The scoop: While there are no tax incentives or local subsidies, prices are on par with low-cost leader Romania. Bulgarian stuntpeople are highly skilled, and crews are well trained as they’re used to working on U.S. productions due to Nu Image Millennium’s strong presence in the country.
Nu Image recently acquired the formerly state-run Boyana Film Studios, which includes an ancient Rome set popular with BBC producers. Compared with Rome set in Tunisia, the Boyana one looks less polished and hence more authentic.
Nu Image dominates the Bulgarian film industry, including the service sector; however, there are alternative service providers such as Bright Ideas Film House.
Locationwise, Bulgaria offers everything from lush forests to snow-peaked mountains and the Black Sea all within a five-hour drive from one another.
Bulgarian capital Sofia features plenty of ’70s concrete brutalism and run-down ’40s apartment blocks, making it an ideal setting for period pics. Near Sofia, there’s a 1930s Los Angeles set left over from Brian De Palma’s “The Black Dahlia.”
Bonus: Producers can rent U.S. standard talent trailers from Nu Image. It saves shipping in the honey wagons.
Shot there: “The Black Dahlia”; “War, Inc.”; “Day of the Dead”
Hot spot: State-of-the-art Kodak lab.