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CO N T E N TS

2016

International

SHOWCASING THE GLOBAL FILM & TV PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

EDITOR JULIAN NEWBY MANAGING EDITOR DEBBIE LINCOLN CONTRIBUTORS ANDY FRY, SANDY GEORGE, GARY SMITH PUBLISHER RICHARD WOOLLEY ART DIRECTOR WWW.ANOIR.FR - CHRISTIAN ZIVOJINOVIC PUBLISHED BY BOUTIQUE EDITIONS LTD - 117 WATERLOO ROAD - LONDON SE1 8UL - UNITED KINGDOM T: +44 20 7902 1942 - WWW.BOUTIQUEEDITIONS.COM ADVERTISING SALES JERRY ODLIN INTERNATIONAL - SALES DIRECTOR - JODLIN@BOUTIQUEEDITIONS.COM LISA RAY SALES MANAGER (EMEA+ASIA) LRAY@BOUTIQUEEDITIONS.COM NICKI WEBBER SALES MANAGER (NORTH AMERICA) - NWEBBER BOUTIQUEEDITIONS.COM

The paper used by Boutique Editions is a natural, recyclable product made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing process conforms to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. Information in this publication is edited from submissions provided by the individual commissions and organisations. Although a reasonable effort has been made in compiling this information, Boutique Editions Ltd assumes no responsibility for accuracy. The publisher assumes no liability for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and artwork. Copyright ©2016 Boutique Editions Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without prior permission of Boutique Editions Ltd is strictly prohibited

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International

2016

CONTENTS

International SHOWCASING THE GLOBAL FILM & TV PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

10 CALIFORNIA Filmmakers are coming back to the movie industry’s natural home

29 CALIFORNIA IN PICTURES

A look at the diversity of locations in the state of California

34 UK We take a tour of new and

established studios that are thriving as the UK production industry continues to grow

44 THE FAB FIVE

Harlan Coben’s first original TV series, The Five, is shot in Liverpool. The best-selling author and the production team explain why

49 UK IN PICTURES A selection of images of locations around the UK

54 GREAT PLAINS

Classic American landscapes that still inspire filmmakers

61 THE CHEROKEE WORD FOR WATER

A film telling the true story of the Bell Waterline Project

80 SPAIN We discover what makes

108 FRANTZ

88 SPAIN IN PICTURES

114 AUSTRALIA

Spain attractive to filmmakers

Spanish locations on show

63 IN PICTURES 96FLORIDA A collection of images of The state of Florida is a stunning locations around the world, some known on the big screen, some yet to be discovered

familiar backdrop for film, TV series and inumerable sun-soaked commercials

103 FLORIDA IN PICTURES

Striking images from The Sunshine State

Director François Ozon shot his latest film Frantz in Germany’s Harz region Why are so many international productions going down-under?

122 INSURGENT

Atlanta doubles for a futuristic dystopian Chicago

126 US VIRGIN ISLANDS

Film production in the US Virgin Islands will receive a boost with new incentives

128 ADVERTISERS INDEX

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BURLINGTON, COLORADO, US

The town of Burlington was established in 1888, and as a potential film location gives access to vast areas of private and public space. Historic buildings include an Old Town Museum that showcases the state’s Western and agricultural history; and — housed in a1928 building — the1905 Kit Carson County Carousel, with restored hand-carved horses, giraffes and lions and a 1909 Wurlitzer Monster Military Band Organ (Photo, courtesy Courtney Potts, program manager, Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media)

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The

other sunshi n state The US film industry was established in California mainly for the sunshine — sunlight is free, after all. Then, years later, things started to get expensive and the industry began to look elsewhere. But with a few financial adjustments, filmmakers are coming back home. ANDY FRY reports

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A forest in Humboldt County. Photo Andy Rydzewski

i ne 2016

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CALIFORNIA The best of everything. Endless Facilities • 315 Days of Sunshine • $330 Million in Tax Credits Plentiful Crews and Talent • 800 Miles of Coastline

California Film Commission Incentives • Locations • Permits

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Let’s talk! (323) 860-2960 WWW.FILM.CA.GOV

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CALIFORNIA

THE OTHER SUNSHINE STATE

heart and soul of movies and TV — the people who swing hammers, run cable and serve food on set to keep our local economy moving,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says. “We are fighting back against runaway production — and winning. And if a project doesn't qualify for the credit, City Hall is doing everything it can to ensure that LA is the production capital of the world. Our film and TV industry is the lifeblood of LA and now production is coming back to where it belongs.” While TV producers have been the first to respond to the new incentive regime, Lemisch says there are also promising developments in the feature-film market. Between October and December 2015, five state-incentivised feature projects got under way in Los Angeles (CHiPs, The Conjuring 2, Rebirth, The Sentence and The Disaster Artist), registering 101 shooting days. In that latest round of awards (February 2016) 13 films were approved for $53.9m in tax credits. Among these are Warner Bros.’ remake of A Star Is Born, in which Bradley Cooper is directing and starring and New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Ten of the new titles are Hollywood studio projects, which is a welcome vote of approval from the film

CALIFORNIA is still the capital of the global film and TV business. But the introduction of aggressive filming incentives in Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia and several US states has been a major headache for The Golden State over the last decade. With worrying regularity film and TV productions that would be well-suited to California have gone in search of a better deal. Partly as a result the state has seen its high-end VFX sector eroded by the likes of Vancouver, London and Sydney. But now California is fighting back, says California Film Commission CEO Amy Lemisch. “For a number of years, our 20% Film and TV Tax Credit programme (25% if certain additional criteria are met) was heavily over-subscribed. But last year, California tripled the size of the programme to $330m a year and the impact has been immediate. We’ve seen TV shows that were shooting in other US states move to California and we’ve seen increased interest from the studio and independent feature-film businesses. I think the industry here is feeling more upbeat than it has for some time.” Examples that underline Lemisch’s point include HBO’s relocation of Veep from Maryland, FX’s decision to switch American Horror Story from Louisiana and ABC’s withdrawal of Secrets & Lies from North Carolina in favour of California. “We also have Mistresses coming from Vancouver and Rosewood shooting here after making a pilot in Miami,” she adds. “So we can honestly say the new incentive has had an impact."

Shooting days are up

L

emisch’s assessment is reinforced by data from Film LA, the official film office of the City and County of Los Angeles. In its annual review of production trends, it found that onlocation filming in Greater LA increased by 1.3% to 37,289 shoot days in 2015 “thanks to a rise in scripted television production and the aid of the Tax Credit". TV drama’s contribution to the total becomes even more evident when you realise that it rose 19.3% year-on-year to 4,374 shoot days. “The California Tax Credit is delivering positive results for the industry and in particular for the

AMY LEMISCH

“We’ve seen TV shows that were shooting in other US states move to California and we’ve seen increased interest from the studio and independent feature-film businesses” industry’s titans, Lemisch argues, and one that will have tangible benefits for the state. Another significant point to note about this batch of tax creditsupported projects is that two of them, Get It While You Can and Save The Cat, plan to shoot in San Francisco and Central California, respectively, while others have provisional plans to film away from Los Angeles: “One of our goals for the newly expanded programme is to start bringing more production jobs and spending to regions statewide, and we are beginning to see that happen with this allocation,” Lemisch says. “Nearly half of these projects may shoot at least partially outside LA’s Thirty Mile Zone [TMZ] — significant because labour costs more outside.” Some 174 projects applied for the latest wave of Californian movie funding, which shows just how keen productions are to work in the state. And it’s not hard to understand why when you begin to explore the many advantages of filming here. One of these is the state’s incredible array of studios, movie ranches and locations. But no less important is the sheer depth of talent and expertise that exists — especially in the vicinity of LA: “Everyone and everything you need is just a call away,” Lemisch says. “That isn’t always the case when you go out of state with a production. In California, there are plenty of experienced and hard-working crews — and even the most specialised pieces of equipment can usually be called up within the hour.” So what exactly does California’s film and TV offer consist of?

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CALIFORNIA

THE OTHER SUNSHINE STATE

Shooting NCIS at Summit Park, Santa Clarita. Photo: Santa Clarita Film Office

At the heart of the business is LA in Southern California. As the numbers above illustrate, the city is well-used to having film crews crawling all over it throughout the year. Capable of doubling for most North American cities, the process of filming in the city is made much easier by Film LA, which helps productions secure permits and liaises with the various agencies that need to be notified when filming takes place. Years of experience mean it can also advise on special requests such as pyrotechnics, gunfire, aerial activity and street closures.

Studios, backlots, ranches

I

n addition to the high levels of production that take place in the streets, LA is home to the major studios and backlots. While these are often busy with in-house productions, there is also usually capacity for third-party productions. The backlots are especially convenient for producers that want to double LA for other parts of the US without having to worry about permit fees, cordoning off traffic or moving crew across the country. A good example is Paramount’s backlot, which offers eight distinct areas of New York on a compact five-acre site. These include Brooklyn, Brownstones, Greenwich Village and New York’s financial district. Also able to double for New York City are the Universal backlot and the CBS Studio Center backlot. Furthering the range of options in the city is the Los Angeles Center Studios, a full-service studio for TV, film and commercial production that operates six 18,000 square foot audience rated state-of-the-art sound stages, as well as full-service amenities. Projects to have passed through the studio in recent years include 24 (2001-10), The Aviator (2004), House (2004-12), Bones (2005-), Criminal Minds (2005-), Numb3rs (2005-10), CSI (2005-15), Mad Men (2007-15), Inception (2010), Drive (2011) and The Dark

A night shot of ARTIC – the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center –opened in 2015, and one of the location’s for season two of HBO's True Detective

Knight Rises (2012). Another resident was The X-Files movie (1998), which was responsible for the largest pyrotechnic effect that’s ever been done on the lot. As part of the stunt the production team blew out all of the windows (replacing them later). During the filming, they closed the 110 freeway for about 15 minutes as a safety precaution — illustrating the city’s can-do attitude towards film production. For productions that can’t get everything they want within the LA city limits, attention turns to the famed movie ranches. Generally located within the 30-mile TMZ (to take advantage of the lower labour rates), the ranches are stand-alone filming sites that offer an amazing range of exotic standing sets and superb natural backdrops. In the area around Santa Clarita, for example, there are more than 10 ranches including Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch, Rancho Deluxe, Rancho Maria, Sable Ranch and Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch. To give a sense of what the ranches offer, Veluzat provided the Wild West backdrop for Yellow Rock (2011) while Golden Oak has hosted everything from Mad Men to Zombeavers (2014). Rancho Deluxe provides backdrops for movies (Bad Teacher, 2011), vid-

LA MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI

“The California Tax Credit is delivering positive results for the industry and in particular for the heart and soul of movies and TV”

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CALIFORNIA

eos (Eminem), TV (NCIS, 2003-) and ads (Honda). Blue Cloud Ranch was taken over last year by independent filmmaker Dylan Lewis. His decision to invest is a vote of confidence in the local production sector: “I’m not worried at all about the future for production here. California is set up in a way nowhere else in the world is.” Echoing Lemisch, he says: “You’ve got depth of crews, great climate and the ability to sort problems out quickly. In other parts of the world, if something goes wrong and you lose a few days shooting any benefit from tax incentives is gone in a heartbeat. Here, it’s easier to sort out — and people like working close to home.” Blue Cloud handles all kinds of productions from film and TV to music video and commercials, but is most famous for its Middle Eastern Village standing set (used in American Sniper, 2014) and caves (Iron Man, 2008). New projects to have visited the ranch include History's big-budget military action drama Six. Since taking over, Lewis has gone back over the site making things safe, adding interiors to the Middle Eastern Village and “improving the facilities that productions really like and depend on such as water trucks, good roads and parking. We’ve already expanded the amount of shooting space but now we have plans to improve the ranch further. For example, we want to build a Mexican-style Village in response to growing demand from clients. And, if planning permission is granted, we’re looking at adding some sound stages to the ranch site.” Lewis believes the improvements will enable him to double the amount of productions that the site can manage and he is confident the film-friendly environment in Santa Clarita will help. “They created a special zone where the rules are more flexible — for example if you want to film 24/7 or if you want to do a quick build on a temporary set. All of this, combined with introduction of the state tax incentive, is very encouraging.” Evan Thomason, economic development associate for Santa Clarita, says Santa Clarita’s experience of filmmaking “goes all the way back to the silent movies and the early days of television. In fact Santa Clarita was the first city in the 30-mile zone to approve a special zoning designation, the Movie Ranch Overlay Zone, that supports filming at local movie ranches.” These days, Santa Clarita is about much more than just the ranches, he says. “In addition, we have more than 20 sound stages and thousands of film-friendly locations, which makes Santa Clarita one of the most filmed areas in California. At the Film Office we provide a one-stop shop that — among other things — helps producers with permitting and location matters. We want filming in Santa Clarita to be as affordable, convenient and enjoyable as possible for the production while balancing the needs of the

JANICE ARRINGTON

“Orange County's range of locations is also very good. Aside from the coast our cities have a wide range of looks from late 1800s to contemporary”

THE OTHER SUNSHINE STATE

community’s residents and businesses.” Thomason says Santa Clarita is unquestionably benefiting from the increased California tax incentive, with incentive-approved shows including Switched At Birth (2011-), Stitchers (2015-), Recovery Road (2016-) and Westworld (2016-) all based in the area at the time of writing. “In addition, Santa Clarita has its own Film Incentive Program (FIP) which is aimed at retaining and increasing production. Since the FIP’s inception, more than $340,000 has been refunded to 80+ productions and it was recently extended until June 30, 2018," he says. Santa Clarita is not the only location within the vicinity of LA that supports a vibrant production business. Another part of the TMZ that is home to leading movie ranches is Ventura County’s Simi Valley. Here you’ll find Hummingbird Nest Ranch, a luxury location that hosts around 30 productions a year, and Big Sky Movie Ranch, whose recent credits have included Django Unchained (2012), Saving Mr Banks (2013), Stephen King’s Mercy (2014) and HBO TV series The Newsroom (2012-14).

Orange County

O

range County, which boasts 42 miles of coastline and eight cities within the TMZ, has also hosted numerous film, TV and commercial projects including The West Wing (199906), House (2004-12), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), The Back Up Plan (2010), Transcendence (2014) and Tomorrowland (2015). Orange County Film Commission's Janice Arrington says: “Our proximity to LA means we always have a good volume of work, but there’s no question that activity has increased as a result of the expanded Tax Credit. We had the movie CHiPS filming here towards the end of 2015 using locations such as the OC Global Medical Center in Santa Ana and the Masimo Building in Irvine [the latter having previously been used for the Iron Man movie].” Other projects, Arrington says, include “the Fox TV series Rosewood [2015-], a beneficiary of the Tax Credit. Although set in Miami, Florida, it has filmed in six OC cities: Anaheim, Cypress, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, and has recurring sets in Anaheim and Huntington Beach, filming so far in 2015 and 2016. We were also fortunate to see stars including Vince Vaughan, Colin Farrell and Kelly Reilly in the county to shoot the second season of HBO’s True Detective. HBO did a big shoot with around 300 extras at the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center [aka ARTIC], which was only opened in 2015. It also used Santa Ana’s historic train station, previously seen in Rain Man [1988].” Proximity to LA’s talent pool and equipment base is clearly a big draw for producers. “But our range of locations is also very good,” Arrington says. “Aside from the coast, our cities have a wide range of looks from late 1800s to contemporary. One popular location is The Santa Ana Courthouse, used in J. Edgar [2011] and Catch Me If You Can [2002] — both starring Leonardo Di Caprio. I think our range of looks has made OC a great place for shooting ‘anywhere USA’. For example, the traffic circle in the city of Orange has shown up in The West Wing [1999-06], Ghost Whisperer [2005-10], The Man Who Wasn’t There [2001], First Daughter [2004] and many more.”

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CALIFORNIA

One of the scenes from 2013's Saving Mr Banks shot at Big Sky Ranch

SUSANNAH GREASON ROBBINS

“Our film office works with productions to make their shoots flow smoothly, and if there are any bumps in the road, we smooth them over” On top of all this, Arrington says “there is a real enthusiasm in OC for welcoming productions. We’re proud that this is our signature industry and you see that in the response of the community and County’s authorities. We’ve had the Fast and Furious [2001-] franchise doing car chases here and the opening sequence of The Hangover 3 [2013] shut down the 73 freeway for two days, which shows our willingness to work with the industry.” Other high-profile projects to visit OC include American Sniper (2014), which shot in Seal Beach — inside the TMZ. “It’s worth saying,” Arrington adds, “that the OC cities beyond the TMZ’s boundaries are also getting more attention from scouts because of the introduction of a 5% tax credit uplift for locations outside the zone.” And, of course, if you can’t find what you’re looking for in OC, there is the rest of California to choose from: “We have an excellent organisation called FLICS (Film Liaisons In California Statewide) that was specifically set up to support clients in choosing locations and then supporting them throughout their shoots," Arrington says. 'I was talking to some of my colleagues at FLICS recently and we came to the conclusion that between us we can provide virtually any look producers might want.”

THE OTHER SUNSHINE STATE

One person who knows the TMZ like the back of his hand is Joel Sinderman, who has been a location manager on hit show NCIS since it started 13 years ago. He says: “With the exception of two episodes in season 11, which were considered a ‘back-door pilot’ for NCIS: New Orleans, we’ve done everything in California and mostly stayed close to our studio (Valencia Studios in Santa Clarita). We’ve shot East Coast, West Coast, Afghanistan, Israel and Germany among other locations.” Interestingly, Sinderman says, “we’ve never been to Washington DC, which is where the story is set. The combination of studio, ranches, backlots and downtown LA has proved to be very versatile. We’ve shot both Berlin and DC at LA’s Exposition Park, and whenever we are looking for a new style of house as a location we always manage to find something that can play the part.” Sinderman says the TMZ has undoubtedly got busier since the expansion of the Tax Credit programme, “but we have a good relationship with Film LA and Santa Clarita. They’re really good at anticipating our needs and helping us with permits. My experience is that California is still a very film-friendly location and is very positive about the new incentive programme.”

