Written by on Mar 18, 2014. Posted in On Location

Dwayne Johnson disaster feature San Andreas prepares for Australia filming

Production is gearing up in Queensland, Australia, for disaster movie San Andreas, which will feature action star Dwayne Johnson. Queensland will double for California in the story of a helicopter pilot searching for his daughter in the aftermath of a major earthquake.

San Andreas is the latest in a series of high-profile international productions to choose Australia as a filming location. Australia targets international shoots with its Location Offset incentive, which is worth 16.5% of local spending for features that spend at least AUD15 million.

Australia’s production industry is involved in a long-term lobbying campaign to increase the Location Offset closer to 30% to boost the country’s international appeal, especially since neighbouring New Zealand increased its filming incentive package in December 2013 to secure James Cameron’s Avatar sequels.

Instead of boosting the incentive package, the Australian government has launched a separate fund known simply as The Incentive. This is specifically designed to attract shoots on the scale of San Andreas by negotiating one-off payments from a separate AUD20 million fund. Films like The Wolverine and Angelina Jolie’s World War II biopic Unbroken have been secured in this way.

Australia’s production industry is involved in a long-term lobbying campaign to increase the country's Location Offset closer to 30%.

Disney’s planned remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was officially awarded a payment of around AUD20 million on its own in March 2013, but the actual shoot has been persistently delayed.

Attracting international productions and filmmakers will continue to be a long-term challenge for Australia. Big-budget productions such as The Great Gatsby, I Frankenstein and Gods of Egypt have all attracted international involvement but have been based in the country partly because of the convenience for their Australian directors. The Location Offset will likely need a boost to continue broadening the country’s global appeal.


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