Prague, a Central European Hollywood?
Prague has become a popular destination for American film directors--not for holiday, but to shoot their movies here. This new tendency could well turn into a goldmine for the Czech film industry. Beatrice Cady reports:
According to the Los Angeles Times, Prague has become a paradise for American filmmakers. More and more Hollywood films are being made in Prague, and more and more American actors come to the Czech capital because of its romantic atmosphere and pleasant working conditions.
More practically speaking, studio rents and labour are much cheaper here than in the rest of Europe, so that American film directors find work in Prague much more worthwhile than in Hollywood.
Czech backstage artists, painters, costume designers and make-up artists find the opportunity to use their talents in interesting work, earning more than they would doing the same job for a Czech firm, although they are usually paid a tenth of their American counterparts' salary.
Foreign film companies are also a goldmine for the Czech film industry. Indeed, according to the Los Angeles Times, American directors have invested more than 70 million dollars in the Golden City.
I spoke to Radim Dusek, from the Australian film company Production International Prague, which was founded in 1991, and I asked him first why the company settled down in Prague: