THE MOVIE-MAKING RACKET

Kate Walsh is an American actress currently trapped in Perth by the virus lockdown, and evidently happy to be there.

She told the Australian Financial Review of the “massive opportunity” to build Perth and Freemantle into film studios, noting the two cities largely missed out in the Federal Government’s recent A$400 million funding to promote foreign film-making in Australia.

But note this; Kate also remarked, “Where there’s tax credits the Hollywood Studios will come.”

That sums up the situation accurately. From New Zealand to Morocco, Spain to Hungary, nations world-wide have in recent decades become star-struck and been seduced into offering cash incentives and tax exemptions to have bloody films made in their country. The usual benefit argued is employment but that applies to all commercial activities without exempting them from tax.

There’s an added inference of glamour attached to allowing this racket, exactly as has propped up another scam, namely the Americas Cup.

The world has absolutely no interest in the Americas Cup. It’s a periodic contest between an ever-changing small cast of wealthy males. Yet New Zealand taxpayers have forked out over a third of a billion dollars to have this often-excruciatingly dull event staged here, under the false impression it’s an international event of moment. I suspect the current rumbling about this scandal will see an end to it happening again here with taxpayer funding.

Let’s hope the same applies to propping up the film racket scam with public money which we’ve also succumbed to regularly in recent years.

7 Comments

markscreaminggoosearmstrong July 28, 2020 at 10:10 am

I’m no economist but I guess the public like making movies here because I have trouble figuring out how the huge gifting to wealthy film-makers can give a net positive return to this country. Or at least a return per dollar spent higher than other projects. Like housing.

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A Wellingtonian criticizing the access Saint Peter of Miramar has to taxpayers funds!
You must like living dangerously.

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I agree largely with what you say Bob but the reality is , there are seriously large amounts of money involved with these events , projects , movies , whatever.
Only some of that needs to rub off in our economy to make these things worthwhile.
Many years ago we were involved with a movie called “Vertical Limit”.
This was before Peter Jackson and Weta were major players.
It was filmed entirely in NZ and had a budget of around $330,000,000.
It was never even released mainstream and went straight to video as I understand.
You can view it online and trust me it is truly bad.
But boy , did it generate some activity and action financially , especially down here in the South Island.
There is always a “big picture” in regard to these events that is not immediately obvious to the naysayer.

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Bob, I do not agree with you concerning your opinion regarding the America’s Cup. I believe the majority of the middle class as well as the wealthy enjoy the racing. I recall we were doing extensive home renovations when the racing was in Bermuda and all our contractors stopped to watch all eight final races.

The America’s Cup was worth US$336 million to Bermuda. The figure is from an independent economic and social impact assessment report on the event conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The last America’s Cup was worth US364 million to San Francisco.

Most of the the improvements they are doing to the Viaduct Basin will remain after the racing has finished. In this Covid-19 era, a lot of Kiwis could do with a morale-boost and that’s what I believe the racing will bring.

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Its the same reason Engineers invest in Hotels. The faint whiff of glamour. The idea that the government will see dollar 1 back is a total fallacy. If it wasnt so expensive I’d laugh. Thats the kind of money that could build hospitals.

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…I recon we should spend more on Pike River…or just promise to spend more anyway.
We could do this through the reserve bank printing more money. In fact we can do anything we like by printing more money !!
Winston could deliver the first wheel-barrow load…yes, now thats a great idea.
Wonderful.

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The America’s Cup is a bit like boxing Sir Bob!

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