California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Generates $2.6 Billion in Annual Production Spending

“Amid all the disruption and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, today’s report affirms that California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program has continued to work as intended to create jobs and opportunity across our state,” California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell said in statement. “It is also helping train individuals from underrepresented communities and provide them with better access to careers in entertainment production. Initiatives such as our Career Pathways Training Program are helping ensure the next generation of production workers reflects our State’s diversity.” 

According to an April 2021 report by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the film and
television industry employs more people nationwide than other major industry sectors,
including mining, oil & natural gas extraction, crop production, utility system construction,
and rental & leasing services. Across the United States, the entertainment industry supported
more than 2.5 million jobs, including 331,000 direct jobs engaged in producing, marketing, and
manufacturing motion pictures, television shows, and video content; direct jobs totaling
579,000 were engaged in distributing motion pictures, television shows, and video content to
The California Film Commission (CFC), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic
Development, incentivizes film and TV production in the state by administering film and
television tax credit programs. First enacted in 2009, the tax credit program was created to
provide economic stimulus designed to increase film and television production, jobs, and tax
revenues in California. The CFC publishes an annual report to provide the public with an
assessment of the program’s economic benefit, as well as statistical information and insights
into California’s entertainment production industry and its competition. This report provides a
summary of approved projects from the first fiscal year of Program 3.0 – the third iteration of
the tax credit program. Data from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 includes a breakdown of labor
and expenditures, an analysis of television series that relocated to California, a summary of
big-budget films, regional filming data, and career readiness requirement data. New in this
report are approved applicant summaries of diversity and inclusion initiatives and data on
the pilot career pathways program.
In addition, this report provides an analysis of productions that applied but did not receive
tax credits, and ultimately left California to film in other parts of the country and the world.
Year after year, consistent data shows that other locales entice filmmakers by offering
competitive production and post-production (including visual effects) incentives along with
new or expanded production infrastructure.
Regardless of growing infrastructure and competitive tax credits, production worldwide came
to a halt in mid-March 2020 due to the Coronavirus global pandemic.

Full report here:

Written by Alex McCurthy

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