LONDON — The British Film Institute said the planned remake of the British animation classic The Clangers and Mouse and Mole at Christmas are among the first to be certified to benefit from the animation tax relief system introduced in April.
The San Antonio Film Commission is a city division which promotes the art and craft of film-making, in order to provide a positive economic benefit to the community. Currently, they’re offering a $25,000 grant to local filmmakers.
A mere seven days of shooting the pilot to HBO’s “Looking” in the Mission brought in nearly $500,000 in revenue to the city of San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Film Commission. The HBO dramedy series, set to release January 19, 2014, also paid 113 local employees (i.e., grips, extras, etc.) $165,258 in wages.
In return, the city cut a check to HBO for $65,270.90.
Not as a thank you, but as a rebate.
Any money that production companies get back, that’s where they will go, explained Lauren Machado, production and marketing manager at San Francisco Film Commission.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A new state report says employment in Virginia’s film industry has risen 15.7 percent since 2011.
The report also says the total economic impact of 11 recent film and television projects topped $139 million. The projects included Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and the television pilot “Company Town” for CBS.
The report released Thursday says these projects spent $66.4 million in the state and received $11.8 million in incentives.
The report also says that $11.80 was returned to Virginia’s economy for every incentive dollar that was provided.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Cinematically, the streets of Portland would not pass for Manhattan. And Mount Katahdin, though majestic, is no Kilimanjaro.
Nevertheless, Maine is attracting increasing numbers of television and movie productions this year and cumulative spending has more than doubled….
A decade ago, the only thing Jon Gann really knew about film festivals was that he didn’t much care for them. After a year of traveling to dozens with his 9-minute film “Cyberslut,” the man who would go on to found the DC Shorts Film Festival felt defeated by the massive, impersonal cinematic showcases that valued sponsors over filmmakers.
His feelings were crystallized one afternoon when he touched down in France and rushed to a screening of his short, hoping to arrive in time to introduce his movie and greet the audience.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued a press release this week praising the Texas Film Commission for expanding its economic incentives to include “digital interactive media productions.” Under the new changes the state raised the funding level up from 15 to 20 percent, and lowered the top tier threshold to $3.5 million from $5 million and eliminated the wage-only option. Visual effects projects completed in Texas can now qualify as their own project under the new incentive guidelines. “We applaud Commissioner Page and the Texas Film Commission for their leadership and vision in expanding these important incentives,” said ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher. “This forward-thinking paves the way for exciting new innovations in the entertainment industry. These incentives are not only good for the video game industry, they are a win for Texas as well. These will help keep Texas competitive in the digital media marketplace, attracting and providing 21st century jobs in our growing industry and boosting the state’s economy.” Learn more about the state’s tax incentives here.
The Toronto Urban Film Festival returns for its seventh year of subterranean shorts programming, reaching an audience of 1 million commuters.
288 films are programmed for this year’s Toronto Film Festival, and commuters heading to the cinema will be treated with 85 more by the end of the fest. All they have to do is look up.
The Toronto Urban Film Festival returns for its seventh year of subterranean shorts programming, with a diverse slate that all come in under one minute. Each day’s programming will play every 10 minutes across 300 screens, planted in the city’s subway platforms.
Factoring in the number of people who utilize Toronto mass transit, the film festival will reach over 1 million people during its run. Arriving from 20 countries across the globe and ranging in medium — from narrative to documentary to animation — the festival’s selections add a dash of the avant-garde over TIFF’s 10 day run.
Although they’re micro-sized, TUFF recognizes individual artists each year. Canadian cult filmmaker Bruce McDonald (Pontypool) joins the fest to select the top three films of the year, as well as the winner of the City of Toronto’s Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Filmmakers. The awards will be presented at a special awards ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 15.
For those not in Toronto, this year’s selection is available for viewing on the TUFF website, where audiences can also vote to name the 2013 Viewer’s Choice winner.
The programmers of the Dallas International Film Festival will soon head out to the annual Toronto International Film Festival where they will begin plucking films off the circuit to show at next April’s event in Dallas. But the film fest submission season officially begins today. The Dallas IFF has put out a call for films to be included in the annual festival, and the carrot for filmmakers is upwards of $40,000 in prizes to be awarded to winners in a number of categories, including special awards for Texas films.
Through the years the Glenwood Springs area has served as the back drop for such films as Mr. & Mrs. Smith; The Great K&A Train Robbery; Under Siege 2: Dark Territory; Flashback; Messenger of Death and Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventure. Today, the greater Glenwood Springs area continues to be a frequent draw for producers of national television commercials who shoot at great locations ranging from the famous Glenwood Canyon highway to the scenic areas of the White River National Forest and the Maroon Bells.
“Godzilla” paid a visit to Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu in early July, strewing thousands of cubic yards of debris across the sand, from large chunks of cement and bricks (carved from foam) to sinks and bathroom fixtures. Less than 30 hours after production wrapped, all visible evidence of the Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. reboot — set to open May 16 — had been removed from the area, but Hawaii state film commissioner Donne Dawson says its impact will be felt long after, and not just from the economic ripple effect of the tens of millions in production dollars spent.
TAMPA – Whether it’s a cinema blockbuster or a television commercial, the Tampa-Hillsborough County area has the ingredients to grow a thriving film and digital industry, the county’s new film commissioner said Monday.
The Colorado Springs Film Commission staff is here to help you obtain the necessary permits for your film project (or to help you figure out if you do or don’t need a permit). It’s never too early to start, so please contact us as soon as you can.
Amy Long 719.685.7630
Niki Miller 719.685.7637
Chelsy Murphy 719.685.7639
A permit is required if your production involves the use of, or has impact upon public property, traffic flow, pedestrian movement, public facilities, parks, sidewalks, street areas or the temporary use of private property in a manner that significantly varies from its current land use. If you do need a permit, you will need a current Certificate of Insurance in order to proceed with the permitting process.