Heading north

O

utside LA, the most significant production hub in the state is San Francisco — 380 miles north. Susannah Greason Robbins, executive director of the San Francisco Film Commission, says: “Film is very important to San Francisco, and is well supported by our Board of Supervisors and the Mayor. Our film office works with productions to make their shoots flow smoothly and if there are any bumps in the road, we smooth them over. We are currently taking our permitting system fully online to improve the experience for productions.” Proof of the city’s determination to continue hosting productions is “the Scene in San Francisco Rebate. Currently, we rebate up to $600,000 per film/documentary or per episode of a TV episode/ pilot, web series. This rebate is made up of any fees you pay to a City Agency while filming — so it includes our permit fees, payroll tax, up to four police officers per day for a 12-hour day, street closure fees, San Francisco Fire department fees and even stage/production office space, if you qualify.” In order to qualify, “if your budget is under $3m, you need to shoot 55% of your shooting days in San Francisco; over $3m, you need to shoot 65% of your shooting days here," Greason Robbins says. "This is a huge saving for productions, which is one of the

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reasons why HBO’s Looking [2014-15] chose to base its series co. Known as the home of the world’s high-tech/startup industry, the area supports filming with state-of-the-art studios and equiphere, and why Steve Jobs [2015] was able to film here.” Other productions to have filmed in San Francisco include Dawn ment, prop houses and a seasoned talent pool from all around the Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014), Big Eyes (2014), Godzilla (2014), Bay Area to draw upon. It is particularly known for commercials but San Andreas (2015), Ant-Man (2015), Terminator Genisys (2015), also attracts film and TV production. Examples include Chasing Murder In The First (2014-), Parks & Recreation (2009-15) and Mavericks (2012), which shot in 21 different locations throughout Sense8 (2015-). Getting ready to shoot are Etruscan Smile, starring the area. More recently, a reality TV series called Startup U (2015-) Roseanne Arquette and Brian Cox; Chances, starring Hugh Laurie; was based here. While LA and San Francisco are the main media hubs in CaliforMurder In The First; When We Rise; season two of Sense 8; Cruel Intentions, a pilot; and Fairyland — an indie film. On the impact of nia, the rest of the state offers a superb array of locations including spectacular coastline, arid deserts, ancient the new incentives, Greason Robbins says: forests, vineyards, snowy mountains and var“We are expecting to have two films shooting ied architecture. here which just were awarded the most recent MONEY MATTERS Placer County, home to the lovely Lake round of tax credits.” BASED on data provided with each Tahoe, is 180 miles East of San Francisco. Alongside incentives and an experienced Tax Credit application, the $53.9m Placer’s film commissioner Beverly Lewis crew base, Greason Robbins says the city’s given to the 13 projects approved for says: “The locations we’re known for include diverse locations are a strong pull: “We have a the latest round of awards in the state, will generate an estimated snow vistas, mountains lakes, white-water wide range that people might not associate $400m in direct in-state spending, rivers and rapids, forests, Gold Rush and ‘Norwith San Francisco. We have the park-like including $174m in wages to more man Rockwell’ towns, farmlands and all kinds neighbourhoods of St Francis Woods and Forthan 2,000 below-the-line crew of roads. Most productions come here to take est Hill which feel like suburbs of American members. In addition, the 13 projects advantage of our diverse terrain that goes small towns, beaches and sand dunes along will employ an estimated 540 cast members. from 90 feet to over 9,000 feet within 90 the Great Highway, an old industrial watermiles. Basically you can film Midwestern flatfront, along with diverse architecture in the lands in the morning and drive to our ski many different neighbourhoods ranging from Chinatown, the colourful Mission District, and the grand architec- resorts in Lake Tahoe within 90 minutes. Two productions that did just that when they needed to capture a cross-section of America ture of our buildings.” Diversity of look explains why “San Francisco has doubled for were Disney’s The Muppet Movie [1979] and HBO TV movie CinEuropean locations, most heavily during the filming of Philip Kauf- ema Verite [2011].” Echoing a common theme in California, Lewis says: “We can also man’s Hemingway & Gellhorn [2013]. Locations in that film doubled for Spain, Finland, Cuba, New York and Shanghai. We have a tradi- offer many unexpected types of locations that people don’t think tional downtown with stone buildings and narrow streets that can about being here: vineyards and wineries, motorcross and NASCAR tracks, high-tech industries and architecture (including Frank play as New York,” she says. In terms of how filmmakers feel about shooting in the city, she Gehry, Julia Morgan and Buckminster Fuller), old historic estates points to director Danny Boyle’s comments after shooting Steve and new luxury estates. In fact there is a lot of wealth throughout Jobs: “What’s not to like about San Francisco? It’s one of the most our county so in terms of shopping and supplies we can offer both cinematic cities in the world — the hills, the bay, the bridges, the the historic small-town experience as well as shopping at Tiffany’s, mist that comes in and hides the city and then reveals the city — it’s a Tesla dealership or whole foods.” The crew base is not as big as San Francisco but those that are so cinematic. It’s a delicious place to live, breathe and make a film. And the crews are great. To make a film here is a privilege and gift. there “run the gamut from wardrobe, to grip, to camera, line-producing, locations, lighting, sound and PAs. Around Lake Tahoe I’d do it again in a flash.” San Francisco’s offering is complemented and reinforced by the many of the crew have skills working in water, snow and extremes San Mateo County/Silicon Valley region, just south of San Francis- and the support equipment to make that happen. Because techLocationIntrntional2016.qxp_ArtDrectr1 04 3/29/16 4:27 PM Page 1

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A house in Big Sur used for a Land Rover commercial

nological advances are making equipment more affordable and portable one can often find state-of-the-art cameras and other equipment available here to rent. Red cameras and Epics have been sourced here. There is studio space in the region and several places with green screens and 3D cameras.” There are good transport links to and from LA or San Francisco, says Lewis, which explains why a number of productions have been happy to set up shop here. She cites the Oscar-winning film Her (2013) starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Spike Jonze and an ambitious three-part Chinese documentary called Gold Mountain, with a 50+ America-based production team. “We also see a lot of car work for commercials, and reality TV shows and more production aimed at the online market,” Lewis says. “In fact, we have had a lot of repeat business. One producer of car commercials has shot here more than a dozen times, always finding new roads and looks but he comes back because he likes the people, the hotels, the vibe. It’s also easy to film from a permit perspective. Our goal is to turn basic film permits around in 24-48 hours. We had an old army base that the county used for years and as those buildings have been scheduled for demolition we offer them up to productions to do pretty much what they want to with them without doing restoration later. We see part of our job as recognising assets and asking the question, could this work for production?”

The coast

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ne of the big attractions for filmmakers is, of course, the extensive Californian coast. Monterey, half-way between LA and San Francisco, is particularly attractive and home to locations like Big Sur, which featured prominently in the 2013 movie Big

Sur, based on Jack Kerouac’s classic book of the same name. Monterey film commissioner Karen Seppa Nordstrand says: “California is a great big state and getting the story out about how filmmakers can find more than palm trees and surfers here is an ongoing challenge for film offices in the central and northern part of the state. But our reputation precedes us in Monterey County — a place with stunning coastal vistas, fresh air off the ocean and rural stretches of ranches and farms or ‘Steinbeck country’ as it’s called. We promote our Monterey County as the ‘Real California’, with unspoiled landscapes of Big Sur, the quaint village of Carmel, gorgeous coastline along the towns of Pacific Grove and Monterey and some 90 miles of cliff-hugging Highway One, a famed stretch of road that has attracted hundreds of car commercials, TV shows and shoots. Often we are the top choice for fashion shoots from American Eagle and Eddie Bauer to Urban Outfitters, Old Navy and Michael Kors. A British team debuted the new Range Rover convertible with Big Sur and Carmel Valley in the background.” Monterey’s promotional efforts seem to be paying off in terms of filming: “The CFC’s latest tally of 2015 film days at California State Parks shows Monterey County as number two and LA as number one. Our pristine state parks and beaches include the crown jewel of Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel River State Beach, Asilomar State Beach, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park with its waterfall into the ocean.” In terms of projects, recent visitors have included AMC’s Mad Men and HBO mini-series Big Little Lies starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon that started shooting in early 2016. Big Little Lies is based on a novel set close to Australia’s Bondi Beach. But for the HBO show the action relocated to Monterey. “The production plans to return in late spring for more weeks of filming,” Nordstrand says. “Monterey and Pacific Grove were the backdrop settings for Big Little Lies, which is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.”

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In terms of the new incentive, she says: “I think more filmmakers are looking at California with fresh eyes and Monterey County has benefited with a surge in filming this year. A highlight was the Big Blue Live BBC and PBS production, broadcast live in the UK with five million viewers. It features the Monterey Bay’s marine life and marine conservation.” Monterey is one of a number of Central Californian counties that continues to be popular with filmmakers despite being outside the TMZ. Other popular destinations in this part of the state include Kern, Fresno, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. “A number of counties outside the TMZ are popular because they offer a unique look that can’t be found anywhere else,” CFC’s Lemisch says. “And they have worked extra hard to promote what they have to the filmmaking community. In addition, they also stand to benefit from the 5% tax credit uplift that is offered to producers who film outside the TMZ.” A case in point is Santa Barbara, which boasts a film industry as old as that of Hollywood. Films to have shot there include The Graduate (1967), Seabiscuit (2003), Sideways (2004), Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (2007), There Will Be Blood (2007) and It’s Complicated (2009), a Meryl Streep movie which showed off Santa Barbara to great effect. More recently, the county has played host to Mike Mills’ coming-of-age movie 20th Century Women (2016) — and there are reports of increased levels of scouting as a result of the expanded tax credit and the availability of the 5% uplift. Santa Barbara is looking to attract all kinds of production and has its own incentive programme to facilitate this. San Luis Obispo County, half-way between LA and San Francisco, has unique coastal locations including Oceano Dunes, the only drivable beach in California, iconic piers, classic beach towns and scenic vineyards. Over the years, it has been used in PSY’s new music video and the Pirates Of The Caribbean films. Indie filmmaker Lucas Diercouff used Paso Roble’s wine country to double for Scotland in his up-coming movie The Gael. Kern, meanwhile, has successfully traded off its diverse geography and relatively low cost of living when compared to the LA area. With $20m worth of production coming into the county each year, it has played host to productions including 24, Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), Star Trek (2009) and, in July 2014, Fast & Furious 7. Explaining the appeal, the Kern County Film Office points to its mountain, valleys, deserts and “an incredible variety of looks including: classic Americana, cities large and small, desolate roads, barren desert, rolling hills, agriculture, a raging white-water river, lakes, awe-inspiring red cliffs and the Old West.” One particular asset is Tejon Ranch, a huge enterprise that counts filming among its many commercial activities. With a full-service film department staffed by experienced professionals, Tejon contains around 420 square miles of rolling hills, mountain vistas, lone trees, private paved roads and wide-open spaces with no visible powerlines. It has hosted everything from major motion pictures and television programmes to Super Bowl ads, music videos and stills shoots.

Peace and quiet

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nother popular area for filming are the Humboldt and Del Norte Counties at the upper end of the state. Cassandra Hesseltine, president of FLICS and film commissioner across the two counties, says her area “differs from Southern California in a few ways. The first is that our counties are large

THE OTHER SUNSHINE STATE

Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, site of a number of film shoots – the nearby marina was a location for HBO mini-series Big Little Lies, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon

CASSANDRA HESSELTINE

“We have seen our filming increase amid all the encouragement to film in California as a result of the enlarged tax incentive scheme” [Humboldt is the size of Rhode Island] but with low population [Humboldt is approximately 140,000]. With rural locations that are not overly populated you can accomplish a lot without the hassle of hiding a production or huge crowds showing up at a shoot.” The locations are also varied and impressive. “Both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties have the tallest and oldest trees in the world — redwoods," Hesseltine says. "The old growth groves can be as old as 2,000 years old. The forest is like no other here. Most of the coastline is rocky, which makes it perfect for a deserted island type shoot. We also have unique architecture with Victorian villages though to company homes. Our towns have plazas and unique stores for quaint shopping scenes.” The small population might suggest the absence of a crew base. But not so: “We have a great group of individuals who crew on productions that film here. This summer we had local crew work on the indie features Woodshock [starring Kirsten Dunst] and Swiss Army Man [starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano] as well as other smaller shoots. Todd King, the line-producer of Swiss Army Man [2016], said he ‘couldn't be more happy with the local crew'. “The Film Commission has worked hard to make the area filmfriendly because we recognise the economic benefit of a shoot. We have hotels that go above and beyond to accommodate productions. For example, some hotels have moved breakfast time for

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crews. We have film-friendly caterers that drive far and wide for a production, including in the middle of the night. And we have film-friendly residents. Woodshock filmed on several private locations including the hero's house, which took place in the same home for two weeks. We try to make filmmaking as easy as we can," she says. Geographically Humboldt and Del Norte is as far away from LA as it’s possible to get and still be in California. So has Hesseltine seen any benefits from the new tax credit fund? “We haven't currently had a production film here that was in the new programme. However we have seen our filming increase amid all the encouragement to film in California as a result of the enlarged tax incentive scheme. Usually Redwood Region receives 20-25 shoots a year. From July 1 to December 2015, we had 18 shoots. That's almost a year's worth of filming in six months. So I would say we have seen an indirect benefit.” One area that has suffered from international competition is VFX, with the number of post-production/VFX employees in LA County dropping from 9,452 to 7,188 between 2002 and 2014 (Film LA figures). It’s too early to tell if the new tax incentive programme (which offers a 5% uplift to companies doing VFX work) is sufficiently potent to reverse that trend — but it’s worth pointing out that a talent pool of over 7,000 still makes California a major player in VFX. Furthermore, it’s also important to note that a lot of VFX work has gone to Vancouver in Canada. While it’s never nice to see work migrate, the positive to take away from this is that the VFX work has stayed in the same time zone, a fact that reinforces the West Coast’s dominance in SET IN SANTA the production business. BARBARA While VFX is struggling, one ace in the MANAGED by the Santa Barbara hole for California is practical effects studio County Film Commission, the Santa 32Ten, based 18 miles outside San Francisco Barbara incentive programme at San Rafael. After providing effects for provides a cash rebate of up to films including The Lone Ranger (2013), $2,500 for eligible new productions that book a minimum number of room Pacific Rim (2013), Elysium (2013) and Noah nights in specified areas of the (2014), 32Ten continued its rich vein of form county. Available between September by getting involved with Jurassic World 30 and May 31, it is accessible to still (2015). photography production, During the post production process ILM’s commercials, and unscripted television as well as feature films and (Industrial Light & Magic) VFX supervisor scripted TV drama. The total fund is Tim Alexander came to 32Ten Studios look$50,000 per annum. ing for a handful of practical shots to add a layer of reality to the film’s CG shots. The most prominent were the gates that welcomed visitors to the prehistoric park Jurassic World. Those gates, which needed to appear massive on screen, were actually 19-foot set pieces built at 32Ten under the supervision of model maker Mark Anderson. Once designed and built, the double doors were mechanised with motion control in order to open at exactly the right time to let the film’s monorail pass through. The gates were set up on the stage at 32Ten and shot using motion control to ensure the effects matched the location shots. 32Ten Studios was also asked to shoot a number of practical scale explosion elements, green-screen shots with extras and stuntmen, background plates in northern California locations and a other practical elements to fill shots, particularly when the elements were near the camera. “Explosions are always fun to do,” says 32Ten Studios’ practical FX supervisor Geoff Heron, “and we have done a lot of them over the years. Tim [Alexander] was very precise in what he wanted, but he also understood there’s always a

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“Explosions are always fun to do and we have done a lot of them over the years” chance that something beautiful can happen with a practical effects shoot.” One person who provides a great overview of the Californian offering is Mandi Dillon, a location manager whose career credits include Interstellar (2014), Need For Speed (2014), Iron Man 3 (2013) and The Revenant (2015). More recently she has focused on TV in order to cut down on travel — with key projects including the Santa Clarita-based Westworld. According to Dillon: “The pacing of television is vastly different from feature films. Instead of having months to plan, we have a few days to find locations that are equally cinematic and unique. I've had the pleasure of working on cable series that are just as demanding as any feature. While TV can be stressful, it's exhilarating and refreshing to choose, shoot and wrap a location within days. I see myself as constantly sliding into home base on TV.” One of the biggest plus points working as a location manager in California “is the variety of available locations. In Los Angeles County alone, we have beaches, pine forests, deserts, cityscapes and harbours. You can drive from snow to sand in 90 minutes, then spend the afternoon in your office at the studio. California has some of the most dramatically different landscapes on the planet — from the surreal tufa towers at Mono Lake to the rolling sand dunes in Imperial County, to the towering redwoods of Northern California and the architectural gems in cities all over the state. The state provides options for any project on any budget.” Dillon echoes Lemisch’s views on the quality of crews: “Although I've had the pleasure of working with film crews all over the country, nothing beats the quality, experience and efficiency of LA-based crews. There's a finesse and shorthand to those who have lived and breathed movies for their entire career. And LA has an infrastructure that facilitates filmmaking. Permit processes are in place. The Police and Fire department understand the requirements of a film shoot. The systems we have make my job easier because it saves time tracking down information on how to make the movie we want to make where we want to make it. There's no reinventing the wheel.” Not to be underestimated either is the satisfaction that comes with being able to work close to home. “On a personal note, working in California allows local crew to see their families at the end of the day, which is a major bonus. I'm grateful for having the opportunity to work exclusively in Los Angeles for the better part of the last three years, after having spent 10 years on the road working in America and internationally,” she says. On the subject of the tax incentive, Dillon says: “There is an absolute excitement and feeling of hopefulness regarding the expanded film incentive. I don't have the percentage of incentive projects currently shooting in California, but all signs point to the fact that filming in California is picking up. The tell-tale sign for me is by speaking to my vendors. A lot of them have had to turn projects away because they are too busy to handle the demands of all the shows filming in Los Angeles.”

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IN PICTURES

SUNNY CALIFORNIA IS THE NATURAL HOME OF THE MOVIES. BUSINESS HAS RUN AWAY FROM HERE IN RECENT YEARS — BUT NOW IT'S COMING BACK, PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE STUNNING LOCATIONS THE STATE HAS TO OFFER

MONO LAKE, MONO COUNTY A California State Park, Mono Lake is a vast inland salt water lake that is almost three times saltier than the ocean. Home to trillions of tiny brine shrimp, the lake provides an all-you-can-eat buffet for millions of migratory birds every year. Mystical-looking limestone formations jut up from the shoreline and the water, giving the lake an otherworldly ambience that is a magnet for filmmakers. The two best-known movies filmed at Mono Lake are Fair Wind To Java (Joseph Kane, 1953) and High Plains Drifter (Clint Eastwood, 1973). A favourite stills shoot was the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here, and the glam metal band Cinderella filmed the music video for their hit single Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) at Mono Lake and nearby Bodie ghost town. Numerous commercials have also been drawn to the unique landscape — including Levi’s, Tecati Beer and many automobile brands. (Photo, courtesy JeffSullivanPhotography.com)

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HALF DOME, YOSEMITE Half Dome is a granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. It is a well-known rock formation in the park, named for its distinctive shape. The Half Dome features in Valley Uprising (Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, Josh Lowell, 2014) about the climbers who carved out a counter-culture lifestyle of dumpster-diving and wild parties that clashed with the conservative values of the National Park Service. Shot on location in the Park, the film tells the story of the bold rock climbing tradition in Yosemite National Park — half a century of struggle against the laws of gravity and against the laws of the land. (Photo, courtesy Lori Balton, LMGI)

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SAN FRANCISCO SKYLINE, SAN FRANCISCO This photo is taken from Twin Peaks in San Francisco. There have been countless TV series, commercials and movies shot here. The location affords outstanding views of the San Francisco skyline and a wonderful feeling of either entering the city or leaving the city that is unmatched in other locations. For these reasons it is a benchmark location for the San Francisco Bay Area. The shooting of high-profile films in the Bay Area dates back to 1923’s The Fog directed by Paul Powell and Mildred Harris. Since then there have been features shot here most years including Parent Trap (Nancy Meyers, 1998), Memoirs Of A Geisha (Rob Marshall, 2005), Big Sur (Michael Polish, 2013) and San Andreas (Brad Peyton, 2015). It could be argued that the TV series starring Michael Douglas and Karl Malden, The Streets Of San Francisco (197277) is what put the city on the world map. (Photo, courtesy Jof Hanwright / scout911.com)

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DUMONT DUNES, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY Dumont Sand Dunes are located approximately 30 miles north of Baker, CA and cover some 8,150 acres of open area. The elevation at Dumont ranges from about 700 feet at the river crossing to 1,200 feet on the top of Comp Hill. From one end to the other Dumont is between three and four miles long and around 1.3 miles wide. The dunes range from small rollers to large razorbacks and bowls. Films shot here include The Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (Tim Story, 2007), Pirates Of The Caribbean: At Worlds End (Gore Verbinski, 2007), G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (Stephen Sommers, 2009), Land Of The Lost (Brad Silberling, 2009) and GI Joe: Retaliation (Jon M. Chu, 2013). The terrain is also perfect for car commercials: brands to have shot here include Jeep, Ford, GM and Honda. (Photo, courtesy Geoff Juckes, LMGI)

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Tailormade With the increasing number of high-end TV dramas being produced in the UK, a number of pop-up studios have been established around the country to accommodate the productions. JULIAN NEWBY visited two of them — and paid a visit to Pinewood Studios to witness the expansion there

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Sarah Parish as Marjorie Sutter and Poppy Corby-Tuech as Dominique, in The Collection. Photo: Nick Briggs

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EOPLE of Swansea Bay in Wales, have been witnessing a touch of glamour in recent months as stars and crew have been coming and going from a disused Ford car factory, the chosen venue for the filming of period TV drama The Collection. First used as a studio in 2012 for the Starz TV/BBC Worldwide co-production Da Vinci’s Demons, the former factory near the town of Port Talbot is today known as Bay Studios. As high-end TV drama continues to be channel-defining, and part of a growing international business, so the partnerships behind it become more complex. And the business model behind The Collection is perhaps one of the most ground-breaking yet. It’s a collaboration between France Télévisions — along with its production arm MFP and its partner Federation Entertainment — BBC Worldwide (which also distributes) and Amazon Prime Video, on an original English-language drama produced by UK production companies Lookout Point and Artis Pictures. As Lookout Point CEO Simon Vaughn puts it: “This arrangement is the absolute first of its kind and reflects the dynamic nature of the global drama market today." The production has also received investment from Pinewood Studios, the Welsh Government Media Investment Budget that is advised by Pinewood Pictures — and which played a pivotal role in bringing the new series to Wales — as well as production incentives from both the UK and France. Directed by Dearbhla Walsh and Dan Zeff and produced by Selwyn Roberts, the idea for The Collection came from Artis Pictures' Kate Croft, who for some time had harboured a wish to work with Oliver Goldstick who was to become the series’ showrunner. Research into WWII led Croft to a series of articles on the ateliers and designers of the period “and I thought, ‘There’s gold dust in there’”, Croft says. So she wrote a one-page treatment called simply Couture and contacted Goldstick, saying: “You’re probably sick to death of doing fashion-industry shows but if I don’t mention this to you now I will kick myself.” Goldstick had a considerable understanding of the fashion world, having worked on three fashion-themed series in quick succession — Ugly Betty, Pretty Little Liars and Lipstick Jungle. “In Lipstick Jungle one of the characters was a fashion designer, so when I took on that job I did a lot of research about the New York fashion world,” he says. “I think what clicked wasn’t the fashion, it was fashion as a metaphor for reinvention. Because fashion is about transformation, it’s about the ugly duckling that becomes a swan. In a way it can be about survival, whether people truly had to reinvent themselves after years of oppression and repression.” Wary of creating another story purely about fashion Goldstick introduced the idea of turning it into a family saga — and as it developed The Collection took on a strong moral dimension too. “I realised that some of the ateliers and couturiers did not close down shop during the war, and that they actually served the German occupiers and their dirty little secret is that some of them turned more profits during the occupation than they did in the preceding years — it was a depression in the Thirties in France as much as it was in

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America,” Goldstick says. “I was fascinated by different stories I read. For example within one family you had one brother working essentially as a collaborator, and another brother is a major member of the [French] Resistance.” Paris couture survived WWII and began to thrive again soon afterwards. “Just to have survived, let alone to survive and thrive, puts you into an ambiguous place post-war,” Vaughan says. “To have lived at all made you feel guilty, to have lived and thrived made you potentially a war criminal.” Goldstick adds: “And then the war ends and how do those families sit down to Christmas dinner? I said to Kate, ‘People didn’t talk about it for years, and some still don’t, those who are alive'. People were sitting across from each other and the thought was, ‘Who were you three years ago?' I was attracted to the idea that, because of the level of desperation, people’s lives are being lived on a moral spectrum. People could do something very heroic at nine in the morning and

MAMIE GUMMER

“The sets are amazing. They make me want to come to work and I don’t like to leave them” something hideous and craven at three in the afternoon, and for those who are willing to admit it, you find that common denominator in so many people’s stories.” New-York actor Mamie Gummer, who plays Helen Sabine, says the moral dilemmas in The Collection could be played out in today’s society. “I think it certainly resonates today, especially with what’s happening with the [US] election,” she says. “If Trump were to get elected — and even now we’re living through and withstanding the insane things that he says — you think, God what if that happened and what would I do and how would I live through that? Would I just leave? So it’s an interesting place to be.” Early in the development of The Collection, Goldstick had London in mind for the principal location. “But the more reading I did, it didn’t make sense,” he says. “I called Kate at one point and said this definitely can’t be London, because the austerity measures in London lasted for so long.” So where to find post-war Paris for the shooting of the series? “As we know from our preliminary research, finding post-war Paris wouldn’t have been easy in Paris. You’d have to go to Eastern Europe. Paris does not look like it did in 1947, so by the time you get to redressing and cobble-stoning the streets, it’s a lot of work,” Goldstick says. But he hadn’t quite expected what was eventually to be the principal location for The Collection. The former car factory now known as Bay Studios, close to the Welsh town of Port Talbot in Swansea Bay, was fitted out with a series of striking sets depicting interiors and exteriors of the French capital after WWII. A street and a brasserie were built outside in the parking lot, while other exteriors were shot on the real streets of the French capital and the nearby Welsh city of Swansea. But Goldstick needed to be convinced of the makeshift studio. “Kate sent me a photograph and I had a minor stroke,” he says. “I had one part of my body stop working when I saw the parking lot and Kate said, ‘This will be Paris’, the parking lot of a Ford factory that

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TAILOR-MADE

Sarah Parish on set for The Collection — for which post-war Paris was re-created inside a disused car factory in Wales

was closed. It looked like my high school in Detroit, Michigan. I thought ‘Oh my God, how are we going to do this, what is this going to look like?’ But it looks extraordinary. This is from scratch, you’re talking about building something that was not here five weeks before and recreating post-war Paris.” Cast members Gummer and Richard Coyle both speak of the powerful atmosphere of the Bay Studios sets. Coyle plays Paul Sabine, the couturier with a romantic vision he hopes will resuscitate a beleaguered, post-war Paris; Gummer is his American wife Helen, an expat who has lived in Paris for 10 years. “I think working on location is such a wonderful part of what we do, to be able to explore and discover new places, and you know you find your spots, and there are some great little spots here,” Gummer says. “And the sets are amazing. They make me want to come to work and I don’t like to leave them.” But Coyle notes that much of the Welsh end of the shoot has taken place during quite a tough winter: “We’re actually agitating for future seasons to be based in the Bahamas.” But if there are to be future seasons of The Collection, Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones would prefer it to remain in Wales. “We have a strong and rapidly growing creative industries sector in Wales and the very positive experience of Lookout Point is a great endorse-

ment of the talented pool of professionally trained and highly skilled individuals we have in Wales,” Jones says. “I am also pleased that our Media Investment Budget, backed by expert advice from Pinewood Pictures, is delivering tangible results. Attracting high-end TV drama and film productions to Wales creates significant benefits, attracting investment worth millions of pounds and providing opportunities for scores of freelancers, crews and studios as well as service providers.” Cahal Bannon, head of production at London-based Lookout Point, says his company struck it lucky when they inherited the crew who had previously worked on the international blockbuster Da Vinci’s Demons. “Their workmanship and productivity is second to none and I can say this with confidence having done this many times around the world,” he says. There’s a fashion connection to another pop-up studio whose bland exterior belies the stunning sets that have been built inside. It’s the former warehouse of fashion label Jack Mills, situated on a modern industrial estate in the west-London suburb of Greenford. Unlike the weather-worn Bay Studios, the Jack Mills building is shiny and new-ish — which makes what you see once you get inside even more bizarre. Initially it looks like an industrial storage space lined with clean

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The cast of Dickensian on the extraordinary set built in an empty warehouse in West London

offices and meeting rooms. But behind some very tall wooden boards propped up with scaffolding there is a different world — Dickensian London, with real streets, real shops and even a working pub. It’s the set for Dickensian, a 20-part series produced for BBC1 by Red Planet Pictures, and distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide. My first question to screenwriter Tony Jordan, the series’ executive producer and the man who imagined the whole thing, is: “Can this be turned into a Dickensian theme park when the show is over?� That idea, he says, has crossed his mind more than once. “The way this was always going to work, was that I had to create the world,� says Jordan, founder of Red Planet Pictures, former scriptwriter on long-running British soap Eastenders and the creator of hit TV series including Death In Paradise and Hustle. “One of the things Dickens did was, he used atmosphere almost as a character. So he’s always going on about the mist and smog and snow. In A Christmas Carol he used all those things very cleverly. And it’s a pain trying to get night shoots as well. So the concept then, really early, was that the only way to make this work was to build this world. I didn’t know how on earth I was going to do that but it had to be done.� As we walk towards this extraordinary step-back in time, he prepares me for the experience: “So everything is here, Satis house? It’s in there. A church? It’s in there. The Three Cripples pub? It’s there. I’ve got horses and carriages going around. It’s crazy beyond belief,

but I think it’s the way to make it work.� And it’s not just the sets that are difficult to imagine until you actually see them; many people couldn’t get to grips with the concept of the series until it played out on the UK’s BBC1 — 20 episodes, two per week starting on the day after Christmas, 2015. Because Dickensian isn’t based on one single Dickens novel — it’s based on several. And the characters are all mixed up together. It’s not a Dickens adaptation, it’s a Dickens mash-up. “The idea is that I’ve created the inside of Charles Dickens’ head, so this is the world of his imagination. And within the world of his writer’s brain, all those characters exist,� Jordan says. “So because this is his imagination, if he sees a young girl with her grandfather in a shop that sells old curiosities, and may have a story — she gets ill or whatever — when he comes to write his novel he can focus it to create a narrative. He may choose when he writes The Old Curiosity Shop to kill little Nell, but that doesn’t mean she was always dead in his imagination. The way I connected to it was writer to writer.� Actor Tuppence Middleton, who plays Miss Haversham in the series, approved of Jordan’s fixed-set concept. “For this job it really has been such a blessing, because I think it’s such a specific world and these characters are, like Dickens’ books, they’re very of that ilk and it feels right to be in this sort of atmosphere. It definitely helps,� she says. “As soon as you walk through the doors of the studio you’re transported into this world and as much as the costumes and eve-

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rything else help, when you’re on a street outside and you can see cars in the background but they’re just being blocked off by someone in an orange jacket, it does kind of take you out of it a little bit, whereas this is completely immersive.� And an unusual experience for the young actor. “It’s not that common, especially not anymore because it’s such a huge job to build an entire street. I don’t think that ever happens really. I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve never done anything on film where I’ve been able come to the same place every day but work in so many different locations. It’s great.� Ben Starr plays Captain James Hawdon in the series — whose love for Honoria Barbary (Sophie Rundle) is thwarted when she is forced to marry a wealthy old man to save her father from financial ruin. Starr has played in a similar period set, created for TV series The Musketeers in Prague, although there was also some location work on that production. “Here it is completely self-contained and the place is magical,� Starr says. “It looks great when you walk in, it’s like Harry Potter World. And it’s so versatile — you can make it look like anything. If you want a prison, they can turn a section of the street into a prison, it’s just there. And we’ve got the interiors and exteriors. It’s amazing to see and walk around, especially when we first did it and it was snowing. I took so many photos, thinking how magical this thing looks. And every now and again before takes, I think there was a scene I had to do with Sophie where I just stopped and said, ‘Isn’t this stupid?’ We do this for a living! We’re pretending, in this beautiful set with all these things happening!’ It’s an incredible experience.�

Starr was struck by the attention to detail on the set. “When we’re going in to Mantalini’s [the milliner’s shop], you can look in the drawers and there are a hundred different types of buttons which have been individually sourced, and there are different types of fabrics. You look around this set and think, that is so helpful for an actor,� he says. “I was in The Three Cripples [pub] and you think, ‘What can I do? I need a glass!’ And there are 30 types of glass you can use — take your pick. So it could be overwhelming but I think if you have an idea of your character and what they might do there’s so much choice, so much to play with and so many options. The set is a huge playground in which you get 30 actors to fool around and pretend to be Dickens characters. That’s what it is. And it isn’t a location that’s been thrown together at the last minute. It’s here, it’s purpose-built. I love walking into the art department to look at all the stuff they’re working on — the letters they’re writing or the newspapers that they have actually written. You can read them, there are genuine stories from the time in those newspapers.� So why did Tony Jordan build the set in a disused warehouse rather than one of the UK’s more established studios, with all the talent and crew readily available on-site? “Lots of reasons. A big reason is the height of the eaves that we needed, because we not only needed to have two-storey buildings but then above that, lighting rigs,� he says. “Basically what we’ve got out there is like the Bond studio, but I can’t afford that. I can’t go to Pinewood or Leavesden, they haven’t got the space and if they have got it, it’s far too expensive. So we lucked-out that this building was empty,

Location Kent

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we jumped on the end of someone’s lease. We never would have been able to afford this anywhere else, it’s incredibly ambitious. And I was keen for the series at least to be in London because — well, we’ve had 20 press visits because people don’t mind jumping on the tube to get here. Cast as well. I didn’t always have a dream to work in Greenford, it just kind of worked out that way.” Meanwhile Lord Michael Grade, non-executive chairman of Pinewood Studios, confirms that it would be unlikely that Dickensian could have camped out in his studios: the books are full. But it wasn’t always like that. Today the place is home to the biggest movies — the Bond and Star Wars franchises to name just two. But when Grade and Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy acquired the studios 14 years ago it was a very different story. “This place was a ghost ship, it was tumbleweed running down the roads,” Grade says. “Fortunately our financiers weren’t fazed by that. There was a bit of a renegotiation, and we inherited a business that had no bookings. And here we are 14 years later and we’ve got businesses all around the world. We’re doubling the size of Pinewood, we have Shepperton studios, the business has at least trebled in size in that time, and the sources of revenue have multiplied at least 10 to 12 times.” One of the first things Grade and Dunleavy did was to bring television into the studios. “Nobody had ever done TV here — we were talking about which stages we’d turn into TV studios because there are differences between a film stage and a TV stage. One of the big differences is the floor, because with film they just nail stuff onto the wooden floor but with TV you need a lovely smooth, very expensive, finish so the cameras can just sort of glide around the floor. And Ivan rang me one weekend and said ‘I’ve just been reading the history of Pinewood and I’ve discovered that stages H and J were built for television.’ We were thinking how were we going to pay to rip up the floors and put this very expensive stuff down. So with some guys we went down to studios H and J and got them to lift a bit of the wood and there underneath was the most perfect TV floor. It saved us a lot of money and we went into the TV business. We did very well early on with television. Since then the film business has rather overtaken the television business although television is still very important part of our business and we’ve invested a lot of money digitising and putting new galleries in and what have you. But now, television is very important but television didn’t exist here until we arrived, we introduced it.” In 2015 the UK hosted more production hours — for both film and television — than any other year in the industry’s history. This

can largely be credited to the various tax incentives introduced into the UK over the past few years. Grade concedes this point but stresses that there are other factors behind this success story. “There’s no question that the tax incentives are very, very important, but they wouldn’t work if we didn’t have the skill base and we didn’t have the infrastructure,” he says. “There are a lot of countries that you can go to and you can crew-up one film, but after that it’s a struggle. You have to fly your own crew in and everything else. In the UK we have a fabulous

LORD MICHAEL GRADE

“There’s no aspect of screen entertainment that we’re not good at” skill base — you have gaffers, riggers, scenery painters — whatever you need you’ve got a plentiful supply in this country, and that’s very important. “Secondly, it’s a good environment. You know it’s no hardship to say to a director or an actor ‘You’ve got to come to London for a few months’. If you say to them ‘You’ve got to got to Azerbaijan or something, they’re not that happy and you want a happy crew. So there are lots of benefits here.” He adds: “Unquestionably we are now competitive because everybody understands the value of tax breaks. And what is important about the tax breaks is that as the last report I saw — which I’m pretty sure was endorsed by the [British] treasury — showed that for every pound that the UK tax payer invests in movies and high-end TV, they get £12 back. So the fact is that the tax breaks have survived changes of government, they have survived the difficult period of austerity that we’ve been through. If the treasury wasn’t getting a really super return on their investment I think they would have closed it down a long time ago, but it is good for the country.” And the production sector is growing in the UK. “We’ve got the language, we’ve got the skill base and we are good at it,” Grade says. “There’s no aspect of screen entertainment that we’re not good at, whether it’s acting, writing, directing, skills, facilitating, studios — all the way through we are one of the worlds leading nations in doing that now.”

The centre of Scotland’s film and T V production industry

Fantastic locations, skilled crew, and all UK tax credits apply to qualifying productions

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The Fab Five MULTI-million-selling American thriller writer Harlan Coben has set pretty well all his novels in New Jersey. So why did he choose the home of the Fab Four, the UK city of Liverpool, as the setting for his first-ever TV series? JULIAN NEWBY went there to find out

W

HEN they were 12 years old, friends Mark, Pru, Danny and Slade were out playing together in the woods. Mark’s five-year-old brother Jesse was annoying them and they told him to go home. He then went missing. Twenty years later, Danny — now a detective — learns some shocking news: Jesse’s DNA has been found at the scene of a murder. So is Jesse still alive? And if so, what is his connection with the murder? The Five tells of how the lives of these four people are turned upside down by this shocking discovery. The various partners involved in the series came together after Nicola Shindler’s Red Productions (Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax) was contacted by UK broadcaster Sky, which was looking for an original crime series. “We met with the Sky drama team and started talking about what would keep people watching a series,” Shindler says. “What would make them stay with something and not be able to leave? We started to look at novels, which is not the normal path we would take, and looked for the writers who keep you hooked and make you unable to go to bed until you’ve read the next chapter. Harlan was top of the list so we asked him if he was interested.” It took Harlan Coben less than an hour to reply to Shindler’s first email. “I had this idea playing in my head and I was going to write it as a novel, but I always saw it too visually to be a novel,” Coben says. “I love this idea of these five children, four of whom

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made one mistake years ago and how it’s haunted them forever. I love that idea of friendship and the question: ‘What would you do differently if you could go back?’. So after the kid goes missing in episode one, 20 years later they have a chance to find redemption.” One of the four became a doctor, one a lawyer, one a police officer and another is running a shelter. “All of them became what they became, and have a hero complex, because of what happened to them on that day and we see how that day has damaged them,” Coben says. ”Is there a way they can now resolve that? That was the initial seed that got me thinking about the show.” Familiar with the work of screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst, Shindler felt that he and Coben would be the perfect pair to develop the series — and she was right. “By the time I came on board the central idea was in place,” Brocklehurst says. “Then Harlan and I talked a lot about the story and I went over to meet him in New York. Ten hours is a lot of story but we tried to break it down into 10 episodes. It’s been really collaborative and I’ve loved that because it’s an exciting and organic way to work.” “Danny was perfect,” Coben says. “We have the same kind of sensibility. As a novelist I bring home the report card that says ‘Does not play well with others’, so actually to be able to let go and work as a team and push each other was incredible. Danny brought a great sense of pace and a fantastic understanding of how to break things up to tell the story.” In order to inject a genuine feel of Coben’s storytelling style into the series, Brocklehurst read a different Coben novel before writing each episode. “I’ve written a lot of characterful drama and it’s what I love to do and what I

NICOLA SHINDLER

“The city became an important part of the tone and feel of the show and, logistically, was a great place to shoot”

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THE FAB FIVE

Tom Cullen as inner-city legal aid lawyer Mark and O-T Fagbenle as police officer Danny, filming The Five in Liverpool

think my strength is,” Brocklehurst says. “But to work with Harlan, who does these twists and plot turns, has just been so interesting and so useful for me. It’s great actively to structure the story knowing that you’re going to add a twist and to have hooks that you’re working towards all the time.” “I’ve never collaborated in my life, as I write novels,” Coben says. “But with The Five, everyone had their own ideas to add in a positive way. Once we had the basic storyline down, we played off of that. Our biggest problem was we were always trying to cut

down as we had so much story. We just found new twists. What happened, which I’ve never experienced before, was that I had characters very set in my mind, but somebody else took them and moved them in a different direction — and I would say ‘That’s actually better than what was in my head.’ Those were the magical moments of the show for me. Characters going in a place I didn’t think they would go. My books are exactly as I envisage but this ended up being better than I imagined.” And Coben allowed Shindler and Brocklehurst to take him out of his geographical

comfort zone too. “My stories are very New York- and New Jersey-based but seeing this through a foreign lens adds a whole new element,” he says. “I was nervous about the pilot but when I first read Danny’s script I knew we were going to be all right. We’ve been on the same page since day one.” So why was it shot in Liverpool? “It gave us variety,” director Mark Tonderai says. “The city is big yet also small. It has different styles of architecture and you can easily get around. Crucially, when I go to any location, I’m not rubbing out the chalk of

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MAKING A SCENE

On location: Harlen Coben with O-T Fagbenle

O T Fagbenle (left) as police officer Danny; Lee Ingleby as Slade, who runs a shelter; Sarah Solemani as Pru, a doctor; and Tom Cullen as lawyer Mark in The Five

the previous production. And I like the accent.” “We needed a location that would give us a fictitious town and a diverse range of locations — from luxurious suburban homes to dark urban landscapes,” Shindler says. “The city became an important part of the tone and feel of the show and, logistically, was a great place to shoot.” Coben set The Five in and around the fictitious English town of Westbridge. “When Red came over here the first time, I drove them around and showed them the New Jersey places that I wanted them to find British counterparts for,” he says. “I drove them to the places that I saw in my head as the American versions of where the story takes place and then it was their job to go [back to the UK] and find them. Almost each one lived up to, or exceeded, my expectations.” “A lot of his novels are set in New Jersey so we wanted to emulate that over here,” The Five producer Karen Lewis says. “In the story we needed a hybrid of different elements, so that’s

THE FINAL TWIST FOLLOWING the successful pairing with Red Productions and Nicola Shindler, Harlan Coben has launched independent production company, Final Twist Productions, with Shindler. Coben will be joint CEOalongsideRedfounderShindler,withStudioCanal handling international distribution of the original content. Final Twist, which will be based in the US, will develop contemporary thrillers for US broadcast networks. The company is already in development on a major returning drama series, Six Years, adapted from Coben’s best-selling novel of the same name.

why we went down the fictional route. Because we needed a somewhere lovely where Mark [played by Tom Cullen] and his family could live — a nice area with parks. But it also had to be connected to a much bigger city where lots of crime could happen and also where Slade, Lee Ingleby’s character, could have a shelter. So we looked at Bristol, Cardiff, Chester and Manchester but they were all very recognisable. Then we went to Liverpool and it just seemed to fit the bill for us.” And while the production team took great care not to make the backdrop to The Five recognisable as Liverpool, one landmark that plays a key role in the series — Runcorn Bridge — will certainly be spotted by locals. “We wanted a bridge from the nice part of Westbridge to the not so nice part,” Lewis says. “I know that everybody in Merseyside will recognise the Runcorn bridge — which features massively — but most other people wouldn’t.” Liverpool “had everything” for Coben. “There’s strange brick, there’s stone, there’s wood, there are parks, it has it’s own unique style and yet it’s universal. So there’s nothing you look at and think ‘Wow, that could only be in Liverpool',” he says. “It’s a really interesting place to film.” Locations co-ordinator for the Liverpool Film Office, Kevin Bell, says Runcorn Bridge and the River Mersey — which famously runs through the city — were key attractions for Tonderai. “Mark really liked the general feel of the city. Andy Morgan the location manager, called us to say that the production team was looking at a few other cities but that Mark liked Liverpool particularly for the river and the

bridge.” Bell adds: “The bridge is quite important to the plot.” Before shooting started, Tonderai showed Bell and his colleagues at the Liverpool Film Office a map of the fictitious town of Westbridge. “It gave us a clear idea of the environment the characters were based in and the metropolis that would be portrayed,” Bell says. “It was clear that he preferred Liverpool to other cities he’d looked at because we’ve got a good variety of architecture. Merseyside is quite a compact area so you can get around places quickly, but it’s very diverse as well, so you can actually portray a bigger city or a smaller village or whatever you want — we have the tools to do that.” Bell also felt that there was something of a match between Liverpool and the places where Harlan Coben’s novels are usually set. “We get a lot of productions coming here that are actually set in New York. So even though Mark wanted to create this fictitious city, he obviously wanted to stay true to the type of architecture referred to in the books. I know they looked at other cities, they were quite open at the early stage about that, but they kept coming back to Liverpool.” “It was a huge coup for the city to be selected as the main filming location for what is set to be one of Sky One’s flagship dramas,” Liverpool’s Film Office Manager, Lynn Saunders says. “We had fantastic feedback from the production team regarding their Liverpool experience. The choice of locations and the fact there was a dedicated Film Office on hand to help them out when needed, really standing out for them.” She adds: “It has been a great boost to our local economy.” Liverpool is one of many places in the UK to have benefited from the introduction in 2013 of the High-end TV Tax Relief available to scripted television projects with a minimum core expenditure of £1m per broadcast hour, which enables TV production companies to claim a rebate of up to 25% of qualifying UK expenditure. Filming in Liverpool in 2015 was up 20% on 2014, with 230 productions filmed in the city, resulting in 998 film days in the city bringing in more than £11.5m to the local economy.”

