Spain / “Shooting in Spain” in Los Angeles

On November 7th and 8th Los Angeles hosted the first “Shooting in Spain” forum – an opportunity for professionals in the Spanish film industry to meet their American counter-parts. Those present included the Spanish Film Commission (SFC), the Secretary of State for Tourism (SETUR) and James Costos, former US Ambassador to Spain, as well as fifty representatives of major Spanish and American film companies such as Netflix, HBO, Warner Bros and Disney.

The goal? Strengthen film production collaboration between the two countries.

One idea floated was to create an audiovisual hub in Spain in a special partnership with California and the rest of the North American film industry. Many American film-makers are thinking of heading to Spain rather than using traditional Hollywood locations. Game Of Thrones is a prime example. The series used locations in different regions of Spain, including Andalusia, particularly the Sierra Alhamilla National Park near the town of Almeria, and Catalonia.

Film-makers want to go further afield than Barcelona or Madrid. Production companies in Andalusia, Aragon and the Canary Islands, amongst others, will share their projects and facilities with Hollywood.

Spain has a rich variety of landscapes and historical architecture, plus a solid infrastructure. California and Spain have many features in common, including climate and language, thanks to part of their shared history.

The Spanish film industry wants to make the most of the opportunities offered by California. The buzz associated with filming major international productions has meant film tourism in Spain has exploded in recent years, with a harvest of economic spin-offs.

In addition the foreign productions themselves bring many economic benefits, according to APPA (Asociación de Professionales de Producción Audiovisuales): films and television series generate €646 million a year while commercials generate a further €457 million.

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