The local movie and TV production community is in a buoyant mood about increased filming opportunities in Los Angeles now that the new California Film & TV Tax Credit Program is passed and open for applications.

“Our phones are ringing nonstop and there’s a palpable sense of excitement and optimism,” said Amy Lemisch, executive director of the California Film Commission.

David Lancaster, who produced acclaimed recent movies including “Nightcrawler,” “Whiplash” and “Drive,” hailed the new development – which more than triples the available credits from $100 million to $330 million annually – as a huge boost to both jobs and lifestyles.

“It means that for the first time in years, the talented crews here will be able to go home to their families at the end of the day and sleep in their own beds rather than always traveling out of state and sometimes out of the country to find work,” he said. “For the film community here, it will see less trekking out to the likes of Louisiana to shoot and more filming in Los Angeles. I was tired of seeing New Orleans on screen so much lately anyway.”

Lancaster and Clint Eastwood are tied for making the most movies in this region with the help of tax credits – at four apiece – but Lancaster is looking forward to making lots more under the expanded program, which includes a range of projects that were previously ineligible, including big-budget blockbusters.

Where There’s a Will

Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am might have won seven Grammys for his music, but now he’s been honored for his business skills.

The L.A. musician was named entrepreneur of the year by British trade promotion outfit U.K. Trade & Investment at the Business Innovation Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for his company i. am+, which develops wearable products combining fashion and technology.

“There are leaders and there are followers and leaders follow their dreams,” will.i.am said at the event late last month. “I fund my own dreams but they take a lot of money and a lot of hard work by an extraordinarily talented team at i.am+ to become reality.”

The event was part of BritWeek, an annual series of events celebrating U.K. talents in Los Angeles. This year, those talents included funnyman John Cleese’s daughter Camilla Cleese, who proved comedy runs in the family at one event by performing a stand-up show drawing on her four-times married father’s history with younger women.

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