3. September 2021

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Amazon and Sony Pictures Television have decided that the series’ second season will be shot once again in the Czech Republic. Czech filmmakers hold key creative and technical roles in the crew. They earned well-deserved praise when they passed a difficult test when shooting one of the most challenging scenes.

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Photo: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television

For us shooting here in the Czech Republic was the only choice,” says Marigo Kehoe, executive producer of The Wheel of Time, as she sums up the reasons production incentives included why Amazon and Sony Pictures Television decided to film season two in the Czech Republic: “Fantastic crews and great locations set in the heart of Europe”.  

Over 500 Czech filmmakers are involved with season two

The project shoot began in the Czech Republic in 2019 and continued in the following year despite several months of interruption due to the pandemic. The shoot for the second series hit the ground running in July and will continue until March 2022.

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Photo: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television

The Wheel of Time crew numbers 600, of which only 80 are non-Czech. More than 500 Czech filmmakers are therefore involved in the production of the series eagerly awaited by crowds of fans of the eponymous fantasy saga by Robert Jordan, on which the series is based.

Czech filmmakers hold key creative and technical roles

Together with the Czech company Partnership Pictures led by Ales Komarek, which produces the project in the Czech Republic, the crew comprises production designer Ondrej Nekvasil, production manager Lukas Hares, stunt coordinator Jan Petrina, SFX supervisor Ondrej Nierostek, as well as camera crew, lighting, construction, set design, props, horse trainer and animal handlers. Czech filmmakers are also involved in creating sound and visual effects.

The most demanding scene was a challenge

The film crew underwent a trial by fire – or in this case, by snow – when shooting one of the series’ most difficult scenes. The dramatic scene that takes place in deep snow was scheduled for December. But because of changes, the shoot had to be rescheduled.

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Photo: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television

At the end of May, when the scene was planned to be filmed, it was very warm. “The scene had been rehearsed and meticulously planned over many months,” says Marigo Kehoe. “It involved dressing a very large former basalt quarry with deep snow. A lot of technology was also involved phantom cameras and motion control rigs, etc.”

Professionalism and teamwork

The crew was faced with a difficult task bordering on the impossible, and it was crucial that the key scene was a success. Much was at stake, and the tension on location during the seven-day shoot was palpable.      

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Photo: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television

Thanks to the crew’s experience, professional approach, and commitment, the scene was a success, and the crew proved its qualities in a challenging test. “We were able to shoot it because we have a great team who pulled it together,” enthuses Marigo Kehoe.

The Wheel of Time executive producer Marigo Kehoe is a well-respected filmmaker who has produced the British series The Crown for Netflix, among others. In 2015, she won the award for businesswoman of the year by Women in Film and TV. Her praise for the entire crew and the Czech filmmakers carries serious weight in the film world.

Czech locations captivate the show’s producers

One of the largest and most expensive film projects ever undertaken in the Czech Republic, The Wheel of Time represents an influx of foreign investment and brings work to local companies that supply goods or services to the huge production for months on end. For season one alone, the local expenditure was almost CZK 2 billion (USD 92 million / EUR 78 million), with an incentive of CZK 352 million (USD 16.3 million / EUR 13.9 million).

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Photo: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television

In addition to the film incentives and capable film professionals, The Wheel of Time producers were also attracted by the Czech locations. In addition to all the studio scenes, most outdoor scenes, which make up about half the series’ second season, are being filmed in the Czech Republic.

During the 145 filming days of the first season, the production used a number of Czech locations. Given the fictional world of the fantasy, these were primarily rural areas, forests, rivers, lakes, and pastures.

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Photo: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television

With ongoing filming and crowds of eager fans, the producers don't wish to disclose filming locations for obvious reasons at this stage.

The series premiere will take place this autumn

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan is a worldwide best seller with 80 million copies sold and is the second highest selling fantasy series after The Lord of the Rings. The fan base is huge, and it is no wonder that expectations are high.

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Photo: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television

Our fingers are crossed that season two will be a success and the TV version of the cult fantasy will be as appreciated by audiences as the book. The Wheel of Time season one will premiere this November.