Producers scouting international locations should establish local companies early to benefit from tax incentives, attendees at the AFCI Locations Show 2015 heard on Thursday.
“If you think you want to do a production in the UK set up your SPV [special purpose vehicle] as soon as possible,” said British Film Commission evp of US production Kattie Kotok.
SPV refers to a wholly owned company established specifically to produce a film. Kotok said doing so early would enable the producers to take office costs and apply them to local costs that would fall under the UK’s provisions.
Kate Marks, evp of international production at Ausfilm, made a similar point when she counselled audience members during the Production Incentives: The New World Order panel at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.
“What you really want to do is partner with Australians in development for that project to be eligible for 40%,” said Marks.
“We have had US partners like The Great Gatsby. It’s an American book […] but it was developed by Baz Luhrmann and the team was Australian, so it qualified.”
Marks explained the cultural test that productions needed to satisfy in order to qualify for Australian incentives was a little more nebulous that the points-based system in the UK.
Icelandic film commissioner Einar Tómasson said his country’s 20% rebate was designed to be efficient and straightforward. “We use KISS: Keep it simple, stupid,” said Tómasson.
In recent years Iceland has hosted shoots for Interstellar, Game Of Thrones, Oblivion, Noah, Prometheus and the Wachowski Siblings’ upcoming Netflix series Sense8, among others.
Earlier in the day attendees heard Californian officials outline the recently expanded provisions of that state’s incentive scheme.
The California Film & Television Job Retention And Promotion Act has as previously reported increased tax credit programme funding from $100m to $330m per fiscal year.
The revised provisions eliminate budget caps on studio and independent films, although tax credit eligibility will apply only to each project’s first $100m in qualified spending for studios or the first $10m for independents.