2,600+ Attend AFCI Locations & Global Finance Show
Last month’s Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) Locations & Global Finance Show (April 21-23) in Burbank, Calif., drew 2,608 visitors including executives from 20th Century Fox, A&E, ABC Studios, AFI, AMC, HBO, Leftfield Pictures, Lionsgate, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros., and Walt Disney. The opening address for the Global Finance Conference was delivered by Bruce Hendricks, co-founder and president of worldwide production for Dick Cook Studios.
Hendricks earlier enjoyed a long tenure (1992-2011) as president of physical production at Walt Disney Studios where he supervised the making of more than 250 motion pictures and filmed in 30-plus countries. Among these films were The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, The Rock and Alice in Wonderland. His credits as executive producer are the Jerry Bruckheimer Productions’ Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, and the Michael Bay-directed Pearl Harbor. Hendricks’ directing credits include the record setting Hannah Montana 3D Concert film, The Jonas Brothers Concert Film, the IMAX film Ultimate X as well as music videos, television programs and commercials. As a director, Hendricks has been one of the early pioneers in live action digital 3D photography.
A self-described Texan learning the Mandarin language, Hendricks told the AFCI gathering that the theatrical box office business in China will soon be the world’s largest. He has made six trips to China in the last 12 months. And while reticent regarding details about Dick Cook Studios’ involvement in the Chinese market, Hendricks said in broad strokes that his company’s intent relative to China is simply “to make great movies.”
As for the business of deciding where to shoot--and for that matter whether a project will get off the ground--Hendricks said that in the indie filmmaking world tax credits/incentives can “mean the difference between a film being made or not made.”
Boding well for film commissioners, he added, is the proliferation of TV and online shows. Hendricks said that more than 400 original scripted shows were on TV last year as compared to less than 150 the year prior. There has never been more demand for content, he affirmed, citing beyond TV such platforms as Apple, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.
The streaming online dynamic, though, takes some getting used to for Hendricks who noted that while he and his colleagues strive for optimum production values, his daughter watches movies on a 13-inch computer screen.
Still, Hendricks insisted that the in-theater experience needs to be preserved, particularly in light of Sean Parker’s Screening Room venture which is looking to stream first-run movies for $50 each, thus undermining Hollywood’s long-standing business model of theatrical exclusivity. Relinquishing the shared communal audience experience that only a theater can bring would diminish the magic of the movies, he affirmed.
Quantico In A NY State Of Mind
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and ABC Studios (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) have announced that the hit ABC TV series Quantico will be leaving Montreal and moving to New York.
The upcoming season will include 22 one-hour episodes, creating hundreds of local jobs and generating an estimated $68 million in New York State spending. All aspects of production, including the writing team, will be based in New York. Filming is set to begin in July, which will create at least 300 full-time jobs in New York State, and postproduction will continue through May 2017. Postproduction for Quantico’s first season was done in New York, and added over $5 million to the local economy.
Many major film productions and television series have touted New York State’s Film Tax Credit Program as a major factor when choosing the Empire State as the location to film. Since 2004, 1,382 film and television projects have participated in the program and are estimated to have generated more than one million new hires and $20 billion in new spending in New York State. In 2015 alone, a record 203 film and television projects applied for the program, estimated to generate 187,764 new hires and $3.05 billion in new spending statewide. Since 2011, Disney has directly contributed an estimated $500 million to New York State’s economy through television and film production, along with an estimated 37,102 jobs for New Yorkers.
Lensing in New Mexico
Principal photography on season 3 of From Dusk Till Dawn began mid-March in New Mexico and will continue through the end of June. The production will employ approximately 250 New Mexico crew members and 75 New Mexico background talent per episode. Produced by Miramax in association with Rodriguez International Pictures, Factory Made Ventures and Sugarcane Entertainment, From Dusk Till Dawn runs on the El Rey Network.
Meanwhile NBC is developing the fantasy drama Midnight, Texas based on a three-book series by “True Blood” author Charlaine Harris. The adaptation is shepherded for Universal Television by NBC-based producer David Janollari and penned by Monica Owusu-Breen. Both are exec producing. Midnight, Texas revolves around a small town in the Lone Star State where the supernatural world collides with the real world in dangerous ways. The production shot from mid-March through the beginning of April and employed about 150 local crew members and 90 New Mexico background actors.