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15 film projects to receive state tax credits

Fifteen film projects greenlighted for California’s film and TV tax-credit program are expected to pump nearly $408 million into the state’s economy.

In an announcement issued this week, the California Film Commission said the productions — some to be shot in Orange and San Bernardino counties — will create nearly 20,000 jobs.

Broken down, that includes an estimated 2,252 crew members, 598 actors and 16,800 background performers working across 579 days of filming.

The film portion of the state’s program offers a 20% tax credit for productions with a budget of at least $1 million, and the credit applies only to the first $100 million in expenditures and uplifts, or purchases paid off over time through installments.

The latest round of productions to recieve the credits include five big-budget films and 10 independent films.

Lucasfilm’s “The Mandalorian & Grogu,” the first in a franchise of “Star Wars” features to be shot in California, is the biggest. It’s expected to provide a $166 million bump through wages and project-related expenditures.

Other notable, non-independent tax-credit recipients include “Untitled Disney Live Action,” “Untitled 20th Film” and two Amazon MGM Studios projects “The Accountant 2” and “Mercy.”

Janice Arrington, who heads the Orange County Film Commisison, said the positive impacts of on-site film productions are substantial.

“The footprint can be large in terms of needs,” she said. “It creates business for suppliers, hotels, restaurants, car rentals and other businesses like dry cleaning. The location sites are paid and local people can also work as background actors.”

Jeffrey Ball, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, wants the state to go further with its tax credits.

“We would like to see an expansion of this program and other measures which support business to help promote the economic health of our region while providing a net increase in taxes which support the vital services we depend on,” Ball said in a statement.

The ten independent films are projected to collectively generate $114 million in spending and $70 million in wages.

Scores of big-budget movies have been filmed in Orange County, including “Iron Man,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Catch Me if You Can,” “Rain Man” and “Jerry Maguire,” among others.

San Bernardino County has also played host to some big productions, including “The Parent Trap” and “American Sniper.”

Other movies aided by California’s latest round of tax credits are set to be filmed in San Diego County, San Francisco County, Alameda County, Marin County and Joshua Tree.

Academy Award nominated producer Charles Roven, who’s set to produce the sci-fi film “Mercy” starring Chris Pratt, said there are distinct advantages to filming locally.

“Almost everyone gets to go home to their own bed at the end of day!” he said.

Colleen Bell, the film commission’s executive director, said the broad array of film projects included in the latest round of incentives demonstrates California’s “enduring attraction for storytellers.”

“These productions, spanning big-budget features to indie films, not only infuse millions into our economy but also showcase our state’s talent and versatility,” Bell said.

Source: Orange County Register

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