Surprise hit The Call makes unusual swap from Ontario to LA filming locations
Surprise hit The Call, a small-scale thriller starring Halle Berry, made the unusual move of switching filming locations at the last minute from Ontario to California. An earlier rejection for filming incentive support in Los Angeles was overturned and prompted the change.
With a production budget of around USD15 million the film couldn’t afford a California shoot without incentive support so plans were made to take advantage of generous tax credits in Ottawa, the LA Times reports.
An 11th-hour call from the California Film Commission revealed that circumstances had changed and the production was suddenly in line for tax breaks of nearly USD2 million.
“We were literally days from starting to put down a deposit [in Ottawa],” producer Michael Helfant told the outlet: “I said [to the California Film Commission], 'Are you serious?' We need to make a decision and this could have a dramatic effect on what we do."
We always wanted to film in LA. Because of the credit, north of USD10 million stayed in LA instead of being dropped in Canada.
Michael Helfant, Producer
“We always wanted to film in LA," he adds: "Because of the credit, north of USD10 million stayed in LA instead of being dropped in Canada.”
California has seen a big decline in feature production in recent years. The state offers USD100 million a year in filming incentives – much less than some of its rivals – and a lottery system is used to allocate the funds. Shoots budgeted at more than USD75 million don’t quality for support at all.
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