David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks,' 'Chicken Soup' Nab California Tax Incentives

'Twin Peaks'

Eleven projects have been chosen for the latest round of tax incentives.

Eleven productions — three independent projects and eight non-independent feature films — have been selected to receive tax credits under California's recently expanded Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0, it was announced Tuesday.

Among them are David Lynch's return to Twin Peaks, which will air on Showtime, an untitled Dax Shepard comedy for Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment's film adaptation of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

The list includes at least two projects set at least partially in other locales that have been aggressively offering tax credits of their own. Those are S&K Pictures' horror sequel The Conjuring 2, set in the U.K., and Fox's comedy Why Him, set in part in Michigan.

"We're fighting back and winning thanks to our newly expanded tax credit program, California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemish said. "We were losing projects that were set here at home, and now we're back to doubling for other locales. This demonstrates that when the playing field is more level, the industry views California as their first and best option." She also noted that film producers who rarely work in California, opting to take advantage of tax credits in other states, are turning to the Golden State.

Alcon Entertainment, which is producing the film version of Chicken Soup, has not filmed a project entirely in California in more than a decade. Alcon co-founders and co-CEOS Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said in a statement, "We are excited to be coming back to California to film Chicken Soup for the Soul. We are looking forward to working with the greatest crews and top facilities, as well as the convenience of managing this project close to home."

Based on data provided with each application, the commission estimates that the 11 projects will generate $533 million in direct in-state spending, including $171 million in wages for below-the-line crew members.

Two hundred fifty four projects applied for the $55.2 million in tax credits available in the California Film Commission's second round of the state’s recently expanded tax credit program.

The $55.2 million includes $48.3 million for non-independent feature films and $6.9 million for independent projects. The application period ran from July 13 to July 25, and during that time, the Film Commission received 32 applications for the non-independent feature category, and 222 applications for independent projects.

The decision on which projects received tax credits was based on each project’s jobs-ratio score, which provides a ranking according to wages paid to below-the-line workers, as well as qualified spending for vendor payments and equipment and other criteria. The top-ranked projects were notified July 27 that they have been selected to begin phase two of the process for further evaluation to ensure eligibility. The Film Commission then assigned credits to the highest-ranking projects until the $48.3 million and $6.9 million funding buckets had been allocated. Projects that made it to phase two but were not assigned credits will be placed on a waiting list.

The current application/allocation round follows the program’s launch, which began with the first application period of May 11-17 for non-independent TV projects. A total of 37 projects applied for the initial $82.2 million in funding, which included $55.2 million for new series, miniseries, MOWs and pilots, and $27.6 million reserved specifically for series relocating to California from out of state. Of the 37 projects that applied, eight new TV series and pilots were selected for tax credits, along with four relocating series.

The current inaugural year of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 will provide a total of $230 million in tax credits to eligible projects. An additional $100 million has been allocated to the final year of the state’s expiring, first-generation tax credit program.

Under the new program, tax credits are allocated in “buckets” for different categories of production, including TV projects (new series, miniseries, MOWs and pilots), relocating TV series, independent films and non-independent films. This enables applicants to compete for credits directly against comparable projects.

Consistent with the state’s prior tax credit program enacted in 2009, the new program awards tax credits only after selected projects: 1) complete postproduction, 2) verify the creation of in-state jobs (in accordance with their jobs-ratio score under the new program), and 3) provide all required documentation, including audited cost reports.

A complete list of the selected projects announced today follows:


Chicken Soup for the Soul                   Alcon Entertaiment

Code Name Veil                                    Code Name Veil Movie

Twin Peaks                                             Rancho Rosa Parnership


Action Park                                              Paramount Pictures

Avon Man                                                 20th Century Fox

Conjuring 2                                              S&K Pictures

The God Particle                                     Paramount Pictures

Overnight                                                  Robotopia Productions

Untitled Dax Shepard Comedy             Warner Bros.

Whale                                                         Newsub 76 Productions

Why Him                                                     20th Century Fox