Those of us not well versed in the movie business might wonder, why do movies shoot where they do? Sometimes it’s due to needing a certain look, or wanting a certain real-life location to appear in the film. But, often, there’s a much more simple reason: taxes.
Movies, after all, can bring prestige, and sometimes money, to the places they shoot in. At the very least, everyone involved will be staying there for a while, spending money on food, lodging, and electricity while they’re there. Because of this, a lot of governments provide tax subsidies to pull in film productions. If you film here, you’ll save money! Isn’t that great?
These arrangements are complicated—Lindsay Ellis’s series of videos about The Hobbit films explains some of how that sort of incentive can go awry and actually seriously disrupt local economies—but they’re an indelible part of the business. Which is why you’re probably going to see at least one major Marvel film shooting on location in Australia soon.
As Variety reports, the Australian government is offering a $US171.1 ($241) million subsidy to Disney to shoot an unnamed Marvel film at Fox Studios Australia, a studio Disney now owns courtesy of its 21st Century Fox acquisition. On top of that, there is a $US7.1 ($10) million per year fund for productions made in New South Wales, where the studio is located, which would be added onto the subsidy.
No word on what movie or movies are being eyed as part of this subsidy offer, but it is a hint at the future of Marvel Studios, or at least its shooting locations. I think it’s important to be mindful about how these films are made, and where the money that runs our entertainment juggernauts comes from. A surprising amount of it is tax savings.