MANY locations in France places hold an unquestionable charm that attracts the interest of film directors.
But nowhere perhaps can feed one's spirit quite as much as the castle towers and streets of Beynac.
In its cobbles, steps and angles, recesses and arches, there are unexpected combinations of stones and curves, giving a symmetry that's pleasing to the eye. Who wouldn't swap modern life for this?
Looking down from above the rooftops onto the Dordogne river, the air is clear enough to spot the duck's wake. No wonder a wall sign reads Montjoie.
In fact we like to think that directors choose their locations for their charm and heritage.
We know that, when it comes to films, there is a great rapport in for example the Dordogne, with the landscapes and medieval backdrop.
France has always been, and still is, a popular film location and not only the Cote D'Azur, the Mediterranean coast of Nice and Marseille, or the Dordogne or Loire valleys.
However, production has become increasingly dependent on financial incentives for French or co-productions.
Michel Plazenet, of the Centre national du cinéma (CNC), explains the types of assistance given.
"There are two kinds of support, there are subsidies which may be given by local authorities, the region, department, or city," Michel said.
"With criteria to hire or spend that money in the department and there is free help given by the film commissions."
Certainly, film production does bring in interesting employment, even as an extra. Some years ago, Ken Jones was booked as an actor in the Cinderella-based film Ever After, staring Drew Barrymore, after seeing a notice in a cinema.
"The way that a film is put together seems back to front, filming the last scene at the beginning," Ken said.
They use stand-ins for the main actors until the scene is ready. Some of the actors were word perfect, and were filmed in one-take, it showed you who were the professionals."
Ever After was shot at Beynac, Chateau Hautefort and Sarlat.
With government support France has uniquely maintained a strong national film industry. The Cannes Palme D'Or winner 2008 was Entre Les Murs or The Class, and low-budget Beinvenue chez les Ch'tis by Dany Boon filmed in 2007 broke all records.
A French film Jacquou le Croquant (2007) was shot in nine locations across the Dordogne, taking in places such as Château de Hautefort and Château de Biron, as well as Sarlat, Périgueux and the small village of Besse.
The film used location and nature, both wild and unpredictable, to convey a savage world full of extreme emotional events. Based on the novel by Eugène le Roy, this is a story rooted in French peasantry.
In the 1990s l'exception culturelle became the justification for promoting a nation's culture in face of other countries. But Hollywood films are still sought-after food for the economy.
"There's a lot of competition in Europe to attract the shooting of big budget films, especially from the USA," Michel Plazenet said.
"In countries like the UK, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium there is a 20 per cent or 30 per cent tax rebate to film there.
"The result was that even for films where the action took place in France, for instance the Tarantino movie Inglorious Bastards, the film was shot almost entirely in Germany."
Perhaps little surprise then, that France's position is changing and conforming.
"The French government came in line with Europe, with a 20 per cent tax rebate, Crédit d’impôt international, for foreign productions if shot in France. The policy became operational in 2009," said Michel Plazanet.
After all, everything has its price. And while the location may seem crucial, perhaps dependent upon nature; wild, untamed and dramatic, the economic demands are more predictable.
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