From his base in the Czech capital, it’s easy for Rick McCallum to keep up on the shifting landscape U.S. filmmakers need to be aware of when weighing a location shoot. The American producer of the three “Star Wars” prequels and “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” is now working on the medieval revenge adventure “Emperor” from his own production company, Film United. Co-producers include Belgium’s Corsan. McCallum founded Film United in Prague after falling in love with the emerging Czech democracy — and with the Czech woman who is now his Czech wife.
But being a little enchanted while shooting in the Czech Republic is not uncommon for most producers.“After working in over 50 countries, I always have a great time shooting here,” McCallum says. Most recently, Film United worked abroad and at home as co-producer of “A United Kingdom,” a true story featuring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike portraying the romance between Botswana’s first president and an English woman. Film United’s body of work spans a dozen features, including George Lucas’ Prague-shot, World War II-set “Red Tails.” The company generally co-produces; it rarely acts as a simple service provider.
Work ranges from backing promising Czech directors such as Karin Babinska in the upcoming drama “Following the Dream,” to joining forces with Cannes Grand Prix winner Xavier Dolan on “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.”