Croatia has become one of the world’s most popular international filming locations, and 2021 is shaping up to be one its busiest years with more than 20 international projects already announced.
Shooting in the summer, particularly in the coastal towns, can be difficult because of the tourists, so most productions tend to film between October and May. Preparation is key. Depending on the location, it is advisable to talk to local authorities, or even government officials, in advance. For some nationalities, both shooting and work permits are required, as well as visas. With this in mind, hiring the services of a local co-ordinator is recommended.
Croatia has a track record in global production and there are several full-service production companies in the country. The Croatian Audiovisual Centre assists incoming productions. Crews are highly skilled and reliable, speak English and can service even the most demanding productions. Croatia has a good infrastructure, offering video cameras, sound, lighting and grip equipment through rental houses.
“[But] there are several smaller stages, as well as warehouses and open lots throughout the country that are regularly adapted by production companies for larger scale shoots,” says Tanja Blazevic, head of Filming In Croatia.
"So with great locations, crew, equipment and casting options, as well as an enticing incentive worth up to 30%, productions can achieve a lot on a smaller scale budget," concludes Bojan Magdic at Blue Sky Films.
Croatia lies between central and Eastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic coast. It extends over 57,000 square kilometres and is split into three geographically distinct zones: the Coastal region (including 1,244 islands, of which 48 are inhabited), the Mountain region and the Pannonian region, all well connected by road. Capital Zagreb is the main production centre, so crew, equipment and talent generally need to travel from there. Beaches are a 90-minute drive from the capital and it is possible to go from coast to mountains in around four hours. Dubrovnik is a six-hour drive from Zagreb but there is the option of a flight in under an hour.