Is Cuba in line to become the new Hollywood favourite?

Posted: 10-Feb-16 09:17

Hollywood appears to be benefiting from recently relaxed travel rules between the United States and Cuba. Recent shoots in the country could signal a shift in policy for the future. While production of a popular TV show just wrapped up, a major Hollywood movie and even a TV commercial could soon be on the horizon.

Is Cuba in line to become the new Hollywood favourite?

Just weeks after the U.S. and Cuba agreed to reopen commercial flights between the two countries, Hollywood is taking notice. It’s been more than a half-century since Americans could legally travel to Cuba without a specific license, but now with a relaxing of the rules more and more people, and now even Hollywood studios, are beginning to see real value in doing business between the two countries.

Nevertheless, there remain kinks that need to be worked out when it comes to finding a good working relationship between American and Cuban cultures.

Recently the stars and production team behind Showtime’s “House of Lies” travelled to Cuba to complete the show’s season finale. Stars Kristen Bell and Don Cheadle headed to Havana, to shoot scenes on the busy streets with a crew of locals. One of the hurdles experienced by American producers was dealing with Cuban workers told to skip out on taking a full lunch break to make up for lost work time.

In response, the assistant director reportedly told director Matthew Carnahan:

“That’s not going to work. You don’t do a walking lunch here.”

Production continued, in this case, after a full lunch break. Other concerns are highlighted by the demands of Cuba when it comes to only showing the positive attributes of the country, and insisting on script approval.

There is also the issue of booking a flight to Cuba, which has been problematic in recent months, but should improve with the recent relaxing of guidelines for commercial airlines. In addition, in many cases, Cuba currently does not have the quality hotel rooms needed to support a large network of cast and crewmembers.

Despite the obstacles, though, Showtime’s Carnahan remains optimistic, sharing his opinion in a recent interview with the Associated Press.

“There’s a lot of stuff coming here. Whether Cuba becomes a viable location on a regular outgoing basis rather than a novelty is up to both countries.”

One of those productions with sights set on Cuba right now is the franchise “Fast and Furious”. Currently the latest instalment of the Hollywood blockbuster is awaiting permission from both countries to shoot in Cuba. It’s also been reported that a large U.S. carmaker also aims to shoot a commercial in Cuba sometime in the future.


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