Sony Screen Gems & Culver City Keep Movie in California

Sony Screen Gems & Culver City Keep Movie in California

from: FilmWorks.com, News Reel –

Back in December, the California Film & Television Tax Credit proved that we don’t need massive film subsidies like those offered by Louisiana or Georgia to keep major motion pictures filming in state.

Back then, the $50 million Matt Damon film We Bought a Zoo turned down roughly $15 million in free money from Georgia for less than half that amount in California.  And now California has bested Georgia once again. The forthcoming Sony Screen Gems project Think Like a Man, which is based on a book by Georgia-native Steve Harvey, was primarily filmed in Culver City.

Glenn Gainor, head of production for Screen Gems, saw the project as an opportunity to bring the studio, local government and local business together to keep yet another project from leaving the state.  Gainor said he was “inspired by how movies used to be made”:

“I came up with this idea that if we shot Culver City for Culver City, we could get the local politicians and shop owners on board and excited about this movie so that it would almost be a little post card for the community,” said Glenn Gainor, head of physical production for Screen Gems… [The company] considered filming in Georgia, where Harvey is based and which offers a richer film tax credit than California. But the company opted to film locally, in part because it was able to save money by filming so close to its home base, cutting down on parking and transportation costs. Producers also enlisted the help of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce to find local merchants willing to showcase their establishments in exchange for a lower film permit fee.

Screen Gems was also lucky enough to qualify for the California Film & Television Tax Credit and saved $10,000 because of a local tax break offered by Culver City, where city officials see the movie as a “point of pride”:

“They actually did more than just use the city as a location, they called out a number of business names from the downtown community and that’s unusual,” said City Councilman Andy Weissman. “Recognizing Culver City in a positive way is good for the brand.”

Kudos to Screen Gems and Culver City for proving that Film Works in California.

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