The DGA actively worked in many of the states where production incentives now exist, and continues to work in coalitions and with other partners to promote the benefits of film and television production.
In California, the Guild co-chairs the statewide California Film & Television Production Alliance that successfully pushed for passage of The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act (AB 1839), signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown in September 2014. This legislation created a five-year, $330 million per year program that significantly extended and enhanced the previous California incentive.
The new program, commonly referred to as The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0, is applied based on a project’s jobs ratio ranking. In its first year of operation*, (Financial Year 2015-2016), $230 million in tax credits were given to 56 qualifying films and TV series. These projects generated $1.7 billion in direct aggregate spending statewide, including $664 million in aggregate California wages for below-the-line crew members.
(*Year-1 was funded at $230 million; the full $330 million in FY funding begins in FY 2016-17.)
The Guild, together with its partners in the California Film & Television Production Alliance, continues to inform California legislators about the significant impact the program has already had and the importance of keeping California competitive.
(Additional information on The California Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 can be found on the California Film Commission’s website: www.film.ca.gov/Incentives.htm)
In New York, the DGA worked closely with its partners to initially secure the passage of the Empire State Film Production Tax Credit – and then to ensure its renewal. In April 2013, legislation was enhanced and extended for the state incentive program, allocating $420 million per year through 2019. This hugely successful incentive will be up for renewal in 2019 and the Guild is already fully engaged in accomplishing that goal. (Additional information can be found on the New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development website: www.nylovesfilm.com)
Since 2014, as part of the Guild’s overall diversity initiatives, the DGA has worked closely with the Writers Guild of America East to introduce and support a first-of-its-kind bill in New York which encourages the hiring of women and minority directors in episodic television. To achieve this, the legislation would set aside $5 million from the current $420 million per year allocated to the New York film and television production incentive. The legislation passed the New York Assembly and moved close, but did not get, to a Senate floor vote in June 2016. The Guild will continue to pursue this effort.
The Guild wants its members to be able to choose where they work and has pursued productions incentives to give filmmakers greater options to keep television and film productions in the United States.
(Further Information on individual state incentives can be found at the Association of Film Commissioners International site at this link: www.afci.org/jurisdiction/us/all)