There has never been a more exciting time to produce audio-visual content in Puerto Rico. With the devastation of Hurricanes María and Irma a distant-yet-sobering memory there is once again great anticipation and vitality in the rising industries of the island. New business ventures, investment opportunities, recreational hotspots like bars, restaurants, real estate and luxury hotel developments in not just the capitol San Juan, but across the idyllic west of Rincón and tropical eastern islets of Vieques and Culebra are springing up faster than spring daisies in May.
The film industry in Puerto Rico is going through a major renaissance period - rumors of Netflix bringing a host of intellectual property and confirmed commercial developments including a movie production city mega-development with exclusive hotel attachments bode incredibly well for the future. The Puerto Rico Film Commission commitment to its 40% starting rate of film tax credits for qualifying productions adds another string to the already heady bow of Puerto Rican film production capabilities.
So what makes a qualifying production?
As with many things in life it boils down to money. If the local spend is $100k or more (or $50k+ for short films), then the production can qualify. This kind of rate is met quickly when looking at a week of shooting, or bundling production of two commercials together, for instance. There is no cap on non-resident payments (with 20% earmarked) and a $50m/year cap on local expenditure.
One of the first questions we usually encounter when talking with producers wishing to bring major projects to the island is “do we have quality crew?” and to this the answer is clear- at any one time Puerto Rico has equivalent of four major Hollywood crews on the island- the majority of whom are time-served IATSE 494 union members and DGA. Equipment standards and film production facilities have improved ten-fold over the last half-decade and of course, the natural assets of some of the worlds’ most enticing and exotic locations doesn’t harm either.
If things pan out the way they are expected then in the next five years Puerto Rico will not only be Americas favorite paradise getaway spot, but also the premier option for savvy film producers both from home soil and world-wide.
Where do you plan on shooting your next opus?
Whatever your production needs, at whatever scale, as always, contact CereProds