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IATSE Reaches New 3-Year Deal with AMPTP

AMPTP_LogoA negotiating unit for below-the-line crew members reached agreement with the AMPTP on a tentative new three-year deal covering film and television production in Los Angeles, it was announced today. Neither IATSE nor the studios are releasing terms of the new Hollywood Basic Agreement as of yet.

If approved by the union membership, the pact will go into effect August 1, 2015, just after the current agreement expires. Early resolution of contract talks can give local production a shot in the arm, as producers and financiers avoid the worry of any work stoppage in the near future.

“I am pleased we were able to reach an agreement that provides industry stability and meaningful terms and benefits to the membership,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb.

“The industry is pleased we have reached a new agreement with IATSE months before the contract expires,” stated AMPTP President Carol Lombardini. “With the tentative agreement in place, our member companies can immediately begin planning production for the future with certainty.”

The negotiated deal will next be sent to the IATSE national board for approval. If it passes there, the next step would be member ratification vote.

CA Rolls Out First “New Program” Tax Credit Lottery in May

On April 1, the California Film Commission will accept applications for its last-ever tax credit lottery under what is now being referred to the “old program.” The office made an announcement today that a large number of television series productions currently receiving credits will return for an additional season and remain in the program for its final year – leaving only a handful of credits available to new productions and eliminating studio projects from eligibility for the final lottery.

Ten million dollars will still be available for independent productions via the lottery, with old program rules still in effect.

First Application Period for New Lottery May 11-17

The new program will have two application periods for fiscal year 2015-16 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). The first will be May 11-17, for non-independent television projects only. Credit allocations will be available July 1 at the earliest. Other details from the film commission:

  • $55.2 million in tax credits available for New TV series, TV pilots, MOWs, Mini-series for any distribution transmission
  • $27.6 million in credits available for Relocating TV Series (defined as a series with $1 M minimum production budget, previous season shot outside CA, and must attest that the tax credit is the primary reason for move to the state)
  • Projects will be selected via a new competitive ranking system based on jobs and other criteria

A second application period, to be announced this summer, will cover other types of production. Read more about the old and new programs at the California Film Commission website here. Learn about production incentives nationwide here.

CA State Assembly Unanimously Votes to Supersize Production Incentives

The California State Assembly has unanimously passed a bill that would greatly expand production incentives in the state, extending tax credits for the first time to big-budget studio films and one-hour shows made for network, premium cable and the web. While production budgets for eligible movies are currently capped at $75 million, features of any size would be able to qualify under the bill, with the tax credit applicable to the first $100 million of the budget.

The legislation does not address the current $100 million annual cap on incentive spending by the state, though that issue is expected to be revisited next month, prior to a vote on the state budget. The bill now goes on to the State Senate for consideration in August.

Meanwhile, this year’s lottery for distributing credits to production companies under the current program will be held on Monday.

The California Film & Television Production Alliance said in a statement: “The strength of the unanimous vote demonstrates the Assembly Members’ clear understanding of the vital economic importance of the motion picture industry to California and their determination to return this state to a competitive position.”

To learn more about production incentives in California and other states, contact our incentives expert Ryan Broussard at 504 296 2502 or email ryanb@mediaservices.com.

Read more at Variety.com

Garcetti Appoints New L.A. Film Czar, Requests Tax Credit Extension

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has requested an expansion of entertainment tax credits from the state and appointed a new chief advisor on film and TV production. Entertainment lawyer Ken Ziffren, who takes up the advisor position following the death of Tom Sherak, will seek to increase local production through expanded state incentives.

“Stopping runaway production is about protecting our middle class,” said Garcetti. “Ken will be a powerful leader in our fight against other states that are taking our jobs, and he will be aggressive about streamlining government so red tape doesn’t contribute to driving production away.”

According to the Mayor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Production, which Garcetti established last year following his election, only one out of 45 “big budget” feature films was shot exclusively in California over 2012-2013, representing a loss of thousands of jobs to other states. From 2005 to 2013, California’s share of the 1-hour TV series market declined from 64% to 28%.

