Playing a foundational role in the history of film and benefitting from enough picturesque locales to launch a thousand postcards, France has long attracted directors and crews from across the globe.The 2009 passage of the Tax Rebate for Intl. Production (TRIP) and the subsequent 13 years of refinements both incremental and substantial have fundamentally reshaped that logic.
“The base rates are very competitive,” he continues. “So even if you double up in certain places and use a rotation of crews, paying two people for eight hours a day is still cheaper than paying one person $60 an hour with overtime — particularly when you’re applying a 40% tax credit. With that, everything becomes very doable.”
Like that Ridley Scott epic, which shot in the southwestern area of Dordogne and did post-production work at a Paris-based effects house, Tom McCarthy’s Marseille-set “Stillwater” and Wes Anderson’s Angouleme-shot “The French Dispatch” were two other high-profile films that mixed American star power and French expertise — making 2021 something of a banner year for the Gallic industry.
“We are seeking to promote the ‘one-stop-shop’ approach by uniting in a single location the strongest links in the chain,” says Vincent Florant, director of digital at CNC. “The [2030 plan] will support a dozen or so large film studios, competitive with the largest international counterparts, that comprise a large number of services in one central location.
Among those international projects were David Fincher’s “The Killer” and “John Wick: Chapter 4,” two ambitious action thrillers that turned to production service facilitator Raphael Benoliel for assistance. “In terms of shooting days, crew size and overall financial impact, it was one of the biggest international productions to ever shoot in France,” he says. “We shot six weeks with the first unit and six weeks with a second unit just as large, so it’s as if we shot for 12, and we easily hired more than 500 crewmembers between the two.”
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