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San Francisco’s Film Rebate Program Attracting Both TV And Movie Production

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Scene from The Planet of the Apes shot on the Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo credit by WET Digital/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – According to a new report from the Controller’s Office, San Francisco’s Film Rebate Program is bringing in approximately $18 of local spending for every dollar of rebate provided to television and film producers.

Since the Film Rebate Program was created in 2006, the 17 productions that have received rebates are estimated to have collectively spent $44.2 million locally, including paying over $14 million in wages to San Francisco residents.

“If a production shoots a certain percentage of their film or television show in San Francisco, they qualify for the rebate,” said Susannah Robbins, Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Commission. “If you’re over $3 million in budget, you have to shoot 65 percent of all of your shooting days in the city. And if you’re under $3 million, you have to shoot 55 percent. It rebates city fees that they have paid, at the end of production, provided they have met the number of shooting days.”

Since the start of the program, nearly $2.5 million in rebates have been awarded to productions taking place in San Francisco. Robbins said the San Francisco Film Commission has been very proactive in reaching out to film and television production companies who are thinking about filming in the city. “I actually do a lot of research on programs that help me figure out what’s been written for the city, and then I reach out to the producers and let them know about it (the rebate program),” she said.

The report also highlights the fact that many producers have chosen to film in San Francisco specifically because of the Film Rebate Program. Robbins said that they are hoping for bigger things ahead. “We have heard rumors about a possible Netflix series coming, we have portions of some blockbusters coming like Godzilla,” said Robbins “What we’re looking forward to is on January 19, Looking is going to air on HBO. That was all shot in San Francisco, all eight episodes. And that same week, Real World is also going to premier their new series, which they just completed in San Francisco.”

The report found that while employment in the San Francisco film industry has grown since 2006, it is unclear what, if any, effect the Film Rebate Program has had in this growth.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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