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Location News

The Department of Tourism outbound roadshow pace exhausting effort since the beginning of the 2012 New Year: is paying off.

Filming in Thailand shows 17.5% increase in the first five months of 2012. Revenue from all foreign productions, feature films, TV series, documentaries, commercials (advertising) and music videos in 2011 amounted to US$ 39.6 million. For the five month period January to May 2012, revenue from foreign productions has amounted to $46.5 million.

paint hall studiosThe third season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will once again feature the lush landscapes of Northern Ireland. Filming will also take place at the soundstages of Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, Linen Mill Film Studios in Banbridge, County Down, and other picturesque locations.


Photo: Paint Ball Studio

MASTERSFX, a full-service character-effects company based in Los Angeles and Vancouver, is the exclusive monster-maker for the fifth consecutive season of the HBO series “True Blood.” In addition to creating the vampires’ makeup, demises and more under the supervision of Dan Rebert for the Alan Ball production, MASTERSFX Founder Todd Masters reports that his company is also working on the TNT series “Falling Skies.” Produced by Steven Spielberg, the sci-fi show features a race of menacing alien warriors that MASTERSFX brings to life with on-set puppetry combined with animatronics and actual performers. The production originally planned to create the aliens digitally, but a decision was made to use both CGI and animatronics in order to take full advantage of both ground-breaking techniques. The second season of “Falling Skies” debuted on June 17.

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For one month, the National Geographic Store Madrid (Gran Vía 74), Proexport Colombia, with support from the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Tourist Promotion Fund, organized a variety of activities to promote Colombia’s booming film industry. Colombia offers countries like Spain, with a solid film industry for some time now, an opportunity to internationalize its projects, taking ….

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When most people think of Mexico, they envision palm trees and margaritas as warm, clear-blue ocean waves roll onto a hot, sandy beach. Or perhaps it’s the grimy streets of Tijuana with roaming stray dogs and people perusing shops on Avenida Revolución. Or maybe it’s the Mayan pyramids on the Yucatán Peninsula. No matter which visual comes to mind, there’s no denying that the place has character.

Filmmakers are constantly searching for unique and authentic locations that also fulfill their artistic expression. The Southeast Central Region offers all this on a platter along with many other worthwhile perks for film and television projects. P3 Update gets up close and personal with the states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas to see how they’ve grown while facing production challenges in 2012.

The film commissions of all four Hawai'i counties, the Hawai'i Film Office, and the Creative Industries Division of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) were recently honored with a collaborative award from the American Marketing Association (AMA).

The Best Non-Profit/Government/Non-Commercial Marketing award was presented to the film offices by AMA’s Hawai'i chapter at a luncheon held last month at the Hawai'i Convention Center.
 hawaii-1“To be recognized by AMA with this marketing award, especially in the company of other distinguished winners -- Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa, the APEC Host Committee and Farmers Insurance -- is truly an honor,” said Kaua'i Film Commissioner Art Umezu. “Hawai‘i’s film industry is flourishing and this award will help energize our marketing effort to reach out to global film makers.”

All of Hawai'i’s film commissioners attended the event including: Umezu; John Mason, Big Island: Walea Constantinau, Honolulu; Harry Donafeld, Maui; Donne Dawson, Hawai'i Film Office; and Georja Skinner, DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division.

According to the AMA website, the film offices were recognized for their collaborative efforts to preserve Hawai'i’s reputation as “a premier motion picture and television location, while also nurturing opportunities for Hawai'i’s creative industries and local filmmakers.” The website also notes the economic impact of Hawai'i’s film industry over the last five years, which amounted to nearly $2 billion and the creation of 15,000 skilled jobs, an average of 2,500-3,000 per year.

In coordination with local businesses, DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division and isle visitor bureaus, the film offices of the Hawaiian Islands are able to extend the value of film and television exposure through national and international promotions, brand integration, trip giveaways and media coverage. In turn, this provide the studios and networks with a greater marketing hook while furthering the exposure for Hawai‘i, the AMA website states.

The Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles is pleased to announce the first annual Czech Filmfest 2012 which will take place at the Cinefamily in Hollywood on May 16 – 24, 2012. The festival will introduce both new and classic Czech movies to film audiences in Los Angeles and several successful directors and actors will be present to promote their films.

"Czech cinema has always been a passion for The Cinefamily. It's some of the most playful, cinematic, dynamic, and we think underappreciated national lineages in the film world.  It's exciting to work with the Czech Consulate in LA to put on what we hope to be an annual festival celebrating both the  classics we love, and the films today that continue that fine tradition"--Hadrian Belove, The Cinefamily

The festival will officially kick-off with disturbingly relevant dark thriller “Walking Too Fast” (2010) from director Radim Špaček, who will answer questions after the screening, followed by the opening night reception on May 17. The film achieved critical success in Europe and won five Czech Lions (the Czech Oscars), including best picture from the Czech Film Academy, among many other awards.

The fest will also include “Four Suns” (2012), directed by esteemed award-winner Bohdan Sláma, which shows the self-destructive nature of humanity. The film premiered at the Sundance Festival this past January. Director Tomáš Luňák will personally introduce his animated picture “Alois Nebel” (2011), the Czech entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the most recent Academy Awards.

Concluding the festival will be the musical “Rhythm on My Heels” (2009) at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. Based on “The Tenor Saxophonist’s Story” by Josef Škovorecký, the story shows the trials of love that take place in 1950s Czechoslovakia. Director Andrea Sedláčková and actors Marika Šoposká, Jan Maxián, Margareta Hrůza and Berenika Kohoutová will attend and perform songs from the film accompanied by famous Czech jazz pianist Emil Viklický.

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The classic TV show “Dallas” is returning this summer as an entirely new series on TNT. Not a remake or reboot, the show continues the story of the Ewing dynasty and will use the famous Southfork, Texas location as well as familiar faces from the original series, including Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy. Executive Producers Michael Robin and Cynthia Cidre feel that it’s important to shoot the epic-sized “Dallas” on the original show’s locations. “Filming started with Linda arriving on the set and announcing, ‘Here’s how we do ‘Dallas’: We have a good time; we know our lines; we nail our work, and we really enjoyed each other,’” reports Robin. “And that [energy] spread out from the actors and crew. All the directors that have cycled through on the episodes keep saying, ‘This is the best experience I have ever had.’ It’s amazing how much fun it is to be shooting in Texas. It’s been a remarkable work experience, because everyone is giving more and more of themselves every chance they get. It’s fun to watch that and see it find its way into the film.” Tourists still visit the famed Southfork Ranch near Plano, Texas when it’s not used for productions. Among the props visitors get to see are Lucy’s wedding dress, Jock Ewing’s Lincoln Continental and the gun that shot J.R.

The National Geographic Channel will have several specials dedicated to Titanic’s centennial in April. James Cameron offers yet another exquisite documentary called Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron, and Dr. Robert Ballard, the man who discovered the ship’s final resting place more than 25 years ago, is hosting Save the Titanic with Bob Ballard. And high-tech underwater filming equipment is being used to document the Titanic site that’s currently under siege by tourists in custom submarines, treasure hunters, rogue salvage operators and other issues. “If the Titanic is not protected, it’ll get stripped until all the jewels have been taken off the old lady’s body,” reports Ballard, who is striving to get international help to protect the site.