WARNING for any filmmaker thinking of filming a movie in Fiji and applying for their 47% tax rebate. | Like all filmmakers, we were enticed by the 47% tax rebate that Fiji keeps advertising at all the film markets. So we decided to film in Fiji and like complete idiots, we flew the entire crew there to begin pre-production. | We spent over $200,000 in expenses during pre-production in Fiji and it turned out to be a disaster for us. | Don’t be fooled by this like we were. You will go home devastated. | Here’s what they DON’T tell you: | The film equipment is 50% higher to rent in Fiji than LA or NYC and most of the time they have very little to choose from. So guess what? You have to ship over equipment from Los Angeles. Do you know how expensive it is? HORRIFICALLY expensive. | Casting extras? Extras must go through the Fiji Film Office – not the locals. The film office charges almost double what you would pay in the U.S. | Hotels for cast and crew? Hotels will not play ball. The hotels we spent time asking for discounts gave us absolutely none. So you’ll spend at least $300 a day on your crew and actors for a good hotel. That adds up quickly. | The Fiji Airways was also the same: They refused to give us any discounts. Lo and behold, they’re the only airlines with a direct flight to Fiji from Los Angeles. | There are a dearth of crew members because remember this is FIJI a third world country. So Assistant Art Director? Fly them from LA. Gaffer? Fly them from LA? Grip? Fly them from LA. Before you know it, your budget is now up 75%, but hey at least you get the 47% back, right? | A British producer said he was having a difficult time getting his 47% rebate back. Well guess what? He can find a good Fiji lawyer and sue Fiji? Are you kidding? | AVOID FIJI LIKE THE PLAGUE to shoot a film. At least investigate over the phone, but don’t spend a dime flying there or you will have wasted thousands of dollars of your precious money. | In the end, we left Fiji – angry, disheartened, and feeling like we were scammed. Don’t let this happen to you. Anything you can film in Fiji, you can film in California, Hawaii or the Caribbean with much better access to equipment, locals, permits, hotels, and airlines, etc. | YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
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