Babylon among 13 projects approved for California tax credit

All of them, including Warner Bros.’ Little Shop of Horrors and Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen will shoot in the state in 2020

Damien Chazelle’s Babylon is set to receive a $17.5m tax credit allocation from the California Film Commission for shooting the period drama in the Golden State next year.

Brad Pitt and Emma Stone are in talks to star in Babylon, which has been picked up by Paramount for worldwide rights. The commission estimates that the film will generate $83.4m in qualified spending —  defined as below-the-line wages to California workers and payments to in-state vendors.

“I’m thrilled to be able to film ‘Babylon’ here in California, with its rich landscapes and excellent crew members,” said Chazelle. “Thank you to the Film Commission for helping me bring this film to the big screen.”

Of the 13 projects, five are independent and eight are attached to studios. These include the remake of Little Shop of Horrors from producers David Geffen and Marc Platt, which will generate an estimated $59.9 million in qualified expenditures and is set to receive $12m from the tax credits. Plus, an untitled high school drama from Paul Thomas Anderson, Aaron Sorkin’s Lucy and Desi drama Being the Ricardos and 24/7, a comedy directed and produced by Eva Longoria with Kerry Washington and Paul Feig

“The projects announced today reaffirm that top decision makers prefer to shoot in California even when they can receive more lucrative tax credits elsewhere,” said the California film commission's executive director Colleen Bell. “The list includes projects by Damien Chazelle, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Geffen, Marc Platt and other industry leaders who understand that California continues to offer the best value.”

Based on data provided with each tax credit application, the 13 films are expected to employ an estimated 1,960 crew, 698 cast and 26,119 background actors and stand-ins over a combined 587 filming days in the state. They are also sure to generate significant post-production jobs and revenue for California-based VFX artists, sound editors, sound mixers and musicians.

Six of the 13 the projects will film outside Los Angeles' 30-mile studio zone for a planned total of 64 filming days in Butte, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Francisco and Ventura counties. To date, the tax credits program has incentivized 36 out-of-zone film projects for 496 out-of-zone filming days.

The full 41-page progress report can be found here.

Babylon among 13 projects approved for California tax credit
Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone. Credit: Michael Buckner, Shutterstock
Babylon among 13 projects approved for California tax credit
Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone. Credit: Michael Buckner, Shutterstock

Damien Chazelle’s Babylon is set to receive a $17.5m tax credit allocation from the California Film Commission for shooting the period drama in the Golden State next year.

Brad Pitt and Emma Stone are in talks to star in Babylon, which has been picked up by Paramount for worldwide rights. The commission estimates that the film will generate $83.4m in qualified spending —  defined as below-the-line wages to California workers and payments to in-state vendors.

“I’m thrilled to be able to film ‘Babylon’ here in California, with its rich landscapes and excellent crew members,” said Chazelle. “Thank you to the Film Commission for helping me bring this film to the big screen.”

Of the 13 projects, five are independent and eight are attached to studios. These include the remake of Little Shop of Horrors from producers David Geffen and Marc Platt, which will generate an estimated $59.9 million in qualified expenditures and is set to receive $12m from the tax credits. Plus, an untitled high school drama from Paul Thomas Anderson, Aaron Sorkin’s Lucy and Desi drama Being the Ricardos and 24/7, a comedy directed and produced by Eva Longoria with Kerry Washington and Paul Feig

“The projects announced today reaffirm that top decision makers prefer to shoot in California even when they can receive more lucrative tax credits elsewhere,” said the California film commission's executive director Colleen Bell. “The list includes projects by Damien Chazelle, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Geffen, Marc Platt and other industry leaders who understand that California continues to offer the best value.”

Based on data provided with each tax credit application, the 13 films are expected to employ an estimated 1,960 crew, 698 cast and 26,119 background actors and stand-ins over a combined 587 filming days in the state. They are also sure to generate significant post-production jobs and revenue for California-based VFX artists, sound editors, sound mixers and musicians.

Six of the 13 the projects will film outside Los Angeles' 30-mile studio zone for a planned total of 64 filming days in Butte, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Francisco and Ventura counties. To date, the tax credits program has incentivized 36 out-of-zone film projects for 496 out-of-zone filming days.

The full 41-page progress report can be found here.

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