Here are the most common permit requirements:
1. Filming in a City Park If you plan to film at a city park, including Garden of the Gods, America the Beautiful Park, Memorial Park or other city park, you will need to fill out a permit application. The permit application fee is $25 and the cost to film in a City park starts at $250 per day. Road closures may require an additional fee. When you submit your application, you must also submit a $1,000,000 certificate of insurance that names the City of Colorado Springs as additional insured. Turnaround time is typical 2-3 business days, though that is not guaranteed. Additional permit information can be found in this brochure. You may contact the City directly about park permits. Jody Krisko (jkrisko @springsgov.com) 719.385.6511
2. Filming that requires road closures, barricades or bagging parking meters If your film project requires road closures or other public accommodations, submit a Special Events application to Brianna Goodwin, Special Events Coordinator. Brianna Goodwin (bgoodwin @springsgov.com) 719.385.5476
3. Filming on Pikes Peak Highway or the summit of Pikes Peak Contact the Pikes Peak Highway directly for a permit application and information. The highway requests a 6-month lead time, but can work with you if your time frame is shorter. The cost to film on the highway begins at $2,000 per day on the highway and is lower if filming only on the summit. Sandy Elliott (selliott @springsgov.com) 719.385.7705
4. Filming on the Manitou Incline ContactJody Krisko (jkrisko @springsgov.com) 719.385.6511
5. Filming on Barr Trail To film on Barr Trail, the main hiking trail to the summit of Pikes Peak, contact the US Forest Service. Contact Sue Miller, USDA (smiller @fs.fed.us) 719-477-4222
6. Filming in and Closing an Alleyway Contact Sue Matz (smatz@ springsgov.com) 719-385-5355
Fee Waiver or Reduction Some organizations may qualify for a fee reduction or waiver. Review the policy for more details.
Please review the links to the left for additional organizations you may need to contact.
Planning to film in Colorado? Check out Colorado Springs, aka The Pikes Peak Region!
The state of Colorado now offers a 20% film incentive!
- permit information and assistance
- still images and video
- location suggestions
- site tours
- crew and production services referrals
- local info and contacts/introductions
Colorado Springs is a beautiful world-class city that has historically inspired artists and poets from around the world. Most notably known as “America’s Mountain”, Pikes Peak precipitated the creation of the song “America the Beautiful” written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893 as she stood on the summit of Pikes Peak.
Nestled in the foothills beneath Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is a thriving city with a downtown business district of modern high-rise buildings and wide side streets all splashed against the beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.
With a wealth of sprawling ranches, abandoned mines and unique rock formations amongst alpine splendor, locations are easy to come by in an area of rich history and immense beauty.
For information on state incentives, please visit the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media.
July 28–ABINGDON, Va. — Get ready to party.
Abingdon’s mid-summer extravaganza, the legendary Virginia Highlands Festival, returns this coming week — a few days shorter that last year, but, organizers say, still packing all the fun and excitement of yesteryear.
“I think it’s more exciting to squeeze it down,” said longtime festival volunteer Sandra Parker.
Originally launched in the late 1940s by Barter Theatre founder Robert Porterfield, the Virginia Highlands Festival offers a mix of arts, antiques, theatrical productions and outdoor activities each August.
Look for canoe rides, hikes, a bike ride and bird talks.
Opening day is Friday, Aug. 2 for events. The antiques market at Virginia Highlands Community College runs Aug. 3-11. The theme of this year’s festival is “The Jewel of the Blue Ridge.”
The festival’s signature artist, Nadya Warthen-Gibson, who lives in Abingdon, and is a member of the Arts Depot, has created a signature piece of art called “The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts” on a large acrylic painting on plywood. This painting is on display at the Abingdon Visitors Center.
“This piece contains my thoughts on the Virginia Highlands Festival and memories from the town of Abingdon as a whole,” the artist said in a statement.
The festival’s signature art is an annual commission, which carries a $1,000 prize for the chosen artist.
The festival hosts more than 100 artisans during this year’s Arts and Crafts Show, held Aug. 2-11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Remsburg Drive between Cummings and Wall Street in downtown Abingdon, just off I-81 Exit 17.
Handmade jewelry, pottery, woodworking, iron work, home products and artisan foods will be available for as little as $1.
“We’re pleased to have several vendors new to the festival, along with returning favorites, including some that have been absent for a few years,” festival president Julie Donovan said in a release.
Some artists travel hundreds of miles to be in the Festival — from Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. And many have been participating in the festival for more than a decade.
This year, the festival includes book signings by authors like Rodney Smith of Bristol, Va., plus demonstrations by artists featured at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in Abingdon.
Additional demonstrations in basket making, chair caning and more will be offered by the members of the Holston Mountain Artisans Cooperative at the group’s shop, located at 214 Park Street in Abingdon, throughout the festival.
Music and Food
Parents can bring the kids to the youth tent, located in the middle of arts and crafts, for free activities and shows throughout the day.
The festival food court is situated at the Farmers Market end of Remsburg Drive.
On weekend days and most week nights, the Farmers Market Pavilion rings with live music, including a Celtic music weekend, local rock, country and Americana bands and a special youth concert and talent show.
Look for Celtic weekend shows on Aug. 3-4, featuring Sharon Knight, Maidens IV, Tempest, Rathkeltair and the Appalachian Highlanders. “I’m always excited about Celtic weekend,” said Sandra Parker, the chairman of the festival’s music committee. “And every night there’s something going on, music-wise.”
Also on tap: a gospel music concert featuring Paul Williams and Victory Trio as well as the Primitive Quartet, held on Thursday, Aug. 8, 7 p.m., at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center’s Grand Hall. “It’s going to be a great concert,” said show organizer Major Pounders. “These are the same groups we had last year.”
History and Haunts
The popular Colonial Trade Faire is being held at the Muster Grounds, along Colonial Road, on Aug. 2-11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with demonstration in woodworking and pottery.
The Civil War Weekend happens Aug. 3-4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., also at the Abingdon Muster Grounds.
