Matt Damon is by all accounts a very nice and decent guy, and a damn fine actor too.
One who just recently said: ” The wealthy are paying less than they paid at any time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century,” He told a reporter. “I don’t know what we were paying in the Roaring ’20s; it’s criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I don’t mind paying more. I really don’t mind paying more taxes. I’d rather pay for taxes than cut ‘Reading is Fundamental’ or Head Start or some of these programs that are really helping kids. This is the greatest country in the world; is it really that much worse if you pay 6% more in taxes? Give me a break. Look at what you get for it: you get to be American.”
As I said, a decent guy.
So when he talked, in a GQ cover story, about the script he got for Bourne Ultimatum (the third one, for those who are confused as I am) and said: “It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.”
He later apologized and said he should have kept his mouth shut. It’s between him and the dude. But what caught my attention was something else he said. He said that “he was caught off guard in Vancouver on the set of his next film, Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, when he found himself next to the just-opened offices for The Bourne Legacy, the fourth movie in the franchise…”
OK… So both movies are being shot in Vancouver. That means no work for local crews, no expendables, no gas, food and vehicle rental that will go towards the local economy. So it got me thinking; how many of the “tentpole’ movies – those big budget, big stars, big distribution budget which are hand picked for certain dates – were actually shot in Hollywood.
Are They Still Shooting Movies in Hollywood?
We know the medium and low budget movies have moved on to greener pastures – states that give tax incentive to the movie industry. But what about the big and famous ones? The ones which were the bread and butter of film industry workers when they are experienced enough to work on them with big ego directors?
Here’s a partial list of the biggest grossing movies on 2011:
Harry Potter was shot in the UK.
The twilight Saga – Louisiana
Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides – Hawaii, moved to LA because of rough seas, Porto Rico, ending up in the UK.
Mission Impossible 4 was shot in Dubai, Prague, Moscow, Mumbai, Bangalore and Vancouver.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Sweden, Switzerland, UK, interior shots in LA. (Thank you David Fincher!)
Hugo – The UK
Sherlock Holmes – The UK
War Horse – Dartmoor, Devon, the UK
Captain America – The UK, France and Germany
Fast Five – Brazil, Porto Rico and Atlanta
The Smurfs – New York
The Hangover Party II – Thailand and Los Angeles
Need I go on?!
And they wonder why California is so down in the dumps with so much unemployment and not enough state revenue…
Isn’t it time for Governor Brown to get the moguls in a room and find out what would it take to bring some of the business back to Hollywood?