Czech film industry types are fond of pooh-poohing Romania (or any other former East bloc country) as a viable competitor for quality, low-cost production in the region. Now they seem to have an unexpected ally: Romania’s own King Michael I.
His majesty, in Prague to commemorate the sacrifice of Romanian soldiers who helped liberate what was then Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII, was asked whether attracting more pic production is key to his efforts to boost Romania’s economy.
“That depends on these big film people,” said the soft-spoken monarch. “It could be, but it’s not the main industry.”
At that, the royal entourage looked distinctly ill at ease.
“But your majesty, Romania’s scenery!” one official finally blurted out.
It seems King Michael, 84, is not much impressed by productions like “Cold Mountain,” “Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis” and “Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave” — all of which shot in Romania.
Prague’s booming production services sector, which routinely argues that Romania may be cheaper but can’t deliver the technical excellence or quality infrastructure, will no doubt want to send Michael a thank-you bouquet.