Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon' Among 13 Films Set to Shoot in California in 2020

Damien Chazelle National Air Space Museum - Getty - H 2018
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Features from Aaron Sorkin, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Geffen and Marc Platt will also film in the state.

More than a dozen films will call California home next year.

The state's film commission has announced that 13 features, including Damien Chazelle's big-budgeted Babylon, have been selected to shoot in the state and receive the latest round of tax credits.

Of the 13 projects, five are independent and eight are attached to studios. Together, they are on track to generate more than $376 million in qualified spending, defined as below-the-line wages to California workers and payments to in-state vendors. Of course, overall spending in the state is expected to be significantly greater with the inclusion of above-the-line payments and other expenditures that do not qualify for tax credits.

“The projects announced today reaffirm that top decision makers prefer to shoot in California even when they can receive more lucrative tax credits elsewhere,” said the California film commission's executive director, Colleen Bell. “The list includes projects by Damien Chazelle, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Geffen, Marc Platt and other industry leaders who understand that California continues to offer the best value.”

In addition to Babylon and its estimated $83.4 million in qualified spending, the latest round of film projects includes the remake of Little Shop of Horrors from producers Geffen and Platt, which will generate an estimated $59.9 million in qualified expenditures. As California has struggled to lure big-budget features in recent years, both projects represent a significant win for the state.

“I'm thrilled to be able to film Babylon here in California, with its rich landscapes and excellent crewmembers,” said Chazelle of his next film starring Brad Pitt and Emma Stone. “Thank you to the Film Commission for helping me bring this film to the big screen.”

Other projects include an untitled high school drama from Anderson, Aaron Sorkin’s Lucy and Desi drama Being the Ricardos and 24/7, a comedy directed and produced by Eva Longoria with Kerry Washington and Paul Feig.

Based on data provided with each tax credit application, the 13 films are expected to employ an estimated 1,960 crew, 698 cast and 26,119 background actors and stand-ins over a combined 587 filming days in the state. They are also sure to generate significant postproduction jobs and revenue for California-based VFX artists, sound editors, sound mixers and musicians.

Six of the 13 projects will film outside Los Angeles' 30-mile studio zone for a planned total of 64 filming days in Butte, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Francisco and Ventura counties. To date, the tax credits program has incentivized 36 out-of-zone film projects for 496 out-of-zone filming days.

The commission also released its annual tax credit progress report, which affirms that the revamped program has production jobs and statewide spending on the rise. The full 41-page progress report can be found here.