Tops below the line
WHY: Although Prague is no longer the bargain location it once was, and some point to major productions that have bypassed the city, it still has appeal to those who look closely at the math, says Matthew Stillman of Stillking, the veteran Prague production shingle.
Stillking is adept at finding finance to such a degree that foreign shoots often end up spending less than they would in countries with rebates, says Stillking. In addition, he says, “The demand for more diverse locations has meant we are making joint-venture agreements in several countries including Hungary, Romania and Croatia.”
Ludmila Klaussova of the Czech Film Commission says Hungary-style money-back systems are still being negotiated with the government following a change in lobbying strategy adopted this summer.
Meanwhile, Czech crews, infrastructure, effects and facilities continue to impress, with Prague Studios, Gatteo and studios in Zlin adding to the options if Barrandov is booked up.
BONUS: Well-developed support services, including stunts, special effects and visual effects, eliminate the need to take footage home for post-production work in many cases. Also, the Czech crown, which has been stronger this year than ever, has devalued some 30% in the last three months, and VAT refunds are more user-friendly than in other former East Bloc countries.
SHOT THERE: “Faubourg 36,” “Soloman Kane,” “GI Joe,” “Psych 9,” “Rainbow Tribe”
HOT SPOT: Barrandov, the Czech capital’s leading studio, continues to upgrade, with a new telecine system and improved climate control at its newest addition, the 45,000-square-foot Max soundstage.
Czech Film Commission: filmcommission.cz
Czech Film Center: filmcenter.cz