View Full Version : Filming in Canada or other places

06-20-2004, 11:29 PM
I searched the forum but couldn't find anything about this.

Is it always cheaper to film in Canada? How about for an indie or new company?

Also, are there any sites that would explain about which US States or cities are most expensive or reasonable to film in?

And lastly I have a horror script that can either take place at a middle school........or a lumberyard or a business that has a look of both.

There is much wisdom and experience here on this forum. I have already found some potential film locations in two countries. Some in WA state and some in nearby Canada and some in Arizona.

06-21-2004, 12:28 AM
Some reasons to film in Canada are: you don't need any perks in your writing contract, (like a trip to the tundra in Alberta, 'cause you're already up here); the American dollar converts to about 1.36 Canadian dollars; wages paid for Canadian actors and crews are most probably less than the wages paid for American actors and crews; tax breaks for hiring Canadians; and, easier to find cheap and quiet locations. If you hire Canadians, the provincial and federal governments offer tax credits and rebates, whether you are a small indie or big studio production company; so, the big savings is in labor costs, sets, accommodations and living expenses. Compared to the costs of filming in New York City or Los Angeles, Canada is cheap, (which is why Toronto and Vancouver are often used for city sets, instead of American cities). If you have a small crew and can film in your local neighborhood, there may not be much advantage, (beyond much better beer). And, why go to Europe, when you can drive here by car? Certains d'entre nous parlent des langues étrangères. Viva la différence!

06-21-2004, 12:55 AM
Also - Canada has government funding and tax incentives for films made with Canadians. So when they made my USA Net thriller HARD EVIDENCE they shot it in Canada with a Canadian director, crew, cast, etc... and they wanted me to take the money and walk away so they could bring in a Canadian *writer* to rewrite me and get the credit. That just wasn't gonna happen. Almost screwed up the whole deal.

There are also "Right to Work" states that are non-union (cheaper to shoot there).

Why do you care? That's the producer's job.

- Bill

06-21-2004, 01:05 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I will most likely end up producing it. That's why I wanted to know. I am starting a production company that is being funded from a different family business.


06-21-2004, 08:50 AM
Kevin Costner's fantastic OPEN RANGE has an excellent behind-the-scenes documentary about the film where he also touched on the Canada vs. US production scenario. He really wanted to shoot in Montana but couldn't because of the cost difference.

06-21-2004, 10:16 AM
They could have afforded it if he didn't have to make so much. The crew is only 2-3% of a budget, so this argument they couldn't afford it is bullsh*t. It's greedy producers and overpaid actors that are the problem.

06-21-2004, 07:12 PM
True, I hadn't thought about that. THen again, we'd have to say this same argument for ALL of the movies that are shot in Canada....

06-23-2004, 04:36 PM
Just remember you only get the tax credits if you are a guild production. ;)

donald gregory
06-29-2004, 04:03 PM
Whereever you live might be the best place to shoot, as you may have more resources there in family and friends and such, which you may desperately need depending on your budget.

If you like, you can drop me an email at donegreg@pizzathemovie.com to talk more about it.

06-30-2004, 07:26 AM
What coast are you on? East or West?

If you're East, keep an eye on what's happening in Louisianna right now. They passed a tax incentive bill a year ago and a lot of production south of NY have moved there to shoot. They just don't have a crew base big enough to cope with the amount of production. South Carolina just passed a bill and we're seeing a lot of production pass through here (NC) and film in SC. North Carolina was the third biggest state for film production three years in a row and now our tax incentive bill is being passed this year. We shall see how much work comes back this way. I'm fed up of 'One Tree Hill'! We want movies back!

Just remember, if you're considering US filming, tax incentives are only a temporary fix, Canada will always be an attractive alternative that saves producers a sh*t load of money! Every time...