Media Production Incentives Program

The Santa Barbara County Film Commission has created this incentives program in order to encourage media production in our area.

Please note that, as of June 1st, 2015, the Incentive will only be available to “new business”, specifically, production companies which have never shot in Santa Barbara County.

Currently, the program is unique in the State of California, as it is the only incentives program to provide support for Unscripted Television, Commercials, and Still photography shoots, in addition to Scripted Television and Feature Films (which other jurisdictions’ programs do support). Although the program is in its infancy and is still limited in terms of the financial resources available, our hope is that the program will communicate our commitment to production, even as it grows in scope. In short—we want your business!

Here, you will find information on the incentive, which types of production qualify and how the incentive rebate works as well as the answers to frequently asked questions.

Q: Is the program available throughout the year?
A: No, the program is available to productions active from September 30th through May 31st.

Q: Which types of Productions Can Qualify?
A: The incentive is available to Feature Film, Scripted Television, Unscripted Television, Commercials, and Still Photography Shoots.

Q: What does the incentive provide?
A: The incentive provides a cash rebate to qualified productions, which is capped at a maximum of $2,500 per project.

Q: How does a production qualify?
A: Productions qualify by housing crew at hotels in “Incentives Zones” and booking minimum numbers of room nights in an Incentive Zone over the course of the production. The minimums are determined by type of production as follows:

  • Still Photography — 50 Room Nights
  • Unscripted Television — 50 Room Nights
  • Commercials – 100 Room Nights
  • Scripted Television — 100 Room Nights
  • Feature Film – 200 Room Nights

Q: Where are the Incentives Zones?
A: Currently, Incentive Zones include all South Coast areas; Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, Santa Barbara and Goleta, and all of Santa Ynez Valley, and Los Alamos.

Q: Is there a limit on funds available for the incentive? What happens when the funds run out?
A: There is a limit. Currently, there are two separate “pots” of incentives, one provided for the South Coast Incentives Zone and one provided for the Santa Ynezy Valley Incentives Zone. Each pot will provide up to $25,000 total over the course of the fiscal year. Projects are qualified on a first come, first serve, basis until all available funds have been utilized for the year.

Q: What costs are reimbursed?
A: Permit Fees and 50% of CHP or Police costs up to the $2,500 cap.

Q: How do we collect the incentive reimbursement?
A: After you complete your production, fill out the Media Production Incentive Application and send it to the Santa Barbara County Film Commission. The Film Commission will review the application and confirm your lodging in an Incentive Zone. Upon confirmation, the Film Commission will provide a check.



Further Questions?

Please contact the Santa Barbara County Film Commission:
[email protected]
Tel. 805.966.9222