Filming incentives have been in the spotlight again this week. There have been suggestions at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival that a filming incentive scheme of some kind is in development for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Elsewhere, the Colombian President is trying to pass a scheme to help boost his country’s features industry.
The UAE is set for a major profile boost in December when Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol reaches cinemas around the world. Much has been made of the fact that the film shot partly in Dubai and the film’s marketing campaign hinges on a major stunt sequence that was filmed at the Burj Khalifa.
But is the territory truly a viable filming location for productions that don’t have a USD140 million budget and Tom Cruise as a star? Perhaps not. The country doesn’t host too many high-profile shoots and has been more notable in recent years for the big projects that couldn’t make the numbers work and ended up in Jordan or elsewhere in the world.
The indications are that authorities in the UAE are still more interested in making specific deals with individual, high-value projects, than launching a broader incentive scheme that everyone can apply for.
In Abu Dhabi this week there was talk of an incentive scheme in the works for a launch in early 2012. This could make a big difference, but the indications are that authorities are still more interested in making specific deals with individual, high-value projects, rather than launching a broader incentive scheme that everyone can apply for.
On the other side of the world the Bolivian President is also shopping a filming incentive scheme. This one really would be broad and he seems keen to encourage foreign investment in his country’s features industry to mirror its continuing commercials success. It’s hardly a foregone conclusion that the bill will become law, but one US producer has already expressed interest in filming a Pablo Escobar biopic on location if the financial set-up appeals.
Donkey reacts to budget constraints by doubling the Spanish island of Mallorca for Mexico in a fun tale of one man and his donkey.
In other news, we spoke to Location Manager Felix Hadad Rivas about filming in Chile and Line Producer Malcolm Scerri-Ferrante gave us a fascinating insight into the challenges Malta faces in establishing itself as a filmmaking centre to be reckoned with. In addition Gerry Cott talked to us about how to successfully work with animals while on a location shoot.
Onto the commercials industry and staying with the animal theme, we also covered the new spot from Tooheys Extra Dry. Noctural Migration features herds of deer enjoying an anthropomorphic night on the town at house parties and nightclubs. It’s a diverting advert that was filmed in Auckland, but it feels like a missed opportunity. It might have been more effective - and more striking - if the deer had been filmed in a more distinctive cityscape, rather than an anonymous and unrecognisable metropolis.
Last but not least is the latest spot from Berocca. Donkey reacts to budget constraints by doubling the Spanish island of Mallorca for Mexico in a fun tale of one man and his donkey. The spot’s imaginative and funny, and is a reminder of how useful parts of southern Europe can be as stand-ins for Latin America.
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