Thursday, May 24, 2018
  • Monday, Nov. 20, 2017
"Call of the Wild" and Tarantino’s "Untitled #9" To Tap Into California's Tax Credit Program
In this Feb. 28, 2014 file photo, director Quentin Tarantino shows a v-sign during the 39th Cesar Film Awards at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, file)
  • HOLLYWOOD, Calif.
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California’s prolonged drought when it comes to big-budget feature film production continues to be reversed with help from the state’s expanded Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0. 

The California Film Commission has announced that two more big-budget films--“Call of the Wild” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Untitled #9”--will be shot in-state. They join other recently announced big-budget wins for California including “Captain Marvel,” “Island Plaza,” “Midway,” “Ad Astra,” “Bumblebee” and “Wrinkle in Time.” Such projects would have been ineligible for tax credits under the state’s first-generation Program 1.0, which was closed to films with budgets exceeding $75 million. 

“Despite aggressive incentives worldwide, California is once again competing for big projects because we’re able to provide the best overall value,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “Films today can be shot just about anywhere, so it’s great to see so much production returning to the Golden State.” 

Lemisch went on to note that in years past several films set in California were shot in other locales where tax credits are more plentiful. Notable examples include “San Andreas” (Australia), “Godzilla” (Vancouver), “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (Vancouver and Louisiana), “Battle: Los Angeles” (Louisiana) and “Million Dollar Arm” (Georgia). 

The tax credit allocation announced today reserves $62.8 million in credits for 11 films (four independent, seven non-independent). In addition to the two big-budget films, other notable projects include “Destroyer” directed by Karyn Kusama and starring Nicole Kidman, and an untitled Dan Gilroy project starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. A total of 54 projects (37 independent, 17 non-independent) applied for credits during the October 16-20 application period. 

“Everyone associated with our film is deeply thankful for the tax credit,” said writer/director Dan Gilroy. “In California, we can draw on an unparalleled variety of locations and a deep pool of talent stretching back generations. There’s a reason this place was the movie capital of the world for so many decades. Getting the tax credit is great for us and the production community that calls L.A. home.”

Also of note is Program 2.0’s ongoing success bringing production jobs and spending to regions across the state. Three of the 11 projects announced today (“Destroyer,” “Rim of the World,” and “Girl with a Gun”) plan to shoot a substantial number of scenes outside the traditional Los Angeles 30-Mile Zone. 

Based on data provided with each tax credit application, the 11 film projects announced today are on track to employ nearly 2,500 cast and crew, and generate more than $320 million in qualified spending (defined as wages to below-the-line workers and payments for equipment/vendors). 

The list of 11 projects is subject to change, as applicants may withdraw from the program and their reservation of tax credits gets reassigned to those currently on the wait list. The next application period for feature film tax credits will be held March 7–13, 2018. 

The seven non-independent features gaining tax credits are: “#2MinutesOfFame” (Lions Gate Entertainment) which is slated to receive $715,000 in tax credits; “12 Angry Men Live” (Calling Grace Productions, LLC) with an estimated $1,836,000 in tax credits; “Call of the Wild” (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.) with a little over $17 million; “Girl with a Gun” at $11,630,000; “Instructions Not Included” (Lions Gate Entertainment) at $1,822,000; “Untitled #9” (L. Driver Productions, Inc.) with a little more than $18 million; and an untitled Noah Baumbach film (Amazon Studios) at $1,722,000,

The four indie films set to tap into tax incentives worth an estimated $2.5 million apiece are: “Destroyer” (Land the Trick, LLC); “Rim of the World” (ROTW Productions, Inc.); “Russ & Roger” (Sobini Films); and an untitled Dan Gilroy film.