California's Tax Credit Luring Hollywood Shoots Outside L.A.

Merrick Morton/Twentieth Century Fox
The set of 'Ford v Ferrari'

After it revamped its tax credit program in 2015 to include additional incentives, the state has seen a rise in filming outside Los Angeles: "This is a boom time."

Ever since California revamped its tax credit program in 2015 to include additional incentives, the state has seen a rise in filming outside Los Angeles. In turn, productions in the program have spent more than $130 million across 19 counties outside the city. Studio projects that do so are eligible for an additional 5 percent back, not to mention the supplemental local incentives offered by cities and counties.

"We're now reaping the benefits of the tax credit coming in, and across the state we are seeing so much more production work, including large films like Captain Marvel, Birds of Prey, Ford v Ferrari and a lot of other films that may have been lured away before the expansion of the state program," says Orange County film commissioner and California on Location Awards co-chair Janice Arrington. "All of us around the state, whether we're film commission or crew or production executives, feel like this is a boom time for us."

A total of 27 projects that filmed outside the L.A. zone employed 71 actors, 4,085 crew and 27,037 extras. Those shows and films put plenty of money into local communities, too. For instance, Bird Box spent $981,000 in Del Norte, Ford v Ferrari laid out $1.6 million in San Bernardino and Captain Marvel expended $426,000 in Fresno. Over the past few years, Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, which is set in the Bay Area, filmed its entire series in Northern California across a handful of counties. More than 7,000 local actors, crew and background hires from those counties earned about $19 million in total wages.

This story first appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.