You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Producing in France Can Include Filming On An Array of Tropical Islands

Attractions for viewers is the beauty of the locations, and filming is less expensive than one might think

Filming on a remote tropical island may be less expensive and arduous than you think.

“It was always going to be tough filming (in the Caribbean), but I can honestly say Guadeloupe was the easiest of those islands,” says Alex Jones, production exec at U.K. shingle Red Planet.

The company has just embarked on a 20-week shoot there for the third season of “Death in Paradise,” a dramedy, which is co-produced with France’s Atlantique, about a dour British detective sent to work on a Caribbean island. The series, which was commissioned by the U.K.’s BBC and Gaul’s France Televisions, is shot entirely on the island, which, as a French territory, benefits from a range of Gallic production incentives.

These include France’s Tax Rebate for International Production, worth 20% of the amount spent in France or its territories. The production also received 500,000 euros ($650,000) for the last season from the Guadeloupe film and TV fund, and there was a further 10% rebate on local labor costs. Production spend in Guadeloupe for the season totaled $6.2 million.

Jones says that one of the attractions for viewers is the beauty of the locations, which is borne out by comments on the show’s Facebook page. “During the bleak winter months, they are tuning in for their dose of Caribbean island escapism,” he says.

Popular on Variety

As well as being beautiful, Guadeloupe has a well-developed infrastructure.

“Everybody is always pleasantly surprised at what is available there,” he says. This minimizes what has to be shipped to the location. But Jones adds that crews should be willing to adjust to local conditions.

“Go there with an open mind. Embrace the local culture,” he says.

Among the other French islands keen to draw productions to their shores is “Reunion,” located in the southwestern Indian Ocean.

Recent projects shot there include Yvan le Moine’s Franco-Belgian pic “Rosenn,” toplining Rupert Everett and Beatrice Dalle. The film, which had a $5.2 million budget, received $522,000 from the local fund, which can cover up to 35% of local expenses. Rosenn was originally set in Brittany, Northern France, but the producers decided to relocate it during development.

“We try to be pro-active and to be a partner in the production from the beginning,” says Alain Randresy, an exec at the local film commission, Agence Film Reunion, which can contribute toward development costs.

Other French islands include New Caledonia in the South Pacific. A coral reef rings the main island, Grande Terre. New Caledonia has the largest lagoon in the world, as well as tropical forests, mangrove swamps and white-sand beaches.

More Film

  • Zola Cast at Sundance

    How Janicza Bravo and the ‘Zola’ Cast Brought the Viral Twitter Thread to Life

    Five years after A’Ziah Wells King posted the Twitter thread known as #thestory — a tale of how a trip from Detroit to Tampa, Fla., to earn money stripping quickly devolved into a wild ride, featuring a kidnapping, a shooting, sex trafficking and a suicide attempt — the real-life “Zola” is celebrating the film adaptation’s [...]

  • Priyanka Chopra Bollywood

    Priyanka Chopra Jonas In Final Negotiations to Join 'Matrix 4' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Priyanka Chopra Jonas is taking the red pill. The actress and international beauty icon is in final talks to join the cast of the untitled fourth film in the Matrix saga, the Wachowski’s game-changing action franchise, insiders close to negotiations said. The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow film is being directed by series co-creator Lana [...]

  • The Photograph Issa Rae Stella Meghie

    How ‘Love & Basketball’ Allowed Issa Rae to Dream

    Issa Rae says she had every reason to think she could be a filmmaker when she was growing up. “The ’90s had lots of black television and film … a lot of the shows were helmed by black people,” she recalls. “That’s what inspired me to at least try it.” She may have only been [...]

  • Little Women

    Writers Infuse Serious WGA Awards Contenders 'Parasite,' 'Little Women,' 'Jojo Rabbit' with Humor

    This year’s crop of WGA-nominated adapted and original screenplays appears on the surface to be a grim lot. There’s war (“1917,” “Jojo Rabbit”), insidious homewreckers (“Parasite”), a Civil War-era coming-of age (“Little Women”) and an arch murder investigation (“Knives Out”), to name just a few of the nominated scripts. But here’s a surprise: Every one [...]

  • Cathy Yan Birds of Prey Director

    'Birds of Prey' Director Cathy Yan Reveals the Crucial Advice Patty Jenkins Gave Her

    Just months after Cathy Yan’s feature directing debut, Shanghai-set ensemble comedy “Dead Pigs,” made a big splash at Sundance in 2018, the Chinese-born filmmaker landed a gig helming a giant studio franchise movie, the DC Comics adaptation “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” starring Margot Robbie. Going straight from indie buzz [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content