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March 21, 2014

March 21st News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

TORONTO ONTARIO film office - A partnership of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, City of Toronto and FilmOntario.
WEEKLY UPDATE March 21, 2014
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

The lobby to extend and expand production incentives here in California continues full speed ahead.  

This past Saturday approximately 600 small business owners who depend on the film and television industry rallied to support the expansion bill introduced in the state legislature three weeks ago. As detailed in Variety below, the bill, which will get its first hearing March 25th, would renew California‚Äôs tax incentives through the 2021-22 fiscal year and lift a $75 million budget cap on productions that are eligible for the program. In addition, all network and cable dramas would be eligible. 
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/hollywood-vendors-rally-for-improved-tax-credits-1201134693/

The Los Angeles Times also published a lengthy report on the rally below.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-on-location-fim-industry-california-20140319,0,2960888.story#axzz2wQxZabOi

Rally attendees and others supporting the bill got some ammunition this week when a study from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. showed that California's tax incentives program has added roughly $4.3 billion to the economy overall in the last three years. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below,  the109 film and TV projects which benefited from the program also generated direct spending of $1.9 billion.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/californias-film-tv-incentives-generated-689954

Reports like the one above notwithstanding, the expansion of California's film and television tax credits is still very much considered an uphill battle. The Sacramento Bee - the paper of record in the state's capital - published an editorial piece this week which urged lawmakers to "say no to Hollywood."
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/15/6238517/time-to-say-no-to-hollywood-on.html

The U.K. has become a production powerhouse over the last few years and now it looks set to attract even more business. As detailed in the L.A. Times below, Britain has sweetened its incentives program, bumping its film credit from 20% to 25% on the first $32.7 million of qualifying production expenditure and reducing the minimum U.K. expenditure requirement -- including money spent on post-production services -- from 25% to 10%.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-uk-film-tax-credit-20140319,0,3796275.story#axzz2wRd3EsDN

And finally this week, the L.A. Times reports on continuing layoffs at Sony Pictures Studios. As detailed below, the layoffs are part of a cost-cutting initiative affecting 216 employees in Culver City, where the company is based.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-sony-pictures-laying-off-216-people-at-culver-city-headquarters-20140318,0,6819426.story#axzz2wRhz9uW0

Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with me with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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