Hollywood Producers annual investment lunch and conference usually held in Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel was conducted remotely last week. The exclusive event attracts invitation-only top tier Hollywood producers who discuss financing structures and investment strategies for the year ahead howeve, this year there was a great shift in discussion to all things Covid 19 and the devastating impact on movie and television productions both domestically and internationally.
With all productions effectively shut down worldwide excepting Sweden, the main topic of discussion centred on which territories would open up first and within those territories, the types of restrictions that would be in place and how they would affect current and future productions.
According to the Managing Director of the event, Michael Tannenbaum- “the lack of concrete information and rule changes that producers can incorporate and build around has caused great upheaval within the industry. The rise of streaming services and their great demand for content and the complete standstill of the production pipeline has exacerbated the problem”
On the international front, one of the speakers addressing the conference remotely from his suite at the Four Seasons Hotel, Los Angeles was Pat Andrew of Wanda-Halcyon Television and former Spelling Entertainment executive. He stated that he was still quite bullish on Spain as a production hub and expected full quarantine to be eased by the 24th of May with filming recommencing by mid-June. He stated that Spain still has all the ingredients to be a producers paradise due to very attractive tax incentives, a magnificent climate, fantastic locations and a strong commitment by the political and corporate leaders in both Andalusia and Almeria. Having the well-known political figures and Mayors of both Malaga and Almeria, Francisco De La Torre and Ramón Fernández-Pacheco Monterreal so positive towards foreign film productions makes a big difference. Their staff are hugely accommodating and supportive. Andrew went on to mention that the Spanish companies handling graphics and production in both Malaga and Almeria are highly technically advanced and certainly there is very little difference between them and those in Hollywood. One of the agencies he pointed out as a ‘go-to’ agency for visiting Hollywood production companies was Hormiguea of Almeria.
According to Sutish Sharma, Managing Director of New Street Pictures, Pinewood Studios, London, England-‘we have some really high-profile television productions in Malaga and Almeria; “MobKing” a dramatic, visceral and moving series based on the world of corruption, murder and organized crime in modern Florida created by and starring Ciro Dapagio and “Marked-The Unforgiven”, a new drama adapted from the novel by former Hells Angels Ventura President, George Christie. Sharma went on to state that both Dapagio and Christie have become household names in Puerto Banus, Almeria and Malaga in the last few months and were fixtures on the social scene in "old-world Hollywood style" prior to quarantine. Sharma stated that they were hoping to be filming by mid-June.
Lucy Carver, Head of Administration for Wanda Halcyon Television stated that they are hoping that the government will make the new regulations crystal clear by the beginning of June so that everyone can get back to making great television without draconian restrictions.