Filmmakers searching for the next hot location or place to save precious production money heard a few current options, courtesy of the Assn. of Film Commissions Intl. seminar on location shooting at the Kodak Press Center in Cannes Wednesday morning.
Moderated by AFCI president Ward Emling of the Mississippi Film Commission, panel featured Andalusian producer Antonio Perez and U.S. producers Larry Meistrich, Lloyd Kaufman and Richard Guay.
“Andalusia has more days of sun, I believe, than any place else in Europe,” noted Perez, who also pointed out that the southern Spanish region has seen a lot of activity in the past year as a double for North Africa. “Also, we’re the newest member of AFCI, so the addition of a film commission is already making a big impact.”
Kaufman, whose Troma Films crew is a colorful Croisette staple, pointed out that with the ultra-low budgets of his films, “locations add value, actually become a character in a film, and so we view shooting on location as essential to our formula.”
Guay, who’s producing the upcoming Janis Joplin biopic for his wife, helmer Nancy Savoca, stressed the temptation of filming in Canada. “The rationale for shooting in Canada right now is simple,” said Guay. “It’s the favorable exchange rate. I’ve got a very ambitious shoot with lots of big concert crowd scenes and I can save 30% of my budget just due to this one factor.”
Yank stands firm
Meistrich said his Shooting Gallery outfit, based in New York, “remains determined to shoot in New York and the U.S., but I have to tell you that every day, Iceland, Australia, Ireland, all these other countries are offering tax breaks, subsidies and other incentives because they know that film production drives local economies and it’s very public spending.”