The Czech Republic popular - and cheap - for foreign film makers
On Thursday, an American stuntman was killed during the filming of a Hollywood movie called Triple X in Prague. In recent years, locations in Prague and the Czech Republic as a whole have become immensely popular with film crews from Western countries. Alena Skodova has more:
A new TV remake of Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, expected to be aired on the Britain's ITV at the end of the year, is currently being shot some 20 kilometres north of Prague, after the major scenes were filmed in the Moravian city of Olomouc. I asked the producer, Hugh Warren, why his film crew decided to make the film in the Czech Republic?
"Primarily because of the location, it's a Russian story obviously, and we wanted both landscape and streetscapes that we felt were believable as Russia of that period. We looked to various countries, we went to Romania, Russia, we looked what we could do in England and in Canada, because the other factor is snow, so we had to go somewhere where we could find snow. But additionally, Prague has a very good film industry and a very good infrastructure and very experienced technicians and so on, so it's very easy to come here and make very good facilities here and have a very good, experienced personnel.
What about the financial aspect of the whole venture, is the Czech Republic advantageous from this point of view?
"Yes, there are advantages, in least of all because we don't have to build massive sets, we're not building any big sets, so if we had to try and reproduce the locations we are using here, even interior locations, in England, that would be enormously expensive. So it's obviously from that point a lot cheaper to come here. Also because of the exchange rate, you know Prague is - compared to London - relatively cheap, labour and material are also cheaper than in England, so there are definitely financial advantages."
And do you use Czech extras?
"Absolutely, we use them exclusively, we use Czech extras for the whole time we're in the Czech Republic, and we did the same in Slovakia, we always use local people there."