What do Filmmakers want from Location Shooting
- Film is a visual experience & filmmakers look for ‘cinematic’ imagery – is there a location that has never been seen? Or iconic locations audiences love to see.
- The desire for something different – does the location have futuristic cities; undiscovered countryside; unique urban environments.
- Film sets are easy to use – everything can be built and the camera has easy access. However, it is expensive to build sets. Location shooting offers a choice i.e. stages to shoot interiors; standing sets; local environments.
- Incentives – all movies, at all budgets, look to be cost effective. This is why rebates / incentives are popular across the world. e.g. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE shot in the UK – and accessed the local rebates.
Why are there so many rebates?
Governments realise that location shooting opens up a region to filmmakers seeking to shoot movies has a direct link to tourism, the economy and local businesses.
Location shooting brings with it jobs, revenue and related infrastructure development i.e. providing a boost to the local economy.
things to consider when location shooting
- Incentives – it must be financially beneficial to move a production to a location away from home. Is the cost of moving from your home territory outweighed by the benefit you receive?
- Finance – The ability to put finance together quickly with a simple & transparent structure in a location which offers state of the art facilities (studios / stages) and technical support (i.e. a film crew).
- Are you shooting for TV /SVOD or a movie? The region must have high quality facilities which are suitable for TV and Film crews (and a rebate applicable to all types of production spend).
- Equipment – producers moving a crew don’t also want to bring equipment i.e. rigs, cameras, cranes etc. Does the location support visiting crews and provide equipment onsite for rental:
- Marquees and tents (supplied locally); vehicle track pads to cover ground (used when weather is bad / rain / mud etc).
- Ease of access (local city permits) use of modern & historical buildings; churches; temples etc.
- Environments – Empty streets / disused buildings where sets can be easily constructed.
- Facilities: Non-film lighting for night shoots and parking vehicles, trailers and caravans for production office / crew/ actors.
- Weatherproof facilities: are there times of year when access is not possible; OR does the location have longer daylight hours giving you more value for money?
Cast & Crew:
- Accommodation – from 3 to 5-star hotels and/or apartments for cast & crew – competitively priced. (Remember: on a home shoot there may not be overnight costs to house cast/ crew).
- Safety / Security – personal security for actors / crew; guarantees of security for crew and equipment.
- Language – will you and your crew understand one another.
- Catering: is there a good local supplier.
· INTERNATIONAL REBATES – A FEW EXAMPLES
- International productions incur considerable costs. This means the regional studio should help lessen costs in order to attract projects.
- Some of the most popular locations are the UK, Ireland, Hungary and Georgia / USA – where rebates offer from 20-30% based on local spend & are quickly returned (6-12 months from film audit).
THE U.K. – British qualifying films can claim a cash rebate of up to 25% of UK qualifying expenditure. However, this is capped at 80% of expenditure i.e. the rebate is approx 20% of the overall budget.
As of July 2017, the UK Government revealed that it paid out almost £600m in tax relief to the makers of films and big budget TV productions that passed a ‘cultural test’ that qualified them as British made.
USA / GEORGIA: state tax credit – the third busiest film location in the USA.
30% above and below the line. This translates to a 20% transferable tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production or post-production in Georgia (either on a single production or on multiple projects). An additional 10% is available if the finished production includes a promotional logo provided by the state.
IRELAND has extended its Section 481 subsidy of 32% until 2024; and to 37% if shooting outside Dublin.
HUNGARY: The film initiative was introduced in 2011 – a 25% rebate on spend in the region; this amount was raised to 30% in 2018.
Key to Hungary’s success is their state-of-the-art facilities – sound stages & crews which can compete with the US and UK.