It appears as though Korea might be the backdrop for many foreign films going forward.
As highlighted in a recent SBS News report, the Korean government is heavily supporting the production of foreign films on its soil, providing both logistic and monetary support to foreign film companies. For the filming of “Avengers 2,” which spanned two weeks in the Spring of last year, the government closed a major bridge in Seoul for an entire day. In addition, production companies of films shot in the country are eligible to receive back 30 percent of the money they spend domestically. In the case of “Avengers 2,” this compensation totals around 2.8 million dollars.
The Korean government hopes that such a support system for foreign production studios will lead to an increase in filming within the country and, ultimately, promote tourism. Estimations are that the country could see over 75 million tourist dollars a year as a result of the plan.
The compensation plan, however, is costing the government quite a bit of money. The government gave a rebate of 750 thousand dollars to the production company of American drama “Sense 8” last year, and it is expected to return 1.4 million dollars for the production of a Chinese film currently filming on Jeju Island. Moreover, it is not yet clear whether the plan will yield the anticipated monetary benefits, leading some to wonder if Korea appearing in international films is worth the inconveniences of city streets being closed down and government compensation to foreign production companies.