The welcome to the Gold Coast City Council?s film industry ambassador, Cr Jan Grew, to Los Angeles was signed by the mayor Eri
The welcome to the Gold Coast City Council?s film industry ambassador, Cr Jan Grew, to Los Angeles was signed by the mayor Eri

Reeling off reasons to make movies here

By YVONNE McLEAN

ONE of the world's acclaimed film schools, based in Los Angeles, could include the Gold Coast in a future travelling world tour, following talks between the school's director Dov Simens and Cr Jan Grew during her recent visit to Los Angeles.

Cr Grew joined Warner Road Show chief Michael Lake and others on a mission to the world's filming capital to promote the Gold Coast as a ready, willing and able venue for film productions, large and small.

"Dov Simens showed a keen interest in the Gold Coast and all it had to offer in the way of students with potential," she said.

"This is not a year's-long school, but a two-day course that covers aspects such as screen-writing, directing, casting, even finance and distribution. The course also goes into DVD production, one of the industry aspects that will become more and more in demand and one ideally suited to the Gold Coast. I am working hard to see it happen," she said.

Cr Grew is just back from her second promotional visit to Los Angeles and on the occasion she received a framed welcome certificate ? "El Dueblo de Nuestra Senors", it read, signed and presented by mayor Eric Garcetti.

An important connection was made with the program officer of the Paul Getty Foundation, Dr Nancy Micklewright, an authority on special collections and museums.

"Plans are progressing for a museum of significance on the Gold Coast, including a film industry section, and I am sure Dr Micklewright's knowledge and experience could assist us when the museum is in the embryonic stage," Cr Grew said.

"Of the many directors, producers and investors, 70 individuals, we spent time with, all had the one issue on their minds ? what's in it (financially) for us ? what are the incentives and tax breaks?

"The Gold Coast is but one of many places competing for the USA's film industry, and incentives offered by others are much more attractive than ours at the moment," she said.

"Ours are not attractive enough for producers and directors to have regular bases here. For instance, for a significant incentive (tax break) a film company is required to spend about $15 million, on one production.

"I gained the impression in LA that if more than one production, say two or three undertaken by the same company over a reasonable time were to be bracketed in the required investment here, enthusiasm for filming on the Gold Coast would escalate."

Later this month, when Cr Grew and Michael Lake visit Canberra for talks with Arts Minister Rod Kemp, they will emphasise the need for a rethinking on tax incentives.

"The cost of travelling here to film an epic is enormous, we are much more likely to attract the smaller productions," she added.



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