2018 was a busy year for Hollywood and the membership of Local 695. The California Film & TV Tax Credit Program, with a five-year extension to 2025, continues to bring new and relocated shows to California. Three of the most recent examples are: new Star Trek series, Flowers of Helvetica, and Why Women Kill. California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch tells us “Our TV tax credits are in high demand, so we’re pleased to have ample credits available to bring these three large-scale series to California.” Amy continues, “So many producers tell us that California is their first choice because no other locale can match what we have to offer, especially at the end of the shooting day going to their own homes each night.”
In the last cycle, fifteen projects received a tax credit, including the big-budget Space Jam 2, which produced more than one hundred million dollars in qualified spending, resulting in over forty three million dollars in below-the-line wages. These fifteen projects are on track to produce a total of one hundred and ninety five million in wages for their crews. The California Film & TV Tax Credit Program is meeting our highest expectations, generating economic stimulus not only in Southern California but throughout the entire state. Many of the businesses that support the industry were on the verge of shutting down due to productions leaving California; now they are thriving as a result of this dramatic growth in production. The motion picture industry is a key economic driver for the state of California and it’s clear that our elected representatives understand this and support the work of our IATSE members.
Many members of our Local live in areas where fires devastated communities. This reminds us about what is most important and how union Sisters and Brothers share in the support and safety of our neighbors. If you ever find yourself in need of support, remember that you’re not alone. There are many services available to the members of Local 695. Contact the Local and the Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF). The MPTF is there to help, whether it’s financial support, finding a caregiver for a child or adult, housing, job training, career changes and much, much more. All of these services are available to you free of charge from the MPTF. Local 695 will continue to support the MPTF with education and fundraisers to make sure that all these incredible programs remain available to our members. Join me and please consider making a monthly tax-deductible donation to MPTF. Visit their website at www.mptf.com to learn more about what they offer, how to make a donation, and also, how you can volunteer some of your time to help out at MPTF.
Now, let’s get back to doing what we do best, making entertainment…