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California’s Tax Incentives Want to Make Hollywood the Epicenter of Filmmaking Again

On Tuesday, California announced another round of tax credits aimed at luring big budget films back to Hollywood. Among the 11 movies awarded more than $60 million in tax cuts are films featuring the work of Quentin Tarantino, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Nicole Kidman.

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Hollywood is the capital of the film industry in the eyes of pretty much everyone on the planet. China is gaining ground. Bollywood is growing with each passing year. Nigeria makes more films than Hollywood. Phenomenal movies are made and loved all over the world, but in the eyes of most, Hollywood is the top of the mountain.

In recent years, however, that title has been more honorary than anything else. Several films and production companies have moved out of state to take advantage of the growing number of tax incentives offered outside California. Of 2016’s top 100 grossing movies, only three were made in California. As depressing as that sounds, last year represents an altogether positive year for filmmaking inside California which has seen a marked decline in shoots in both 2014 and 2015.

California’s seeming desperation for big-budget films isn’t surprising. Titanic budgets for today’s studio films mean that a film shoot in your backyard brings with it the potential for a massive cash infusion for a state’s economy. Productions also generate a lot of jobs for people both in and out of the industry. In recapturing the glory of Hollywood’s heyday, California is hoping for an economic stimulus package courtesy of its most prominent export.

At the very least, the tax incentive gets everyone $18 million closer to the next Tarantino flick, which is never a bad thing.

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