You can find a lecture series on weekdays, Aug. 5-9, at 2:30 p.m. on various topics of local history at the depot of the Historical Society of Washington County, Va., on Depot Square. “The festival’s roots were the heritage and culture of this region,” said Martha Keys, a historical society member.
Look, too, for showings of Jerry Sword’s documentary film “This Place is Haunted,” featuring an interview with Bristol historian V.N. “Bud” Phillips and Abingdon storyteller Donnamarie Emmert.
“This Place is Haunted” shows at 8 p.m. on both Aug. 2 and Aug 3 at the Abingdon Muster Grounds.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to show it at the festival, and I’m excited about the fact that it’s going to be an outdoor show, and I think that’s going to be a lot of fun, and I still think that there are lot of people out there who need to see it,” said Sword, a filmmaker from Russell County, Va.
“The festival is woven into the fabric and history of this town,” Sword said, “and one day this film will be woven into that same fabric, so I think it’s only fitting that it’s here.”
email@example.com — 276-791-0704
You Should Know
–What & Where: Virginia Highlands Festival, Abingdon, Va.
–When: Aug. 2-11
–Information Tent: A festival information tent is located in the arts and crafts area, next to the kettle corn booth. Volunteers are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to answer questions about any festival events.
All details are featured in the Highlander Magazine, available at various locations in the Tri-Cities, including Abingdon and Bristol.
(c)2013 the Bristol Herald Courier (Bristol, Va.)
Visit the Bristol Herald Courier (Bristol, Va.) at www2.tricities.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
California offers multiple film tax credits for filmmakers.
Below is a summary with links for you to obtain additional information.
- Free permits and no location fees for California state properties.
- 5% sales tax exemption on post-production equipment.
- No state hotel tax on occupancy.
- Local establishments offer discounts for lodging and rental facilities.
- Cheaper labor costs.
- Permitting by the ICFC is free.
- Free assistance to productions.
- Ridgecrest roads and property, Kern County roads and property are permitted at no charge.
- Charges are applicable for items such as ITC and staff displacement.
- No permit fee Free public properties
- Discount police
- 24/7 service location library
- Hotel discount program
- Qualifying Features, Television Movies, Episodes, and Pilots are eligible for a refund of all city fees, all local payroll taxes and a portion of hotel and sales tax during production.* For projects with budgets less than $3 million, 55% of principal photography must take place in San Francisco to qualify.** For projects with budgets of $3 million or more, 65% of principal photography must take place in San Francisco to qualify.
- *The total dollar amount eligible for a rebate for any single production may not exceed the total amount paid in taxes while filming in and/or working in San Francisco.
- **Days filmed on a soundstage or other equivalent in San Francisco, Alameda, Marin or San Mateo counties qualify towards days filmed in San Francisco. However, your production office must be located in the City and County of San Francisco.
Colorado offers several film tax credits to the filmmaker. Below is a summary of the incentives offered by Colorado. Please visit the Colorado Film Commission for specific details.
- 10% Cash Rebate: A production company can qualify for a 10% cash rebate on spending if at least 75% of below the line spending is with Colorado businesses and 75% of crew are Colorado residents. To qualify, an in-state production company must spend at least $100,000 and an out-of-state production company must spent at least $1 million (rebate applies to first dollar spent once the minimum is met). Production companies must fill out a “Statement of Intent” and receive written approval before principle photography begins.
- Hotel Sales Tax Waiver: Colorado state sales tax is waived on all hotel stays of 30 days or more if a contract is signed with the hotel before the stay begins.
- Permits: Most cities, towns and counties in Colorado do not charge for, or have, film permits. In most locations permits are only required for street closures or when requests are made to control public facilities such as streets or parks.
What are some of the greatest financial perks of filming in your state? The new Colorado Film Incentive program offers a 20% cash rebate for production costs taking place in the state. The incentive program covers feature films, television pilots, television series (broadcast and cable), television commercials, music videos, industrials, documentaries, video game design and creation, and other forms of content creation. Qualified local expenditures include ATL and BTL salaries so long as income taxes are paid in Colorado.
Bonded productions are eligible to have 100% of their projected rebate escrowed up front with the bond company, which can be used to cash-flow the production.
An additional component of the new incentive is a loan guarantee program with the State guaranteeing up to 20% of a production’s total budget. This program is only available to bonded feature films. A production may be eligible for both the performance-based incentive and the loan guarantee programs.
What tax credits are available for productions in your state? A 20% cash rebate on qualified Colorado expenditures.
What are some of the locations in your state that filmmakers should know about? Colorado features over 50 14′ers (mountain peaks over 14,000 ft.), awe-inspiring natural beauty of the dramatic red rocks landscape, an expanding grape growing region, farm lands of the Eastern Plains, the tallest sand dunes in the nation, and white water rafting. Colorado is proud of its diverse architecture. Colorado locations include the world famous historic Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, modern skyscrapers, buildings designed by internationally known architects and small rural period towns. On the transportation front Colorado features historic railroads, modern light rail systems, superhighways, dirt roads, straight-aways, and switchbacks sweeping through majestic purple peaks.
Are there studios and soundstages that the state hosts that filmmakers should know about? Colorado has numerous privately owned post-production houses and soundstages available for rent.
What can you tell us about talented labor in your state? Do you have robust union representation? Colorado is a right-to-work state, with a robust, talented workforce.
Are there deals that you have with equipment, craft service or other suppliers to make these services more affordable? The Colorado Film Commission has relationships with numerous vendors, hotels, and communities across the state. Please inquire about assistance and we can accommodate on a case by case basis.
What are some of the recent productions that produced films in your state? “The Lone Ranger,” “Away We Go,” “Catch & Release,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”
What cities have their own film commissions in your state? Boulder, Colorado Springs, Estes Park, Telluride, Glenwood Springs/Aspen, Gunnison/Crested, Steamboat Springs, Southeastern Colorado/ Sante Fe Trail, Southern Colorado, Northwest Colorado, Four Corners area
How many productions shot in your state last year? 12
What should filmmakers do if they’re interested in shooting a film in your state? Who should they contact if they have more questions? Contact the Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media at 303-892-3840 or coloradofilm.org.
