Les Studios de Paris predicts filming boost
Les Studios de Paris is based in Luc Besson’s Cite du Cinema in northern Paris and is expecting a major production increase this year.
France boosted its filming incentives in January to a 30% tax rebate with a per-production cap of €30m. Les Studios de Paris told Variety they believe this now enables the French industry to compete more effectively in the international market and can challenge the UK for medium-budget productions.
“Our main goal is to work on film and TV series,” said Jean-Philippe Blime, a consultant and producer with Les Studios de Paris, in comments to Variety.
“French TV series are getting better and better. For us it’s a bit like creating a fixed rent. They keep their own sets the whole year through and if things go well they will stay from one year to the next. It provides financial security for us.
“However, we have to keep an eye on the balance. If we accept all the TV series that look for our sound stages we will fill up and have no capacity for film productions.”
Blime added that a legal restriction on working hours for French crew is in fact the main factor affecting the country’s international appeal. A shoot that would take seven weeks in London would take nine weeks in France. Many producers are likely to find this off-putting.
Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be the biggest production to shoot at Les Studios de Paris in the first half of this year. Besson’s movie ran into controversy during prep as it was initially denied incentive support as a French film because it was to be shot in English.
The French government decided instead to make allowances for productions with high visual effects budgets, in order to stop Besson taking Valerian to central Europe.
Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is likely to become one of the biggest international films to shoot in France later this year.
For more on filming in France see our production guide.