Written by on Jul 22, 2014. Posted in On Location

Dwayne Johnson films scenes for disaster movie San Andreas in San Francisco

Action star Dwayne Johnson is filming scenes for his upcoming earthquake disaster movie San Andreas on location in San Francisco. The city is in fact a relatively minor pit-stop for the film, which is not eligible for filming incentive support in California as a big-budget production.

San Francisco filming is focussing on the Fisherman’s Wharf region of the city and baseball ground AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants. A major visual effects sequence will reportedly involve the nearby Golden Gate Bridge. The production’s visit to the city will nonetheless be brief, with the bulk of the shoot having in fact taken place in Australia, doubling Queensland for California.

“Just the fact that they have 300 or more extras working is pretty incredible,” said Lauren Machado of the San Francisco Film Commission in comments to SF Gate: “Seven full days of shooting with the first unit translates to a lot of local jobs and local spending.”

California offers a 20% filming tax credit for feature productions, but does not support shoots with a budget above USD75 million. As a result, Hollywood’s so-called ‘tent-pole’ releases rarely film locally anymore. Sci-fi sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one recent feature that was set in and around San Francisco but filmed largely in Vancouver and New Orleans.

In Australia, San Andreas has been based at Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, which offers eight sound stages and three water tanks. The facility also recently hosted Angelina’s Jolie’s true-life World War II drama Unbroken.

Australia offers a 16.5% Location Offset filming incentive for international shoots, and also regularly negotiates additional one-off payments to secure particularly high-profile studio productions.

(Image: Village Roadshow Studios)


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