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County Film Commissioners Seeing Mostly Commercial Work
Jun 4, 2013, 12:51pm PDT Updated: Jun 4, 2013, 1:09pm PDT
Mark Anderson - Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal
Commercial shoots and catalogs have been the mainstay for local film commissioners in recent years. A decade ago they were actually getting movie location work, but much of that work has gone to states that offer production incentives and to Canada, which also offers strong incentives for movie production.
Still, some of that local commercial work gets noticed.
A Dr Pepper parody of manly 1970s nature-inspired beer commercials was filmed in El Dorado County in March and has been running in strong rotation ever since. The commercial starts with a mountain man eating bark and carrying logs and then calling for his eagle to bring him a can of soda. It ends with the tagline: The Manliest Low-Calorie Soda In the history Of Mankind. The commercial has gone viral on YouTube and even captured a rare good review from AdWeek.
“We’re seeing a lot of commercials. Not a lot of movies,” said Kathleen Dodge, El Dorado County Film Commissioner. Location shoots have been things like the pop commercial, some reality show work, car commercials and a lot of print and online catalogs, Dodge said.
Placer County last month had a crew of 40 filming a Charles Schwab & Co. commercial in Rocklin, Roseville and Granite Bay, said Placer County Film Commissioner Beverly Lewis. In recent months, most of the work has been car commercials and catalog shoots, Lewis said. In September, Placer County had an independent movie, Last Weekend, shot around Lake Tahoe. That movie, staring Patricia Clarkson and Zachary Booth, is awaiting a distribution deal.
California offers some location incentives to movie makers, but the legislation has to be renewed every two years. For many production companies, two years isn’t a long enough time to make certain the incentive will be there when the movie is shot, Lewis said. The association of California’s film commissioners, Film Liaisons In California Statewide, had been seeking a five-year bill, said Lewis, the current chairwoman of FLICS.
Check out the Dr Pepper ad parody below. Link to article http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/06/04/film-commission-commercial-work.html
Tower of Youth’s 17th Annual North American All Youth Film & Education Day Reel Revolution
Friday, October 4, 2013. The Tower of Youth is a Sacramento Sierra region all teen youth media and communications non-profit arts organization. For more information about participating or attending this event, or details about Tower of Youth please use this link: http://www.towerofyouth.org/NEW-TOYsite/17ff/entry.htm
Commercial director focuses his lens on Placer County
Honored for generating $230,000 in local economy
Tuesday Dec. 4, 2012 Roseville & Granite Bay Press Tribune
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
Placer County is positioning itself to become a hotbed of filming activity, and it’s getting assistance in that realm from Los Angeles-based commercial director Tim Damon.
Over the past decade, Damon has brought at least 10 commercial and print advertisement jobs to the county, generating $230,000 in local economic impact. That figure includes his crews booking a total of 490 hotel room nights. Placer County Supervisors honored Damon on Nov. 29 with a commendation thanking him for his contributions.
In late November, Damon filmed a commercial in Roseville as part of four days he spent in Placer County before his crew left to shoot in Sacramento and Oakland for their client Goodyear.
Damon’s work has showcased the county in commercials and advertisements seen all over the world, featuring clients such as Chevy, BMW and Toyota. Damon said he likes to shoot in Placer County because of the people.
“Everyone here is so friendly,” Damon said. “It’s easy and everyone has enthusiasm and is very accommodating, and that’s the key. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I’ve worked all around the world, and my job is a thousand times easier if the people are nice that I’m dealing with. And I come up here every chance I get.”
Damon’s filming has spread throughout Placer County to encompass spots in Tahoe, Auburn, Lincoln, Newcastle, Foresthill and Roseville.
“He could go anywhere, but he keeps coming back to Placer County,” said county Film Commissioner Beverly Lewis.
Perhaps that’s because the region boasts an array of landscape features: rivers, lakes, rapids, quarries, casinos, Gold Rush towns, ranches, farms, estates, wineries, ski resorts, bridges, high-tech industry, high and low elevations and more.
Lewis works in the Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office, which provides support services to film, television and print photography productions working on location in the county.
“We are here to be a liaison between the community and production to ensure the process runs efficiently for all,” Lewis said. “Our office is part of the county’s Economic Development Office. What a production doesn’t bring with them they have to get from the local economy.”
The film office helps by issuing county permits, providing key contacts and expediting what needs to be done for productions. They turn permits around in 24 to 48 hours. Before Damon’s latest shoot, Lewis went out with the commercial’s location manager to scout sites. The office also assists with lodging.
Lewis acts as the current chair of the 42-member Film Liaisons in California Statewide, a professional organization supporting efforts to make local communities “film-ready” and “film-friendly.” California has established a tax incentive for film and TV shows to attract productions. The incentive doesn’t apply to commercials.
“It’s a modest program compared to others but at least it’s something,” Lewis said.
Lewis said Roseville is developing a film-friendly reputation. In addition to Damon’s latest commercial, the city has worked with Sacramento-based production company Big Table Media, which regularly films shows here for the DIY Network. Each time this company does a show in Roseville, $10,000 is generated in the local economy, Lewis said.
City spokeswoman Megan MacPherson said Roseville benefits from the advocacy of the county film office.
“When (Lewis) has production groups, we want them to know we’re open for business,” MacPherson said.
This means the city will assist in running requests through various departments — Public Works, Fire, Building and more — for timely approval. Sometimes a director will need to close down a street, set off explosives, divert traffic and because Roseville is a full-service city, “It’s one-stop shopping,” MacPherson said. She added that the city always considers whether a request will negatively impact residents before granting permission.
Production companies are drawn to Roseville because of its historic charm and options for variety such as a modern mall, railroad and subdivisions, according to MacPherson.
