You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Case Study: ‘Chinese Zodiac’

Scout & About: Paris/Ile de France 2012

A wave of filmmakers from China and Hong Kong, including chopsocky legend Jackie Chan, are spending more time than ever shooting in France — lured there by some of the world’s most recognizable icons as they also take advantage of juicy incentives.

Chan says “Chinese Zodiac,” aka “CZ12” which opens in December, is the “most authentic kung fu Jackie Chan movie.” His 100th picture is a globe-trotting actioner, so setting part of the film in France was a no-brainer.

The shoot took the filmmakers to Paris and to the Chateau de Chantilly in Picardy.

Nearly 800 films were made in China last year, and there’s a boom in the number of local TV stations generating their own content. In looking for locations, a growing number is turning to France as a place to shoot.

In addition to its other enticements, Chinese filmmakers find Gaul’s regulatory environment refreshing.

China is also making a major play as a co-production venue, but there are still many bureaucratic hurdles to cross, not to mention issues like censorship.

Wong Kar-wai’s latest movie “The Grandmasters” has entrusted its vfx work and a big part of post-production to the Paris-based BUF shingle.

“Grandmasters” and “CZ12” also pulled down France’s Tax Rebate for Intl. Production (TRIP), tabbed at 20% of French spend.

It’s not just big pics that are shooting in Gaul.

Indie filmmaker Hu Yujiang made “Fuyun falanxi” (Drifting Across France) in 2011 and it will screen this year at Cannes.

“France is a symbol of romance and beauty, with an attractive culture that is different from China’s,” Hu says.

Even though it was a low-budget movie, there was lots of flexibility, and no government interference in the project.

Franck Priot, COO of Film France, confirms that his org has noticed a surge in the number of Chinese productions.

Chinese filmmakers are also looking to shoot in Paris because their yuan currency is very strong against the euro right now.

Plus, “setting a movie in France adds a kind of imaginary value that brings the production to a new level. We have the Eiffel Tower — everyone on the planet knows where that is,” Priot says. “But we need to make filmmakers more aware of the incentives to shoot here.”

Scout & About: Paris/Ile de France 2012
TRIP’s next step is going abroad | Besson-built studio beckons bizzers | Pushing local biz, pulling int’l prods
Case Studies
‘Chinese Zodiac’ | ‘Despicable Me” | ‘Odd Thomas’

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Screen” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    Laura Dern is certainly no stranger to film sets. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “I was conceived on a Roger Corman movie called [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

  • John Legend LVE Wine

    Celebrities Take Hands-On Approach to Making Fine Wines

    Care to sip champagne backed by Jay Z or 50 Cent? Or mellow out with a fine Chianti from Sting and Trudie Styler? Behind every wine label is an incredibly expensive team effort of surprising proportions. Wine lovers may consider making their own as the ultimate dream; however, few can afford the buy-in. Vineyards are [...]

  • St. Clair Brown, Mad Fritz lead

    Craft Beer Thrives in the Heart of Napa Wine Country

    Napa Valley has long been devoted to the products of the grape, but the region actually played a pivotal role in getting the craft beer revolution off the ground. New Albion Brewing launched the microbrewery trend in adjacent Sonoma County in 1976, inspiring a wave of delicious and potent alternatives to pale industrial beer. There’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content