Friday, February 20, 2009

Movie industry gets a break in California budget

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – California finally is offering production incentives to filmmakers and television producers.

That surprising reality had industry and economic executives pinching themselves Thursday.

"I'm sort of floored that it did happen," said Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., a private research organization.

On Tuesday, an LAEDC forecast said runaway film and TV production -- in which producers base projects outside California to take advantage of lower costs or financial incentives -- would undermine industry employment during the next several years, largely because of the proliferation of film and TV tax incentives among most other states. Then came the unexpected good news out of Sacramento.

Set to take effect in 2011, a five-year program to fight runaway production was included in a new state budget passed in the early morning hours after an all-night emergency session of the Legislature. The program will provide up to $100 million per year in tax incentives for qualifying film and TV productions.

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