Courtesy of the Entertainment Economy Institute / June 2012:
The Hollywood Reporter
Alex Ben Block
April 27, 2012
When literary lion Ernest Hemmingway and his journalist lover Martha Gellhorn, played by Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman, huddle in a hospital during the chaos of the Spanish Civil War in a HBO movie out next month, they will actually be in a former bus station in Oakland, California.
"We won't have done this without the ($3 million in) incentives from California plus the $600,000 rebate from San Francisco," executive producer Trish Hofmann said Friday during a panel discussion at the second annual California Film Commission Locations Breakfast in West Hollywood. "That is what enabled us to do it (in California) for the HBO budget model."
The director, Phillip Kaufman, lives in the Bay Area, as do most of the crew. Being able to make it there, all in one area, was also an incentive to attract Owen and Kidman to work for less than their usual fee, said Hofmann.
The Bay area also offered state of the art technology that is improving literally by the day, said Chris Morley, visual effects supervisor, for the San Francisco-based Tippett Studios, which worked on the HBO production.
"It's just amazing how it's changing bit by bit," said Morley during the panel. "With this technology there is a renaissance happening on our streets."
Still, it was the incentives that kept the 42-day production in California, Susannah Greason Robbins, executive director of the San Francisco Film Commission told The Hollywood Reporter. "If we don't have that we're going to lose productions to all the other states that have these incredible incentives," said Robbins. "It's so hard to compete with them as it is."
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