Booming business for film and TV extras

Based at Ardmore Studios, Movie Extras is Ireland’s leading provider of film, television, and advert workers to the industry since 2002. The company is a sound barometer of the industry’s general health.

Booming business for film and TV extras

“2013 has been very busy for us, practically from January onwards,” said managing director Derek Quinn. “At one point, we were involved in 11 reasonably sized projects simultaneously, so it certainly has been an all-go year for the company.

“Productions like Ripper Street and Moone Boy, which are both filming second series in Dublin, are added to new productions like Quirke and Life Of Crime, which have kept us going flat out at times.”

Extras have been paid over €8m in fees since the company’s formation in 2002 — a graph Mr Quinn believes will continue upwards.

“Business has been very steady, and there are indications of bigger productions continuing to come here in the months ahead which is great news considering the state of the economy.”

Mr Quinn sees the Government Section 481 tax breaks as part of the core foundation helping to keep the industry intact.

“Tax breaks are the cornerstone, no question,” he said. “Ten years ago, when then minister for finance spoke about the possibility of abolishing them, it had an extremely negative industry for the next 18 months.”

Tax incentives are not about preferential treatment, he stressed, more about levelling the playing pitch.

“On the global stage, which is what you have to look at in this industry, these breaks allow us to compete with other territories.

“Companies will locate their productions where the best financial climate is found. Ireland has excellent crews, infrastructure, and certainly much praised extras. But all of that has to be backed up with incentives to make a persuasive case for incoming productions to locate here.”

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