Why Georgia’s Film Industry is In Serious Trouble

Project Casting

Australia is slowly taking over the film industry.

First it was Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, followed by Marvel’s Thor, then it was the Alien reboot and now King Kong will film in Australia.

It was announced on Monday that the new King Kong movie, Skull Island will film in Queensland, Australia creating 60 local jobs for the country.

According to ABC.net.au, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed Kong: Skull Island would be filmed at the Village Roadshow Studios in southeast Queensland, Australia.

Kong: Skull Island features Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson and John Goodman. Pre-production for the new movie is set to begin this month with filming to start early 2016.

“Kong will spend more than $15 million in Queensland by leveraging our world-class facilities and enlisting cast and crews in all aspects of physical production,” said Ms Palaszczuk, who met with studio executives in June.

“The production will create 60 local jobs in addition to the Queenslanders who have already been enlisted, with the production manager and art director already confirmed as Queenslanders.” [ABC.net.au]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales finished filming in Australia earlier this year.

It was originally reported that Marvel’s Thor sequel was going to film in Atlanta, Georgia. However, it was recently revealed last week that Marvel’s Thor film franchise sequel, Thor: Ragnarok will be filmed in the Gold Coast with no reports suggesting that Thor will be returning to the ATL.

In addition, Australia government officials announced the new Alien reboot will also be filmed in Queensland, Australia.

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Which begs the question – is Australia taking over the film industry?

The Australian Screen Production Incentive provides tax incentives for film, TV and other productions in Australia. Including the following:

  • the Location Offset, a 16.5 per cent rebate which supports the production of large-budget film and television projects shot in Australia

  • the PDV Offset, a 30 per cent rebate which supports work on post, digital and visual effects production (PDV) in Australia, regardless of where a project is shot.

The biggest tax incentive is the “Producer Offset”. According to Screen Australia, the Producer Offset tax incentives provides a 40 percent tax rebate for feature films and a 20 percent tax incentives for any other production outside of feature films. That is approximately, 10% more than Georgia’s film tax credit which provides 30% to feature films, TV shows and other productions.

Is Georgia’s film industry in trouble?

If Australia continues to provide a 40% tax break to movies, expect more and more Hollywood producers to utilize the country’s “Producer Offset” in order to fund their feature films. Therefore, leaving film crew workers in states like Georgia, Louisiana, and California looking for work.

With programs such as the Georgia Film Academy, Tyler Perry’s new film studio, and reports of new production facilities across the state of Georgia it will be interesting to see how Georgia’s representatives respond to a new competitor in the film industry.

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What do you think of Australia’s film incentives? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!