Our upcoming feature in Produced By magazine in support of AB 1839, the Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act, went to press just prior to news breaking that the legislature had arrived at – and that Governor Jerry Brown would support – a compromise on the bill, expanding funding for California’s production incentive program to approximately $330 million annually for the next five years.
Obviously, this is tremendous news. The PGA has been proud to support AB 1839, and are excited with Governor Brown’s signing of the bill this month. As the PGA leaders cited in this piece attest, it’s gratifying to see our industry’s home state stepping up to the plate to keep these valuable jobs in California, and encouraging producers to reinvest their production budgets in our local communities.
First, for the record, our Guild strongly supports all of the production incentive programs found among the 50 states. Any legislation that helps to keep production in the U.S. is good for producers and good for our national and state economies.
But Assembly Bill 1839, The Expanded Film and Television Job Creation Act (aka The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act), which is currently making its way through the California State legislature, has a special importance. California isn’t just the birthplace of the modern entertainment industry, it’s the state that roughly 75% of PGA members call home. To date, California has lagged behind many other states in terms of the incentives it offers producers, and among the individuals who have borne the brunt of that shortcoming are our members. The lack of a competitive California incentive has translated to more members being uprooted from their homes and families for weeks or months, compelled to travel out of state for production jobs that otherwise might have remained in California.
AB 1839 seeks to change that, increasing the funds available to in-state productions to a robust $400 million, and allocating those funds to productions based not on a lottery system, but on how many jobs they would create for the state’s residents. It’s a strong piece of legislation, and our Guild supports it wholeheartedly. You should, too. If you are one of our thousands of California-based PGA members (or simply a subscriber who resides in the Golden State), we encourage you to call your State Assemblymember, State Senator, and particularly, Gov. Jerry Brown, and urge them to support AB 1839.
Our industry has shown that productions will go where the incentives are — and take their valuable production jobs with them. At the end of the day, producers want to be able to go home to their families, not Skype with them from out of state. This legislation will help keep producers closer to home, and keep our production spend in California. It’s time we leveled the playing field..
–FRED BARON, Board Member, Producers Guild of America, California Film Commission
The California tax incentive is absolutely essential to maintaining the film and television industry presence in the state. Given the number of cast, crew, writers, directors and producers employed state- wide in the entertainment industry, it is imperative that we do what we can to stem runaway production, with billions of dollars at stake. The PGA has worked tirelessly (and successfully) with our fellow Guilds and unions to lobby for passage of this critically important legislation.
–GALE ANNE HURD, Executive Producer, The Walking Dead
California is where this industry was born. Jobs that could (and should) stay in California are going to other states because our incentives aren’t competitive. This is our chance to reverse that trend. Call your state assemblyman and your state senator. Call Gov. Brown. Let them know how important this legislation is to you, to our industry, and to all of the California businesses who benefit from our productions.
–HAWK KOCH, President Emeritus, Producers Guild of America
FIND Your State Assemblyman and Senator: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
CALL Governor Brown: (916) 445-2841
- Click here to read more about the PGA's support of AB 1839 and the California Film and Television Alliance