Exclusive: US network show The Outpost resumes filming

The CW’s fantasy-adventure series will go back into production in Serbia

By Chris Evans 3 Jun 2020

Exclusive: US network show The Outpost resumes filming
The Outpost. Credit: Electric/Arrowstorm

The third season of US network The CW’s fantasy-adventure series The Outpost will resume production from tomorrow in Belgrade, Serbia, after being halted due to the coronavirus.

“Shooting will recommence for around 10 weeks mainly in the PFI Studios (just outside Belgrade) and backlot where we built a medieval village,” James Gibb, LA based producer and co-founder of Belgrade based series producers Balkanic Media, told KFTV. “There will also be some location shooting over the next few weeks. We have safety and heath procedures that have now been approved by SAG.”

Production for series three was forced to stop after only completing the first five episodes. The show follows Talon (Jessica Green), the lone survivor of a race called the Blackbloods. In a lawless fortress on the edge of the civilized world, Talon must learn to master her supernatural powers, and ally with a Queen who has been in hiding to defend the world against a fanatical religious dictator.

The show is executive produced by Dean Devlin and Jonathan Glassner, Electric Entertainment’s Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson and Arrowstorm Entertainment’s Jason Faller and Kynan Griffin, the team behind the cult favourite Mythica films. Jennifer Griffin of Arrowstorm Entertainment and Jonathan English of Balkanic Media are also producing.

Balkanic Media and UK Outfit Head Gear Films unveiled in April a $25m credit facility to back TV series and features shooting in Serbia. The fund will cashflow the country’s 25%-30% cash rebate, as well as offering debt and gap financing for Balkanic’s service productions and its own original content.

Landlocked Serbia has survived relatively unscathed from the coronavirus with just 245 deaths and is expected to see the arrival for further big productions in the coming weeks, attracted by the increased incentive and a growing crew base.

“A few years ago, international productions looking at Eastern Europe would have instinctively gone to places like Prague or Budapest, but now Serbia has really established itself and doing wonderful work on productions,” enthuses experienced location manager Georgette Turner, LMGI (Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Edge of Tomorrow) to KFTV. She has provided consultancy services to the Serbian government and film commission, and is set to work on two big films due to shoot in Serbia imminently.

Turner points to the low production costs (roughly 30% less than the Czech Republic) and the impressively quick turnaround of the 25% incentive. “Serbia don’t declare it, but their turnaround is about five days, so their 25% is actually worth more like 28%, because you’re getting the money so quickly. Compare this to other places, where If I have to wait six months for the 25% tax break, it may well only be worth 18% after I’ve paid off the loans I’ve been given against my cashflow.”

Serbia is set to receive a further boost with the construction of a new studio just 20 minutes from central Belgrade. Set up by Firefly Productions, the complex will comprise three sound stages, two of 2,000 square meters and one of 800 Square meters, plus a backlot, production offices, water tank and related facilities. It was due to open this summer, but will be delayed due to the coronavirus.

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