The Czech Republic has been relatively unscathed by the coronavirus and is ready to welcome the many returning international productions that were either shooting or gearing up to shoot in the country.
One of the first back may be the second season of Netflix’s The Witcher, starring Henry Cavill, which was due to shoot from February across the UK, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Two other Netflix projects are also preparing to go: the third series of Haunted and original film Transatlantic 473.
Disney has also been a visitor to the Czech Republic. Marvel Studios’ series The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and Daniel Brühl, is poised to restart after the Czech portion of its Atlanta-Prague shoot was put on hold.
Amazon Studios is in town too with the second season of Legendary Television’s Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, and new fantasy series The Wheel Of Time with Sony Pictures Television.
Film-wise, director Justin Kurzel is planning to shoot the indie post-Second World War thriller Ruin, starring Margot Robbie, in the country.
Detailed guidelines for filming during the pandemic have been drawn up. Crucially, regular testing of incoming cast and crew means a strict 14-day quarantine can be avoided. “What matters most is that the Czech Republic is ready and also a safe country to shoot,” says Pavlina Zipkova, head of the Czech Film Commission.
The Czech Republic has long been a popular place to film, particularly with productions looking for a cost-effective location to double for elsewhere. Wiedemann & Berg’s German sci-fi series Tribes Of Europa for Netflix shot in several Czech locations between September and December 2019 including at Barrandov Studios. “When I come to the Czech Republic, I always find reliable partners, skilled crews, interesting locations and a very handy production incentive structure,” says Udo Happel, the series’ line producer.
Canada-Germany post-Second World War series Shadowplay, produced by Bron Studios and Tandem Productions, also shot at various Czech locations in the summer of 2019, including Prague, Slany and Karlovy Vary.
“The Czech people are hard workers, very friendly, will go above and beyond to help you achieve your production goals,” says David Davoli, chief content officer at Bron Studios. “They are some of the most experienced and reliable crews working in the industry today.”
The Czech Republic offers a huge variety of locations, from castles and chateaus to waterfalls and forests, as well as mountains, caves, rivers, sandstone cliffs and fields of wheat.
The capital city is divided into numbered administrative districts, with Prague 1, Prague 2 and Prague 3 being the most central. Producers need a permit from each district in which they plan to shoot. Most productions also require a permit from Technicka Sprava Komunikaci (TSK), Prague’s road and street authority. Some locations in Prague — such as Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and the city parks — are subject to special conditions and fees.
Barrandov Studios is one of Europe’s biggest, with 13 soundstages. Its vast 160,000 square metre backlot has an artificial embankment and natural horizon. Prague Studios has six stages and a 10-hectare backlot. Crews are usually fluent in English, German or French. Producers can bring heads of department, but more and more international productions are hiring heads of department locally. There is enough studio space, equipment and crew to handle multiple productions of various sizes at the same time.ll as Toronto, Montreal, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai and Doha. The studios are located close to Prague city centre.
The Czech Republic is in the heart of Europe and has direct flights to major European cities as well as Toronto, Montreal, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai and Doha. The studios are located close to Prague city centre.