Governor Kenneth Mapp has signed Bill #31-0009 creating a film production program in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Highlights of the program are as follows (info from Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, LLC):
Establishes a transferable tax credit equal to 10%-17% of the first $500,000 of each resident’s compensation (rate is dependent on the percentage of the workforce made up of Virgin Island residents);
Establishes a rebate of up to 9% of qualified production expenditures;
Allows an additional rebate equal to 10% of qualified production expenditures if the production includes a qualified Virgin Islands promotion;
Allows an additional rebate equal to 10% of qualified production expenditures if qualified production activities take place on the island of St. Croix;
Provides for an annual cap for the program of at least $2.5 million;
Requires a minimum of 20% of the workforce (including extras and day players) to be made up of Virgin Island residents; and,
Requires a minimum spend of $250,000.
The second quarter of 2015 has seen assorted commercial shoots in Oregon, according to Tim Williams, executive director of the Oregon Governor’s Office of Film and Television, aka Oregon Film.
On the TV front, Oregon is welcoming back IFC’s Portlandia for season six, and the second season of TNT’s The Librarians.
As for features, the Oregon-lensed The Green Room has been chosen for Cannes’ Directors Fortnight which began May 14 and runs through May 24. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, the film centers on a band of punk rockers who find themselves trapped in a secluded venue, fighting for their lives against a gang of neo-Nazis. The Green Room’s cast includes Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner and Joe Cole. The film marks a return engagement for Saulnier at Cannes. His Blue Ruin made the final cut for the 2013 Directors’ Fortnight.
Several bills are in the legislature relative to Louisiana’s film production incentive program. Here are two of the bills and their featured provisions (info from Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, LLC):
House Bill 704 would amend the program as follows:
Beginning January 1, 2016, provides for a funding cap in the amount of $150 million per calendar year:
Credits will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis;
If the total credits applied for in any particular year exceed the aggregate amount of credits allowed for that year, the excess will be treated as having been applied for on the first day of the subsequent year.
Meanwhile House Bill 213 proposes the following changes:
Effective January 1, 2016, creates a program funding cap of $50 million per year:
If the total amount of the tax credits is exceeded, the excess shall not be rolled over into the subsequent year;
Replaces the first-come, first-served aspect of the existing program with preference given to productions that provide the greatest economic return to the state based on the following factors:
The percentage of payroll spent on the employment of Louisiana residents;
The impact of the production on the overall economy of the state, including the percentage of production expenditures expended in the state;
Whether the production company has paid Louisiana corporate franchise taxes or whether the production company has deducted and withheld Louisiana income tax on wages earned by employees of the production company in the state of Louisiana;
Whether the production company has used an animated state brand or logo, or both.
Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down
One governor signed, another vetoed legislation relative to incentive programs in Colorado and Utah, respectively (info from Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, LLC).
On April 24, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 234, which appropriates $3 million to the film rebate program for the 2016 fiscal year (July 1-June 30).
Also last month, Senate Bill 278 was vetoed by Utah Governor Gary Herbert. It proposed to amend the Motion Picture Incentive Fund rebate program by increasing the per project cap from $500,000 to $2.5 million.
Maryland Bill Pending
Senate Bill 905 proposes to amend Maryland’s existing film incentives program as follows (info from Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, LLC):
Creates a reserve fund which is a special continuing non-lapsing fund for film incentives;
Beginning with the 2017 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter, it is the intent of the General Assembly for the Governor to include in the budget an appropriation to the reserve fund in an amount equal to the amount to:
Maintain the current level of film production in the state: and,
Attract new film production activity in the state.
Requires a five second long static or animated logo in the end credits before the below-the-line crew crawl, for feature films;
Requires an embedded five second long static or animated logo for a television series;
Provides for alternative marketing opportunities in lieu of the logo requirements; and,
Eliminates the sunset date of the program.