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IN PICTURES

IN PICTURES

THE UK REPORTED ITS BUSIEST-EVER PRODUCTION YEAR IN 2015. THIS IS DOWN TO INCENTIVES, WORLD-CLASS CREWS AND TALENT — AND ITS LOCATIONS

CROM CASTLE, COUNTY FERMANAGH, N. IRELAND Set in rolling parkland among wooded islands in tranquil Upper Lough Erne, the Crom Estate in County Fermanagh — the historic seat of the Earls of Erne for over 350 years — is set in the heart of Ireland’s Lake District. The West Wing is available to rent all year round for groups of up to 12 visitors — for weeks at a time or long weekends. Crom Castle was chosen as the setting for Blandings, a TV comedy based on the books of PG Wodehouse, boasting an all-star cast and commissioned by BBC1. A total of 60 cast and crew filmed at the castle for two months in 2012. One of the stars of the six-part series, Jenifer Saunders tweeted: “It’s a small piece of heaven, well actually a big piece.” Another cast member, actor David Walliams, said “I have never had so many cups of tea. Everyone here is so friendly.” (Photo, courtesy Northern Ireland Tourist Board)

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THE ARMADILLO, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND. The River Clyde forms the main historic artery through the city of Glasgow and features a wealth of striking modern architecture, historical bridges and cityscapes. This particular river view is widely used for establishing shots and GVs. In the foreground is the SECC Clyde Auditorium, a venue for events, conferences, concerts and theatrical productions. Affectionately known as The Armadillo, it was created by world-renowned architects Foster + Partners. The banks of the river and adjoining city streets have played host to many features and TV dramas, including Fast & Furious 6 (Justin Lin, 2013), Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013), Baar Baar Dekho (Nitya Mehra, 2016), American-British TV series Outlander (2014-) and upcoming BBC drama Rillington Place. (Photo, courtesy Stephen Hosey, Glasgow City Council â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Graphics)

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ST GEORGE’S HALL,. LIVERPOOL. St George’s Hall is regarded as one of the world’s finest examples of Neo-Classical architecture. The building has a large ballroom, a concert room, two courtrooms and many more locations, all under one roof and available for filming. Over the years the building has been shot as New York, London, Rome and Moscow and with its own dedicated parking, filming is very easy to facilitate. TV drama series Foyle’s War (2002-15) and Peaky Blinders (2013-), the film In the Name Of The Father (Kim Steridan,1993), British soaps Coronation Street and Hollyoaks and a Coca Cola commercial are among the many productions shot here. A recent movie to use the location is the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (David Yates, 2016). (Photo, courtesy Liverpool Film Office)

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RECULVER TOWERS, KENT The imposing twin towers of the medieval church at Reculver dominate the skyline of Herne Bay in Kent, on the South Coast of England, acting as a navigation marker for ships at sea. This was the site of one of the earliest Roman forts built against Saxon raids on the Saxon Shore. It later became the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery before becoming the parish church for Reculver. The tall towers were built in a remodeling of the church in the 12th century. The biggest project to have shot at this location is 1978 feature film The Medusa Touch, directed by Jack Gold and starring Sir Richard Burton. (Photo, courtesy Kent Film Office/Visit Kent)

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THE GREAT PLAINS

The Great Plains

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The Great Plains region is not only a big part of the history of the American continent, it is also part of the history of filmed entertainment and the landscape is still inspiring filmmakers today. DEBBIE LINCOLN reports

HE GREAT Plains, the area that makes up about one third of North America — from the mid-states of Canada down to the Rio Grande in the south and between the Rockies in the West and the northeastern US states — has been the location for films about indigenous populations and the movement of settlers; hunters, trappers and explorers in what became known as the frontier; cowboys, saloons and lawmen in classic Westerns; and right up to the present, tales of urban living and voyages of self discovery. Several recent high-budget and independent films have told classic American stories in these classic American landscapes.

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For his first historical epic director Alejandro Inarritu chose to tell the story of adventurer Hugh Glass in The Revenant (1915). Some scenes were shot in Montana, where the story is set, but most were filmed in the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia and Alberta. The mythologised story of fur-trapper Glass, played by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, follows him across the wilds of Montana after his group is attacked by Arikara warriors and his son is killed by a fellow trapper. Even after being mauled by a bear he refuses to die and his perilous journey, during which nature throws everything in his path, is played out against a stunning backdrop. “We tried to stay faithful to what these men went through. We went through difficult physical and technical conditions to squeeze every honest emotion out of this adventure,” Inarritu says. The filming was tough for several reasons, with cast and crew having

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A Colorado cowboy in the Telluride region

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THE GREAT PLAINS

to face some of the challenges that would have affected the characters in the early 19th century, including DiCaprio, who did many of his own stunts. “Hugh Glass' story is the stuff of campfire legends, but Alejandro uses that folklore to explore what it really means to have all the chips stacked against you,” DiCaprio says. Rachel Gregg, from the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development says: “We connected the project location scouts with local scouts and production crew, the production team with the appropriate authorities near Libby, Montana, and acted as a liaison in the permitting process with the National Forest Service.” While Montana is well known for mountains, waterfalls and the alien-like landscape of the Badlands, Gregg says that for filmmakers the most coveted of Great Plains backdrops are the wheat fields and grasslands, with uninterrupted vistas that inspired Ron Howard’s Far & Away (1992) or Michael Polish’s Northfork (2003). Other films using Montana include Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (2013) and Andrew and Alex Smith’s Winter In The Blood (2013). Much praise for the film focuses on the majesty and authenticity of the locations, which were sourced by a team of scouts in preparation for the difficult filming schedule. The shoot in Montana largely focused on water locations, specifically Kootenai Falls near Libby and Troy, for which the scout was Doug Dresser. “We were asked to find a class-five river [a rating of ‘expert’ in the American system used to rate the difficulty of a stretch of river] with a waterfall for a major stunt sequence. We scouted six western states and eventually settled on Montana.” Dresser acknowledges that he was fortunate to be working mostly over spring and summer — as his task included spending time in the water. So he has extra praise for the team that worked in the cold conditions in Canada. Location manager Robin Mounsey scouted for locations with Inarritu and producer Larry Franco. “Alejandro was concerned that scouting did not miss opportunities that are often overlooked in order to keep locations close to the city with paved road access and so on. That was a great road trip and ultimately we saw key locations that would become the backbone of the movie.” Mounsey realised that the Canadian state of Alberta ticked all the right boxes. Alberta has been the backdrop for classic Western storytelling over the years with appearances in Unforgiven (1992), Brokeback Mountain (2005), TV series Fargo (2014-) as well as its scene-stealing presence in Terrence Malick’s Days Of Heaven (1978), for which Jack Fisk was the art director. The producers of The Revenant were hopeful that filming could take place in British Columbia, which with local tax credits would

IN THEIR WORDS DOCUMENTARY filmmaker Brigitte Timmerman has returned to her home state of Nebraska for her latest project interviewing members of the local Omaha Tribe. “My film is about the remaining fluent speakers of the Omaha Tribe. Sadly there are only 12 left, from 74- to 91-years-old, so there is a great sense of urgency to have these people and their stories filmed. One expressed how good it felt to tell her stories and that doing so brought back memories she

had not thought about for a very long time. The filming has gone remarkably smoothly and hearing their stories has been very moving. Funding is a challenge, but once it is secured, my goal is to have the film finished by March 2017 to celebrate Nebraska's 149th year of statehood." Timmerman is assisted by Elder Octa Keen who, she says, has been “invaluable”. Photographer Dave Tepper is also a part of the project and is working on a book and exhibition of portraits.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant

“Hugh Glass' story is the stuff of campfire legends” be more economical, but Mounsey was convinced that this would not fully satisfy Inarritu’s vision. Considering the success of the film as a visual epic the point is proven. “Choosing to film these locations in their best light falls squarely with the teamwork of Alejandro and Chivo [Emmanuel Lubezki, who won the cinematography Oscar for The Revenant]." The weather tested the production when the shut-down period of filming coincided with the best winter snow. “When we returned the snow was fleeting as it was the warmest winter on record,” says another of the collaborative scouting team, Bruce Brownstein, working in Alberta. Mounsey was then involved with sourcing a new location to replace Alberta and along with Argentina location manager Jose Luis Garcia Espina they settled on Ushuaia in Argentina. Filming in these regions often involves negotiation for the use of tribal or first-nation lands. Some 1,500 Native Americans and Canadian First Nations appear in The Revenant. Arthur Redcloud, who grew up on a Navajo reservation and plays Hikuc in the film, says: "The film is a special gift, and we wanted to pour the heart and soul of our people into it.” On the first day of filming the crew gathered on the banks of Alberta's Bow River — the icy water of which plays a key role in the film — and each was handed a red rose. Blackfoot cultural advisor Craig Falcon led a ceremony with elders of the local Stoney tribe to bless the film, the creatures and the land, and they walked into the river scattering their rose petals. The director brought in adviser Loren Yellowbird Sr, an Arikara historian, anthropologist and chief interpreter and ranger at the Fort Union Trading Post in North Dakota. "I appreciated it, because being able to capture the Arikara language and to bring some of their traditional culture to light in this time is very important,” she says, pointing to the added benefit that some young Arikara may hear the language and see how their ancestors lived for the first time. Colorado embodies the history of America. In the southeast are the ancestral grounds of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche and Ute tribes who settled in the mid-1800s, in the northeast stood the his-

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THE GREAT PLAINS

An example of the crystal-clear streams and lakes found in the Chickasaw Nation in the central south of Oklahoma

Chloe Zhao’s Songs My Brother Taught Me (2015), set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, tells a poignant family story through the eyes of young Lakotas. Photo: Kino Lorber Inc

toric military camp Ft Sedgwick and the state was on the original Pony Express route. Quentin Tarantino chose Colorado as the location for his Western The Hateful Eight (2015). For his previous period film Django Unchained (2012) the mid-West backdrop was Wyoming. The Hateful Eight sees a disparate group of characters forced to take refuge from a storm in a mountain store. The story takes place in Wyoming but was shot in Telluride, Colorado. The store, or Minnie’s as it was known, was constructed on the Schmid Family Ranch on Wilson Mesa, about 10 miles west of Telluride. “Once we saw that mountain [Wilson Peak] there was no other place,” producer Shannon McIntosh says. “The Aspen trees, which really become another character within the movie, are amazing.” Another of the film’s producers, Stacey Sher, adds: “For a rocky, brutal, unforgiving winter western you need a rugged, unforgiving, cold, wintery western terrain. The proximity of the Colorado Rockies doubling for Wyoming really gave you the feeling that these were going to be harsh times for these characters.” A film crew descending on a town of around 2,000 people can be disruptive. “Once filming gets started, that’s when the hard work

SHANNON MCINTOSH

“The Aspen trees, which really become another character within the movie, are amazing"

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starts [with] concerns over increased traffic, road blocks and other disruptions,” says Location scout John Minor. “Having identified the Schmid ranch I was very open [and said,] ‘If there’s an issue, here’s my phone number.’ So the whole town had my cell number.” Courtney Potts, program manager at the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media says: “The incredible San Juan Mountain range was a huge draw for Tarantino, but the incentive rebate was also a major factor. The Hateful Eight is the biggest movie to stumble into the foothills since True Grit [1969]. Hosting such a production proves we have the top crew, talent and hospitality that they look for.” The mountains in Telluride have also featured in the Coors beers commercials since 2012. Ranch owner Marvin Schmid says: “Wilson Peak is Coors Mountain. That’s the signature mountain on the cans.” The mountains also turned up in the 2015 Kia Sorrento Super Bowl Commercial ‘The Perfect Getaway’ with Pierce Brosnan. As with The Revenant, a mild winter threatened to slow up the filming of a scene in The Hateful Eight that called for a blizzard. At the suggestion of local officials, the team participated in a ski burn — a bonfire topped with old skis — a town tradition that is meant to bring snow. Many of the cast participated along with locals. It must have worked as a huge snowstorm arrived just in time. There are contrasting landscapes in The Great Plains as is apparent in South Dakota, according to Rebecca Cruse from the South Dakota Arts Council. The wide Missouri River flows southward through the state and there are rolling prairies and forest-rimmed lakes in the northeast with farms and small towns in the southeast that offer the classic, rural America look. In the west are the Black Hills and southeast of that is the alien-looking landscape of the Badlands National Park. Many films have shot here including Alexander Payne’s Nebraska and Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves (1990). Last year a film shot in South Dakota blazed a trail across festivals around the world and was in the official selection in Cannes and Sundance. Songs My Brother Taught Me (2015) — which boasts actor Forest Whitaker as a co-producer — was written and directed by Beijing-born US-based filmmaker Chloe Zhao. Set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the story is a tender portrait of modern life, exploring the bond between a brother and his younger sister, who rediscover the meaning of home. Looking through the eyes of the younger generation of Lakotas and using non-professional lead

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actors, the narrative can truly be said to have grown out of this iso- tional film stage with Alexander Payne’s road-trip story, Nebraska. lated landscape. Zhao wrote and adapted the script as filming rolled The majority of filming took place in Plainview, north of Norfolk on, to the extent that when the young lead Jasuan St John suffered and was shot beautifully in black and white. American Honey, a devastating home fire, the tragedy was written into the story — released in 2016, also includes a chaotic road trip and benefitted with her agreement. The backdrop of the Badlands and the Great from a smart partnership of film offices. The Mid States Film ComPlains of South Dakota became as much a character in the film as missions Partnership (MSFCP) comprises representatives from the Lakotas that sprung from the area — as Zhao describes it “this Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. Together they hosted the American Honey production team as they moved from Oklahoma, wild, magnificent, yet marginalised piece of the American west”. Oklahoma also contains a mixture of landscapes, with unexpected across the Mid States, filming on their way to the Canadian border. lush forests and plateaux and sand dunes as well as its familiar sweep- The film, starring Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and McCaul Lombardi, ing prairies, according to film and locations co-ordinator at the shot on the road with a minimal crew, an approach driven by Oklahoma Film + Music Office Yousef Kazemi. Recent shoots here Andrea Arnold, the British director on her debut US shoot. This include Mekko (2015), Te Ata (2015) and the up-coming American approach required a close working relationship between producHoney (2016), The Scent Of Rain & Lightning (2016) and the aptly ers, crew, location managers and commissions. Location manager named Great Plains (2016). One of the most successful marriages of Mark Jarret says: “This area is totally under-seen in film and televistory and location happened in the filming of August: Osage County sion. Our shoot wouldn’t have been possible in the manner we (2013). By definition the story is set in Oklahoma’s Osage County but wanted without their [MSFCP] support, creativity, and around-thedirector John Wells had not expected to find the perfect location clock help.” The members of the MSFCP plan to continue working together. there. The Oklahoma Film & Music Office helped with a location road-trip across the tall-grass prairies of northeastern Oklahoma and Nebraska film officer Laurie Richards says: “Each state presents near the town of Pawhuska, home to the Osage Indian Reservation, distinct landscapes and architecture that are attractive to commerwhere they discovered Boulanger House and barns which embodied cials and the media industry. Each area has crew and services, talent 10410_NWTFILM_CMYK_LOCATION_INTERNATIONAL_1/5_FINAL and resources necessary to attract and promote our region.” Wells’ vision of the setting for the family drama. “I realised there was something so specific about the way the country actually looked that would be extremely difficult to duplicate,” Wells says. An extraordinary stroke of good fortune saw the production company able to buy the house, allowing some lead actors to stay in their character’s bedrooms during rehearsal. A room in a barn even became the production office. In the central south of Oklahoma lies the Chickasaw Nation lands, with diverse and beautiful landscapes including a number of crystal-clear streams and lakes. Tony Choate, executive officer, media relations for The Chickasaw Nation, says the area has “five ecosystems within the 13 counties, all of which are unique in character, flora and fauna.” The Cross Timbers is an ancient forest, famous for its impenetrabilty and mentioned in several journals of early travelers. The Central Great Plain, Arkansas Valley, South Central Plains and East Texas Plains make up the rest of the Chickasaw Nation. There are also city landscapes in larger towns, including communities that have a distinctive early 20th-century flavour. “Filmmakers like the availability of interior locations — especially period — and the co-operation of owners,” Choate says. “Chickasaw country is in a region that makes access to production companies and equipment from the north [Oklahoma City] and the south [the Dallas area] easy and convenient, and allows for access to trained and experienced actors.” He adds that the state film office and some local filmmakers have ongoing training programmes. Also important for the Nation is the economic pay-off. “Filmmaking is an industry that offers employment opportunities and often benefits businesses, from restaurants and retail to hotels and convenience stores,” Bill Anoatubby, governor, the Chickasaw Nation, Contact the Northwest Territories Film Commission says. for more information at: Recent shoots include: The Veil (2016), filmed in the Turner Falls area; Te Ata (2015), about a famous Chickasaw female storyteller and entertainer; Yellow (2012), filmed in Pauls Valley; Pearl (2010) produced by the Chickasaw Nation; and Twister (1996), which filmed in E. NWTFILM@GOV.NT.CA | P. 867.920.8793 the Chickasaw Nation and Maysville, Pauls Valley and Waurika, Oklahoma. “We have several documentaries in development and our next feature is about a Chickasaw rancher,” Choate says. In 2013 the state of Nebraska made a big splash on the interna-

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The River Croe, Ardgartan, Argyll Forest Park. Photo: Keith Fergus/Scottish Viewpoint.

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THE CHEROKEE WORD FOR WATER

MAKING A SCENE

“An experience I will never forget” The Cherokee Word For Water is inspired by the true story of the Bell Waterline Project, a campaign to bring running water to a rural community in the 1980s, filmed on-site in Oklahoma. DEBBIE LINCOLN reports

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HE CHEROKEE Word For Water (2013) was voted the top American Indian film of the past 40 years in a survey conducted by the American Indian Film Institute in 2015, and continues to feature in special screenings. Shot in Cherokee County, directed by Tim Kelly and Charlie Soap, the film tells the story of how, under the direction of Wilma Mankiller — who was then the director of the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department — a community of volunteers built nearly 20 miles of waterline in eight months, bringing running water to the community in Bell for the first time. The tribe provided equipment and technological assistance, while Bell residents contributed most of the labour. The story gained national attention and Mankiller went on to become the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Publicist for the film, Melanie Sweeney, was

brought on board by producer Kristina Kiehl. “It was an experience I will never forget,” she says, adding: “Oklahoma has a robust and maturing film community. This film provided jobs and a mentoring programme to locals that had never worked in film before. By approa ching the community this way the production was met with open arms and inspired a lot of people to start learning a craft in entertainment. The Cherokee Word For Water also worked closely with the Chickasaw [Nation]who have a strong production programme and were very helpful.” Sweeney is currently working on Food Network show The Pioneer Woman in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, home of the Osage Nation. “We have many tribes in Oklahoma and I have worked with most of them over the years. In my mind, the key to filming going smoothly is communication and respect. Treat the land and the community with the same respect as you would walking into someone’s home for the first time. Oklahoma is a wonderful place to film. The people are welcoming and genuinely excited that you are there.”

Mo Brings Plenty as Charlie Soap and Kimberly Norris Guerrero as Wilma Mankiller, in The Cherokee Word For Water

The success of the Bell Waterline Project — an embodiment of the traditional concept of ‘gadugi’, or working together to solve a problem — sparked a movement of similar self-help projects across the Cherokee nation and in Indian country generally that still resonates. Mankiller says that before this project the community was demoralised and had a distrust of authority. “People thought life just happened to them. After the project people began to say ‘this is my family, my community and I’m responsible for it’,” she says. And 25 years later the community is thriving. The film was funded through The Wilma Mankiller Foundation. Any profits go back to the foundation to support economic development and education throughout Indian country.