Anne Stokes contributed to this report.
Placer County Supervisor Jack Duran, left, presents commercial director Tim Damon with a commendation honoring the Los Angeles-based director for the significant economic impact the Damon Productions company has had on the local economy. Over the past decade, Damon has filmed several national and international commercials in Placer County
L to R: State Senator Ron Calderon Beverly Lewis, 2012 Chair of the Film Liaisons in California Statewide; Amy Lemisch, Director of the California Film Commission; State Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes
Senator Ron Calderon (30th District) and Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (39th District) were among the honored guests to attend the 18th Annual California on Location Awards (COLA) held in late October at the elegant Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. The state legislators, who authored the bills which extended the very successful California Film and Television Tax Credit program for two more years, joined forces again at the gala to present the Public Employee of the Year Awards which acknowledged the top federal, state, county, and city officials to have worked with productions around the state in 2012. COLA is the signature event of the Film Liaisons in California Statewide, the professional association of film commissioners from around the state which works closely with the production community to ensure that productions are running efficiently and to the benefit of their communities . The formal event, emceed by veteran TV actor Lorenzo Lamas, honors the top location professionals and production companies to have done exemplary work in features, TV and, commercials. For more information about this COLA year’s award winners and festivities, the Red Carpet pre-show and more: www.californiaonlocationawards.com Top honors went to location manager Chris Baugh, for his accomplishments on “Argo.” Most of “Argo” was shot in California as a direct result of the state film and television tax credit program.
The Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office and Placer County has been a staunch champion of this well received film incentive legislation that has strong bipartisan support. Within the first two years of the tax credit program Placer County hosted locations for three productions that qualified for the state film and television tax credit: HBO’s “Cinema Verite,” “Jackass 3D,” and the Disney film “The Muppets.”
Retain incentives for state’s flagship movie industry (Auburn Journal 9/26/2012) Link to Article
When California sees $3 billion and 90,000 jobs lost in one of its flagship industries because incentives in other states and countries are aggressively luring them elsewhere, it’s easy to understand why the pending legislation to extend the one state program that is modestly stemming this exodus is being endorsed by the majority of our state legislators. A program which retains good paying California jobs, injects significant dollars into local communities statewide, and more than pays for itself.
A recent “Another View” editorial from The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise ( “Reel giveaway,” Auburn Journal, Sept. 14) significantly misrepresented the successful impact of — and the bipartisan support for — the extension of this state program.
The current California Film and Television Tax Credit Program expires in 2015. Two identical bills, AB2026 (Fuentes) and SB1197 (Calderon), provide for a two-year extension of this tax credit program.
The losses stated above occurred between 2004 and 2011, as reported in the L.A. Times (Sept. 18) citing data released by Burbank-based Entertainment Partners (EP) which represents 250,000 employees and is the largest media payroll accounting firm in the world.
In 2009, our state legislators enacted the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program, a five-year program, to help retain entertainment industry jobs and the positive economic impact these productions have on our local economies when they work on location.
The program, which provides $100 million annually to qualified film and TV productions with budgets between $1 million $75 million, targets those productions most at risk of leaving the state.
This is not a give-away or tax loophole, as the author suggests. As written, the current program is often cited as a model, with a rigorous and transparent application, reporting and auditing process. So stringent that the California Federation of Labor, for the first time ever, endorsed such an incentive, as the current program meets their “litmus test” for identifying job creation.
Because productions have to film and complete post-production before they receive any tax credits, the state benefits from the spending and job creation well before any credits are used.
Since inception, $500 million in credits have been allocated (reserved) under the program but only $229,139 in tax credits have been claimed, according to the Franchise Tax Board.
The productions that were assigned these tax credits have generated an estimated $3.9 billion in direct production spending in the state, of which $1.3 billion is attributed to wages for an estimated 42,000 cast and crew jobs (California Film Commission, actual figures based on production budgets – no multipliers).
And let’s not forget that state revenues generated from these productions are redistributed to other state programs like education, health services, peace officers and other government services.
Why are there incentives at all? About 15 years ago Canada and a couple of states began offering various financial incentives to attract Hollywood productions.
They recognized millions of dollars are injected into local economies by location filming, because what a production doesn’t bring with them, they must obtain locally.
Typically this can include local hires, lodging, restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaning, clothes, hardware, fuel, office supplies, heavy equipment rentals, etc. By the time our state program started in 2009 more than 40 states and a dozen countries already had financial incentives in place.
The members of the Film Liaisons in California Statewide, the professional association for film commissioners which I currently chair, work closely with the California Film Commission, contributing local data that the state uses in tracking the effects of “runway production” and now, critically, the modest gains we’re beginning to see as a result of the state tax credit program.
Locally, Placer County can point to the current program’s success: already parts of three major productions in the first two years of the program have filmed here: Disney’s “The Muppets,” MTV’s “Jackass 3D,” and the HBO Movie “Cinema Verite.” One of these productions was responsible for a total of $79,000 in local spending (including $5,700 in local wages, $20,000 at local hotels and $3,400 for food/catering).
This is a state program that works — providing jobs, paying its way and then some, and infusing large and small businesses around the state with welcome economic impact.
Beverly Lewis is the director of the Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office for Placer County. The Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Commission provides location photos, scouting and permit assistance, lodging, crew and support services, a production directory and local contacts.
Beverly Lewis Director Speaks about CCD Expo September 16, 2011
California On-Locations Awards (COLA) Winners for 2012
Hollywood Tax Credit Keeps Jobs In State-Sacramento Bee Article by Beverly Lewis
Placer County Fam Trip – June 2010 LMGA Article and Photos by Ken Haber