S.F. looks to expand perks for Web film productions

Supervisor Mark Farrell introduced legislation that would amend the film rebate program.

Supervisor Mark Farrell introduced legislation that would amend the film rebate program.

San Francisco hopes to attract a piece of the fast-growing Web series industry by expanding its film incentive program to include productions such as Netflix’s acclaimed “House of Cards.”

But even as city officials are deliberating the change, Amazon Studios is shooting scenes in San Francisco for its upcoming Web series comedy based in Silicon Valley called “Betas,” which is about 20-something coders on the verge of making their startup fortune.

“This type of production is the wave of the future,” said Susannah Robbins, director of the San Francisco Film Commission. “Increasingly, Web series are being produced to meet the increased demand of streaming productions on people’s tablets, phones and home computers.”

The film rebate program, which reimburses film productions for certain taxes and city fees up to $600,000, was established in 2006 after San Francisco’s film sector plummeted.

Ever since, city officials have attempted to revive the local film industry.

Supervisor Mark Farrell, who introduced the legislation that would amend the rebate program, said it was important to adapt as the industry changes. The legislation, which the Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on next week, would also slash in half the $100-per-day film permit fee for productions with budgets under $100,000.

In recent years, the number of productions applying for rebates has risen. In total, 14 productions have received $1.79 million. Reimbursed expenses are mostly for stage and production office space and the required use of San Francisco police officers, who come at a rate of about $100 per officer per hour with a minimum four-hour requirement.

Robbins said that combined, the productions have spent more than $42.5 million locally, of which $12.8 million was spent on pay for 4,300 local crew members and background extras.

Another $772,743 in rebates are expected to be distributed by February for an independent drama “Quitters,” the HBO series “Looking” and MTV’s “Real World.”Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsPolitics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes will be added to sections of state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101 through The City including Park Presidio Boulevard to help keep transit flowing as traffic increases. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes coming to some of The City’s busiest streets

Changes intended to improve transit reliability as traffic increases with reopening

Demonstrators commemorated the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside S.F. City Hall on June 1, 2020.<ins></ins>
Chauvin verdict: SF reacts after jury finds ex-officer guilty on all charges

San Franciscans were relieved Tuesday after jurors found a former Minneapolis police… Continue reading

San Francisco Unified School District Board member Faauuga Moliga, right, pictured with Superintendent Vincent Matthews on the first day back to classrooms, will be board vice president for the remander of the 2121 term. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faauuga Moliga named as school board vice president to replace Alison Collins

The San Francisco school board on Tuesday selected board member Fauuga Moliga… Continue reading

Legislation by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman would require The City to add enough new safe camping sites, such as this one at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin, to accomodate everyone living on the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City would create sites for hundreds of tents under new homeless shelter proposal

Advocates say funding better spent on permanent housing

An instructor at Sava Pool teaches children drowning prevention techniques. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Indoor city pools reopen for lap swimming and safety classes

Two of San Francisco’s indoor city pools reopened Tuesday, marking another step… Continue reading

Most Read