California Triples Film Subsidy Program

Yesterday was a huge news day for the California Film industry that could have potential ramifications for the VFX business here in Toronto.

The Governor of California announced that California’s current subsidy will increase to $330 million, an increase from the current level of $100 million. The subsidy will now be given to productions that will create the most jobs, instead of the current lottery system.

The hope in California is that this will be enough to stem the tide of runaway production. From the Variety article:

"…there was skepticism that the legislation would be enough to recapture some segments of the industry, like visual effects.

Daniel Lay, the author of the VFXSoldier blog, said last week that the problem is that an extra 5% incentive for visual effects was tied to whether a studio did principal photography in state. The problem, he said, is that Canada offers up to a 60% labor subsidy and no cap on the annual outlay. "

More articles about the news:

VFX Soldier didn’t think that this would help the California VFX industry, and that more subsidies only contributes to VFX workplace instability.

VFX Law (a former VFX Artist who is now a lawyer working on the side of the film studios) disagreed, thinking that California's improved subsidies will help California's VFX industry.

We’ll see how this plays out in the coming months.

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