Quentin Tarantino is going to make his self-declared “final” film in his hometown of Los Angeles, and the Golden State is welcoming the Oscar winner with open and lucrative arms.
Snaring $20,213,000 for #10, the Oscar winner was among 16 films conditionally approved for $77.8 million in total tax incentives today by the California Film Commission.
“I love shooting in California,” Tarantino said today
“I started directing movies here and it is only fitting that I shoot my final motion picture in the cinema capital of the world,” the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood director added of the film that has been bandied about as The Movie Critic in recent months. “There is nothing like shooting in my hometown; the crews are the best I’ve ever worked with, and the locations are amazing. The producers and I are thrilled to be making #10 in Los Angeles.”
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Often one to put the City of Angels on the big screen, this latest award follows the $18 million that Tarantino was allocated in late 2017 through California’s $330 million annual program for his last picture. Proving a boon to the program’s primary directive of job creation, Once Upon… starring Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio also helped boost on-location shooting days in Greater LA in 2018, up double digits over the year before.
Of course, right now, with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA out on strike for a fair deal from the studios and streamers, production in L.A. has essentially evaporated, a reality that might not present the best optics for the Gavin Newsom-run state to be handing out big bucks to studios like Netflix and Sony — even though producers won’t actually see the cash from the incentives until many moons from now under the rules of the program.
“While production is now drastically reduced, today’s news about projects in our tax credit program signals there will be a much-welcome surge in California-based production once the strikes are resolved,” CFC Executive Director Colleen Bell optimistically exclaimed Friday. A further reality is that while approved projects are required to start production around 180 days after getting the credits, “force majeure” will likely kick in to protect the films from losing the incentives.
Since the scribes’ guild went out on the picket lines in early May, around 50% of the nearly 50 projects in the tax incentives program had quickly submitted “force majeure” requests, Deadline reported earlier this year.
Once the films announced today do actually start being made, they are anticipated to spread $670 million in total production spending to California, according to the CFC. For entertainment workers feeling financial stress currently due to the strikes, that $670 million includes an estimated $466 million as wages to below-the-line crew and expenditures to local vendors.
In that context, it is also notable that of the 16 projects awarded incentives today out of 55 applications for the latest round of California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 3.0., 13 of them are independent films – as you can see below:
Also noteworthy is that among so-called “non-independent” features, along with Tarantino’s #10, an Untitled Netflix Project received $20 million in incentives this round, and Under My Skin (which sounds very Frank Sinatra, if you know what I mean?) from Sony got $20.7 million.
Perhaps taking some of the bite out of studios getting money from the state during the strikes is the CFC’s estimate that that trio of films alone will result in $362 million in qualified spending and $540 million in total production spending in the state. Do the math and that’s actually a record for the tax credit program when it comes to big-budget film spending generated out of a single allocation round.
With no end to the strikes in sight, the next application period for small screen projects actually started earlier this week and runs until September 13. The next application period for big screen projects goes from January 8 – 15, 2024
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