California Film Tax Credit Program Reports Increase in Employment, Blockbuster Projects

Annual report shows 15 percent increase in below-the-line crew hours along with more big-budget films shot in California

The California Film Commission released its third annual report on the state’s film & TV tax credit program on Friday, boasting a boost in employment hours and in-state production.

The report showed a 15.6 percent increase in hours worked by below-the-line crew members compared to 2014, when the revised tax credit program was implemented. That’s a build on a 12 percent increase in 2016 compared to the start of the program.

The report also notes that five more big-budget films — classified as a budget of $75 million or more — have received incentives through the new tax program, increasing the total to ten. The films are “Call of the Wild,” “Captain Marvel,” “Ford v. Ferrari,” “Island Plaza” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

“Today’s report shows that Program 2.0 is working over the long-term to create high-quality production jobs and increase production spending in California,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch in a statement.

“While our tax credit is far more targeted than most, it does precisely what it was designed to do by keeping us competitive and reminding the industry that California has everything needed to provide the best value.”

In total, $815 million in tax credits have been provided to qualifying productions during the first three fiscal years of Program 2.0. This investment is on track to generate nearly $6 billion in direct in-state spending (up from $3.7 billion in spending through fiscal year-two). Projects that have received incentives have employed more than 18,000 cast and 29,000 crew members.

The next round of film productions receiving tax credits will be announced on November 19.