California extends film and TV tax incentives for five more years

The bill also introduces the nation's first firearm safety protocols

By Gabriella Geisinger 12 Jul 2023

California extends film and TV tax incentives for five more years
Hollywood; Cr: Nathan DeFiesta

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to extend the state’s $330 million per year (£255m) Film and TV Tax Credit Program for an additional five years.

The California Film Commission, which administers the program, says that it will create an estimated 60,000 jobs and $10 billion (£7.7bn) of investment over the period (via Deadline).

According to the Entertainment Union Coalition (SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild, the California IATSE council, Teamsters and Labourers unions) the 656 film, television and streaming productions receiving the tax credit since 2009 spent $23.2 billion in California.

The budget agreement also establishes safety protocols for the first time in the US. Legislation for these protocols comes after two years of negotiations between studios and labour representatives in the aftermath of Halyna Hutchins death on the New Mexico set of Rust in 2021, where she was the cinematographer.

The bill creates a five-year safety pilot program requiring any employer who receives a motion picture tax credit to hire an independent safety adviser to conduct preproduction risk assessments and oversee safety practices and procedures in motion picture, TV and streaming productions. 

Importantly, it protects film and TV workers by establishing mandatory guidelines around the use of firearms and ammunition on productions, establishes training requirements and safety standards for prop masters and armorers.

It also prohibits the use of live ammunition except in limited circumstances following safety rules and laws.

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