Adelaide, South Australia- Rising Sun Pictures, which has produced visual effects for more than sixty feature films including the Harry Potter series, expects to be a chief beneficiary of the newly expanded trade rebates designed to promote film production in Australia.
The Australian government announced an update of its Screen Production Incentive program, which provides rebates for various activities related to film and television production.
Among other things, the update includes a dramatic lowering of the threshold for PDV (post, digital and visual effects) work completed in Australia. Previously, the incentive applied only to productions spending more than $5 million on PDV work. Going forward the tax break will be available to productions spending just $500,000. This rebate of 15% applies to all qualifying costs within Australia, not just labor.
The new lower threshold promises to pay huge dividends for Rising Sun, the largest independent provider of visual effects services in Australia. It will allow the company to compete effectively for many more film projects that previously considered the $5 million threshold an impediment for completing their work in Australia.
The cyclical nature of large-scale VFX contracts means that companies such as Rising Sun need to compliment this kind of work with numerous smaller contracts to achieve a consistent workload. The lowering of the threshold will enable Rising Sun to not only attract new clients but also maintain the capacity to create high volumes of complex visual effects on packages of work greater than $5 million.
PDV has evolved into a global industry over the past several years. Innovations in technology such as Rising Sun’s cineSync have made it possible to collaborate remotely with film producers in Hollywood, London, and elsewhere. A workforce of highly skilled and talented post-production and visual effects artists has also emerged worldwide. Additionally, governments in many parts of the world have enacted tax rebates and other measures to attract production work. The Film Incentive program developed by the Australian government allows a large company like Rising Sun to compete on a level playing field with the top visual effects suppliers in the US, UK, and Canada.