Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious 7 Races into Abu Dhabi Building on the Emirate’s Success as a Film Production Hub

07 Nov 2013

Universal Pictures’ action-thriller series – one of the biggest movie franchises of all time – set to benefit from Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s production rebate

The Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) and Universal Pictures today announced that filming forFast & Furious 7, will commence in Abu Dhabi on 8 November. twofour54 intaj, the film and television services arm of twofour54, will act as the local producer of the highly anticipated seventh edition of the global franchise built on speed.

Due to be released on 7 August 2014, Fast & Furious 7 is the latest major Hollywood production to be filmed in Abu Dhabi, attracted by the Emirate’s unique locations, twofour54 intaj’s experienced crew and ADFC’s production incentive, which comes in the form of a 30% rebate on qualifying spend in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi scenes will be captured firstly in early November, when the film’s visual effects unit secures helicopter shots, stunt footage and a variety of visual effects work. Then, in January 2014 approximately 80 to 120 cast and crew, including starring actors Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, join for scenes at some of Abu Dhabi’s iconic landmarks.

Talented UAE nationals will have the opportunity to work alongside Fast & Furious 7 director James Wan; the movies’ host of stars, and producers Neal H. Moritz and Michael Fottrell through twofour54’s traineeship programme intaji and twofour54’s creative lab community.

Noura Al Kaabi, Chief Executive, twofour54, said: “Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious franchise is known for its legacy of shoots in amazing locations. Following the enormous success of Fast & Furious 6, it’s great that Abu Dhabi has been selected for this latest film, not just because this will be the biggest movie to be shot in Abu Dhabi to date, generating substantial international media exposure for the Emirate, but also because of the huge amount of local investment and work-experience opportunities for young Emiratis that a Hollywood blockbuster of this scale brings. This is a wonderful opportunity for Abu Dhabi’s growing film talent to acquire new skills.”

Noura continued: “By encouraging regional and international productions to shoot in the UAE, we are facilitating the development of a sustainable local film industry, making a large net contribution to both the economy and cultural life. Directly, major productions such as Fast & Furious 7 shot in Abu Dhabi create new and highly qualified jobs, grow a deeper pool of industry talent, provide opportunities for service and equipment providers, a robust production infrastructure and contribute to the establishment of new companies to service the film industry. Indirectly, their box-office appeal has a positive impact on UAE tourism and trade. Just look at what happened to New Zealand, a great example of an economy that has seen a tangible impact to its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) after being a location for blockbuster movie franchises.”

In a study commissioned by ADFC earlier this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates that for every AED 1 invested in the production rebate program, AED 4.5 of GDP will be generated within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Because of this so called ‘multiplier effect’, PwC expects the total economic impact of the rebate program in 2014 to be AED 82 million.

ADFC, powered by twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, launched the region’s first financial incentive for international and regional production companies to accelerate Abu Dhabi as the first choice for production and post-production services in a growing global market for filmed entertainment. ADFC’s 30% incentive that benefits local suppliers is aligned with international standards and is only granted upon completion of the production, on the presentation of final audited accounts.

As well as providing the rebate and scouting support, ADFC is supporting Fast & Furious 7 with visas, filming permits and customs support and twofour54 intaj has provided full production services including budgeting and scheduling. Additionally, other UAE based companies are sub-contracted by twofour54 intaj to provide production specialisms and services such as hotel nights, flight bookings and catering.

Other recent beneficiaries of ADFC’s production rebate include Screen Gems’ and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ paranormal thriller Beware the Night which shot in Abu Dhabi in July; the Syrian production company Al Mohra from the Arabic drama series Hammam Shami, the first ever studio-based Syrian production of this scale to be filmed in Abu Dhabi, and Clacket Production, which used twofour54’s colour grading suite for the post-production of regional drama series called Wilada Men Al Khasira and Sanaood Baaed Qaleel.

For further information about ADFC and its incentive scheme please see: http://www.film.gov.ae/

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