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Update: Film tax credit lottery resumes after bomb scare delay

Applicants for California's Film and TV Tax Credit wait to turn in their packets at the CA Film Commission offices on Hollywood Boulevard.
Applicants for California's Film and TV Tax Credit wait to turn in their packets at the CA Film Commission offices on Hollywood Boulevard.
Erik Deutsch

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Update 12:10 p.m.:  The California Film Commission announced that it received 497 applications  Monday for the next $100 million round of tax credits provided by the state's Film & Television Tax Credit Program.  So far, the Commission says, 23 projects have been selected to receive the credit. 

In a statement, the Film Commission explained that the remaining 474 projects submitted on the first day will be placed on a waiting list.

"As in prior years, it is expected that a significant number of wait list projects may be allocated tax credits, as approved projects withdraw due to scheduling delays or other production-related factors," the statement said.  

497 applications is a 30 percent jump over the 380 the Commission received on the first day of the application period last year.  

I posted yesterday on the start of applications for California's Film and Television tax credit program.  Then, I waited for the results of the lottery the California Film Commission conducts to select the winners of the tax incentive. But the results didn't come.

Turns out, a bomb scare on Hollywood Boulevard, where the Film Commission's office is located, is to blame. 

The discovery of a "suspicious package" prompted the closure of Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Sycamore Avenues, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.  The package was spotted at 3:45 p.m., just as Film Commission staff was starting the lottery process.  Luckily for the Film Commission, a California Fire Marshall oversees the lottery to ensure independence and transparency.   

"An urgent voice came over the loudspeaker telling us to vacate the building immediately," said Erik Deutsch, a consultant visiting a client in the building.  "The voice said it was not a test. You didn't want to stick around."

Deutsch told me that everybody had to take the stairs to leave the building.  Once he got out to Hollywood Boulevard, he could see it was closed and full of police officers, with helicopters overhead.  

By 5:45, according to Deadline Hollywood, a bomb squad had determined the package was not harmful, but it had caused a disruption on a stretch that includes the studio for ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the Dolby Theatre, the TCL Chinese Theater, and El Capitan Theater, and the Roosevelt Hotel. 

The California Film Commission planned to re-start the lottery Tuesday and release the number of applications it received and the number of tax incentive winners later in the day.