What are some of the greatest financial perks of filming in your state? Up to 25 % fully refundable, pre-approved, post performance tax credit; Sales and Use tax exemption; Production friendly hotels; Affordable permit fees.
What tax credits are available for productions in your state? 15, 20 or 25% fully refundable pre-approved post performance tax credit based on the minimum spend requirements of either $200,000 or 1 million dollars. The 25% may be achieved by hiring at least 85% of the cast and crew from Utah minus eight exemptions.
What are some of the locations in your state that filmmakers should know about? Salt Lake City, Moab, Monument Valley, St. George, Kanab, The Bonneville Salt Flats, The Wasatch Mountains, Ogden and Park City, Antelope Island.
Are there studios and soundstages that the state hosts that filmmakers should know about? Converted warehouse space in South Salt Lake “Silverstate Suppliers”
What can you tell us about talented labor in your state? Do you have robust union representation? We support both Union and non-union work with three full “A” crews available.
What are some of the recent productions that produced films in your state? “Cloud Nine“-Disney Channel Original Movie, “Granite Flats”-PBS TV Series, “Gold Fever”-Discovery Channel, “Aquabats” TV series-Hub Network, “The Lone Ranger”-Walt Disney Company, “After Earth”-Sony
What cities have their own film commissions in your state? St. George, Moab, Kanab, Utah Valley, Park City, Heber, Ogden, Davis County
How many productions shot in your state last year? 21
What should filmmakers do if they’re interested in shooting a film in your state? Who should they contact if they have more questions? Call 801-538-8740 ask for Mimi Davis Taylor or Derek Mellus, Producer Services Executives
Interested in the incentives offered by other state film commissions? Check out Indiewire’s full guide to state film commissions HERE.
Pam Williams was in Louisiana shooting a movie last summer, wondering if the rumors were true. Would New York state expand its postproduction tax credit so the cost of finishing the film in the city would essentially be equal to completing it in Louisiana, which offers rich incentives to the industry? In late July 2012, she got the answer she wanted: The New York credit would be enhanced.
“We were so excited when it passed,” said Ms. Williams, the producer of The Butler, a film about an African-American man who served seven presidents. “We really wanted to do the work here in New York.”
Ms. Williams is not alone. Postproduction work is booming in New York City since last July. That’s when the state increased the postproduction tax credit to 30%, from 10%, for any movie or television show that does 75% of its postproduction in the state, no matter where the filming occurred. (The credit jumps to 35% in upstate New York.) Since last year, 60 productions have applied for the credit, more than triple the number that applied in the previous two years, when the credit was less generous.
In March, New York sweetened the deal: Movies or shows that filmed 75% of the project in New York City get a 30% tax credit (35% upstate) regardless of how much postproduction work is done here.
The lure is even greater for productions using local firms for animation and visual effects. They have to spend only 20% of their visual-effects budget or $3 million, whichever is less, to get the 30% credit.
The move has been a call to action for postproduction companies, which have been adding staff and leasing more space to accommodate the demand. In fact, the city’s postproduction industry has become so robust that at least two shops from Hollywood have opened offices in New York City. Post NY Alliance, an industry trade group, estimates that 75 postproduction projects in the state could translate to $183 million of economic activity.
“It’s been crazy; the phones just don’t stop ringing,” said Eric Robertson, president of Mr. X Gotham, which specializes in visual effects. He opened the company last August, and staffing has jumped to 36 people from two in less than a year.
The state, which launched a tax credit for film production in 2004, opted to expand the program to postproduction because of its success. The film industry adds $7.1 billion annually to the city’s economy and has created 130,000 jobs, according to city officials.
In the 2012-2013 TV season, 26 prime-time series were shot in New York City—compared with seven 10 years ago—and 21 hourlong dramas were filmed here, a 37% increase over the previous season.
“We wanted to diversify the film and TV industry beyond just production, which has been so successful,” said Kenneth Adams, president and chief executive of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency.
Though some see tax credits for major film companies as an example of corporate welfare, others say the breaks are necessary to compete with other cities and states offering such enticements.
Indeed, even with all the production work going on in the city, films and TV shows were still getting their finishing touches—such as editing, color correction, special effects and sound mixing—done elsewhere either because it was cheaper or the facilities were better.
Michael Cioni, who founded Hollywood-based postproduction company Light Iron with his brother Peter in 2009, noticed that many productions shot in New York were being finished by Los Angeles-based firms. He believed that if he opened a state-of-the-art facility in New York, he could capture some of the business that was being exported. Light Iron opened its Manhattan office in May and already has 12 employees.
“I would say the tax credit was a motivating factor to make the move more quickly,” said Mr. Cioni. “But we’d be here anyway.”
Zak Tucker, president of Harbor Picture Co., agrees that there was a need for more postproduction companies in a city with so much filming. He said that although technology can make it easier to shoot in one place and have the film sent elsewhere for editing or effects, it doesn’t always create the best product.
“Doing everything from start to finish in one place helps with workflow, efficiency, creativity,” said Mr. Tucker.
He leased one floor of 185 Varick St. last year and took over a second earlier this year when he started offering sound-editing services to complement the firm’s visual-editing services. During the past two years, the staff has tripled to 30, and he is looking to add another 20,000 square feet in either Manhattan or Brooklyn.
Of course, tax credits can’t solve every problem. Rents in New York are high, and production budgets are shrinking as more consumers go online to watch movies and television shows. Technology has also made it easier for amateurs to produce films meant to be viewed online with lower production values.
Even so, Mr. Tucker figures his firm will attract enough high-end customers. “To the extent that people care about producing a quality product, there will be a place for us,” he said.
