In a stunning display of outsourcing, several Hollywood names have gone to France to make their films.
France’s 20% tax rebate for foreign productions, capped at €4 million, has sparked a filming frenzy in Paris with such major directors as Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan, Woody Allen and Scorsese plus U.S. studios including Paramount and Universal taking advantage of both the country’s technical savvy and the lower cost of shooting.
“Production has been more concentrated on Paris this year than other regions of France, it’s true,” said Franck Priot, deputy director of Film France, the country’s film commission. “Hollywood is coming to Paris not just to shoot in studios like in other territories but really to film Paris for Paris’ sake.”
The goal of the rebate is not only to bring foreign filmmakers to French soil but to stimulate the French economy. So far, so good. Since the law took effect Jan. 1, 2009, France’s film industry has seen an economic boost from visiting productions, and paparazzi photos of visiting stars have served as free ads for the City of Lights. As of this summer, 22 projects have received aid representing 330 days of shooting and more than €100 million in spending in the territory.
“Paris is the world capital of romantic comedies and costume dramas,” Priot said. “Now we’ve moved on to Selena Gomez and the 21st century — there’s a real rejuvenation happening.”
Of course, there’s more to France than Paris and the Eiffel Tower. The country offers some pretty amazing sites. Perhaps the real question is how do we get Hollywood back to America?