As the historical home of the US entertainment industry, California has always had plenty to attract producers, including a vast production infrastructure, thousands of famous locations and year-round shoot-friendly weather. But it took the introduction of an incentive programme in 2009 to begin stemming the tide of projects that were leaving to shoot in other US states. Production levels have risen steadily since then and over the past 18 months the so-called Golden State has hosted features including The Conjuring 2, ChiPs, Why Him? and God Particle and TV series such as Veep, This Is Us and the recently re-located American Crime.
Category - North America
Thanks largely to the country’s long-established incentive system and an exchange rate that favours incoming producers, production is booming in Canada. Film and TV production was up 20% to $5.5bn (c$7.1bn) in 2014-15, according to the Canadian Media Production Association. Foreign location and service production jumped 42% to $2bn (c$2.6bn). Most of the visiting productions come from the US but many are dual-nationality projects made via one of the country’s 50-plus co-production treaties.
With a diverse geography taking in the Rocky Mountains, plains and deserts, Colorado attracts film-makers mostly because of its locations, though the state’s incentive programme is also a draw.
Though the state certainly has other attractions — year-round sunshine, a well-developed film and TV infrastructure, beaches, the multicultural city of Miami, the Florida Keys and the Everglades National Park among them — Florida’s recent production boom was caused mostly by an incentive programme initiated in 2010.
Georgia has grown to become the third busiest production hub in the US, hosting 245 film and TV projects in fiscal 2016 (down three from 2015), representing a direct spend of $2.2bn (up 19% from the previous year).
Film and TV productions often come to the island state of Hawaii for specific kinds of locations — notably jungle and beaches — or to shoot at some of the world’s top surfing spots. But other looks can be found, alleviating the need for long trips back to the US mainland.
With its 30% credit, strong crew base and good infrastructure, Louisiana has been one of the biggest US production hubs since the start of the incentives era, recently attracting features including Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon, Tom Cruise-starrer Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Midnight Special and Trumbo.
Longtime Super Bowl advertiser Hyundai purchased two 30-second in-game TV slots during the February 2016 climax to the NFL season. Hiring four world-class directors from Santa Monica-based Biscuit Filmworks to help create their Super Bowl 50 ads, Hyundai faced-off in the first quarter of the game with The Chase. Directed by Aaron Stoller, the brief thriller ad shows two hikers being chased through the woods by hungry bears, before escaping in their new 2017 Elantra — thanks to the car’s remote-start function.