Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Advertisements
Advertisements

Dublin’s ‘Attraction’ includes tax breaks

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) — Is Dublin the new Manhattan — or can the Irish capital at least double for the New York metropolis?

Arthur Lappin, director Jim Sheridan’s producing partner, believes so — having shot most of the New York-set “In America” in Dublin, with only a few days of exterior filming actually filmed in America.

So when the producers of “Laws of Attraction” asked Lappin if it would be possible to film the romantic comedy in Ireland to take advantage of Irish tax incentives, he proposed a rewrite. The script about battling divorce lawyers, starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, had originally been set in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, but Lappin proposed relocating it to New York and the Irish countryside.

Advertisements

Even so, another of the producers, Beau St. Clair — who is partnered with Brosnan in their production company, Irish DreamTime, which also had come aboard the film — had some trepidation.

“I was so stressed out because New York is so recognizable,” St. Clair says. “But because we were trying to make a studio movie on an indie budget, we were hamstrung.”

However, the Irish tax incentives made it possible for the movie’s relatively modest budget (it is officially pegged by the producers at $32 million) to go a long way.

Section 481 of Ireland’s Taxes Consolidation Act of 1997 proved the filmmakers’ secret weapon. The tax incentive is based on the amount of money spent on Irish goods and services, called the Irish spend. Currently, up to 10 percent of a film’s budget can be recouped, with a cap of $2 million, though that cap will be raised to $3 million next year. So the “Attraction” filmmakers got the full $2 million credit, which they were able to recoup on the first day of principal photography.

Because the “Attraction” filmmakers were operating under a U.K. co-production, they also were able to take advantage of another financial incentive: the United Kingdom’s sale and leaseback tax exemption.

The sale and leaseback operates under the European co-production convention, which is subject to a point system. A film with a British or Irish writer, director or principal cast member gets three points for each, two points each for other leads and one point for the cinematographer and other below-the-liners. A production has to achieve at least 15 points to qualify. With the Irish-born Brosnan in the starring role and England’s Peter Howitt directing, “Attraction,” which New Line Cinema acquired for U.S. distribution, easily made the cut.

An Irish film crew, seasoned from years and 481 productions, cut the costs of filming even further. And then there was the goodwill factor, which greeted native son Brosnan.

Lappin adds that Ireland’s thriving industry is a perfect example of globalization.

“We’re a very small economy,” he says. “We’re an economy that lives next door to the enormous economy of the U.K. and Europe, and in order for us to compete and to grow, we found it necessary to have all sorts of interesting and open measures that will attract international investments.”

St. Clair, who’s already produced two other movies in Ireland — DreamTimes’ “Evelyn” and “The Match” — says the final results, which will be on view when “Attraction” opens April 30, are more than convincing, as interiors constructed in Dublin successfully doubled for New York.

“It gave me real confidence that you can shoot anywhere for anywhere if you have good crews,” St. Clair says. “You can pull off the impossible if you have to.”

Advertisements
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *