Main image: David Lowrey, director, on set of “T
Ireland is a backdrop for some of the biggest productions in the industry such as Normal People, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Enchanted, and Game of Thrones. This is partially due to the fact that there are incentives for production operations such as financially beneficial tax offerings, lower production costs, experienced crews and a growing amount of first-class studio space.
To dive into the Ireland production scene, we talked to David Brody and Steven Davenport.
PH: What can you share about the film and media scene in Ireland?
Steven Davenport (SD): The relationship between Ireland and the US spans many decades. For US film and television producers, Ireland offers a wealth of talent, great locations, financial incentives and a local film and television industry that boasts Oscar and Emmy award-winning productions. In 2021 alone, the Irish screen industry worked with Disney, Netflix, Apple TV+, Amazon, Warner Bros and NBC Universal.
Ireland has created an international reputation for its animation industry, with several international brands created here. US producers now access a range of studios located in Ireland creating post-production and VFX work. The Irish screen industry has quadrupled in size over the last decade and, with new infrastructure developments and 2021 already breaking previous expenditure records, we see the symbiotic relationship between Ireland and the US growing stronger.
David Brody (DB): Ireland is a hub for shoots, production and post-production activity. In addition to facilities such as Ardmore, Ashford and Troy studios, Ireland has a number of exciting new studio infrastructure projects in the pipeline. The Greystones Media Campus in County Wicklow is being built on a 40-acre site as a €150 million state-of-the-art film and TV center with 14 sound stages, offices, and production buildings.
David Lowrey, director, on set of “The Green Knight” in Ireland’s Ardmore Studios © A24
PH: What has Ireland got to offer LA film makers?
SD: We hear from US crews and producers that Ireland is a resource for talent both in front of and behind the camera and has a wide range of very experienced producers. A strong tax incentive worth from 32 – 37% is one of the best in Europe with both above and below the line costs which can qualify as eligible expenditure. Once working in Ireland, cast and crew qualify regardless of nationality. The time difference between Ireland and the US is also particularly advantageous – eight hours to LA and five hours to New York. Which means that you can wake up to the first half of the day’s rushes from what’s been shot in Ireland already in your inbox.
DB: Studio space is in high demand as the number of content creators in the market continues to grow. For LA film makers, Ireland offers experienced crews and a growing supply of first-class studio facilities. Ireland’s educated and skilled workforce has also helped to establish globally renowned post-production and animation industries in which LA film makers can easily scale creative teams.
PH: What type of movies typically get made in Ireland?
SD: Everything from TV drama, feature films, animation and VFX sequences are created in Ireland. All sizes of production are made here, from Hollywood blockbusters to independent low budget films, large budget science fiction series, Irish drama, Oscar-nominated animation and world-renowned animation brands. VFX is a strong growth area – there’s an increase in companies coming to Ireland for their VFX post-production.
As well as all sizes of production, all styles of genres are created in Ireland, from horror, science fiction, fantasy and British period dramas to Irish originated content. We offer the whole package here in Ireland.
PH: What particular advantages do you offer LA and US film makers?
SD: If a filmmaker has an idea for a project, we’re very happy to talk to them, to explain all the benefits including what the project would look like in Ireland. We can create a look-book, offer scouting support and give them ideas about possible locations and how their project could look in Ireland. Screen Ireland’s skills development team will assist the production in identifying training needs and offers a range of training classes in the areas of film, television, animation, games and visual effects. Recent initiatives including our new National Talent Academies and our newly launched crew development hubs are ensuring that the next generation of crew will be available for future productions. Investment schemes like the ‘Pathways’ partnership program with international studios place individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds on international productions filming in Ireland.
DB: In Ireland, filmmakers can avail of a 32% rebate on qualified spending. Added to this, Ireland’s vibrant academic ecosystem provides US studios with access to novel technologies to drive audience engagement. ADAPT Research Centre, based at Trinity College Dublin offers access to research expertise across new forms of proactive, scalable, and integrated machine learning and AI-Driven Digital Content Technology. The training resources offered in Ireland also bolster talent pools to ensure a reliable supply of skilled workers in new technology areas such as AR/VR and AI.
Under the EU’s revised Audio Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), catalogs must contain 30% European content, aimed at ensuring investment in Europe’s production resources. Post Brexit, as content creators seek to be regulated by an EU member state, Ireland’s stable and transparent regulatory environment and similarity to the UK system makes it an appealing alternative.
Jared Harris in “Foundation”, now streaming on Apple TV+ and filmed in Ireland’s Troy Studios © Apple TV+
PH: How can US film makers avail of the resources that Ireland has to offer?
SD: US filmmakers will need to work with an Irish co-producer or service company to access the Irish tax credit. The company will also assist with budgeting and assembling a crew for the production. Screen Ireland can offer logistical support and make introductions to the Irish partner.
PH: How can US film makers get in touch?
If you are interested in Irish opportunities for filming or post production work please contact Steven.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
To get in touch with IDA email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
LA-based Steven Davenport is head of US Production & Partnerships with Screen Ireland, where he is responsible for assisting international producers and studios to locate production in Ireland and the promotion of Irish talent internationally.
David Brody | LinkedIn is Vice President of Technology, Consumer & Business Services at IDA Ireland’s Southern California office. In this role, he works with US film and media organizations to let them know how Ireland can be a resource to them.