Inside Move: Studios deposit big Czechs

Prague prod'n booms while Hungary looms

Hollywood is about to send a lot of postcards from Prague.

At least 11 studio films set for release in 2004 were shot in the capital of the Czech Republic, vs. just three major pics last year, proving just how cost-efficient the city is now considered by producers.

Sweeping shots of the towering spires of Prague’s St. Vitus cathedral and medieval bridges crossing the Vltava River are prominently featured in Warners’ “Chasing Liberty.”

And the city’s Old World architecture will be seen later this year in “The Princess Diaries 2,” “Van Helsing,” “The Prince and Me,” “The Brothers Grimm,” “Tristan and Isolde” and “Euro Trip.”

“Alien vs. Predator,” “Hellboy” “A Sound of Thunder” and “The Phantom of the Opera” also shot in Prague, but mainly utilized the city’s soundstages and used locations to stand in for other real or fictional settings. (Prague as 19th century Paris, for example).

But the boom could turn into too much of a good thing. After last year’s Prague-based “Shanghai Knights,” “I Spy” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” studios may think the city’s become overexposed.

Few big-budget films are skedded to shoot in Prague this year, with productions moving to new hot spots, like Budapest in Hungary.

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