Saturday, 31 May 2008

Strong dollar a threat to films, Jackman says

By Vicky Roach

HUGH Jackman says he probably wouldn't have got the green light to shoot X-Men Origins: Wolverine in Sydney in the current economic climate.

"It would have been very hard," the actor-producer said as a strong Australian dollar took a heavy toll on the local industry, deterring overseas productions.

Jackman is particularly concerned about crew members, many of whom he worked with on the back-to-back big-budget productions Australia and Wolverine.

"The crews we have are world class. Without consistent work, the industry will falter," he said.

Veteran grip Ray Brown, who among a string of other projects worked on all three Matrix films, said the situation was "desperate".

When the plug was pulled on George Miller's Justice League: Mortal because it failed to qualify for the 40 per cent tax rebate awarded to films with significant Australian content, 1200 jobs and a year's work were lost, Brown said.

After three weeks work on thriller Knowing, he has nothing to go to.

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