World Report: Spain - How to Shoot a Film in Spain
In 2005, the Ciudad de la Luz studio complex opened, overlooking the Mediterranean near eastern Spain’s Alicante region. It was described as the most advanced in Europe.And since then it has hosted shoots as diverse as Bruce Willis starrer “The Cold Light of Day”; Gallic tentpole “Asterix at the Olympic Games”; Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tetro”; Juan Antonio Bayonas’ “The Impossible,” with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor; “Mr. Nice,” toplining Rhys Ifans; and Nia Vardalos vehicle “My Life in Ruins.” But to really compete with the U.K.’s Pinewood-Shepperton or Germany’s Babelsberg, Ciudad needs more high-profile movies, a larger Alicante talent base and nationwide rebates for international shoots. The studio’s technology can handle complex shoots. Paid for by Valencia’s regional government, the Ciudad complex cost €300 million ($432 million), says Ciudad director Elsa Martinez, who is also prexy of Spain’s film commish. Some tech highlights:
- Set on 740 acres, six soundstages cover 120,000 sq. ft., boast wooden light grills, mute air conditioning and NC-25 soundproofing. Elephant doors connect the biggest stages creating a 50,000 sq.-ft. macro-stage.
- Complex houses an 86,000-sq.-foot water tank plus greenscreen, which rivals Malta’s pool as Europe’s premier tank facility. “The tank’s so huge that we used real water movements to create the impact of a wave hitting a hotel and the flood,” says Telecinco Cinema CEO Ghislain Barrois on the tsunami opening to “Impossible.”
- Two backlots, covering 30 acres, with water and a fiber-optic ring, capitalize on Spain’s ample hours of sunlight.
- An on-site daily rush lab, Deluxe Alicante, backed by full-service companies in Barcelona and Madrid, accelerate delivery of digital/35mm dailies and “make director-production contact far more fluid,” says Deluxe’s Vanessa Ruiz-Larrea.
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