Musicians Celebrate New Laws to Strengthen California Film & TV Music Industry

Chris Pierce (left) and Siddhartha Khosla (front right) perform with Rickey Minor and his band at the Keeping the Score in California kickoff concert at Los Angeles City Hall Aug. 19, 2017, in support of music tax credits. [File photo/Linda A. Rapka/AFM Local 47]

Newly inked state budget looks to bring music jobs back to the state

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 5, 2018) — Musicians and the entertainment industry celebrate a major victory with the update to California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program that for the first time includes meaningful support for music-scoring jobs.

California has suffered an exodus of film and television music jobs for decades, and the state budget signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown gives the California Film Commission authority to create regulations that will have a significant impact in bringing these music jobs back home. In version 3.0 of the program, productions will now receive points based on how many music-scoring jobs will be created in California. These points don’t increase the incentive a production receives — they actually help a production qualify.

“The new system truly incentivizes production companies to commit to scoring in California in order to successfully earn bonus points that go toward their approval for a tax credit,” says AFM Local 47 President John Acosta. “This means that the greater the scoring budget, the more points the production will receive, acting as a further incentive for producers to allocate more funds toward their music budgets.”

“As composers, we thrive on collaborations with different local musicians and performers,” said Siddhartha Khosla, composer for NBC’s hit television series “This Is Us” which is filmed and scored in Los Angeles. “A program like this keeps more music jobs local, thereby broadening our community, allowing for more collaboration and ultimately making our final products better. The financial benefit to local musicians is a no-brainer, and I believe the art will benefit, too. Seems like a win-win to me.”

“The new program is a boon not only to musicians, but also to all our colleagues who work on scoring stages — from composers and engineers to electricians and other music support staff,” said Marc Sazer, president of the Recording Musicians Association and a violinist who works on Los Angeles scoring stages. “It will create a beneficial ripple effect for the entire workforce involved in the recording community.”

“I am thrilled to see that Gov. Brown signed the bill, which adds music production incentives,” said composer John Debney (FOX’s “The Orville”). “We have the greatest musicians in the world here in California and these incentives will mean more scores recorded here.”

Musicians are already working with the CA Film Commission and legislators on the new regulations for music scoring.

“This achievement would not have been possible without the hard work of the California Film & Television Production Alliance, bill authors Majority Leader Ian Calderon and Senator Holly Mitchell and their legislative staff, the Keeping the Score in California Coalition, and hundreds of musicians and supporters,” Acosta said. “It will take time for this new and powerful element of the tax credit program to work its way through production decisions and produce real jobs for musicians and others. But once that happens, we expect tremendous success for musicians, composers, and all those whose jobs depend on this signature California industry.”

About Keeping the Score in CA Coalition: Musicians, film and television composers, and organizations working to promote music tax credits for California musicians include AFM Local 47, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, The Recording Academy San Francisco and Los Angeles chapters, Recording Musicians Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, NABET-CWA Local 53, Pasadena Symphony and POPS, Professional Musicians of California, San Francisco Musicians Union Local 6, Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Society of Composers and Lyricists.

About AFM Local 47 – Local 47 is a labor organization formed by and for musicians over a century ago that promotes and protects the concerns of over 7,000 musicians throughout the greater Los Angeles area in all facets of the music business. Local 47 is affiliated with the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, the largest organization in the world representing the interests of 85,000 professional musicians.

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