opened an office in Lafayette; Worldwide FX, a major Bulgarian effects house, opened a division in Shreveport. Second Line Studios is finishing construction in New Orleans, with “Green Lantern” scheduled to be the first production. Maison Post, a full-service post-production house, has opened in New Orleans. Nu Image broke ground on Millennium Studios, their new sound stage complex in Shreveport. Meanwhile, Sony wrapped “Battle: Los Angeles” at Celtic Media in Baton Rouge.
MICHIGAN – was the location of choice for 50 productions with total expenditures approaching $250 million. Although the new year has just started, MI anticipates over $150 million in production for 2010, with the possibility of $200 million or more.
No new stages have been completed, but there are a number in progress; in addition, there are good warehouses and at least 3 stages available, 2 in the metro Detroit area, 1 up in Manistee.
No changes are expected in the incentive program for 2010.
OHIO – The new incentives program has already awarded nearly $7 million in credits for 4 productions, including “Unstoppable,” a Denzel Washington film from Twentieth Century Fox that shot (partly) in the state in November. In addition, three films from Ohio-based Nehst Studios are scheduled for 2010.
Ohio offers a 25% refundable credit plus an additional 10% for local hires, with $30 million available for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
OREGON – Response to the increased production incentive resulted in 2009 becoming the biggest year for film, television and commercial production in Oregon to date, with a reported $62 million in direct spending. With the higher program cap, Oregon hosted major productions such as the TNT series “Leverage”, CBS Films’ “Extraordinary Measures”, “Something Wicked”, “Meeks Cutoff”, and the recently completed Gus Van Sant film.
With Season 3 of “Leverage” already committed to return in 2010 and several other interested projects, 2010 will likely be an even bigger year than 2009. Some of the incentive funds are available now, with additional funds earmarked for next year. There are no legislative changes anticipated until 2011, when the full legislature meets.
TEXAS – hosted a total of sixteen films in 2009, including 2 Robert Rodriguez films, “Machete”and “Predators”, and 10 Television productions — including ABC’s “The Deep End” and NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”. Plus sixty-five commercials and twenty-six video games qualified for the incentive grants, for a total Texas spend of $177 million. For 2010, the state expects both TV series to continue, plus thirteen episodes of “Jack & Dan” for Fox. Upcoming features include the Coen Brother’s “True Grit” in the Austin area and “Retractable”in Houston.
No program changes are anticipated in 2010, as the legislature does not go back into session until January 2011. $14 million remains for the current fiscal year.