California’s film czar Paul Audley has called on the state legislature to boost tax incentives in light of a sobering report that illustrates the extent of the state’s decline as a production hub.
The 2013 Feature Film Production Study released by non-profit FilmL.A.on March 6 makes for a sobering read for those seeking to lure production back to the state of California.
The study analysed a sample of 108 US features released in theatres in 2013 produced by the six US majors as well as Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, DreamWorks, Relativity and FilmDistrict.
It concluded that California ranked fourth behind Louisiana, Canada and the UK in total live-action projects, total related film jobs and total production spend.
In terms of the number of films per location, California tied with Canada on 15 features, followed by the UK on 12 and the (US) state of Georgia on nine. The state of Louisiana led the way on 18.
Of the 26 sampled live-action films budgeted at more than $100m only two – The Hangover Part III (pictured) and Star Trek: Into Darkness – were made mostly in-state.
Compared to 15 years ago, California’s share of the top 25 live-action films has plummeted 700% from 64% to 8%.
The report notes, “Without exception, California’s most successful competitors for new feature film projects offer significant, uncapped film incentive programmes.”
“The film and entertainment industries are absolutely essential to California’s middle class, and this underscores the importance of our work to level the playing field against the other states and countries who are luring our jobs away,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These jobs not only support California families, they generate revenues that pay for schools, infrastructure and other state services.”
“Considering California’s vast filmmaking talent, the state should be exporting films for global audiences, not jobs to global competitors,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley.
“State policymakers have the opportunity to make a difference this year by expanding California’s film and television tax credit. We hope they give the strongest possible signal to the film industry that they want to keep film jobs in California.”
To read the full report click here.