The tax credits make it that much easier for producers to choose New York. Louisiana’s postproduction studios are cheaper, for example, but the talent pool is not as deep as it is in New York City or Los Angeles, according to Ms. Williams, the producer. To produce the best film and save money, she was willing to transport and house nonlocals in Louisiana. But when New York expanded the tax credit, the need for airfare and hotel rooms was eliminated, putting the city on a par with the Bayou State.
And then there are the benefits that money can’t buy. “Our director is from New York,” she said. “People like to sleep in their own beds.”
A version of this article appears in the July 15, 2013, print issue of Crain’s New York Business
The California Film Commission announced in a press release last month that it has selected 31 productions to receive this year’s California Film and Television Tax Credit. Among the lucky winners are feature films Purge 2 and The Wash, and popular television series Switched At Birth, Entourage, Pretty Little Liars,Bunheads, and Rizzoli & Isles.
Among the 380 applications submitted by producers, the Film Commission approved 14 features, 14 basic cable TV series and three movies of the week.
“The record number of applications this year serves as affirmation that the production industry wants to stay at home in California,” stated executive director. “But tax credits now drive much of the decision making process, and sadly many projects that weren’t selected to receive California credits will be shot elsewhere.”
Other 2013 selections include features Bordering on Love, The Dating Game Killer, Havenhurst, The Meddler, Mission Blacklist, Shangri-La Suite and Sweetwater. TV series winners include Hit the Floor, Lost Angels andKing & Maxwell. And among the TV movies selections are Babycakes, Cloudy with a Chance of Love and Roll with It.
Past recipients of the California Film and Television Tax Credit include Oscar Best Picture winner Argo, Gangster Squad, The Call, and TV series Body of Proof.
Since California can only allot $100 million in credits each year, less than 10% of the applications submitted can receive the credit.
The Film Commission estimated that the 31 projects approved will spend at least $771 million in California and will employ approximately 2,980 cast members, 3,730 crew members and 80,680 extras/stand-ins.
The four-year-old film tax credit program has brought in $4.67 billion in direct spending within the state, including $1.59 billion in wages paid to “below-the-line” crew members.
The selection results – as always – can change. Last year, 28 projects were announced initially but 75 projects ultimately were cleared for the 2012 tax credit allocation.
Below is the breakdown of projects approved for this year’s film and television tax credit:
Feature Films: 14 projects (2 studio / 12 independent)
TV Series: 12 projects
Relocating TV Series: 2 projects
Movie-of-the-Week (MOW): 3 projects (1 studio / 2 independent)
The California Film Commission
The Film Commission has an extensive digital location library (powered by Reel-Scout), offers location assistance and many other production-related resources.
Browse California’s film locations.
The use of tax credits to lure production of the Netflix series “House of Cards” to Maryland has renewed a nationwide debate among lawmakers over the benefits of offering high-dollar incentives to encourage Hollywood to come to them.
Here’s a list of the major tax credit and rebate programs (eligibility requirements differ from state to state; some states cap their incentives; where rates vary, the maximum available rate is listed):
42 percent » Michigan
37 percent » Oklahoma
35 percent » Missouri
32 percent » Tennessee
31 percent » West Virginia
30 percent » Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, Washington
25 percent » Alabama, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin
22 percent » Florida
20 percent » Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina
17 percent » Texas
15 percent » Arkansas, Wyoming
14 percent » Montana
12 percent » Maine
10 percent » Colorado
Variable » Virginia
None » Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont
Movie lovers, if you happen to be in Michigan, you can now add film location scouting to your list of fun activities to do. As part of the state’s Pure Michigan campaign, the Michigan Film Office releases a film location map taking visitors to many locations where movies were made in West Michigan.
The map includes locations in Grand Rapids, Coopersville, Traverse City, Manistee, Ludington, South Haven, Holland, Kalamazoo, Niles and Buchanan.
With this detailed map, you can now visit – in person – the film locations for movies such as 30 Minutes or Less, The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, Only The Lonely, The Lake Effect, and many others.
Some of the locations are actual inns – such as Cartier Mansion B&B used in Mickey Matson, restaurants – such as Vito’s Pizza where 30 Minutes or Less was shot, and shops – such as Central Park Market, film location of Virginia. This means so you can schedule shopping, lunch/dinner, and even an overnight stay as part of your film location tour.
The West Michigan film location map is available online or at various visitors bureaus around the state.
For more information on filming in Michigan, visit the Michigan Film Office.
Browse Michigan’s film locations.
The Film Commission said 380 projects had applied for a piece of the $100 million the state allocates annually for film and television projects. That’s up nearly 18% from a year ago, when only 28 projects were approved for credits — the same number that were approved on Monday.
Film Commission officials said the winning projects would be identified Tuesday, after applicants have been notified.
In an effort to keep filming in California, the state provides a 20% to 25% tax credit for certain projects, such as movies with budgets of less than $75 million and new basic cable TV shows. Recipients can use the credits to offset any business or sales tax liability they have with the state.
About two dozen people waited in line Monday morning in the hallway outside the Film Commission’s office on Hollywood Boulevard, which stopped accepting applications at 3 p.m.
Many arrived before the offices opened at 9 a.m. for a chance to enter the “lottery.” Each project was assigned a number that was picked at random until the $100 million was used up.
“There’s a high demand for these tax credits,” said Amy Lemisch, executive director for the Film Commission. “There’s a mad rush.”
Competition for tax credits is fierce, Lemisch said.Many applicants who do not receive help from the California Film Commission will move production and filming to other states such states as Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina that have aggressively courted the industry.
“We need to keep more production here,” Lemisch said.
Burr spoke before the Waterfront announcement May 16 of three major independent films making their Midwest debuts at the festival: “Muscle Shoals” (2013, documentary), “Blackfish” (2013, documentary) and “V/H/S/2″ (2013, horror), all from Magnolia Pictures. They are among the over 70 independent film features and shorts yet to be announced coming to the festival.
Also coming to the festival, an estimated 16,000 fans and filmmakers.
