World class film and television drama is made in Ireland year after year. Recent international film titles made in Ireland include Rodrigo Garcia’s, Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close, Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, starring Michael Douglas, Paolo Sorentino’s This Must be the Place starring Sean Penn, and James Mather’s/Stephen St Leger’s Lockout, starring Guy Pearce.
Television drama made in Ireland include The Tudors for Showtime, Camelot for Starz, Primeval for ITV, Treasure Island for Sky and Neverland for Sky Movies.
Whilst most of these titles filmed in Ireland, many also took advantage of Ireland’s growing CGI and VFX capabilities and carried out post production too. Ireland’s success is built on talented Irish producers, directors, writers, cast, crew and service providers, backed by consistent Irish government support and a tax incentive for film and television worth up to 28%.
Results from a recent industry survey identify the Irish audio-visual sector as a key industry for growth in Ireland, revealing that the sector is valued at over €557.3m and employs over 6,000.
2010 was a record year with major film and television production accounting for €225m in local Irish expenditure.
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) is the national development agency for the Irish film industry investing in talent, creativity and enterprise. The agency supports and promotes the Irish film industry. The Irish Film Commission, a part of the IFB, with offices in Dublin and Los Angeles, promotes Ireland internationally as a location for film and television production. The Irish Film Commission also provides information, advice, introductions and practical support to Irish and international filmmakers during the development and production process.
Ireland often hosts international shoots which sometimes use the country and its capital to double for other locations.
The Professor and the Madman starring Sean Penn and Mel Gibson doubled the city of Dublin for Oxford in 2016, while period feature film Vita & Virginia, starring Elizabeth Debicki, used the Irish capital to 'play' 1920s London when filming got underway in 2017.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens raised the profile of a more remote part of the country, Skellig Michael in 2014. In 2016, the eighth instalment of the franchise, Stars Wars: The Last Jedi, returned to use the craggy backdrop.
No formal film permit system exists in Ireland. However permission is required from the private location owner or the local authority responsible for any public location. The Irish Film Board co-ordinates two important industry networks; The FILM DUBLIN Partnership and the Network of Regional Film Offices. These networks provide logistical support in an efficient manner and can greatly assist with on-location filmmaking.
In November 2014, it was announced that Limerick is to get a multi million pound studio, in association with the long-established Ardmore Studios.
Permanent Serviced Film Studios
24km south of Dublin, Ardmore Studios are perfectly placed to draw a large local cast & crew base, as well as being close to both urban and rural film locations. The largest of 5 stages is 15,000sq ft.
Construction of Ballyhenry Studios is nearing completion and is set to open in 2012. Located 37km south of Dublin in County Wicklow, the facility has a large local cast and crew base, is close to both urban and rural film locations, and is also within a 60 minute drive of Dublin International Airport. The largest of it's three stages is 28,400sq ft, with the other two each measuring 13,500 sq ft.
This fully equipped professional studio facility is located in Galway offering excellent facilities with access to an experienced, well trained crew base. The larger of 2 stages is 8,000sq ft.
Industrial Sites used as Film Studios
Film and TV drama projects regularly use industrial sites to house their production offices and for set building. The Spyglass film, Leap Year, used sound-proofed freezer warehousing in Dublin's Docklands in 2009. The facility has 3 stages, the largest of which is 25,000sq ft.
The ‘Section 481’ tax incentive for film and television contributes up to 28% of your expenditure on Irish post production, CGI and VFX. Therefore, it makes financial sense to not only film in Ireland but to post produce here too. Production budgets for post production can of themselves be very substantial so it is worth looking at Ireland to carry out post – even if shooting has happened elsewhere.
Ireland’s post sector offers value, excellent service and top talent. Film and TV drama recently posted in Ireland include Sinbad for SKY1, The Silence for BBC1, The Take for Sky One, Primeval for ITV1 and John Michael McDonagh’s feature film, The Guard. Ireland’s CGI and VFX capabilities in high end feature film and television drama are growing, driven by major international contracts won by WindmillVFX and Screen Scene Post Production. Screen Scene credits include Game of Thrones for HBO. WindmillVFX recent credits include Haywire for Relativity Media and Lockout for EuropaCorp.
Ireland offers a diverse range of film locations, including beautiful unspoilt rural landscapes and modern urban centres. There is a wide variety of architecture including castles, graceful Georgian squares and Victorian terraces, small towns, villages and dramatic coastline. All this is within easy reach of Studio facilities in the east and west of the country.
Whether you want to recreate period Britain as presented in The Tudors, World War II Normandy as was the case in Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, contemporary New York as in Jim Sheridan’s In America or showcase a very modern and vibrant Dublin as Steven Soderbergh did recently in Haywire, Ireland presents a wealth of opportunity for filmmakers. The Irish Film Board’s online locations gallery currently holds information and stills for over 2,000 locations in Ireland.
There is a wide range of film equipment and facility companies operating in Ireland that can provide video and film equipment rentals including cameras, lenses, lighting, grip, audio & sound, monitors, tripods & support, car mounts, dollies and jibs for all production budgets - large and small.
Most equipment rental companies are based in the Dublin, Wicklow and Galway areas, although there are several smaller rental houses spread throughout the country.
Ireland has a wide range of highly experienced and award winning film and television crew.