You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Snowman,’ ‘Downsizing’ Tap Into Norwegian Film Incentives

Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s U.K.-U.S. production of “The Snowman,” starring Michael Fassbender, and “Downsizing” from U.S. helmer Alexander Payne directly spent $24 million in Norway during their Norwegian location shoots. They were the first two international features shot in Norway to receive funding from the new state incentive program to attract foreign film and TV productions.

According to a preliminary report by Norway’s Olsberg SPI Consultancy, which was published Aug. 22 at a production seminar during the 44th Norwegian Intl. Film Festival in Haugesund, the two productions also created 142 full-time equivalent jobs with a total of $12.7 million payroll costs (generating $4 millon tax income for the state).

Financial consultant Andrew Barnes, of Olsberg SPI, presented the report, which was based on the budgets of the two films, recommending the incentive scheme be expanded from $5.5 million in the first year started March 1, 2016, to cover up to four international productions. It should also back a program to increase the skill level of local film workers.

International productions filming in Norway can apply for 25% reimbursement of approved expenditure in the country.

For the first round the Norwegian Film Institute received four applications totaling $46.6 million; “The Snowman” received the lion’s share of its budget, $5 million, while the money went to “Downsizing.” ” ‘The Snowman’ stood out due to the international market potential, the size and quality of the Norwegian share of the project,” said Stine Helgeland, he institute’s director of promotion and international relations.

Starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer and Charlotte Gainsbourg, with Norway’s Jakob Oftebro and Sweden’s Sofia Helin, “The Snowman” is scripted by Hossein Amini and Matthew Carnahan from Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s thriller about the anti-authority, anti-sobriety Oslo detective Harry Hole.

Hole is searching for a missing woman — the only trace left of her is her pink scarf, worn by a snowman in the yard. He finds out that over the last decade, 11 women have vanished on the day of the first snow; then he receives an anonymous letter signed the Snowman.

Shooting took place between Jan. 18 and early March with a 160 crew — including 100 Norwegians and up to 1,700 local extras — in Oslo, Bergen and Rjukan (in the Telemark region). Produced by the U.K.’s Working Title and Hollywood’s Universal Pictures, the film will open on Oct. 13, 2017.

Reducing the Norwegian shooting period after limited incentive funding, Payne’s “Downsizing” was filming earlier this month August around the Troll fjord the Flo fjell in Western Norway, and Lofoten further up north. Payne and Jim Taylor wrote the social satire about a man who realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself. Matt Damon stars Kristen Wiig, Alec Baldwin, Christoph Waltz, and Neil Patrick Harris. Pic did the bulk of its shooting in Nebraska and other North American locations. “Downsizing” is produced by Annapurna Pictures and Paramount Pictures, and will be launched late 2017.


More Film

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content