When the cameras keep rolling for film and television productions in San Francisco, Mark Farrell is one person who should receive credit.
The supervisor recently introduced legislation that would extend the film rebate program, which has been successful in drawing filming back to San Francisco. In addition to extending the program, which has doled out $1.5 million in rebates for fees, taxes and permits, the legislation would expand program funding by an additional $2 million.
Some may argue that the film rebate program is a corporate giveaway, but it should truly be thought of as an investment. The productions that receive the rebates spend more than the rebates cost, and they also create jobs for San Franciscans and others in the Bay Area.
In spite of San Francisco’s cinematic star power, if The City did not offer such a film rebate program, productions would surely locate in other cities and states that offer better deals while background and flyover shots would continue to be filmed here — the minimum that filmmakers can get away with while pretending their production was fully filmed in San Francisco.
The City’s film industry has grown since the rebate program was introduced in 2006, and we cannot afford to go back to the days when production dropped off steeply.
The film rebate program is a smart investment for our city, our economy and our residents.