California Luring Runaway Productions With $100 Million in Tax Breaks

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    Seems the phrase “always a bridesmaid never a bride,” does not apply to the movie “Bridesmaids,” not at the box office and not at the state film commission. “Bridesmaids” was lucky enough to catch one of the state tax incentive bouquets, which allowed the film to get financed and to help pay for the reception it's now enjoying at the box office.

    On Wednesday, filmmakers from major studios like this group from Warner Brothers brought in their scripts and budgets and applications to the film commission offices in Hollywood to get in the lottery for the $100 million in annual tax incentives.  

    State Film Commission to Dole Out $100 Million to TV and Film Productions

    [LA] State Film Commission to Dole Out $100 Million to TV and Film Productions
    Cary Berglund reports on a lottery that grants tax credits to TV and Film companies to prevent runaway productions. (Published Wednesday, June 1, 2011)

    “If the movie Gods shine on us, we’ll be shooting in California, and I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best today,” Producer Michael Helfant said.

    The incentives are only for films with budgets of no more than $75 million, and only until the $100 million in tax breaks are allocated.

    Amy Lemisch, Executive Director of the California Film Commission says the films receiving tax breaks are randomly selected.

    “All are equal, I don’t know what’s inside the envelopes, so there is no priority system, it is completely random,” she said.

    Some of the filmmakers hoping that this piece of their financing puzzle comes through, say this is make or break day.

    The catch is that once the money is gone it will be another year before the next drawing.

    See what Joe Mathews of Prop Zero has to say about the tinseltown tax break.