BAUBLES, BANGLES AND BOOTS AT A screening in Washington DC attended by director Charlie Soap, actors Mo Brings Plenty (Charlie Soap) and Kimberly Norris Guerrero (Wilma Mankiller) among others, producer Kristina Kiehl and publicist Melanie Sweeney went ahead of the group to make sure everything was in order. “We waited and waited looking at the clock, and no one arrived. The screening time was getting close and we set out to look for everyone, only to find Charlie and Mo holding up the entire line at the metal detectors taking off all of their Native jewellery and cowboy boots. A line of dignitaries wound out of the door behind them.”

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Spanning 39 latitudes and yet no more than 175 kilometers wide, Chile is home to nearly every landscape found on the planet, from the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s driest desert to the glaciers and peaks of Patagonia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and everything in between. www.filmcommissionchile.org filmcommissionchile@cultura.gob.cl

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RAILROAD BRIDGE, WOOLRICH, PENNSYLVANIA, US This railroad bridge near the city of Lock Haven crosses the Susquehanna River. Lock Haven is the county seat of Clinton County and the area is well known for its lumber and paper-mill industries. The forested areas include white pine and hemlock as well as oak, ash, maple, poplar, cherry, beech and magnolia. The wood was used locally for houses, shingles, canal boats, and wooden bridges; and whole logs were floated to Chesapeake Bay and on to Baltimore to make spars for ships. The area has hosted film shoots, including Philadelphia (Jonathan Demme, 1993) and Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (Michael Bay, 2009).

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(Photo, courtesy John Hutchinson, LMGI)

SHOW CASE IN PICTURES

LOCATION HAS TEAMED UP WITH FILM AND TOURIST OFFICES, LOCATION SCOUTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS TO BRING YOU IMAGES OF STUNNING LOCATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. SOME ARE WELL USED BY FILM CREWS, OTHERS ARE STILL TO BE MADE FAMOUS ON THE BIG OR SMALL SCREEN

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FORT PIERRE NATIONAL GRASSLANDS, SOUTH DAKOTA, US The Fort Pierre National Grasslands in South Dakota, located right in the centre of the state, is a classic American, mainly short-grass, prairie location. The grassland is split by Highway 83, with two-thirds to the east and one third to the west, and is popular for outdoor pursuits including hunting and fishing. The prairie is just a few miles south of the state capital city of Pierre which stands on the Missouri river opposite Fort Pierre, which was established in 1832 as a trading post and fort. Close to this spot is the ranch which was a primary location for Dances With Wolves (Kevin Costner, 1990), which also shot in other areas of South Dakota including the Badlands and the Black Hills.

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(Photo courtesy of Rebecca Cruse, South Dakota Arts Council)

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CONGRESS BUILDING, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA Capitolio Nacional (National Capitol) in Colombia’s capital city Bogota is home to both houses of the national Congress. Located on Bolivar Square in central Bogota, the building was designed by Danish architect Thomas Reed. Construction began in 1876 and wasn’t fully completed until 1926. This photograph was shot in the early stages of scouting for Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (Christopher McQuarrie, 2015), when the production team was looking for ideas for chase sequences. The atmospheric city and surroundings of Bogota were used as locations for the ‘Dark Life’ commercial for Guinness in 2011. (Photo, courtesy Peter Gluck, LMGI)

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY Istanbul is a thriving modern city but with a rich history that is testament to the many cultures that have lived and do live here.. Previously known as Constantinople and Byzantium, the city strides the continents of Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus, a beautiful and busy strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The movement of people across continents and the positioning of the city has left many landmarks including Mediterranean, Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, bazaars, churches and mosques â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including the pictured SĂźleymaniye Mosque, the largest in the city. Many films have used the backdrop of this exciting city, including: From Russia With Love (Terence Young, 1963); Midnight Express (Alan Parker, 1978); The World Is Not Enough (Michael Apted, 1999); Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011); Taken 2 (Olivier Megaton, 2012); Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012); Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012); and Inferno (Ron Howard, 2016). (Photo, courtesy Barbara J Miller, LMGI)

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DEVIL’S WALL RIDGE, THALE, GERMANY Devil’s Wall Ridge is in the northern foothills of the Harz mountains, close to the town of Thale. The Harz Mountains is a relatively low range of rocky wilderness sites and peaks in the middle of Germany. This ridge extends about 20 kilometres, and in parts is protected as a nature reserve. The unique environment has given rise to many myths of witches and devils and it has been popular as a filming location, particularly for medieval scenes. Recent films using the area include: 1 1/2 Knights - In Search Of The Ravishing Princess Herzelinder (Til Schweiger, Torsten Künstler, 2008); Pope Joan (Soenke Wortmann, 2009); Black Death (Christopher Smith, 2010); The Physician (Philipp Stölzl, 2013); Bibi & Tina - Der Film (Detlev Buck, 2014); and Bibi & Tina: Mädchen Gegen Jungs (Detlev Buck, 2016). Also German TV series Pfarrer Braun (2003-) has filmed here. (Photo, courtesy dk-fotowelt/Fotolia.com)

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PAINTED STAIRCASE, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA This piece of street art – known as Koi Fish Stairs –has been shared around the world on social media; the artist is unknown. The picture was taken on a fam trip sponsored by the Seoul Film Commission. Many Korean TV dramas and films have used Seoul as a location. International shoots include: The Bourne Legacy (Tony Gilroy, 2012); Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Joss Whedon, 2015); and Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin, 2016). (Photo, courtesy Lori Balton, LMGI)

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DELTA WORKS, ZEELAND, THE NETHERLANDS In the southwestern area of The Netherlands around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta there are numerous construction projects that protect the land from the sea. The dams, sluices and storm-surge barriers aim to reduce the number of dikes needed further inland. Included are 65 concrete pillars, varying from 30- to 40-metres high, which form part of the defence along with 62 sliding panels. The pillar in the picture serves as an example of modern Dutch industrial design, and along with Zuiderzee Works, Delta Works has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. (Photo, courtesy Netherlands Film Commission)

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DOURO VALLEY, PORTUGAL The Douro Valley is one of the wildest, most mountainous and rugged wine regions in Portugal, cut through in deep twists and turns by the River Douro. Defying gravity on the steep slopes along the banks of the river and its tributaries, vines that produce world-renown port wine are planted in schistous soil. The Douro area is celebrated in the film Vale De AbrĂŁo (Abraham Valley), based on a novel by Agustina Bessa-LuĂ­s in 1993. The region also hosts the Douro Film Harvest Festival which welcomes national and international filmmakers and pays tribute to some of the greatest names of the movie industry (Photo, courtesy Ken Haber, LMGI)

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C2 CATTLE COMPANY, EAGLE POINT, OREGON, US C2 Cattle Company is a 10,000-acre ranch located 25 mins east of Medford, Oregon. This is a film-friendly location offering a variety of terrains and landscapes including two private lakes, year-round streams, rolling grasslands, mixed-oak woodlands and mountain forests. Also available are many private roads, farm structures and homes. An added asset is a herd of 1,000 cattle and more than 15 horses. A John Deere Gator commercial was shot here. (Photo, courtesy Denise V Collins, LMGI)

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TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK, CHILE This breathtaking location is 112 km north of the city of Puerto Natales. The Torres are in a group of rock formations that reach 3,050 metres above sea level and cover 400 square kilometres. The area also boasts valleys, rivers, lakes and glaciers belonging to the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. Recently declared the Eighth Wonder of the World and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, there is one of the highest concentrations of wildlife diversity in the country here. This location is also completely accessible by roads and paths. Recent shoots include: the BBC Natural History Unit for a series dedicated to Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia; commercials for the winter campaign for Australian outfitter Kathmandu; a spot for Volkswagen Passat; shoots for BBC TV series Top Gear; and a special film for Cadillac.

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(Photo, courtesy Felipe Cantillana)

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FUSHIMI INARI TAISHA SHRINE, KYOTO, JAPAN Fushimi Inari Taisha is a particularly well-known and photogenic site because the shrine grounds are home to thousands of red torii gates — called the Senbon Torii — which frame the trails behind its buildings. The trails follow a four-kilometre path up to Mount Inari and can take hours to explore in-depth. Fushimi Inari is the main shrine dedicated to Inari, the god of rice. More than 30,000 other shrines to this god are said to exist throughout Japan, but Fushimi Inari Taisha is by far the most famous. Inari is also the patron of business, so each of the wooden torii has been donated by a business, with the year and name carved into the gate. The Last Samurai (Edward Zwick, 2003) filmed in the nearby Nijo Castle, and Lost In Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003) filmed in Kyoto’s Heian Shrine. (Photo, courtesy Peter Gluck, LMGI)

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LAKE CONSTANCE/ BODENSEE, AUSTRIA This picture is taken from the Pfaender mountain in the state of Vorarlberg, in western Austria, down to Lake Constance (Bodensee in German) and the town of Bregenz. This view takes in what is known as the ‘four-country region’ of neighbouring countries that border the lake — Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Apart from the mountain the region includes orchards and vineyards; historical buildings from the Early Middle Ages to the opulent Baroque and modern architecture; rural landscapes; picturesque villages and busy towns; as well as castles and World Culture Heritage Sites. For cross-border film projects, the close proximity of the different countries makes it possible to mix film funding. Films to have featured this area include A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, 2011) and Quantum Of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008).

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(Photo, courtesy Bodensee Standort Marketing GmbH Photographer: Guiseppe DiDomenico)

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UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, US Standing on the eastern shore of New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manhattan Island, on the banks of the East River, the 18-acre United Nations Headquarters has become an iconic part of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skyline since its completion in 1952. The General Assembly Building is a sloping structure with concave sides topped with a shallow dome. In the Assembly Hall all 1,898 seats are equipped with earphones for translations into the six official languages -- Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The interpreters sit in glass-walled booths overlooking the Hall. Television and film cameramen, broadcasters and other information personnel, and official verbatim reporters occupy similar booths. Filming includes: the exterior in North By Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959); Live And Let Die (Guy Hamilton, 1973); and The French Minister (Bertrand Tavernier, 2013). And the building served as a main character in The Interpreter (Sydney Pollack, 2005). (Photo, courtesy John Hutchinson, LMGI)

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MUSLIM QUARTER, JERUSALEM, ISRAEL Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world — archeologists have found remains from 7,000 years ago — and in that time has been fought over many times but remains a vibrant city with a constant stream of visitors. The walled Old City, with its maze of narrow alleyways and historic buildings, is traditionally divided into four quarters: Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian. The Muslim quarter is in the northeastern sector. One of the most photogenic, it is also the most populous and largest at around 76 acres. Films shot in Jerusalem include: Exodus (Otto Preminger, 1960); Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993); documentaries Religulous (Larry Charles, 2008) and Patti Smith: Dream Of Life (Steven Sebring, 2008); and TV series Homeland (2011). (Photo, courtesy Photo, courtesy Barbara J Miller, LMGI)

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SPAIN

A place that has everything Spain has been among the most popular places to shoot in Europe for many years, thanks to its varied landscapes, good infrastructure, experienced crews and reliable weather. Add to that the tax breaks that some regions offer and the simple fact that the cost of living in Spain is lower than pretty well every other country in Western Europe... GARY SMITH reports

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SPAINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s variety of unspoilt landscapes ranges from Galiciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s verdant, misty, rolling and craggy north-west corner, which borders on the Atlantic and is home to some of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most dramatic coastline, to the gothic marvel that is Santiago de Compostela, through the hills and grasslands of Castile and Leon, the scorched, arid plains of La Mancha, the desert of Almeria and the mysterious and dramatic Andalucia. It is also the most sparsely populated country in Western Europe, its population of 47 million people being mainly concen-


The City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela

trated in and around Madrid and the coastal areas — leaving vast swathes of the interior untouched by anything except farming. All these assets are proving positive for the production industry here, as the country’s film commissions and its production services sector are pretty much unanimous in declaring that Spain is currently enjoying a very busy time. “The year 2015 was our busiest ever with a total of 42 shoots,” says Philip Bolus, CEO and executive producer at Barcelona-based Goodgate Productions. “Normally we’d expect to be involved in around 35 shoots in a good year, so clearly 2015 was exceptional. And it started off spectacularly with six car campaigns in January last year. Some of the work was in Madrid which is a tough place to shoot in during the winter. But despite snow and rain and very short days we got the jobs done.” Another thing that Spain has in abundance is top-flight footballers which means that brands like Nike, Adidas and Samsung visit the country regularly: ”From the point of view of access to names like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, there’s regular demand for them to appear in campaigns, but clients have to realise that they are not easy people to pin down, and they are likely to change their schedules at the last moment even when there is a crew of 120 people waiting for them,” Bolus says, adding: “Alongside the amazing footballing talent, this country also has some of the very best horse people in the world. We were filming a spot for BMW in Almeria with horses and the handlers were truly astonishing. It’s unsurprising that they are so in-demand for both commercials and feature films. Also the talent here is very flexible about buy-outs, much more so than in many countries, and it really is cost-effective to shoot here. We have offices in Chile and Argentina, so we’re often asked to provide costings for the same shoot in Spain and in South America, but it’s often Spain that gets the nod. We are also currently seeing US shoots coming back here now that the euro is weaker against the dollar.” Almeria, where Goodgate filmed with BMW, is currently one of the most requested shooting locations in Spain, partly due to fact that feature film Exodus was filmed there in 2013, as well as several episodes of Game Of Thrones. “We have three feature films and three TV series filming in Almeria right now,” says Piluca Querol of the Andalucia Film Commission. ”It’s also where Sergio Leone filmed the Spaghetti

Westerns and it’s an amazing region because it can be Egypt, Afghanistan. Pakistan, Australia, Barbados and even Texas. In the TV series Penny Dreadful [British-American horror drama television series created for Showtime and Sky] one of the characters wanted to go to Texas and it was all done right here. The famous scene with the dragons in the arena from series five of Game Of Thrones was also filmed here. They had such a good experience working here and were so impressed by the quality of the crew that they came back to shoot scenes set in the Kingdom of Dorne and

PILUCA QUEROL

“A lot of shoots that would have gone to North Africa are preferring to shoot here” the water gardens for a couple of episodes in series six.” As well as the stunning landscapes, Almeria and Andalucia also have a lot of sun. “Most shoots want sunlight and we have amazing, reliable weather down here. Plus we offer a tax rebate for films and TV series these days. And the other factor driving our current situation is that a lot of shoots that would have gone further south to North Africa, are preferring to shoot here,” Querol adds. “Andalucia is a very secure place generally, plus it is even cheaper than the north of the country and has excellent infrastructure. It has very good roads, lots of excellent hotels and all the other things you expect from the modern world — good hospitals, for example. The quality of the roads is a regular draw for car commercials; recently we’ve hosted Maserati and BMW shoots.” Tenerife is a versatile setting that can double for many different parts of the world including old Havana, tropical forests and cosmopolitan cities. “We get an average 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and Tenerife has a mild climate with an average 22ºC and low rainfall,” says Tenerife Film Commissioner Concha Diaz. “That means you can shoot exteriors 365 days a year. A lot of leading production

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A PLACE THAT HAS EVERYTHING

SHOT ON LA PALMA “THE RECENT Stephen Hawking campaign by Jaguar made spectacular use of the Gran Telescopio de Canarias and El Roque de Los Muchachos also on La Palma,” says María Jose Manso, co-ordinator of the recently formed La Palma Film Commission. “We’ve existed for little over a year, but thanks to some hard work we’re starting to see some results.”

Gran Telescopio de Canarias

companies have made the most of the spectacular scenery here, as well as its roads. Park Teide is a truly unique and enigmatic landscape and it can, alongside the charming colonial towns, help to create highly evocative scenes.” Over the last 18 months Tenerife has provided the backdrop for ad spots as varied as Muller’s Smooth Desert Pool Diver, the Audi A4 S-Line, the Audi A3 Cabrio, Air Europa, Sony Ericcson, First Choice and Thomson Holidays. Recent TV shoots include sci-fi series Dr. Who for the BBC and Italian reality series Calzedonia Water Girls for Sky in Italy; recent feature film shoots include Russian production Mafia (2016), directed by Sarik Andreasyan, and French production Evolution (2015), a horror film from director Lucile Hadzihalilovic. Sebastian Alvarez, executive producer at Volcano Films says: “We have mainly been involved in commercial shoots during the last year, for clients including Adolfo Domínguez, Iberia, Doritos, B the Travel Brand and Decathlon, to name just a few,” he says. “We have also produced the Canary Island-part of a shoot for the Puerto Rican feature film called Extra Terrestres ( 2016). But the biggest production we have undertaken is Ridley Scott´s Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014), in Fuerteventura. It was by far the biggest production for us and it is also the biggest production ever to come to the Canary Islands.” Producers choose the Canary Islands because of the comfortable, stable climate throughout the year, as well as the remarkable landscape contrasts and the legal guarantees of working within Europe. Teide National Park and Timanfaya National Park are two unique places. For the moment it is not possible to shoot at Timanfaya because of existing regulations. ‘’But,” Alvarez says, “hopefully

the law is about to change. And on top of that, we have two other national parks in the Canary Islands, Caldera de Taburiente on Santa Cruz and Garajonay on Gomera, both of which feature spectacular and vertiginous views, unique, other-wordly plants and amazing wildlife.” Neighbouring island Gran Canaria is known as ‘the mini continent’ for its wide variety of looks and landscapes, one of the reasons why 12 national and international feature films have been shot in Gran Canaria over the last three years. They include Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Rec 4 (2014), Palm Trees In The Snow (2015), Kundschafter Des Friedens (2015) and The Titan (2016) with Sam Worthington in the lead role. “Local production service companies work the whole year round on commercials for big international firms such as Lexus, Endesa, R & V Versicherung, Thomas Cook, Spies, Danone, Savia, Royal Beer, Bosch, Fuji Color, VW Touareg, Milka, Forevermark, Fanta and Porsche,” says Nuria Guinnot, film commissioner for Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria also benefits from one of Europe’s

NURIA GUINNOT

“Local production service companies work the whole year for big international firms”

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A PLACE THAT HAS EVERYTHING

Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Debicki on location in Mallorca for The Night Manager

A THRILLER OF A YEAR PRODUCTION services company Palma Pictures operates affiliate offices in Barcelona and The Canaries as well as from its base in Mallorca. One of the biggest jobs for the company recently

was to film parts of the AMC Global thriller series The Night Manager starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston on Mallorca. “They were initially looking at Turkey because the base of the warlord played by Laurie is supposed to be there,” Palma Pictures sales manager Matteo de Castello, says. “But

most competitive tax incentives in Europe, with a 35% tax rebate for non-Spanish productions, which applies across the Canaries. Back on the mainland, deep in the very heart of Castile and Leon, lies the regional capital Valladolid. Spain’s 13th-largest city is probably not high on lists of potential locations, being somewhat off the beaten track, but what the city offers is unique. “We have a bit of everything in miniature,” says Valladolid film commissioner Loreto Arenales. “Including castles, Roman and Gothic cathedrals, monuments and museums and lots of nature including Las Medulas — which doubles for Colorado — the Los Picos mountain range and the spectacular prairie known as the Sierra de Bredos. So there’s real variety. But perhaps our best feature is that parts of Valladolid look extremely similar to some parts of Madrid, while other streets and buildings double for Paris. So you can film scenes resembling both those huge cities significantly more cheaply and in a much calmer and easier to manage environment, with everything you need close by. Permits are quick and easy, any road can be closed, and we’ll even remove lamp posts and street furniture for period shoots.”

we found them an amazing converted 16th century fortress, which is now a luxury mansion. So they changed the script to include it and also filmed some scenes that were supposed to be in Cyprus here on Mallorca. We’ve also serviced the Love Island (reality series on ITV in the UK) shoot

and they appreciated it so much they’re coming back for the next series. And we were also involved in the MGM feature film Me Before You (Mia Sharrock, 2016) and a lot of commercials were shot on Mallorca in 2015. It was a good year and 2016 is a good one too.”

Executive producer Oscar Mena, of Culturatic, a local production services provider, says: ”We work mainly for Spanish producers, but we also work under a different brand name on international projects — Visual Ice. We recently finished a music video for [Spanish pop band] Los Secretos which we shot in a vineyard, plus we worked on a campaign for RENFE [the Spanish national railways] marking the company’s 75th anniversary. Right now we are working on a campaign for Absolut Vodka. In terms of the city’s most popular locations, there’s Plaza Mayor, the main square and some of the surrounding commercial streets which are similar to Madrid. If you want a Parisian look we have a number of buildings including Acera de Recoletos and Fachadas Decimonónicas, both of which are from the 19th century.” Further north, situated at the end of a route known all around the world, is Santiago de Compostela, the end point of a pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago that has been popular with both the pious and the plain adventurous for centuries. Santiago also features the striking but controversial City of Culture of Galacia, a modern complex of cultural buildings whose construction

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SAN SEBASTIAN, A whole world in one city. Its setting surrounded by the sea and mountains, its professionals, production incentives and variety of locations make San Sebastian one of the in-cities in Spain. Discover it! www.sansebastianfilmcommission.com DONOSTIA / SAN SEBASTIĂ N 2016 E U R O PA K I K U LT U R H I R I B U R UA C A P I TA L E U R O P E A D E L A C U LT U R A D S S 2 0 1 6 . E U 2016

#CallMamma

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A PLACE THAT HAS EVERYTHING

Timanfaya National Park

TAX BREAKS AND INCENTIVES

was cut short because of budget issues. Despite its global fame it is a small city of around 200,000 inhabitants and one that is dominated by the cathedral. Unsurprisingly, given the plethora of dramatic, gothic architecture, it is popular with documentary makers. “The documentaries have a direct impact on local tourism,” says Dimas Gonzalez, film commissioner at the Santiago de Compostela Film Commission. “For example a Japanese documentary aired in Japan in primetime recently and the number of Japanese visitors jumped dramatically over the following few months.” Despite tangible benefits to the town, if you want to film inside the cathedral you’d better be prepared for a long process and with no real guarantee of success. “The church authorities are not keen on interior shots, although to some degree that depends on the topic. But there is absolutely no problem in shooting the exteriors,” Gonzalez says. “The only recent exception in terms of drama has been The Way starring Martin Sheen [the 2010 film about a man who died on the pilgrimage, directed by Emilio Estevez], but they had a really tough time to get the permit and even had to speak to some national politicians. That said, intellectual and historical subjects stand a much better chance, of course.” Recent productions in Santiago include the feature film Sol y Luna, by popular South American director José-Enrique Pintor (2016). “It’s a Spanish/Dominican Republic co-production about migrants who leave the poverty of Galicia for a new life in South America,” Gonzalez says. “Alongside regular visits by historical documentary makers, we typically welcome two or three feature films per year, plus a regular stream of cooking shows and art documentaries.”

