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Industry Report: Focus: North America

$710M incentives keep film and TV production in California


- Sixty film and TV projects that were otherwise poised to leave California, representing about $710 million in local wages, were kept in-state due government retention measures, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Tuesday. By Daniel Franke Touting year-end numbers for job and business sustenance initiatives passed last February as part of a larger economic stimulus package greenlit by the legislature, Schwarzenegger said 26 of the 60 film and TV projects that qualified for the state tax incentives completed production in 2009, adding 673 filming days to the state last year.

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The remaining 34 projects are slated to complete production in the next five months, according to the governor's office.

Projects approved for the tax incentives include TV shows “Men of a Certain Age,” “Lawman” and “Important Things With Demetri Martin." That latter Comedy Central show relocated from New York to L.A., the governor’s office noted.

The program runs through fiscal 2013-14.

“This is all about jobs and stimulating our economy,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “It’s about the caterers, the make-up artists and countless small businesses that rely on film and television production to thrive and create jobs here in California.”

Schwarzenegger’s announcement comes just after New York Gov. David Paterson proposed that $420 million be set aside each year for production tax credits.

The California state data also comes a week after Film L.A., the nonprofit org that handles film and TV location permitting in Los Angeles and its incorporated areas, announced that on-location filming in the city dropped 19 percent in 2009, the steepest drop since the agency began tracking this stuff back in 1993.



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