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California film commission to revamp tax credit programme

California is set to increase its film and TV tax credits. The state is planning to triple annual funding to $330m a year, and in the process allowing more projects to qualify.

Several amendments have been made to the revitalised programme – which looks set to be rubber stamped - that could be game changers for upcoming productions. For the first time, the scheme is allowing new TV shows to qualify, as well as films with a budget over $75m, independent productions and emerging digital productions.

However, the credit, that can only apply to up to 25% of a movie’s cost, can exclusively be used on a production’s first $100m, which could put a halt on studios’ plans for further mega-budget films.

Another new addition from the commission is the inclusion of bonus payments if musicians are hired in the state to record or score soundtracks for productions. There are also bonus payments if the production does visual effects work within California.

Despite these upgrades, the Golden State is still lagging behind others such as Louisiana, in terms of tax credits on offer. The new improvements may see California finally poised to even up the race in attracting big budget productions.