This post follows our earlier post on Thailand International Film Festival 2013 highlights. This is an expansion of that blog on the issues discussed during the seminar with incentives being the primary concern. You can read the earlier post here.
Attractive locations, hard working crew, high quality production and lack of tax incentives and other factors came into discussion at the one-day seminar of Thailand International Film Destination Festival Bangkok, 2013. The seminar as mentioned was headlined by two of the leading location managers from Hollywood and international filmmakers with experience of shooting in Thailand. The guests collectively provided interesting insights into the factors that determine studios’ decision to choose a location and shared their experiences of working in Thailand
In both of the sessions, as challenges of shooting in Thailand were discussed, the discussions of course inadvertently turned to the lack of incentives.
Incentives for those who do not know are usually something that motivates an action to occur. In the context of filmmaking, incentives (known as Movie Production Incentives) are usually tax rebate, co-production treaties, government grants and other attractive packages like free transportation for the cast and crew and etc. These attract the filmmakers to come to the locations where they can enjoy the incentives and help them lower the cost of the movie productions.
Despite being in the spotlight for many movies being shot here, Thailand unfortunately have had no incentives. Regardless, many foreign movies continue coming to shoot here for there are other reasons such as low cost of production, hard working and experienced crew, exotic locations, excellent infrastructure, availability of equipment and etc. making it one of the most attractive in the region.
However, many big budget movies are reluctant to come and shoot here for the executives running the studios behind those movies consider incentives as the most important factor while considering a location to shoot. Moreover, their time is limited and thus if there is no incentives, other details of what Thailand has to offer is of no interest. The issue of not having the incentives thus makes it difficult for Thailand to be on the shortlist of locations for only the countries with incentives and so deemed cost effective will be more favored.
We do understand the importance of incentives however, in the same discussion other factors of Thailand were too highlighted which made it attractive. In the next post, we will thus explore those factors and how without incentives, Thailand is still very attractive place for filmmakers to come.