“The past three years have been the best we have had for a long time,” says Kevan Van Thompson, head of Czech Anglo Productions.
He ascribes the boom to one main development: “Prior to the rebate, work was in very short supply.”
“Unlocked,” a thriller contemplating the risk of biological terror, subbed Prague for London, and art directors made the swap all but undetectable. “With some good dressing and a few days in London we were able to produce London at a much reduced price,” says Van Thompson.
Czech Anglo also passed off the multi-faceted Prague as New York, and director Michael Apted was “happily surprised at how easy it was to work here.” The project, “Unlocked,” featuring Michael Douglas, Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, and John Malkovich, is just one recent score, along with Niki Caro’s “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” a World War II story of survival in Warsaw shot in Prague with Jessica Chastain.
As a warm-up act, Czech Anglo handled three seasons of the BBC’s irreverent actioner “The Musketeers,” which required 30 weeks of shoots for three years. Series producer Colin Wratten says Prague’s versatility was key: “They had everything we needed — castles, cobbled streets, basements with vaulted ceilings, churches, monasteries and ruins.”