In its first 14 years, Waterfront has made its home in Saugatuck, and made Lake Michigan an alternative coast for an indie film showcase.
But a lack of indoor screens, and a need to be closer to larger markets provoked the move south.
“There was a need for a change,” WFF publicist Patrick Revere wrote via email. “South Haven made sense for us because it’s four times the geographic size and population as our prior locale, and has fantastic infrastructure for our purposes, including established theaters and event space, solid transportation planning and a vibrant business and arts community.”
The three-screen Michigan Theatre will host festival films, as will performance venue Foundry Hall, South Haven Public School’s 550 seat Listiak Auditiorim, and other school venues. The opening night will be on South Beach, with live music, beer garden, food, celebrity guests and film screenings starting at sunset.Burr said the festival was investigating “a number of towns, lakeshore towns” to move to. Another big advantage for South Haven was its ability to bring in visitors from Grand Rapids to Chicago, he said.
“One of the determining factors was the access to the Chicago market,” he said. South Haven has long been a vacation spot for Chicagoans, so Burr is making sure the festival is being publicized in the Chicago market.
“I’m very excited. I was instrumental in lobbying to bring it to South Haven,” Burr said.
“We were very much drawn in by the enthusiasm of city officials and local leaders, and the city itself offers everything we’ve enjoyed in terms of a scenic waterfront location, the relaxed attitude, the walkable resort-like feel,” Revere wrote.
For more information, see waterfrontfilm.org.
When we announced our Coolest Festival call for entries in April, we had no idea the response we’d receive. We expected to be wading through hundreds of submissions. Instead, you the readers, literally deluged us with thousands of nominations.
Because of that overwhelming response, we’ve decided to rethink our approach to the Coolest Festivals list altogether. In years past, we’ve published a list of the 25 Coolest Festivals—all chosen by the MovieMaker editors. This year, though, we’re handing over the Coolest Festivals list to you: Our moviemaking, movie-watching readers.
What’s more, we’re drastically expanding the categories. After combing through the initial data, we realized that there are a number of discreet categories (e.g. horror, comedy, environmental, LGBT, etc.) that shouldn’t necessarily be competing with dissimilar fests for the designation of Coolest Festival. The Chatanooga Comedy Film Festival isn’t vying for the same demographic as the Witchita Horror Festival of Film—so why should they be judged by the same criteria?
Therefore, for the 2013 edition of MovieMaker‘s Coolest Film Festivals list we’re accepting nominations in 15 separate categories! Ranging from the general to the specific, we’ve done our best to represent the full gamut of places you can submit your film.
Since most festivals still fall into the “general” category (Toronto, Cannes, Sundance, SXSW, San Francisco, etc.), we will be ranking the top 25, non-genre film festivals separately. For the content-specific fests (horror, comedy, LGBT, sports, student, etc.) we’ll be ranking the top five festivals in each category.
For the next month, we’re opening the nominations process back up to our readers. Whether you’re a moviemaker, a festival director, or simply a film lover, let us know about your favorite film festival by submitting your nomination using the form below. After we’ve collected all the nominations, you the readers will then help us pick the winners in each category during a vote off during July and August (more info on that, soon).
Winners in all 15 categories will receive a special laurel from MovieMaker, commemorating the win. The 24 runners-up in the general category, and the 4 runners-up in each of the sub-categories, will receive a badge designating them a “MovieMaker Coolest Film Festival.”
Let the voting begin! Click here for more information and to vote …
BY: Mark Sommer / News Staff Reporter
Angelina Jolie almost filmed an elaborate fight scene in Buffalo for the action thriller “Salt,” using the Skyway, the I-190 ramp and the railroad tracks below as a backdrop.
A location scout wanted it to happen, but it was just too costly to film here.
So the production went to another city.
It’s a problem that has kept many film studios away, despite the enticement of Buffalo’s picture-perfect settings, according to film promoters here.
“The things we have that always blow these filmmakers away – and it’s probably a testament to the preservationists here – is that our architecture is so preserved and so pristine. They see our grain mills, the grittiness of the First Ward, the Cobblestone District with real cobblestone streets,” said Tim Clark, head of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission.
It is just the costs that stop movie crews from coming here.
Big productions must bring in crews from New York City, and that means paying additional costs for transportation, rental vehicles, hotel rooms and per diems.
“The experts tell me it’s close to a 45 percent difference between shooting a movie in Buffalo versus shooting a movie in Staten Island,” Clark said.
Now State Sen. Patrick Gallivan has proposed legislation that he feels could level the playing field and make Buffalo much more competitive with other cities. His bill calls for raising the state’s 30 percent film production tax credit – the amount of expenses a film studio can deduct in taxes – on an escalating scale upstate. For Western New York, it would be 45 percent.
“The farther you get from New York City, the more expensive it is to bring films to Buffalo,” the Elma Republican said. “But over time, we can build the industry and workforce, and the costs will naturally go down.”
His proposal follows a change last year that boosted the state’s tax credit for post-production work – such as titling, color correcting and special effects – from 10 to 30 percent, with an additional 5 percent bump for upstate and Western New York.
“We have a very good number of small-budget films being made in and around this area. But we’re relegated to the non-union, smaller-budget movies,” Clark said. “They are good bread-and-butter kinds of projects for us, but we’re likely not to see the bigger stuff until we get some sort of relief in the tax credits here.”
For example, a little over a week ago, director Ivan Reitman and a location scout were in town to consider making “Draft Day,” which would star Kevin Costner as a fictitious Buffalo Bills general manager.
But Lionsgate studio also is considering Cleveland for the movie because it offers a variety of incentives not available in Buffalo. Another example: Producer Don Carmody, whose credits include “Good Will Hunting” and “Chicago,” set his latest film, “The Factory,” which came out direct-to-video on Tuesday, in Buffalo.
But the movie, which stars John Cusack, was filmed in Montreal.