“This is a critical moment for our industry and our economy,” Ziffren said. “If we don’t fight back now, these jobs are going to be lost for good, and that would be a devastating blow to our middle class. This is about jobs for carpenters, electricians, makeup artists — good jobs that leave enough over at the end of the month to save for retirement, save for the kids’ college, and to spend in our neighborhoods.” Ziffren brings extensive entertainment industry experience to the new position, having played a key role in resolving a Writer’s Guild strike and represented the NFL in negotiating network TV contracts.

Bloomberg Businessweek also reports that Garcetti has lobbied Governor Jerry Brown and state legislators to double the current tax credit’s $100 million cap and expand it to include commercials, pay-TV programs and movies with budgets over $75 million.

Roger Corman’s “Drive-In” To Launch this Summer on YouTube

CORMAN'S DRIVE-IN LOGOLegendary B-movie impresario Roger Corman will become one of the first big-name Hollywood filmmakers to launch his own YouTube content channel this summer. Dubbed “Corman’s Drive-In,” the project will be a collaboration with longtime producing partner Julie Corman, and will be part of YouTube’s new platform offering viewers more channels through a paid subscription model.

The channel will be curated from the Cormans’ library of more than 400 classic films, providing direct access for the fans faithful as well as newcomers to the titles.

“I have always approached filmmaking with the desire to reach a broad audience, and YouTube is clearly where the viewers are now,” said Roger Corman. “In today’s ever-connected marketplace, I couldn’t think of a better platform on which to unveil ‘Corman’s Drive-In.'”

Under the banner of New Horizons Picture Corp., the Cormans say they will use this venture to not only expand distribution of these classic titles, but also provide an outlet for new films in production. Corman’s films will be accompanied by personal introductions from the producing couple, as well as interviews regarding their production and stars.

“This exciting launch on YouTube creates a myriad of opportunities for us, especially as we continue to develop and produce new titles to complement the existing film catalog,” added Julie Corman.

The launch keeps pace with a rising trend in direct-to-consumer distribution, where audience members have more direct access to their favorite content creators than ever before.

Corman’s prolific career has generated such cult titles as Deathrace 2000, Little Shop of Horrors, Piranha, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Grand Theft Auto. He has been a mentor and/or producer for iconic American filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola , Martin Scorsese , Ron Howard , James Cameron , Peter Bogdonovich, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles , Joe Dante, Gale Anne Hurd and others. He won an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010.

L.A. Metro Is Ready for Its Closeup

With Metro lines being extended and new stations built over the next couple of years across Los Angeles, the trains and stations are bound to become a bigger part of the fabric of L.A. life and therefore, entertainment. For film, TV and commercial productions hoping to use these properties as locations, there’s now one place to turn: Hollywood Locations has announced that they are now representing the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for all filming on METRO owned property.

Hollywood Locations will rep L.A. Metro-owned properties.There’s history here, and a longstanding relationship. Hollywood Locations has represented and marketed the regional transit hub, Los Angeles Union Station, for over the last 13 years, estimating that they have negotiated and coordinated over 1,000 film and event productions at the property. Recent features to have filmed at the historic station include The Dark Knight Rises, Friends with Benefits and Gangster Squad.

“We are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to offering the numerous Metro properties and locations available for filming throughout Los Angeles County,” said Pete Brosnan, Sr. Vice President of Hollywood Locations.

To inquire about filming at a Metro-owned property, Brosnan says to contact Portfolio Manager Jeff Cooper at (213) 617-0111.

PGA’s Produced By Conference Set for Next June at Fox

The Producers Guild of America will hold its fifth annual Produced By Conference June 8-9 of next year, the guild has announced. The yearly confab became an instant hit with major Hollywood players, many of whom are PGA members, when it first launched in 2009. In just a handful of years, it’s become a must-attend event for producers and studio types still in town for the summer.

Next year’s event will be hosted by 20th Century Fox Studios and be chaired by Producers Guild President Emeritus Marshall Herskovitz (Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai), Gary Lucchesi (The Lincoln Lawyer, Million Dollar Baby), Tracey Edmonds (Good Luck Chuck, Soul Food) and Rachel Klein (Payday: The Heist).

Full press release from the PGA here.

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