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The Association of Film Commissioners International has launched a new service that aims to help producers reach out to locations around the world in the search for scenery and vital tax incentives.
The Global Production Network Tool, as it is dubbed, provides access to film commissioners worldwide, allowing producers to describe their needs and receive responses from far-flung offices — including from places they may not have anticipated would be viable prospects for their film, television series or other project.
“It’s about connecting content creators with our global members,” said AFCI president Jess Conoplia. “Previously, producers had to make assumptions” about locations, crew and soundstage availability, and tax incentives. Now producers and location managers can use this tool and receive responses from film commission offices on six continents, saving valuable time.”
The tool is available at globalnetwork.afci.org. After a producer fills out company and project information, a sophisticated neural network processes the submission. Well, sort of. But pay no attention to the people behind the curtain — because the only neural network involved is wetware: the AFCI staff, who validate the producer’s bona fides before sending the submission to the organization’s members, approximately 300 film commissions worldwide.
Those who prefer to network in person may have fond memories of Location Expo, a trade show AFCI started over 30 years ago in partnership with the organization now known as the Independent Film & Television Alliance, organizers of the American Film Market. In the days before websites, email and cheap international phone calls, the show ballooned in size, filling the Santa Monica Civic Center with colorful booths laden with brochures and tchotchkes.
Although technology has changed the economic calculus for in-person meetings, the show lives on in not one but two (albeit smaller) incarnations: the mostly invite-only AFCI Week in April and LocationEXPO, which IFTA will hold Saturday through Nov. 6 in conjunction with AFM.
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