Filming in the Caribbean: “Rum with a View”

Variety (Iain Blair) recently published an article—“The Caribbean: Rum with a View”—on the advantages if filming in the Caribbean on islands such as the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago. Here are excerpts:

U.S. Virgin Islands: While the U.S. Virgin Islands don’t offer conventional tax incentives, the film office provides support on a case-by-case basis, which often equates to a generous subsidy or incentive package that’s competitive with incentives offered by other destinations.[. . .]”The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” season 27 of MTV’s “The Real World” and Subway commercials have all taken advantage of the islands’ diverse locations. Upcoming productions include ABC’s “The Bachelor” and the “Percy Jackson” sequel.  [Contact: Steve Bornn, at]

Puerto Rico: When upcoming crime thriller “Runner, Runner” (starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck), Showtime’s “The Big C,” USA’s “White Collar,” BBC’s “Treasure Island” and “Q’Viva !” (the Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony show) needed exotic locations, they headed straight for Puerto Rico.In their journey to that island they joined a long list of earlier high-profile productions, ranging from like Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” and the more recent “The Rum Diary,” with Johnny Depp.Shooting in Puerto Rico offers a lot of advantages. As part of the U.S., it has the same commercial and banking laws and currency, and no trade barriers. It also offers a wide range of locations, from historic old San Juan to beaches and mountains, well developed infrastructure, local talent, and experienced bilingual crews. [Contact]

British Virgin Islands: Film commissioner Rhodni Skelton says the British Virgin Islands “have carved out a niche market with smaller productions” such as commercials, docus, shorts and fashion and culinary shoots.Clients traveling to the islands have included Gillette, Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated. Harrods Magazine, Germany’s Blue Planet TV and TLC reality show “Little People, Big World” recently shot there. [Contact:]

Dominican Republic: Long a popular vacation destination, the Dominican Republic is fast becoming a popular production choice as well, thanks to its tropical scenery and competitive tax breaks. It offers a 25% transferable tax credit on all above- and below-the-line-eligible expenditures for feature films, telepics, musicvideos, miniseries and TV series with a minimum spend of $500,000 — and there is no cap. [. . .] Recent productions include: “The Truth” with Andy Garcia, shot in December, and the first film to take advantage of the fiscal incentives; French film “Affaires etrangeres Cuba,” shot in January; season 22 of “Road Rules Challenge” for MTV; season two of “Love in the Wild” for NBC; and episodes of E!’s “Keeping up With the Kardashians,” which shot last March in Casa de Campo. Upcoming productions include “Cabin Fever 3” and South Korean production “Way Back Home.” [Contact:]

Trinidad & Tobago: Trinidad and Tobago, the serene, most southerly islands of the Lesser Antilles chain, offer photogenic beaches, a laid-back atmosphere and a highly competitive financial incentive of up to 35% cash back for on-location filming. [. . .] The islands have recently hosted a broad range of productions, including the music video for the Nicki Minaj single “Pound the Alarm” for Los Angeles-based London Alley Entertainment, and the TV series “House Hunters International” for Leopard Films, both of which shot in June. Canada’s Hungry Eyes Film and Television shot “Home Again,” a drama starring “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” alum Tatyana Ali, and Pilgrims Films Intl. shot Syfy series “Ghost Hunters International.” [Contact:]

For full article, see

[Shown above, a scene from “White Collar,” in Puerto Rico.]

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