“There is huge competition with the tax credits all over the place, and when we made ‘The Factory,’ even the New York State rebates weren’t that big a deal. It was just better for us to shoot the thing in Montreal and take advantage of their tax credits,” Carmody said.
Gallivan said he is hopeful fellow lawmakers will support the four-tiered film production tax credit boost – from 30 to 45 percent – that would give upstate and Western New York the maximum boost.
It’s the only way, he said, that regions outside New York City can have a level playing field.
“I don’t know if we need four or three tiers, but the general concept essentially is to level the costs so every region can compete equally to bring film production to upstate and Western New York,” Gallivan said.
His bill has the support of John Ford, president and business manager of Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Local 52, based in New York City. More than 100 members are between Buffalo and Rochester in the various locals and he would welcome the chance to add more, he said.
“You need the employers to bring the work here. Once the shows start coming, then you get as many local people on as you can and they learn over time,” Ford said.
Clark said the legislation to provide equity is overdue.
“In 2006, ‘The Savages’ shot here two or three days and went to Staten Island, where it was made to look like Buffalo,” Clark said, referring to the film that co-starred Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney.
Clark said representatives from several major movie studios have assured him that they would shoot more pictures throughout New York State if the production tax credit went up.
Other upstate movie promoters agree.
Based on conversations with line producers who budget movies, “the magic tax credit number is 42 percent,” said Nora Brown, who heads Rochester’s film commission.
That would help Rochester retain films she said have been lost lately to Massachusetts. Some other states, for instance, allow a portion of salaries paid to the director, writer and leading cast members to be deducted from taxes.
Downtown Rochester is slated for 10 days of shooting this spring for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” according to John Scardino, regional representative for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 52. But the amount of film, which reprises Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, being shot there was cut in half due to added costs.
Efforts also are under way to increase critical post-production work in parts of the state outside of New York City.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last July signed legislation that raised the state post-production tax credit for upstate and Western New York to 35 percent – 5 percent higher than for New York City, where most of the industry is located.
The governor announced his support in January for extending the tax credit five years, something the Legislature still has to approve.
Increasing the post-production tax credit is working, said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development Corp.
“For the first couple of years that the post-production credit existed, there were 17 projects that sought support. In the six or seven months since, we’ve had 34 projects sign up for the credit, indicating there is strong interest,” Adams said.
It’s a need Daemen College has recognized.
Later this year, the school plans to begin a visual-effects certificate training program to train students to work in the post-production industry.
Sam Hoyt, a member of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, said there have been “advanced discussions” about how to support what Daemen is doing.
“We think Daemen has something that is very unique based on our discussions and our due diligence, and we’re in discussions with the team there as to how we can make it become a reality,” Hoyt said.
Adams said the growing industry could help retain a highly skilled and well-trained technical workforce in Buffalo.
“If this works, it’s another strategy in keeping young people in Western New York. It’s a very cool industry,” Adams said.
Ben Porcari, who operates IBC Digital, a production company in Buffalo specializing in post-animation and digital effects, said the post-production tax credit makes Buffalo much more competitive.
“Companies can benefit from the low cost of operation in Buffalo and take advantage of the extra 5 percent tax credit. On a $1 million job, that’s a decent amount of money,” Porcari said.
With possible changes to production tax credits along with the change last year in the post-production credit, Buffalo and Western New York’s film industry could be turning a corner, said Clark of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission.
“I truly believe we are on the cusp of something really big here,” Clark said. “It’s also really sexy. You have movie stars in town, you have lights, camera, action. It’s a great way to boost the economy.”
Application Procedures for Next Round of Available Funds
THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW CLOSED; WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR. Due to overwhelming demand, the program is now oversubscribed with a very long waiting list.
The CFC will be accepting applications for the 2013/14 fiscal year on Monday, June 3, 2013. Please read the Program Guidelines for a detailed explanation of the application procedures and required documentation. Applicants will be notified on June 4th if credits have been provisionally reserved for their project or if the project has been waitlisted and, if so, the waitlist number. Credit Allocation Letters will be issued on July 1, 2013. However, as per the Regulations, “completed applications shall be submitted at least thirty days prior to the start of principal photography”, therefore newly approved productions can not begin principal photography until July 3, 2013.
The California Film Commission is pleased to offer incentives for the fourth year of the Tax Credit Program, along with all of our existing services.
The following is a brief description of the program parameters:
How the Tax Credit Works
Qualified taxpayers are allowed a credit against income and/or sales and use taxes, based on qualified expenditures, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. Credits applied to income tax liability are not refundable. Only tax credits issued to an “independent film” may be transferred or sold to an unrelated party. Other qualified taxpayers may carryover tax credits for 5 years and transfer tax credits to an affiliate.
What Types of Productions Qualify for the Program?
To apply for the California Film and Television Incentive Program, a “qualified motion picture” must be one of the following:
(Eligible for 20% Tax Credit):
Feature Films ($1 million minimum – $75 million maximum production budget)
Movies of the Week or Miniseries ($500,000 minimum production budget)
New television series licensed for original distribution on basic cable ($1 million minimum budget; one-half hour shows and other exclusions apply)
(Eligible for 25% Tax Credit):
A television series, without regard to episode length, that filmed all of its prior seasons outside of California.
An “independent film” ($1 million total production budget – $10 million qualified expenditure budget that is produced by a company that is not publicly traded and that publicly traded companies do not own more that 25% of the producing company.)
A “qualified motion picture” must also meet the following conditions:
75% test (production days or total production budget) in California
Application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to commencement of principal photography
Once an application is approved, principal photography must begin within 180 days
How much was allocated to the program?
$100 million annually beginning fiscal year 2009/2010 through fiscal year 2016-2017
A minimum of $10 million of the annual funding is available for independent films each year
Applications may be sent to the CFC offices via hand delivery, FedEx, UPS or other private mail service, U.S. Postal Service, or via messenger. Applications may not be faxed or sent electronically via e-mail.
