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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

San Francisco Offers Rebates To Reality TV and Documentaries

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 4:03 PM

click to enlarge They're helping the economy. - JOHNRILEY VIA FLICKR
  • Johnriley via Flickr
  • They're helping the economy.

Reality TV shows like truTV's "Bait Car" - which filmed San Francisco cops arresting San Franciscans last year - and "The Bachelor" will have even more incentive to come film their trash TV in the city. 

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously this afternoon to extend the city's "Scene in San Francisco" Rebate Program to reality TV and low-budget documentaries that film in our scenic seven-by-seven mile backdrop. The rebate program provides a refund of payroll tax and city fees for up to $600,000 per production.

Supervisor Mark Farrell, the law's author, credits the program with bringing productions like "Milk" and "La Mission," and the "Trauma"

TV series to the city. In a statement, San Francisco Film Commission's

executive director Susannah Greason Robbins cites a boost to the local economy from production crews descending on the city,

as well as tourists drawn to San Francisco after having seen the

Golden Gate Bridge on TV. (Though apparently not the panhandlers.)

The law decreases the film permit to $100-a-day for films with a budget

less than $500,000. Before, small budget films had to pay the same $300 a

day that the big boys did, driving filmmakers to cheaper locales. For example, New York City charges $300 for a whole

production for all budget films for as many days as it takes to film.

Vancouver charges $100 a day, and New Mexico charges $25 a day.

"We have been told that many low budget independent filmmakers that the

fees are cost-prohibitive," said Robbins.

At least they've kept our traffic disruptions from the likes of Ben Flajnik and his posse of dates skiing down Russian Hill to a minimum. Sigh.


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Lauren Smiley


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