Carnival Row wraps filming in Prague

The neo-Victorian fantasy drama is the most financially beneficial foreign production to have filmed in the Czech Republic since incentives were introduced 

By Nia Daniels 24 Aug 2020

Carnival Row wraps filming in Prague
Image: Legendary Television and Amazon Studios

The second series of neo-Victorian fantasy drama Carnival Row has just wrapped a remaining two-week stint of filming in the Czech Republic

The production was one of a swathe of projects across Europe to have been suspended in March to the Covid-19 pandemic, and picked up filming again under strict coronavirus health and safety protocols. 

The second series originally began filming in November 2019, with plans to spend multiple shooting days on locations and in studios. In addition to Prague and Barrandov Studios, it was filmed in Liberec and at the Sychrov chateau, in Doksany, Nelahozeves, Tousen and Libochovice. 

Carnival Row – a joint venture from Amazon Studios and Legendary Television that stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne - has become the most lucrative inward investment project for the Czech Republic. 

Helena Bezděk Fraňková, director of the Czech Film Fund, said: “Carnival Row represents the most amount that foreign filmmakers have ever spent in the Czech Republic and has earned a significant incentive for both seasons filmed. 

“Bear in mind that this is a direct financial injection into the Czech economy, of which more than 60% goes to non-film SMEs in not only the fields of construction, real estate, hospitality and catering, tourism and transport, but also healthcare, energy, fashion and cosmetics, financial and legal services, and the like. These businesses are often also regional suppliers, not just based in Prague.” 

"Around 900 people worked on the production, of which only about 10% were foreign crew members. Of this number, 400 were craftspeople employed in the construction of the complicated sets that went up at Barrandov Studios. The first and second seasons spent a total of three years at Czech locations, and pre-production began as far back as 2017,” added the head of the Czech Film Commission, Pavlína Žipková.

Season Two showrunner Erik Oleson also praised the Czech crew: “The craftsmanship of our Czech crew is second to none, among the best I have ever seen in 30+ years in the business. The massive sets of Carnival Row are built out in such meticulous detail that you wouldn't know you’re on a back lot. You can walk its streets and alleys and directly into buildings that are functional working sets of their own. 

“What would be prohibitively expensive to construct and film elsewhere is not only possible in the Czech Republic, the locals make it happen for a reasonable price and with a smile. Filming there is a pinch-yourself fantasy for any producer.”

Producer David Minkowski from Prague-based production company Stillking Films said: “The Czech film industry was hard hit due to the global coronavirus shutdown. I appreciate that the Czech government acted fast and provided great support in order to restart film production. Since the country re-opened May 7th, international production has returned quickly. 

“It's a testament to the amazing cast and crew of Carnival Row that it was one of the first global shows to get back on its feet and complete filming. To be sure, we adopted strict health and safety protocols even though the presence of the virus in the Czech Republic is low,” said producer David Minkowski from Stillking Films, the Prague-based production company.

Before travelling to the Czech Republic, it is recommended that crew members present a negative Covid-19 test result and be tested again immediately after arrival in the Czech Republic; foreign crew members should remain in quarantine until the test results are available. Test results are currently available within two-six hours after sampling. The duration of the quarantine, therefore, can a matter of hours, and at a maximum up to the next day after entering the country. 

Amazon Studios and Legendary Television took additional precautions including testing the cast and crew multiple times per week to ensure safe and effective set practices and protocols while in production.

Other productions to have resumed in the country since early May include: Wheel of Time (Amazon Studios), The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Marvel Studios), the third season of Haunted (Netflix), and Das Boot (Bavaria Fiction), as well as the feature film Transatlantic 473 (Netflix). 


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