California Film Commission
7080 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 900 Hollywood, CA 90028
Attn: California Film & Television Tax Credit Program
Phone: 323-860-2960 X110
The California Film Commission is delighted to offer this incentive program along with all of our existing services.
State Tax Credits are issued to a qualified film production company for up to 35 percent of the amount expended in Missouri (or up to 30 percent for qualifying out-of-state cast and crew when Missouri income taxes are withheld) for production or production-related activities to facilitate film production in Missouri.
Any film production company with an expected instate expenditure budget of at least $100,000 for films more than 30 minutes in length and at least $50,000 for films less than 30 minutes in length.
A film production company claiming the credit must first apply to the Department of Economic Development. A particular film will be eligible to receive the tax credit based on the amount of funds still withstanding for that particular year. Prior to the approval, the department will also look at the economic impact in determining whether the particular project would be a good fit for the tax credit.
Program benefits/eligible uses
This tax credit can be applied to:
Ch. 143 – Income tax, excluding withholding tax
Ch. 148 –
Insurance Premium Tax
Other Financial Institution Tax
This credit’s special attributes:
Carry forward five years
Sellable or transferable
Only those Missouri expenditures necessary for the production of the film are eligible. Such expenditures may include, but are not limited to, the costs of labor (Missouri residents only), services, materials, equipment rental, lodging, food, location fees and property rental.
The entire film production tax credit program is capped at $4.5 million
Due to a finite amount of tax credits available, DED has established a procedure whereby tax credits may be set aside for a given film project by the submission of an application that provides estimates for the company’s Missouri expenditures on the project. Based upon these estimates and any other relevant information, DED may reserve a given amount of tax credits for the project (for a given period of time). If it appears at any time that a project may be significantly delayed, then DED may review the project and, if warranted, reclaim those reserved credits and apply them elsewhere.
In the application form, DED will ask for estimates on the amount of money to be spent in Missouri, as well as projected dates for establishing the production office and the first day of principal photography. These dates will be used in determining the length of time for which tax credits may be reserved for the project, as well as the likelihood that the project will actually be produced in Missouri.
Certain tax credit recipients are required to annually report to the DED information pertaining to the project that received the tax credits. The statute requires that a full year pass after the issuance of the tax credits before SB1099 reporting requirements must be met.
The “Tax Credit Accountability Act” reporting form must be submitted to DED by June 30 each year for three years following the year of the first issuance of tax credits, including the following information:
Category of business by size
Address of the business headquarters
Addresses of all offices located within this state
Number of employees at the time of the annual update
Updated estimate of the number of employees projected to increase as a result of the completion of the project
The estimated or actual project cost
Missouri Department of Economic Development
Division of Business and Community Services
301 West High Street, Room 770
P.O. Box 118
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Source: Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Research Toolbox
By DOMINIC PATTEN | Tuesday January 8, 2013
2012 was a rollercoaster of a year for production in Los Angeles County, said FilmLA today. In its end of year report, the non-profit permitting group noted that while overall on-location production in LA County rose a meager 1.7% from 2011, TV Drama fell a harsh 20% from the year before. FilmLA’s data comes from filming permits for shooting on streets, non-certified sound stages and in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. With the likes of the upcoming LA-set Gangster Squad actually filming in LA, 2012 Feature production saw a slight 3.7% rise over 2011 with 5,892 PPD as compared to the 5,682 of the year before. That is actually the best year since 2008 before the state passed the California Film & TV Tax Credit Program, which now hands out up to $100 million a year in a lottery system. On the flipside, the drop in Drama-permitted days and the 11.8% slide in the TV Reality category pulled overall TV production in the region down 3.4% with 16,762 permitted days in 2012 compared to the 17,349 PPD in 2011. However, TV Sitcom filming was up 52.9% with 2,048 PPD compared to 2011’s 1,339 PPD. TV Pilots were up 2.2% from 2011. Commercials rose 14.1% in 2012 over the year before.
Also today the California Film Commission reported that statewide permitted filming was down 5% in 2012 from 2011. The agency issued permits for filming on state property that totaled 2,987 filming days in 2012, compared to 3,134 days the year before. The biggest drop was TV, which fell 54% in 2012 with 153 days compared to the 331 days permitted in 2011. The Film Commission noted Tuesday that the sub-category of Reality TV actually rose 13% in 2012. Reality TV had 160 days permitted days on state property, compared to 141 days permitted in 2011. Statewide, feature films fell to 180 days, a drop of 39% from the 294 days permitted in 2011. Commercials fell to 467 days, down 2% from the 477 days permitted in 2011. In terms of locations, state parks and beaches made up 71% of all permitted filming days, followed by freeways and highways at 24% and state buildings at 5% of permitted filming days in 2012.
BY: Mark Sommer / News Staff Reporter
The director of a proposed movie about the Buffalo Bills toured Ralph Wilson Stadium on Thursday and visited other local sites with a location scout.
Ivan Reitman, best known for directing “Ghostbusters” and “Stripes,” was also seen with Tim Clark, director of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, who declined official comment. A spokesman with the Bills confirmed the tour and said Reitman also met team CEO Russell Brandon.
The “Draft Day” screenplay, by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, tells the story of a Bills general manager who has the first overall pick in the National Football League draft. He spends draft day making deals in an attempt to improve the team and restore the franchise to its former standing.
Kevin Costner, who has been in his share of popular sports films, including “Field of Dreams” and “Bull Durham,” reportedly has signed on to play the fictitious Bills general manager.
Whether the film is made here, sources say, will depend on whether decison-makers at Lionsgate Films, which acquired the rights to the movie from Paramount Pictures, consider it economically prudent to produce it in Western New York. A shortage of union crew members and filmmaking infrastructure often make it more costly to do so.
“Draft Day” was recently resuscitated from a list of Hollywood’s top unproduced screenplays, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It received the most votes – by a wide margin – out of 78 films in an industry survey of nearly 300 Hollywood executives. Past films from the compiled list of undeveloped films that were later made include Academy Award winners “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The King’s Speech.”