IN 2015, the Spanish government introduced 15% tax credits for international film shoots on Spanish soil, capped at €2.5m ($2.8m). The incentive applies to productions spending at least €1m. In the Canary Islands this rises to 35% and a €4.5m ($5.3m) ceiling for international shoots.

Some regions within Spain offer their own incentives. For example since 2009, in Valencia as long as a production has a local co-producer and shoots 33% of the film in the local area, producers can claim 16%-20% of local spend. Spain has some co-production treaties which can help control the cost of production, including with France, Germany, Austria, Russia and Canada.

Near neighbour the Bilbao Bizkaia Film Commission was formed in 2015 to bring together the strengths and attractions of the city and the province and to provide services for local and visiting productions. “So far we have worked with over 87 shoots, including 28 features, 14 shorts and 16 commercials. The feature film Guernica particularly stands out for its international impact and for what it represents,” says Xabier Ochandiano, councillor for economic development, commerce and employment for the City of Bilbao. Directed by Koldo Serra and starring James D’Arcy, Jack Davenport and Maria Valverde, it is produced by Spain’s Pecado Films, . “To date we’ve mainly collaborated on Spanish and European productions, but we’re open to proposals from everywhere. In the Basque Country we’re hospitable people, who share what we have with those who visit us. I invite anyone looking for unique locations in a destination with a difference to get to know Bilbao and Biscay. I guarantee that we’ll fulfil all your expectations,” Ochandiano says. “We offer tax incentives for audiovisual productions and every type of location imaginable. Bilbao is an international reference point for urban transformation, with the Guggenheim Museum a symbol of this. But there’s also an old quarter with great potential for audiovisual productions. Biscay is a unique European enclave with natural parks such as Urkiola and Gorbeia. San Juan de Gatelugatxe, a chapel on a rock, is connected to the shore by a bridge and a 231-step stairway.”

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IN PICTURES

IN PICTURES

EVER-POPULAR AMONG FILMMAKERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, MAINLAND SPAIN AND THE CANARY ISLANDS OFFER GOOD YEAR-ROUND CLIMATE AND A WIDE RANGE OF DRAMATIC AND CINEMATIC LOCATIONS

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THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, BILBAO. A magnificent example of groundbreaking 20th-century architecture, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and located in Bilbao, in Spain’s Basque Country. Of its 24,000 sq m, 11,000 are dedicated to exhibition space, the innovative design of the interiors providing a striking backdrop for the art on show there. It’s close to Bilbao Airport, which is connected to all major Euriopean airport hubs; the Bilbao Bizkaia Film Commission offers support to facilitate shooting in and around the building. Big movies to have shot here include Jupiter Ascending (Lana and Lilly Wachowski, 2014) and The World Is Not Enough (Michael Apted 1999). Mariah Carey’s ‘Sweetheart’ video (1998) shot here and the building is regularly used for commercials. (Photo: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao/Bilbao Bizkaia Film Commission)

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CALDERA DE TABURIENTE NATIONAL PARK, LA PALMA, CANARY ISLANDS La Palma, also known as San Miguel de La Palma, is the most north-westerly island of the Spanish Canary Islands. The total population is under 100,000; the capital city is Santa Cruz de La Palma, which has sister-city status with El Dorado Hills, California. The Caldera de Taburiente National Park — given National Park status in 1954 — was visited by German geologist Leopold von Buch in 1815 when he named the area Caldera, which means couldron or cooking pot in Spanish. The term has since been used geologically in Spanish-speaking countries to describe a bowlshaped rock formation. Part of the Dutch thriller Clean Hands (Tjebbo Penning, 2015) was shot in the area; La Palma is also a popular place to shoot car commercials.

IN PICTURES

(Photo, courtesy La Palma Film Commission)

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AUDITORIO DE TENERIFE. ADĂ N MARTĂ?N, SANTA CRUZ. DE TENERIFE,. CANARY ISLANDS. The Auditorio de Tenerife offers a variety of spaces, including its Main or Symphonic Hall and the Chamber Music Hall, both versatile and technically fully equipped for any kind of presentations. It also has an impressive 1,200 sq m open Main Hall, with a press room, shop and cafeteria. Level two of the building has two spacious terraces and two outdoor plazas, one of which has an impressive view of the ocean, just a few metres away. A spectacular structure created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it is filmfriendly, equipped to host any type of production and its management is quick to respond to requests from producers. Car commercials for BMW and Lexus have shot here, as well as stills shoots for Microsoft and fashion chain C&A. (Photo, courtesy Auditorio de Tenerife)

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SAN SEBASTIAN. This small and picturesque Spanish maritime city is located in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, just under 30 minutes by car from France. Internationally renowned for its gastronomy, it also offers a wide variety of locations and experienced crews — and so is one of the preferred cities for Spanish film producers. French production Mes Trésors (Pascal Bourdiaux, 2016), starring Jean Reno, was set here and it was also the location for Loreak (Flowers; Jose Mari Goenaga and Jon Garano, 2014), the Basque-language film submitted as Spain's entry for the 2015 Oscars.

IN PICTURES

(Photo, courtesy of Donostia – San Sebastián Turismo & Convention Bureau www.sansebastianturismo.com)

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VALLE GRAN REY, LA GOMERA Valle Gran Rey is a municipality in the western part of the island La Gomera, in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. This picture was taken from the top of a mountain in an area called El Verodal, which can be accessed from the village of Chipude. Valle Gran Reyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main attraction is the beaches, with their fine black sand and pure blue waters â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including Playa de las Vueltas, located near the port; Charco del Conde, a small natural bay where the young enjoy bathing; La Playa and La Puntilla, located in the west zone; and the Playa del Ingles, one of the most striking corners of the island, where the black sand, the water and the cliffs of La Merica combine to create a natural setting not found in any other part of the Canary Islands. As well as its beaches La Gomera has forest land, deep ravines and towns with colonial architecture. Part of Ron Howard's true-life survival tale In The Heart Of The Sea (2015) was shot here. (Photo by R S. Cabrera, courtesy Valle Gran Rey)

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THE MASPALOMAS SAND DUNES, GRAN CANARIA This spectacular stretch of 400 ha of dunes was designated a national park in 1994. You can only cross the dunes on foot or by camel and they provide a habitat for a number of rare plant species which share the arid environment with lizards and rabbits. At the western end of this nature reserve is El Oasis, the remains of a sea-water lagoon bordered with palm trees, a stop-off for many species of migratory birds from Europe on their route to Africa. It is the site of Faro de Maspalomas, a lighthouse built in 1886. The dunes offer wonderful light, and give the feeling of being in the middle of the desert but with infrastructure, including resorts and hotels, very close by. Films shot here include Corporation Earth (David Xarach, 2015); Wax: We Are The X (Lorenzo Corvino, 2015); and Wild Oats (Andy Tennant, 2016). (Photo, courtesy Gran Canaria Tourist Board â&#x20AC;&#x201C; www.grancanaria.com)

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FLORIDA

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F

LORIDA is a state with spectacular natural attractions. It’s vast coastline facing east to the Atlantic, west to the Gulf of Mexico and south to the Caribbean, includes some of the best-known beachfronts in the world; its interior includes Native American Nation lands, small towns, farmlands, swamps — including the famous Everglades — and other waterside features, tropical forests, national parks, modern cities and ranches. Yes, there are cowboys in Florida. On top of that there is a well-developed international tourist industry and consequently a broad infrastructure of transport links and hospitality, and a skilled media workforce that includes a vast Spanish-language production industry. And this is not forgetting the critical advantage of the weather. This wealth of resources makes the state a prime location for commercials, TV and film. A number of film commissions across the state help coordinate, facilitate and promote filming and despite economic difficulties across the continent and the everchanging patchwork of incentives in the US and internationally, Florida still has busy filming schedule. In common with other commissions The Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission (FTC) states its mission as "to generate a positive impact on business, tourism and the economy through the growth of the film, television and digital media industries by attracting on-location production, educating our workforce and providing superior service to visiting and indigenous production communities.” Michelle Hillery, deputy film commissioner adds: “This includes providing 24-hour client services, one-stop permitting and location scouting and supporting the growth of existing infrastructure through production facilities and film festivals and collecting and maintaining statistical and historical information.” Hillery is also president of Film Florida, a not-for–profit entertainment production association that provides a leadership role in Florida’s film, television and digital media industries. Hillery says that building what she calls “camera-ready relationships” streamlines the logistics for productions, which in turn encourages production companies to return. She adds: “The Palm Beaches are home to 12 studios and sound stages and nearly 100 production companies.” The Palm Beaches is an area that extends north from Juno Beach, south to Boca Raton and inland as far west as Lake Okeechobee. Education is an important element in advancing the local industry

Florida is a familiar backdrop for film, TV series and inumerable sun-soaked commercials. DEBBIE LINCOLN takes a tour of some of the best locations on offer in The Sunshine State and the Palm Beach FTC produces Florida’s largest student film festival and has presented over $1.5m in scholarships and awards since its onset. “Programmes like these are essential for student filmmakers to gain experience in the competitive nature of the industry," Hillery says. The Palm Beaches offer a wide variety of private and public spaces from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean, ranging from cultural venues to farmlands and pristine beaches. “We are home to 47 miles of golden beaches and the second largest lake in the continental US [Lake Okeechobee],” Hillery says. “We are fortunate to have a myriad options in our county that cheat for other areas. There is a wonderful two-storey Cape Cod home with a boathouse, built by the US Coast Guard in 1936 on a tiny island in the Intracoastal Waterway, known as Peanut Island. There is also a very interesting piece of history located on the island with JFK’s underground bomb shelter. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is a centre for Japanese arts and culture, honouring early settlers from Japan in what is now known as Boca Raton and Delray Beach. The Palm Beaches also offer a variety of Mediterranean architecture and much of ‘old Florida’, which has been lost across the state can still be found in the City of Delray Beach and Lake Worth.” This variety has helped growth in the entertainment production industry and Hillery says that in 2015 television reigned supreme in the state. TV series shot in the area have included Ballers (HBO), Graceland (USA Network), The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports), The

MICHELLE HILLERY

“We anticipate that 2016 will be another record-setting year for production” Vanilla Ice Project (DIY Network), Shark Week (Discovery), The Profit (CNBC), House Hunters (HGTV), True Life (MTV) and Brew Dogs (Esquire), among many others. Recent photo shoots include for Rolling Stone magazine, Chico’s, Lily Pulitzer and Ralph Lauren; and Nike, Gatorade, Sony Pictures, the US Open and Puma have all shot commercials here. “Indie features Shadow Fighter (2016) and The Big Frozen Gumshoe (2016) took advantage of free one-stop permitting locations,” Hillery says. “So far in 2016 we had feature film Baywatch filming in Boca Raton, TV series The Real Housewives Of New York in West Palm Beach and TLC’s I Am Jazz throughout the county. We have other notable films and TV series scouting the region and anticipate that 2016 will be another record-setting year for production.” Business has also been brisk further south according to Noelle Stevenson, vice-president at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Office of Film, Music & Entertainment, with an annual average of 700

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WELCOME TO FLORIDA

Ben Mendelsohn in the first season of Bloodline, showcasing the clear blue waters of the Keys

applications for permits. "We are in a fortunate position with locations because they are so diverse. That has been a big pull with productions," Stevenson says. "We even have mountains. People look at me twice when I say that. — but there’s one in Vista View Park, and you can hang-glide from there.” She adds: "Even our downtown skylines have mimicked Chicago or even New York.." The Fort Lauderdale/ Broward office's website features a film that showcases locations that can double many places in the world — with hardly a beach in sight. Stevenson reports that there is a healthy mixture of film, TV and commercials production in the area. Recent feature-film shoots include Baywatch which filmed on location and established production offices in Broward County. And earlier film, Rock Of Ages (2012), was a great example of using the area as another state. "The entire script took place in LA and our boardwalk at Hollywood Beach doubled for Venice Beach," Stevenson says. A powerful attraction is the one-stop shop for permits as well as the policy of not charging for any permit, for anything. " We keep in mind the bigger picture — for what productions bring here from tourism to media buzz," she says. Other assets include an experienced skill-base, production offices and sound stages. "We have warehouses that are connected to production offices that are pretty much turn-key," she adds. TV series The Glades [2010-] and Graceland [2013-15] both used a vast sound stage built in an industrial space in Pembroke Park, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

WE SPEAK SPANISH THE SPANISH-speaking community has a long history in Florida and since the mid1990s, South Florida has also become a hotbed for the Spanish-language television industry, one of the fastest growing media sectors. Various broadcasters, cable channels

and production companies with offices in Florida provide content aimed at Latin America and the growing US Hispanic population. Big players include Telemundo, Univision, Venevision International, HBO Latin America and America Teve. Sandy Lighterman, film and entertainment commissioner, Miami-Dade

HBO’s Ballers, filmed in Miami, stars former wrestler, now successful actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, as an ex-football player

Also long-running TV drama series are an important part of the mix. "We feel strongly about our TV series, they are high-impact. For example Latin -American series [telenovelas] have an average of 125 episodes, so that is a big production.," Stevenson says. Miami-Dade County also has experience doubling for other areas of the US, according to Sandy Lighterman, film and entertainment commissioner, Miami-Dade County Office of Film and Entertainment. “Our looks include downtowns in any major city including

County Office of Film and Entertainment, says: “Spanishlanguage television has a huge beneficial economic impact on Miami-Dade County, spending $75m on an annual basis through networks such as Telemundo and Univision. They employ hundreds of cast and crew and local vendors.” The growth of this sector

encouraged the NATPE television convention to move from Las Vegas to Miami in 2011 and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau estimates that it will generate a $4.7m economic impact on the city — the Fontainebleau resort that hosts the event sees over 5,000 room-nights booked for NATPE.

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A standing ovation for Bloodline.

Photo courtesy of The Moorings Village & Spa

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WELCOME TO FLORIDA FILM FLORIDA

New York and Chicago. Additionally we have beautiful beaches and landscapes that play for many island locales. We have over 1,000 locations in our database.” If a TV series is successful it can mean not only an extended shooting schedule, but the promise of possible subsequent series. HBO’s Ballers, filming in Miami, looks promising as a long-runner. It stars former wrestling star, now successful actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and follows an ex-football player struggling to keep his own life in order while mentoring football players in the exciting and often wild life of the NFL. Before filming HBO considered other locations. “We convinced HBO to shoot here the first year with locations packages as well as locating some office space for them. We feel blessed they have shot with us for two seasons.” And this has a direct effect on the balance sheet: “ $25m spent in the local economy,” Lighterman says. And related tourism follows too. Supporting the industry includes the promotion of local filmmakers that have their projects at film festivals. “Our office is very committed to assisting and educating our local student base and has created a production assistant sign-up that’s distributed to production companies when they ask for local assistants,” Lighterman says. Additionally, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, with the film office and in partnership with HBO, has a paid internship initiative for Ballers that sees seven local students acting as paid interns on the show, who are also given master classes by department heads in the fields of production, locations, camera, wardrobe, hair and make-up. Local Miami production company ACT Productions sees work coming in from Europe and Latin America, as well as other states. CEO Bruce Orosz has seen Miami downtown shoot for New York on two recent projects. His tips include southwestern Florida, a rural area that can double the Caribbean. "Period pieces are also possible, where you can pan 270º and not see any buildings," he says, adding that he feels that the unique Everglades area is under-used as a film location. How-

SANDY LIGHTERMAN

“Our looks include Downtowns in any major city including New York and Chicago”

FILM Florida is a not-for–profit entertainment production association that provides a leadership role in Florida’s film, television, and digital media industries, promoting the creation of jobs, economic development and tourism. Film Florida’s vision is to help create and maintain a sustainable, professional and productive entertainment production sector that is also important to the tourist industry. “Netflix series Bloodline, for example, inspired at least 30,000 overnight trips to the Florida Keys last year, the visitors spending more than $65m, according to a marketing study commissioned by Monroe

County,” Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission deputy film commissioner Michelle Hillery says. “The $30m production created more than 1,700 jobs,” The recent Baywatch shoot was estimated to have used more than 1,000 hotel rooms in Boca Raton. Film Florida meets quarterly to discuss issues and is closely connected with the Florida Office of Film and Entertainment, helping to craft the film incentives offered by the state. At press time the incentive package is under discussion, with Film Florida and the commissions building a lobbying campaign to extend what is on offer in order to lure more production to the state.

ever he adds a note of caution: "Business has been slower this year. It seems that whenever there are large projects [especially features] in town there are also more smaller ones, including commercials and corporate shoots. Lacking those larger projects seems to affect the volume of smaller ones as well. Many Miami production professionals have relocated to Georgia and Louisiana within the last two years, citing a lack of work locally." One of the most successful shop windows for Florida recently has been the Netflix series Bloodline which films in the Keys, which run 60 miles south of Miami from Key Largo to Key West — a necklace of dozens of islands spreading down into tropical waters, threaded together by highway US1. Created by the team behind the five seasons of legal drama series Damages, Todd A Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman — collectively known as KZK Productions — the intriguing family drama stars Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, Ben Mendelsohn, Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard. The second series went into production at the start of 2016. Initial filming for the first season took place over a seven-month period in 2015 in Islamorada and several other Keys locations, including The Moorings Village & Spa resort, an 18-acre property — once a coconut plantation — situated halfway between Miami and Key West. In front of the resort lies 1,100 feet of pristine white sand which, along with the main house, pier and nearby marinas, becomes the backdrop to the dark thriller. In Bloodline the location became a leading character. The pro-

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duction team said they wanted a setting that had “an iconic sensibility for the US, if not the world”. At first they looked for somewhere closer to their working bases that would double the look of the area, however as Todd Kessler says: “There is no place quite like the Keys and the colour of the water. We even looked to do some exterior shots in the Keys but mostly shoot in Georgia. But the water looks completely different. So it felt like, ‘Well we can't double it so let's just take off a big bite of ambition and set it down there’.” The location was not without its challenges and required a lot of local co-operation and tolerance. There’s one road — US Route 1 — from the mainland down through the Keys — for transporting production trucks, often through small neighbourhoods. There is also the issue of the extremely well-protected local ecology. Not only are reef and ocean areas protected — which made a scene in which a number of boats were set alight quite a complex operation — but so are the mangrove swamps, through which Kyle Chandler's character steers a boat and where he and his brother are seen walking through in the rain. Sarasota lies on the eastern coast of Florida, facing the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. “We offer some of the best examples of typical Florida locations — award-winning beaches with diverse looks including the snowy white, soft ‘sugar sand’ of Siesta Key; tropical flora and fauna including flamingos and swaying palm trees; as well as five barrier islands and uniquely beautiful sunsets in the tropical Gulf of Mexico including it’s famous flashof-green phenomenon [where at sunset or sunrise for a few

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seconds a green flash appears above the sun],” says Jeanne Corcoran, director, Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office. Cocoran, who also serves on the board of Film Florida, says her area also has many unexpected locations to offer: “We have an inland jungle, animal sanctuaries and historical sites including the Ringling Museum, the Ca' d'Zan Mansion, a 56-room Venetian Gothic palace and the Ringlings' old family home.” The Ringling family has a famous circus history and the area still boasts many working circus troupes. Corcoran also points to St Armand’s Circle, “the newest high-end mall in the United States”; numerous sports facilities; quaint small towns, for example Venice; and “horseback riding including real cowboys driving cattle”. Corcoran estimates that the film commission assists 300 or more projects a year, including film, TV and commercials and expects that this will be boosted when the new 40,000 square foot Ringling College studio, sound stages, production and post-production facility — under construction at press time — is completed. The commission also promotes the local talent base, including students at local universities and colleges. Recent shoots in the Tampa Bay area include short stays by crews from this year's The Infiltrator, starring Bryan Cranston, and Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. Aside from features there was HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunting, a Toyota car commercial, Beall’s commercials, a web series, a documentary about addiction, a reality show and several high-end fashion shoots.

