Spotlight on Czech Republic

The country is continuing to attract big projects in 2022, including Netflix's Chris Hemsworth starrer Extraction 2 and Sony's Wheel of Time

By Chris Evans 6 Jun 2022

Spotlight on Czech Republic
All Quiet on the Western Front filming in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic is proving as popular as ever. Netflix’s Chris Hemsworth-starrer Extraction 2 moved from Australia to Prague to shoot in early 2022, while Amazon and Sony Pictures Television returned to the country for season two of Wheel Of Time, utilising 520 local crew between July 2021 and March 2022.

These follow a packed 2021 that saw Czech Republic host Netflix’s All Quiet On The Western Front, starring Daniel Brühl; Starz and Lionsgate’s reimagining of Dangerous Liaisons; Sky’s apocalyptic series Extinction; and another Netflix feature, Spaceman Of Bohemia, starring Adam Sandler. “Dangerous Liaisons is set in 1780 Paris, but France and the UK were not an option for us because of the expense,” says series line producer Rob How. “Prague is a more economical place to film.”

Other recent projects include Netflix’s CIA thriller The Gray Man, Searchlight Pictures’ 18th century drama Chevalier, for which the Czech Republic doubled as Paris, and Amazon and Gaumont’s Operation Totems. “The Czech Republic is very welcoming, with a high-performing audio­visual industry, renowned film studios and highly skilled technicians,” says Operation Totems producer Arnaud de Crémiers.

The second season of Legendary Tele­vision’s Carnival Row also returned to film last year, including at Barrandov Studio, with around 900 local crew. “The massive sets were built out in such meticulous detail you wouldn’t know you’re on a backlot,” says showrunner Erik Oleson. “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.” All these projects have been drawn in by the appealing 20% cash rebate, which was boosted recently by a $13.5m (czk304m) increase in the annual production incentive budget.

Czech Republic offers a wide variety of locations — cities, castles, chateaus, reservoirs, forests, mountains, caves and sandstone cliffs. The capital Prague is divided into numbered administrative districts and producers need a permit from each district in which they plan to shoot. Most productions also require a permit from Prague’s road and street authority, Technicka Sprava Komunikaci (TSK).

Locations and post

The country also boasts several impressive below-the-radar filming locations, including the recently renovated 1930s-style New Town Hall in Jablonec nad Nisou, about 15 minutes from Prague, which features a grandiose staircase with stone tiles, an observation tower and a cinema. Prague’s Charles University boasts a variety of historical interiors and exteriors, from gothic to minimalist, which are available to filmmakers.

In addition, Czech Republic is growing in popularity as a post-production hotspot. Local company MagicLab spent a year creating the visual effects for Guy Ritchie’s action film Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre, as well as overseeing the creative and technical aspects of the production, which involved more than 900 VFX shots.

Infrastructure and crew

Barrandov Studios is one of Europe’s biggest, with 13 soundstages and a vast 160,000 square metre backlot. Prague Studios has six stages and a 100,000 square metre backlot. Crews are usually fluent in English, German or French. Producers can bring heads of department, but international productions increasingly hire locally. There is enough studio space, equipment and crew to handle multiple productions of various sizes at the same time.

Click here to see selected production service companies in Czech Republic. 

Click here to see the filming guide for Czech Republic.

Read the full report in our latest edition of World of Locations

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