Even pre-pandemic, inward investment shoots in Denmark have been scarce in recent years — the last big one was Warner Bros’ Tenet in 2019. Since then, Copenhagen Film Fund has shut its doors and no national filming incentive is available, although local producers and organisations such as Vision Denmark continue to lobby for one in 2021.
Denmark did manage to lure home one big local production during the pandemic, The Marco Effect, the new thriller in the Department Q series. The production was two-thirds done with its Czech shoot when lockdown hit, so finished the last two weeks of shooting in Denmark.
FilmFyn’s regional funding around the area of Funen is now focused on Danish majority productions. It has welcomed shoots including Netflix’s Loving Adults, Anders Refn’s Into The Darkness sequel, Bille August’s The Pact, Anders Thomas Jensen’s Riders Of Justice and season two of Those Who Kill.
The West Danish Film Fund covers Aarhus and the surrounding region but also works only with majority Danish productions.
Danish crews are skilled, and Vision Denmark is backing greater recruitment and training of crews both on technical and creative disciplines. Copenhagen boasts several studio facilities: Filmgear Risby, Nordisk, Filmstationen and Zentropa’s Filmbyen, while Filmby Aarhus has two modern film studios in Denmark’s second-largest city Aarhus.
First person to contact
Caroline Gjerulff, film commissioner, Film Greater Copenhagen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Generally speaking, Denmark has a film friendly and streamlined permitting process, with no extraordinary rules. A permit usually needs to be obtained from the location owner or public authority for all types of film or photo shoots on location in Denmark. Applications for permits must contain exact information about who wants to shoot what, where and when.
The cost of a permit varies according to the location, as well as the nature and size of the production. With regard to Copenhagen, the OFC says: “Generally, the cost level is very reasonable compared with other European capitals (but it) may at times be hard to get access to certain frequently used locations. If that is the case, the Film Commission will put its excellent government connections to work for you or suggest viable alternate locations. As far as private buildings and parks are concerned, the Oresund Region is generally very positively inclined to filmmakers. The sooner you establish contact, the better.” For the OFC Offical website please click here.
In terms of logistics, the OFC recommends all international productions work with a local location manager and a production company. “It is an advantage to have local knowledge about the required permits for carrying out any kind of production, however big or small. Working with a location manager it rarely takes more than three to five business days to obtain a shooting permit in the Oresund Region.”
Mainstream is one of the largest sound facilities in Scandinavia and is the studio of choice for a major part of Danish feature film soundtracks. A great number of commercials, short films and documentaries have also been sound designed there. In has at its disposal 12 sound studios, including 2 mixing stages, a foley studio and ADR studio.
Denmark’s jewel in the crown is capital city Copenhagen, which combines superb historical features with contemporary architecture. Locations of note are Amalienborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle, Tivoli amusement park and Grundtvig’s church. Gabled houses, narrow cobblestone streets, green spaces, canals, lakes and interesting neighborhoods such as Christiania and Nyhavn give it a distinct feel of Nordic sophistication. Examples of what is on offer can be found at the Oresund Film Commission (OFC) Locations Database, which embraces the area of Southern Sweden and Greater Copenhagen. This covers everything from cityscapes to forests, mountains and waterside locations. Not to be overlooked is Ørestad, a new town concept that is famed for its excellent infrastructure and modern architecture. Elsewhere in Denmark, Film Commission Fyn covers the very centre of Denmark with its rolling hills, orchards and thatched farmhouses.
Outside of the capital, you can find Kronborg Castle, Århus Teater, Legoland and Ålborg Viking, amongst other stunning locations. The OFC highlights “royal castles and hi-tech empires, dark gothic scenery and light-blue seafront vistas, bustling modern cityscapes and ancient Viking grounds”. The pastoral landscapes of the surrounding areas are bound to take one’s breath away and give your film a wonderful Nordic feel. The Faroe Islands and Greenland, autonomous territories of Denmark, also have much to offer.
One interesting testimonial from a producer on the OFC website suggests Denmark’s potential as a ‘substitute’ location: “Many are surprised to learn that it’s possible to shoot a wide range of North American scenery in the Oresund Region. Only, distances are much smaller here and costs lower.”
A world-class filmmaking infrastructure has been established in Denmark to service not only the domestic industry, but also the growing number of foreign productions that decide to base their operations there. There are plenty of excellent rental firms in Copenhagen, including Filmgear, Produktionen.dk and Kamera-udlejningen. Post-production is also in good shape thanks to companies like Duckling, a full service post-production, 3D and VFX company founded in 1999. In terms of studios, equipment rental firms like Twentyfourseven have their own capacity.