Good news for the UK this week as the location filming tax relief scheme was renewed through to 2015. Also in Europe Julia Wülker of the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern gave us an insight into the Bavarian filming locations used for The Three Musketeers. Elsewhere there’s been activity in Australia and New Zealand.
There have been fears in the UK recently that the filming tax relief incentive scheme might be curtailed, given all the other controversial austerity measures. But Prime Minister David Cameron announced this week that the programme will remain in place until at least the end of 2015, offering just short of GBP100 million a year.
Despite industry fears, the UK's tax relief extension was perhaps the only realistic outcome. The UK - and London in particular - is pretty popular as a base for major studio productions and the tax relief programme is a major factor behind this.
Despite the industry fears, the programme’s extension was perhaps the only realistic outcome. The UK - and London in particular - is pretty popular as a base for major studio productions and the tax relief programme is a major factor behind this. With such intense competition from places like Germany and Eastern Europe, to reduce the tax relief now would have a hugely negative impact on the UK’s industry.
Staying in Europe, Julia Wülker, of the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, wrote this week’s contributor piece about Paul WS Anderson’s Bavaria shoot for The Three Musketeers. It was the biggest project the region has seen and involved co-operation between three separate agencies to secure locations that in the past have been unavailable to film crews.
New Zealand is in the spotlight again because of hobbit filming, but it also recently hosted a new commercial for the Toyota Hilux. The spot feels almost like an off-the-cuff idea from the creative team, with a Hilux driver out for a wilderness drive and stumbling across a fire-breathing wild boar and a chimp that demands ice cream. Either way it’s a lot of fun and sacrifices pretension for a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, which is always good.
The new Toyota Hilux advert feels almost like an off-the-cuff idea from the creative team, with a Hilux driver out for a wilderness drive and stumbling across a fire-breathing wild boar and a chimp that demands ice cream.
On the other side of the Tasman Sea the Australian state of Victoria has secured the big-budget supernatural thriller I, Frankenstein as a US co-production. It’s expected to benefit the state to the tune of nearly AUD40 million and is the latest high-profile production to arrive Down Under as the country suddenly becomes fashionable again.
Over in the States there’s some surprising controversy in Georgia as local filmmakers are expressing uncertainty at plans to launch a dedicated film office in Atlanta. The Mayor says he wants to streamline the existing system and charge productions to film in the city, but film professionals in the region say they’re wary of the extra bureaucracy and say everything works just fine as it is.
It seems strange that filmmakers are arguing against a film office opening, but it could be that the Mayor’s Office needs to change its tact. At the moment a lot of focus seems to be on how much the city stands to make from the permitting process, rather than how a film office would make life easier for visiting productions.
The Three Musketeers was the biggest film project Bavaria has seen and involved co-operation between three separate agencies to secure locations that in the past have been unavailable to film crews.
Onwards to Maine and Location Manager Lynn ‘Kip’ Kippax gave us a great account of what it’s like to film in the easternmost state in the union, while Unit Manager Robert Toohey gave us the lowdown on filming in Northern Canada.
As always, The Location Guide’s Film-Friendly Locations database continues to grow. The latest addition is Toronto's Soho Metropolitan Hotel, whose features include rooms averaging 600 sq ft, walk-through dressing rooms and a 24-hour business centre. If you manage a building or a location that you think qualifies as film-friendly, or you’ve filmed somewhere recently that you think should be listed on our website, please contact Ewa.
If you've been working on location anywhere in the world and you're looking for some press coverage, please contact Nick. We’d all be happy to hear from you.
Image courtesy of Constantin Film Production.
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