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TAMPA This photo was taken from the historic Bayshore Boulevard, overlooking the skyline of the city of Tampa. Surrounded on three sides by water, Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. With its downtown port — one of the largest in the US — a film-friendly international airport and a wide range of looks, Tampa can provide locations for a number of shoots. The city has beaches, military installations, Cuban architecture, and agricultural areas within a 15-30 mile radius from both the downtown area and an international airport. Movies The Punisher (Jonathan Hensleigh, 2004), The Infiltrator (Brad Furman, 2016) and Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Tim Burton, 2016) all shot in Tampa. (Photo, courtesy Dr Bill Carson)

IN PICTURES

IN PICTURES

THE MANY AND VARIED LOCATIONS IN THE SUNSHINE STATE OF FLORIDA HAVE BEEN USED FOR FILM, TELEVISION, COMMERCIALS AND STILLS FOR MANY YEARS. PEOPLE SPEAK OF ITS SPECIAL LIGHT — AND LOCALS INSIST ITS MORE THAN JUST SUN AND SAND

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PENSACOLA This picture shows the Rex cinema in Downtown Pensacola. It was opened as a cinema in the Thirties and since then has had a series of resurrections and demises ranging from an alehouse to a concert hall. In the late Eighties the Rex closed its doors and was in danger of becoming an eyesore to the downtown community. At the end of 2012, Harvest Outreach acquired the Rex and made plans to restore it to a theatre once again. In March 2015, the Rex was re-opened and is now a venue for Harvest Church services and events, small-scale live theatre, movies, concerts, and other special events. Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County. It is surrounded by natural beauty and offers historic sites, a temperate climate and a warm welcome to film crews. Movies shot here include Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye (Elizabeth Watkins, 2012), World Traveler (Bart Freundlich, 2001) and Jaws 2 (Jeannot Szwarc, 1978); and TV series shot here include Prison Break (2005-06).

IN PICTURES

(Photo, courtesy Mark Indig, LMGI)

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JUPITER, WEST PALM BEACH. Harbourside Place is a new waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment centre in Jupiter, a town located in Palm Beach County. The property is new and is only now being discovered as a location for TV series, movies, commercials and photo shoots. It offers a coastal setting, rooftop views, waterfront, marina, dockside dining, undeveloped parkland to the north and public access to the luxurious waterfront community of Riverwalk. Palm Beach County stretches from Florida’s Atlantic coast into the state’s rural centre and includes the northern edge of Everglades National Park. Its coastline has numerous golf courses and sandy beaches. Of the area’s many mansions, industrialist Henry Flagler’s grand 1902 mansion, in the town of Palm Beach, is now a museum. Smokey And The Bandit II (Hal Needham, 1980) was filmed in Jupiter; the original Smokey And The Bandit (Hal Needham, 1977) was shot in Palm Beach. More recently Parker (Taylor Hackford, 2013), starring Jason Statham, was shot in Palm Beach. (Photo, courtesy Discover The Palm Beaches)

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Pierre Niney and Paula Beer in Frantz. Photo ©X Filme Creative Pool GmbH/Mandarin Production 2015/16/Jean Claude Moireau

Director François Ozon shot his latest film, Frantz, in the Harz region of Northern Germany. It’s beauty and unspoiled period architecture proved the perfect setting for this atmospheric post-WWI movie. ANDY FRY reports

In search of the past

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N 2015, acclaimed French film director François Ozon (Young & Beautiful, 2013), Swimming Pool, 2003) began shooting his 16th film, Frantz, in the beautiful Harz region of Northern Germany. Starring Pierre Niney and Paula Beer, the film is set in the aftermath of WW I and the story unravels after the encounter between a young German woman called Anna (Beer), who is grieving the death of her fiancé in France, and a mysterious French man called Adrien (Niney). Every day Anna goes to mourn at her fiancé's grave. One day, Adrien also comes to lay flowers on the grave and his presence soon sparks strong reactions from a community that still bears the scars of Germany’s recent defeat. The 2016 release is produced by Eric and Nicolas Altmayer of Mandarin Cinema, with Berlin-based X Filme Creative Pool on board as a co-producer. Films Distribution is handling international sales — except for France, which is being managed by Mars. Frantz has received around €160,000 in support from a FrancoGerman co-production alliance called the Minitraité. Explaining how the film came to

Harz, Konstanze Wendt at the MDM Film Commission Service in Saxony-Anhalt — one of the German states which houses the rugged, mountainous region — says: “The Harz region is increasingly popular for filming stories set in previous centuries.” Wendt says the appeal of Harz is down to a combination of striking geography and exquisite towns. “There is a special charm about the area. The Brocken, which is the highest peak north of the Alps, is situated in the Harz region. Although it is not as high as most Alpine peaks, its climate guarantees snow above the tree line from September to May almost every year. At the same time, there is a high concentration of enchanting half-timbered towns and marvelous cultural sites within a comparatively small area.” In addition to the look of the Harz region there is a magical feel to the place, Wendt says. “Ancient legends are closely linked to the region’s landscape and mystic places including Hexentanzplatz (Witches’ Dance Floor) and Teufelsmauer (Devil’s Wall Ridge).” For Frantz, Wendt says the production team was initially looking for a distinctive old German town with a well-preserved urban

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Saxony-Anhalt © LianeM/Fotolia.com

Tadashi Okochi © Pen Magazine, 2010, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau

NATURAL TREASURES

© ferkelraggae/Fotolia.com

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© Lutz Jänicke

CULTURAL HERITAGE

IT A LL . Spectacular Locations in the Heart of Germany

OUTSTANDING MONUMENTS

GET IN TOUCH!

© kotyrba verlag und medien/Sándor Kotyrba

Konstanze Wendt MDM Film Commission Service Saxony-Anhalt T: +49 (0)345 4780501 M: +49 (0)174 7190343 konstanze.wendt@mdm-online.de www.mdm-online.de

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MAKING A SCENE

The Town Hall, Wernigerode

structure and ancient buildings. It didn’t take them long to select the UNESCO Heritage Town of Quedlinburg, which has been used for filming over many decades: “As far as we know, the first shoot took place there in 1939,” she says. “So it quickly became apparent that Quedlinburg would be the ideal choice for German small-town exterior shots in Frantz.” “After François Ozon had mailed me his screenplay, we had a long talk about where it could be filmed,” location scout Marei Wenzel says. “The first part of the screenplay is set in a German town and has a glum and gloomy atmosphere. We came to feel that a still relatively intact medieval town with a secluded feel would be best suited to the plot. “We also talked — from the German and the French perspective, of course — about which characteristics we consider to be 'typisch deutsch', or typically German, and how they may manifest themselves.” Wenzel set out to find what she felt was a typically German town, “one with medieval foundations and perhaps some half-timbered houses...” and headed straight for the Harz region. “I knew it would be perfect in its variety

of different towns and landscapes and also that it could meet the visual criteria for a period film,” she says. “On a guided tour of the collegiate church in Quedlinburg, I Iearned that the UNESCO-listed Old Town is often regarded as the cradle of German culture — the first German kings are buried there. Also, once I left the main tourist area of Quedlinburg, I found some very interesting neighbourhoods with a small-town-feel and a nice mixture of half-timbered and concrete stone façades. The streets were narrow and felt really isolated, yet

MAREI WENZEL

“When I showed my photographs to François Ozon, his immediate reaction was: ‘That’s our town!’”

had a certain beauty — which was perfect." She adds: "When I showed my photographs to François Ozon, his immediate reaction was: ‘That’s our town!’.” Within Quedlinburg, key areas used included the colourful and compact Marktplatz (marketplace or market square), a popular haunt with tourists. Filming also took place at Neustädter Kirchhof and Marktkirchhof. The beauty of working in a UNESCO town like Quedlinburg, is that its historic buildings are in such good condition: “It’s always a challenge working on historical dramas, so well-preserved old towns and buildings are in high demand,” Wendt says. “That really is one of the most characteristic features of the Harz region. The buildings date from the 15th to the 19th century and because of conservation, there have been only a few major changes in these towns. So, in the case of Frantz, the approach was to find a small-town structure that could readily be transformed into an early 20th-century German town.” By contrast, “It took much more time to find a suitable place for the main shooting location, a big old bourgeois flat,” Wendt says. “In the end, Marei Wenzel suggested a vacant old

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Image credits from top to bottom, left to right: © Düsseldorf Marketing GmbH; © filmlocationMV; © opm Fotografie Christina Stihler & Oliver Michel; © Sylt Marketing GmbH / Dominik Träuber; © BBFC / Foto: David Marschalsky; © MDM/Sven Claus; © Film Commission Hessen; © opm Fotografie Christina Stihler & Oliver Michel; © Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte / Gerhard Kassner; © Film Commission Bayern; © Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost/BTZ; © Jan Meier; © MDM/Bertram Bölkow; © BBFC / Foto: David Marschalsky; © MDM/Sven Claus; FFHSH / M.O. Schulz.

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MAKING A SCENE

MDM Film Commission's Konstanze Wendt: “There is a magical feel to the Harz area”

property in the heart of Wenigerode, which could be used for filming over a long period, without disturbing any tenants. So exterior shots for the German town were filmed in Quedlinburg, and interior shots of the flat were filmed in Liebfrauenkirchhof in Wernigerode, a one-way street around Liebfrauenkirche church.” Filming on Frantz took place in late summer and autumn 2015. “There were no major problems with weather conditions,” Wendt says. “At this time of the year we have relatively constant weather conditions and it tends to be quite warm, even into the autumn.” It’s not just the beauty of the Harz region and its benevolent climate that attracts filmmakers but also the co-operative nature of the population and local authorities. “When production companies choose to film in old, charming towns like Quedlinburg or Wernigerode, working there across various locations, it is not an easy task,” Wendt says. “Because of urban heritage conservation, narrow streets, lots of one-way streets, ongoing construction works and tourists, even a simple road closure may be a major disruption. But all towns in the region are very co-operative and some have quite a long experience with filming. Production teams are welcome and as far as practicable, administrators try to make considerate decisions for all parties involved.

Besides, most of the local people like to have film productions in their town, even if it is an inconvenience for a period of time.” Proof of the region’s film-friendly character is that Frantz is not the only high-profile production to have visited the region in recent years. Other projects to have been bewitched by the beauty of the Harz region include PBS US’ Martin Luther (2002), the Philipp Stozldirected movie Young Goethe In Love (2010) and most famously the WW2 drama The Monuments Men (2014) starring George Clooney and Matt Damon. For the latter film, production designer Jim Bissell doubled the interior of the Cathedral of St Stephen and St Sixtus in Halberstadt, the capital of the Harz region, for St Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. And he transformed ancient caves in the Harz mountains into the mines where the Nazis hide hordes of stolen art treasures, using them alongside some of the original mines. Commenting at the time, Bissell said: “We found some great old period mines. Some of them were derelict; others were abandoned but picturesque enough that we could fix them up and make them work for us.” At the time of writing, Frantz was still in post-production. Ozon’s involvement stimulated a lot of attention even before the film was completed — and there has been keen interest in Niney, who won a Cesar award for his

performance in Yves Saint Laurent (2014). The official release was scheduled for some time in 2016. “The Harz — which is the German word for resin — is very supportive of the film industry and also generally a welcoming region,” Wenzel says. “Even in difficult situations, for example when we had to cancel trains for a whole day so as to be able to shoot on the tracks, we found supporters who helped us win over the local rail operator.” She adds: “If the Harz region manages to raise its public profile, taking film productions there will become easier. At the moment, every town has its own tourism manager or media spokesperson but no one who really knows, or can speak for, the region as a whole. However, I heard that the film commission is now getting the ball rolling...”

FILMING IN SAXONY THE MDM Film Commission team supports film productions in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Its free service provides a location guide, production guide and production records. As well as the attractive film and television incentives available at a national level in Germany, MDM awards funding to promising film and media projects realised in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Funding schemes are available for all phases, from idea development through to production and distribution.

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AUSTRALIA

Taking on the big guys

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Blockbusters Alien: Covenant and Thor: Ragnarok are both filming in Australia in 2016. And the previous year was the best year for the Australian film industry for some 14 years. SANDY GEORGE reports on why the country is the go-to place for so many international productions

EGENDARY director Ridley Scott has, for the first time, based a film in Australia. But not just any film: it's the much-anticipated Alien: Covenant, sequel to 2012’s Prometheus and the second installment in the Alien (1979) prequel series. “Not many facilities can cope with a film like this: the UK, Hungary, Italy, Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto [have the capacity],” says producer Mark Huffman. “Atlanta has very aggressive tax credits but anywhere in the US is expensive. It was between Toronto and Montreal, although we had a look at Rome and had just done The Martian [2015] in Budapest. “Then there was Sydney. We scouted Australia 18 months earlier, but, due to actor availability, we did The Martian instead. We met a lot of technicians and felt comfortable we could do a high-quality film here. You have great studio facilities, good crews, good technicians; after that, it all comes down to pounds, shillings and pence, or dollars and cents … and there was an enhanced tax credit.” The number of Australians awarded when Mad Max: Fury Road won six Oscars in February 2016 — for editing, make-up and hairstyling, costume, production design, sound and sound editing — supports Huffman’s praise of Australian personnel. The weather lightened Huffman’s decision: “Sydney in winter is like summer in Montreal.”

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Australians featured heavily in Mad Max: Fury Road's Oscars haul

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FOX STUDIOS AUSTRALIA FILM STAGES I TV STUDIOS I POST PRODUCTION I SOUND THE LARGEST INTEGRATED FACILITY IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE IN THE CENTRE OF SYDNEY

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8 sound stages from 8,000 sqft to 40,000 sqft 2 mega stages of approx. 40,000 sqft each Over 150,000 sqft of production support facilities Backlots for exterior filming and nearby supplementary 75 acre backlot Full industry eco system hub – lighting, camera, grip, 3-D printing, VFX, sound, scoring, pyrotechnics, aerial cinematography rigs Water facilities – interior tank and external large scale tank 10 min nearby Stunning and diverse locations – urban, tropical, jungle, metro, remote/desert Production services – incentives, government liaison, legal and financial services

CONTACT: Lynda Carruthers Head of Production Services P +61 2 9383 4035 E lynda.carruthers@foxaus.com W www.foxstudiosaustralia.com

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Filming on Alien: Covenant began on April 1, 2016, with nearly two weeks on location in New Zealand (NZ) — “the locations were not quite as dramatic in Australia” — and ran for 12 more weeks at Fox Studios Australia. Huffman felt some trepidation because it was his first time working in the territory, and Scott’s too, but 20th Century Fox has considerable Australian experience and gave its blessing. “Post-production was in the UK — it often comes down to where the director lives — but a big chunk of the visual effects [VFX] happened in Australia. We used Fuel on Prometheus and those guys are now at Animal Logic … We set up cutting rooms at Spectrum Films. Our cutting room staff has been with us for the last four films and includes a large Australian contingent who have been able to work from home for the first time for a long time.” Animal Logic and Spectrum are two of 70 businesses based at Fox. Huffman expected employment on Alien: Covenant to peak at 800 and imports unlikely to exceed 50. Director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok also recently opted for Australia and is the first to have used Village Roadshow Studios’ new “super stage”. “Marvel is part of the Disney family and Disney’s experience on Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) would have fed into the decision,” says state film agency Screen Queensland’s chief executive Tracey Vieira. “The new Stage 9 is enormous — 40,000 square feet — bigger than anything in the southern hemisphere.” US films have an important role maintaining Australian infrastructure. Stages 7 and 8 were constructed for The Fountain — although it went elsewhere — and one of the three tanks was courtesy of Fool’s Gold (2008). In contrast, Stage 9 was being built for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, specifically for boxing, says long-time studio president Lynne Benzie. Then it was hurried along for Thor. Village Roadshow, a 20-minute drive inland from Queensland’s Gold Coast, is good at servicing movies with a big water component. Water was a factor on Pirates and recently on the Legendary/ Warner Bros. action/adventure Kong: Skull Island (2017), which also utilised Hawaii and Vietnam, and Sony’s thriller The Shallows (2016).

TRACEY VIERA

“Skull Island loved the locations behind the studios so much that they wrote them into the script” “Blake Lively played a surfer stranded with a shark between her and the sand in The Shallows,” says Vieira. “She was in the tank for 12 hours a day so probably looking pretty wrinkly by the time she went back to the US! “Skull Island loved the locations behind the studios so much that they wrote them into the script. Mt Tamborine has dense tropical jungle and tree trunks the size of cars.” Australia has incredible diversity but it was one particular location that attracted Hacksaw Ridge (2016) and US independent producer Bill Mechanic, who has made three films in two years in the country. “The experience has been phenomenal,” says Mechanic, former CEO and chair of Fox Filmed Entertainment. “There were no loca-

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tion hassles, we’ve made a world-class movie with a production team and a cast that was almost completely Australian.” Hacksaw Ridge is a World War II drama, set during the Battle of Okinawa and based on the real Desmond Doss, the first US conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Japanese island of Okinawa is remote, expensive and was extensively rebuilt due to heavy bombing during the war — so unsuitable. “Very early on we determined the three most likely places to find an escarpment to match Okinawa that were practical were Australia, NZ and Hawaii,” Mechanic says. He eventually focused in on a location 200km south-west of Sydney near Goulburn, population 22,000. But talent and cost were initially considered too high. “Having shot The Moon And The Sun (2016) and 2:22 (2016) in Australia… I was familiar with the talent and incentives. More than any other location, I felt I could recruit a high-end production team and actors in Australia. Once [director] Mel Gibson came on board, we also felt the subsidies potentially available outweighed NZ — Hawaii was just too expensive on all levels. We were helped by a rise in the US dollar … the subsidies and exchange value combined allowed us to make a much bigger film than our independently financed budget would have otherwise allowed.” Hacksaw Ridge, distributed in the US by Summit, used Fox Studios and wrapped in early 2016. Australia also hosted nearly all the post, plus all the VFX. A recent international production at Australia’s third east-coast studio, Docklands Film & TV Studios in Melbourne, is the 13-part series Hunters (2016-), for NBCUniversal’s SyFy Channel. But at press time the studios were awaiting further such titles. “We have quite a few pencil bookings and are not overly concerned,” says chief executive Rod Allan. “It’s cyclical. We will get one sooner or later. Decisions are project-specific and it’s always about having the right package of talent, locations, studio facilities, post-production and so forth. If you need a city that looks European, Melbourne is very good for that.” Australia has a long history of servicing big US films, from the Matrix trilogy (1999-2003) to Star Wars: Episode II and III (2002,2005), from Superman Returns (2006) to Where The Wild Things Are (2009) and The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (2010). Television not so much. The work disappeared when the Australian dollar hit parity with the US dollar in 2010. And while the exchange rate is no longer problematic, something else is. Vieira again: “We can make movies on a very a big scale and the easy sells for us are our world-class facilities. The hire companies, VFX houses, the sound stages are as good as anywhere in the world. No question. The skills and 20-plus years of experience of our crews are also well known." The challenge is economic. "The


TAKING ON THE BIG GUYS

Nest (2016), the most expensive Chinese/Australian film to date

federal incentive (location offset) of 16.5% (on qualifying Australian production expenditure, termed QAPE) is not good enough, although there has been a series of one-off uplifts.” In other words, Australia’s financial incentives have not kept pace with competitors’ and the Government is addressing this by giving out additional cash. The problem is that judgments are made case-by-case without clearly stated rules, creating uncertainty. US studios and producers wanting to save tens of millions of dollars — and injecting millions into national economies as a result — are not fond of uncertainty. “Australia’s incentive might be 16.5% or 30%; you don’t know,” Huffman says. “You have to have a minimum of 25% to be competitive in the world market. Studios and networks ask ‘Where’s reliable?’ The UK is. Hungary is. Vancouver is. They know what they’re going to get from the day they go in. You’re not reliable.” The top-up has been 13.5%, raising the incentive to 30%, says

Debra Richards, chief executive of Ausfilm, the organisation that markets Australia filmmaking prowess. And no big-budget films that have predominantly utilised Australia have come without the top-up in the last five years. Recipients include San Andreas (2015), The Moon And The Sun, Unbroken (2014), Pirates and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). The delayed 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (2017) also secured this finance. “Most US tentpoles go elsewhere … and Australia still wants to be one of the five or six most desirable locations in the world,” Richards says, “but it’s very hard for Ausfilm to promote that you may get the incentive.” She also admits that, with Thor and Alien: Covenant due to get A$47.25m extra between them on completion, the pot is currently empty. But perhaps the government will succumb to Ausfilm’s energetic lobbying and push the location offset up to 30%. A 30% PDV (post, digital and VFX) rebate already exists and

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AUSTRALIA

TAKING ON THE BIG GUYS

Pierce Brosnan as King Louis XIV in 2016's The Moon And The Sun

greatly helps several world-class companies to lock in contracts, including Iloura (Ted, 2012), Luma (The Age Of Adaline, 2015), Rising Sun Pictures (the X-Men and Hunger Games franchises) and Animal Logic VFX (Allegiant, 2016; Captain America: Civil War, 2016). It also assisted Animal Logic’s animation division securing The Lego Movie (2014), which led to The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie (both 2017) produced in Sydney — and The Lego Movie Sequel in the new Vancouver office. But the third and most generous incentive — at 40% of QAPE — is for Australian directors making films that pass a “significant Australian content” test, which takes into account a range of factors from cultural value, to the nationality of the key creators and place of origin. The biggest payouts are for those who secure significant US studio finance: think Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (2013) and George Miller’s Fury Road (2015) and possibly Alex Proyas’ Gods Of Egypt (2016). Fury Road was filmed in Namibia after rain made local desert locations unsuitable, but the PO was still applied to QAPE. Ausfilm, state film agencies and Screen Australia, which administers the Producer Offset (PO) and directly funds Australian drama and co-productions, would love more producers to tap into US partnerships and finance — and also into the UK and China.

Official co-productions with anyone, including these two countries, automatically qualify for the PO. In early 2016 filming wrapped at Village Roadshow Studios on the most expensive Chinese/Australian film yet, the action/ adventure Nest, starring Li Bingbing. The director is Kimble Rendall and Arclight is handling sales, the same pairing that saw Bait 3D (2012) become the highest grossing Australian film in China ever. On the other side of the country Pauline Chan now has a Chinese permit, Australian provisional certificate, cast and the budget for her Mandarin-language comedy My Extraordinary Wedding. “To maximise the PO we have scheduled the film so that the majority is filmed here,” says Deidre Kitcher, Chan’s partner in Opal Films. “The QAPE claim will include the fees of the Chinese actors for the time they spend in Australia. China Film Assist heads our Chinese investors.” Fury Road, The Dressmaker (2015), Oddball (2015), The Water Diviner (2014), Paper Planes (2014) and Last Cab to Darwin made 2015 the best year for Australian films in 14 years. But those without Hollywood-sized budgets struggle commercially on the world stage. It would be good for Australia and visiting filmmakers if that was not the case.

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MAKING A SCENE

Filmed on location in Atlanta, Georgia, 2015’s futuristic action-adventure The Divergent Series: Insurgent is directed by Robert Schwentke and based on the novel Insurgent by Veronica Roth. JULIAN NEWBY learned how the story’s setting — a dystopian Chicago — was recreated in Atlanta for the movie

Fantasy comes to life in Atlanta

A

FTER being exposed as Divergents — people who don’t fit neatly into one of the five social classifications or “factions” — Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) find themselves on the run from Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the power-hungry leader of the Erudite faction. As the treacherous Dauntless troops under Jeanine’s command prowl the ruins of dystopian Chicago rounding up Divergents, Tris and Four search the city hoping to find allies among the Amity, Candor, Abnegation and Dauntless factions — as well as the rebellious and impoverished mass of Factionless. Full of guilt over the violent deaths of her family and friends, Tris tries to uncover the secret her parents sacrificed their lives to protect — the secret that explains why Jeanine will stop at nothing to capture her. Desperate to avoid hurting any more of her loved ones, Tris faces

GREG CALLAS

“My crew drilled 10,000 holes in the walls for the tubes and each of the drill angles had to be perfect”

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her darkest fears in a series of near-impossible challenges as she seeks to unlock the truth about the past, and ultimately the future, of their world. The bestselling novel, Insurgent, was written by author Veronica Roth, whose first novel, Divergent, topped The New York Times Best Sellers list after it was published in 2011. Roth wrote the book while an undergraduate at Northwestern University. She followed it with Insurgent, which also topped The New York Times chart. In 2013 she released Allegiant, the final book in the series, which sold 455,000 copies on its first day to break a company record for HarperCollins. Pre-orders for Allegiant exceeded those of any book in the history of HarperCollins. Insurgent is from Summit Entertainment — a subsidiary of Lionsgate — directed by Robert Schwentke and produced by Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher through their Red Wagon Entertainment company, with Pouya Shahbazian. Executive producers are Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman, through Mandeville Films, along with Barry Waldman and Neil Burger. The five factions of the future society are Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity and Candor. Set in a future walled-in Chicago, the production was actually based in film-friendly Atlanta. “One of the challenges was finding very distinct looks as we go from faction to faction,” Lieberman says. “We start in lush Amity, which is outside and beautiful; we go to the eclectic Factionless, which is mostly interior, featuring metal and concrete; and then we go to black-and-white Candor, which has clean lines and reflective surfaces.”

“The Divergent Series: Insurgent is really five films in one,” says production designer Alec Hammond. “You have to shift gears completely for the look of each faction, as they all have different rules.” Three full-sized, 360º environments were created for Amity, Factionless and Erudite, along with a number of smaller-scale sets. And the production designers had to work closely with the costume department as each of the areas has their own look and colour scheme to which the costumes had to be sympathetic.

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INSURGENT

Shailene Woodley as Tris, Theo James as Four and Ansel Elgort as Caleb on the run in Insurgent

“Chicago was not fully explored in the first film. We primarily saw only the Abnegation village and Dauntless Pit, as well as little bits and pieces of Erudite,” Hammond says. “During production of the first movie, the third book had not yet been written. We had a great advantage in designing this film knowing the full breadth of the novels. We were able to give each portion its own visual character, from the architecture to the clothes to the props.” Costume designer Louise Mingenbach oversaw a vast costume department. “Establish-

ing each of these worlds, we had to dress upwards of 400 extras to create the feeling of each of these factions. That meant we needed about 700 costumes multiplied by five,” Mingenbach says. “I enjoyed the challenge of working in each faction’s restricted colour scheme, which was something I’d never done.” The film starts in a bright, sunny setting. “Much of the action in Divergent took place in darker places, like the Dauntless Pit,” producer Douglas Wick says. “We were so happy that Veronica started the book in the bright, rustic

Amity, so we could open the film with sunshine and beauty in the middle of Tris’ nightmare. That contrast was great. Part of the way to build on the original film was to show lighter parts of the world.” Octavia Spencer, whose character Johanna is the leader of Amity who grants the heroes refuge inside the faction’s peaceful farm, says: “The scope of Amity is epic — one of my favourite sets that I’ve ever been on, with a massive green meadow and beautiful farmlands. We have this gorgeous geo-dome, built around a majestic

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MAKING A SCENE

tree. Amity is very different from what you see in the other factions. Our colours are bright, earthy, golds and reds for very sunny people. I love that; it’s breathtaking.” The production had six weeks, with a few breaks for rain, to create the 13-acre Amity set at Serenebe Farms, in the Chattahoochee Hills, southwest of Atlanta. Over 200 craftspeople worked seven-days-a-week on three major structures: the signature Amity Dome with the tree centrepiece, a crumbling concrete freeway overpass, and stables, while other crew members planted vegetables, flowers and grass and covered parking areas and pavements with tons of organic material. “The idea was to be able to film 360º around, run all over the place, drive trucks through our set,” says art director Alan Hook. “We had drones out there filming and huge scoping cranes. The dome was a huge wood and glass structure: 65-feet tall and 100-feet around. We needed all of this at the top of the shooting schedule, so pulling it all off in time was probably the biggest nail-biter on the show. We worked on the dome right up until the morning that it was shot. “Robert [Schwentke] was very clear early on that the first set needed to have a wow factor,” Hook adds. “The audience needed to come over that rise, look out under the broken-down expressway, over the field and see the dome.

Our heroes have just run through the woods and the first thing they see needs to be a big visual statement. I’m proud of the dome and the team that created it.” “The key to the Amity set design is the crumbling concrete overpass in view of the dome and the barn. You have to see that Amity is an artificial society superimposed on what was there before,” Hammond says. “In our research phase Robert found a photo of two girls on a swing underneath an overpass. We used that image early in the film because it created the right juxtaposition — a sense of Eden where you never forget that this is a ruined world.” The four-storey-high Factionless set filled an entire warehouse space and continued outside into the parking lot. “Factionless is another showcase of Alec Hammond’s incredible production design. It’s colourful, it’s full of life, it’s a little steampunk, it’s got a retro feel and it’s teeming with life. It’s just a beautiful set,” Lieberman says. Hammond adds: “Factionless is the one place in Divergent Chicago where we see art, graffiti, murals and individual expressions of colour in their living spaces and their clothes." The Divergent set also features a full-sized scrap-wood house dropped in the middle of all the concrete features, home to Factionless leader Evelyn. “The world has been meticu-

Kate Winslet (left) as Jeanine and Ansel Elgort as Caleb in the Erudite lab

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lously mapped out — each character has such specificity to the props and set dressing in their environment,” Lieberman says. Naomi Watts, who plays Evelyn, was so impressed she wanted to take the set home with her. “The Factionless set was incredible, especially the way they have built something out of nothing, recycling old junk,” Watts says. “I brought my boys to set once and they still

SHOOTING IN CHICAGO IT SAYS in the book Insurgent that Candor Headquarters is located within the landmark Chicago Merchandise Mart. To create Candor in Atlanta, the production used the rooftop patio of Atlanta’s AmericasMart for the attack, and a spacious, glassed portion of the interior of the top floor as the office of one of the film's characters. Supervising location manager was Janice Polley, a member of the Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) known for her work on Heat (1995), Collateral (2004) and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). “The actual Merchandise Mart in Chicago is about the size of a New York City block, and it’s right next to the Chicago River,” Polleysays. “There’s absolutelyno comparison in sizeto any building in Atlanta. Using the AmericasMart buildings was challenging because in the attack sequence, stuntmen were zip-lining from another 26th-floor rooftop overto our 22nd-floor rooftop over Peachtree Street. For safety we had to get permission to shut down the biggest street running through downtown Atlanta.” And while Atlanta’s Screen Gems Stuios and surrounding locations were used to mock up the Chicago of the future, there was a point in the movie at which nowhere else but Chicago would do. When Tris decides to save her allies by turning herself into Jeanine, the movie required a scene where Tris walks from Factionless to Erudite. To film this journey, the production team arranged a brief shoot in Chicago, which involved opening all the bridges over the Chicago River simultaneously. “Tris is journeying across the city to give herself up to Jeanine and we realised this is a moment where we could really show off Chicago,” says art director Alan Hook. “One of the defining elements in the city is the river with its bridges. In the film, Lake Michigan has dried up and so has the river; so we have Tris walk right down the middle of the Chicago River.” To accomplish this, the filmmakers worked with the Coast Guard to hold boat traffic and the Department of Transportation to co-ordinate all of the bridges. “The Chicago River is in the middle of the city,” Polley says. “It intersects Michigan Avenue and is the busiest and most tourist-filled area, so we couldn’t have done it without tremendous co-operation from the city.” The Location Managers Guild International is an organisation ofexperienced careerprofessionals inthe motion picture, television, commercial and print production industries. Location managers and scouts are vital members of the design team for film, television, commercials, music videos and print advertising. The LMGI’s primary job is to find the settings that best represent the visual concept of the producer, director and production designer, through research, scouting and photography.

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INSURGENT

GEORGIA PRODUCTION INCENTIVES

Naomi Watts as the Factionless leader Evelyn in dystopian Chicago

talk about it to this day. I loved working there. I would have brought some pieces home with me if I could.” The third large build of the production was the Erudite headquarters, constructed in Stage 10 at Screen Gems Studios in Atlanta — with exterior scenes filmed at the futuristic High Museum of Art in Peachtree Street, Atlanta. The lab was the most complicated set to build, according to construction co-ordinator Greg Callas, in part because it has no straight lines. “The walls and ceiling are all curved and whenever you come to a corner, there are often compound angles,” Callas says. “My crew drilled 10,000 holes in the walls for the tubes and each of the drill angles had to be perfect.” “Erudite’s main lab can almost be described as a fishbowl but in fact it’s a giant 10,000-square-foot set with bulletproof glass and 16 projectors creating a lighting environment,” Waldman says. “As an audience member,

you want to buckle in and get ready to enjoy really cool stuff that you haven’t seen before.” The key prop in Jeanine’s lab was invented as a storytelling device, creating the film’s cliffhanger — a box containing a message from the city’s founders which can only be opened after Tris has successfully completed a series of simulations, or SIMs. “The box was actually one of the trickier design elements,” Hammond says. “Tris’ ultimate goal is to open the box, and she’ll stop at nothing to figure out what’s inside.” “We filled the main lab with almost 10,000 high-tech glass tubes that shift in colour and intensity,” Hammond adds. “A series of projectors light up the back of the tubes to show perspective changes. We were able to undulate the surface and actually show an evolution as Tris was completing the SIMs. The room changed with Tris’ emotions inside the SIM. For example, if she was in distress the

GEORGIA production incentives provide up to 30% of production expenditures in transferable tax credits. To be eligible for the 20% transferable tax credit, the Georgia Department Of Economic Development must certify the production. For live-action film, television, commercial and music-video projects, certification will be through the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. Applications should be submitted with a current shooting script, music-video lyrics sheet and story synopsis. Certification may be applied for within 90 days of the start of principal photography. In most instances, projects will be reviewed and certified quickly. A separate application must also be completed to be considered for the Georgia Entertainment Promotion (GEP) uplift, which is an additional 10% earned for approved projects that include an embedded Georgia logo within the end credits before the below-the-line crew credits in the finished project, and a link to http://www. tourgeorgiafilm.com on the production’s promotional website. This GEP uplift is available for feature films, television series, pilots, television movies and music videos. Insurgent was completed with assistance from the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

room could echo that.” “The design of the box went through many different incarnations. “We ended up with the five-sided pentagonal solid with one of the five factions represented on each of the sides,” Hammond says. “They did a beautiful job with the gold paint; the tarnishing and ageing has a bit of iridescence. Our prop master Sean Mannion worked with artisans in Los Angeles on the final version. From our 3D print they made a mould, cast it in fiberglass and resin, and then bolted all of the LEDs and light-up panels in place.” The aim, according to Wick, was to create an object that clearly had a history but which was also part of a futuristic, technological society.

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US VIRGIN ISLANDS

It’s not all sunshine and sand

The US Virgin Islands — which include St Thomas, St Croix and St John — lie to the east of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. Offering a range of locations from pristine nature through to period and colonial architecture, the islands offer much more than just the beautiful beaches for which they are widely known. GARY SMITH reports

F ALL the characteristics that have made the US Virgin Islands (USVI) so popular for shoots, it is undeniably the beaches that have attracted the most attention. Mutli-award winning director Tom Kuntz of MJZ, who shot the Lions Grand Prix-winning 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' spots for Old Spice, recently filmed the 'Hannah And Her Horse' series of commercials for DirecTV there, choosing a beach well known for its stills shoots. The spots feature model and TV personality Hannah Davis, a native of USVI. “We chose Lindquist Beach because it has that quaint, remote feeling and the calm, blue water we all associate with swimsuit-model shoots. Plus it felt genuinely untouched,” Kuntz says. “And the fact that it’s close to New York City [four hours by plane] is convenient and adds to the attraction of the USVI.” The islands have been used many times for commercials, stills shoots, reality TV, travel shows and documentaries, plus some feature films. The last big feature to film there was director Bill Condon’s Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011), and island locations have also featured in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), Forces Of Nature (1999) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994). Recent TV productions include HGTV’s Househunters, Caribbean Life and Beachfront Bargains; ABC’s The Bachelor; and The Amazing Race by CBS. Commercial shoots include T Rowe Price, Pottery Barn Kids, Nordstrom, Seagram, Izod, Alloy Apparel and Princess Cruises. As Virgin Islands Film Office director Luana Wheatley says, there is a wide choice of locations on the islands. “A lot of people think

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we're only a beach location, but the amount of diversity is amazing and the most unique, special locations are the ones you wouldn’t expect to find here,” she says. “Greece, Key West, Brazil, Mexico, Afghanistan, uninhabited islands and vast farmed estates, are just some of the unexpected looks available. We can also offer period and colonial locations, and forts dating back to the 1600s, including Fort Christian built in 1671 and St John’s Fort Frederiksvaern in Coral Bay, as well as colonial homes, sugar mills, smoke stacks and a range of vintage architecture. We ask for the treatments or storyboards, and then we can pinpoint the sorts of locations that can work on a case by case basis.” The islands are film-friendly and shoots are permitted just about anywhere. “Location managers and the Film Office can assist with shooting if the crew want that,” Wheatley says. “There are some limitations to shooting in the National Park because it is so very pristine, but there are no problems closing roads for chase scenes or street parades if needed. Obtaining a permit is not complicated, especially with some lead time.” The Film Office is also used to working quickly for short-term productions. “Our government agencies are well aware of the benefits of shooting in the US Virgin Islands, so they are willing to work with us.” That willingness now extends to the introduction of new tax incentives. “We are looking forward to the incentives allowing us to work with more productions,” Wheatley says. “Anyone can benefit as long as they meet the criteria. Local lawyers and our Economic Development Authority can help facilitate the application process. It’s important to point out that the incentives apply to the music industry as well.” Todd Hecht of Film Virgin Islands worked on the DirecTV shoot with Tom Kuntz and has just finished a 10-week shoot on the latest project by Mark Burnett on neighbouring island Anguilla. “On the MJZ shoot the challenge was working with the horse. In fact it was two horses and one of them was a biter. Luckily, though, Hannah is an experienced horse rider so she was fine with them. But sourcing horses that looked the way Tom wanted was a big job and we were obliged to search all over the region to get the right ones. We eventually found them in Puerto Rico and luckily they came with an amazing handler.”

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Filming Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

PRODUCTION INCENTIVES TO QUALIFY for USVI incentives, productions need to spend a minimum of $250,000 and include a minimum of 20% local resident hires — including crew, extras, actors and a maximum of three paid interns. They are also obliged to include credits, for example Made In The USVI or Portions Made In The USVI and other acknowledgements. And finally an above-the-line crew member has to undertake to speak at a local school or university. The transferable tax credit can be up to 17% when resident hires exceed 30% of the total crew and talent. On top of that, productions are eligible for a cash rebate of up to 29% if the production includes a USVI promotion and if it is filmed on St. Croix. Production companies and studios that corporately establish themselves in the USVI for purposes of long-term production, recording, distribution and/or management can be eligible for 90% tax relief through the Economic Development Commission. There is no sales tax in the USVI and productions are eligible for a special exemption from excise taxes, plus any duty and bonds on importation of equipment and accessories.

But then there was the question of the terrain. “There were some pretty standard issues like building a series of ramps to get the Technocrane on to the site, but the main problem was that the new local administration initially wouldn’t allow the horses on the beach,” Hecht says. “When it was pointed out to them that this had been allowed before — and taking into account the positive impact that the spots would have on the islands — they were fine about it. Probably the biggest challenge was getting a large production with 100 crew on to a beach that is not that big, so correct positioning was important.” Explaining why so many productions come here, Hecht says: “We have great production values, and we can make your money go a very long way. We can ship equipment in from Atlanta, Miami or New York and there are direct flights. From a location point of view, we have some very special places including huge cliffs and spectacular tidal pools. Some 80% of St John is a national park and the west of St Thomas has some totally untouched, pristine beaches — much more

LUANA WHEATLEY

“We are looking forward to the incentives allowing us to work with more productions”

so than the rest of the island. Again working with Hannah we used beaches on the west side for a fashion shoot for Maxim Magazine; and we have areas like the Botany Bay Preserve, which are very special. In terms of infrastructure, the islands have a lot of untouched locations, cheap materials and all the major US chain stores like K-Mart are here as well.” Lindquist Beach is one of St Thomas' most beautiful beaches, part of the protected 21-acre Smith Bay Park. The crystal-clear water is perfect for swimming. Heading west, the swimming area gives way to a very shallow shelf with tidal pools. The USVI are 50 islands and cays in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The capital of the USVI is Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas, a town that also features some of the best colonial and period buildings including some large, luxury villas. Christopher Columbus named the islands Las Once Mil Virgenes (11,000 virgins) in 1493 in honour of the martyr Ursula. The Danes established the first colonial settlement on St Thomas in 1672, expanding to St John in 1694. A treaty with The Netherlands in 1685 established St Thomas as a slavetrading post. More than 200,000 slaves were forcibly shipped to the islands for the backbreaking work of harvesting cane, cotton and indigo. The Islands were acquired by the US in World War I, after negotiation with Denmark , for the price of $25m.

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ADV ERTI SE RS American Film Market

6

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THE BEAUTY SHOTS YOU EXPECT, WITH THE DIVERSITY OF LOCATIONS YOU DON’T.

E N J OY M U N I C H ’ S C U LT U R E W I T H A F I R S T C L A S S V I E W

Filming in the U.S. Virgin Islands is one unbelievable shot after another. You’ll find a diversity of locations from rural farmland, lush rain forests and rolling hills to quaint European towns, cosmopolitan settings and colorful Caribbean architecture. Not to mention picturesque beaches. You’ll also find an experienced film community with English-speaking crews and the convenience of U.S. currency. For more opportunities in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, call 340.775.1444 ext. 2243. Plan your production at filmUSVI.com.

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SHOWCASING THE GLOBAL FILM & TV PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

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PUBLISHED BY BOUTIQUE EDITIONS

27/04/2016 10:33

Location International 2016  

The leading magazine and online resource for the world's film, TV and commercials locations. Published by Boutique Editions Ltd.

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