14. March 2014

2013 was a banner year for international productions in the Czech Republic. Producers from UK, US, Denmark, Norway, South Korea, France or Germany filmed their projects here, with the majority being striking historical TV series. The first one was 1864, filmed in the spring of 2013. It’s an adaptation of Tom Buk-Swienty's best-selling novel Slagtebænk Dybbøl, about the 1864 battle in which Prussia and Austria seized a third of Denmark's territory. The battle became a symbol of Danish courage. 1864 is the most expensive TV production ever in Denmark, and nearly half the CZK 577m budget was spent in the Czech Republic. Local production company Sirena Film helped Danish producers Miso Film source 200 Czech crewmembers for 69 days of shooting. Crews built two full size redoubts and trenches in Milovice for the film’s big battle scenes. Additionally, filming took place on locations in Brno, Prague, Terezín, Lednice and elsewhere. Czech Republic as well as Moravia served the production of the British TV series The Musketeers, an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel. Produced by BBC Worldwide with Czech Anglo Production, the mini-series spent CZK 230m, slightly more than half its CZK 408m budget in the CZ. The majority of the 200-member crew was Czech. Most of the sets for The Musketeers were built on existing locations. Crews recreated a soldiers’ garrison, a Paris street and square. Other locations were in Křivoklát, Terezín, Kroměříž, Slavkov, Kutná Hora, and in Prague at Strahov Library and in Liliová Street. The Musketeers started airing in Britain in January 2014 and was met with great success. The third and final season of Borgia was also shot on Czech historical locations. The series chronicles Rodrigo Borgia’s ruthless rise to the papal throne in the late 15th century. The show again used the Barrandov Studios backlot, where crews built an extensive Rome set for Season 1 in 2010. Other locations included the Martinic Palace in the center of Prague, as well as Dobříš, Švihov, Výsluní, Cheb and Milovice. The production filmed for about three months in the Czech Republic, employing nearly 150 local crewmembers. Season 3 of Borgia is a co-production between Atlantique Production, Etic Films, Beta Films GMBH and Film United. One of the most significant productions of 2013, and one of the few international films shot in the Czech Republic, was the American film Child 44, directed by Daniel Espinoza. The film was produced by Ridley Scott and based on the adaptation of Tom Rob Smith’s novel about the real-life story of a serial killer in the Soviet Union of 1950s. Tom Hardy plays the lead while the film also features Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman and Vincent Cassel. The Czech locations in the film doubled for period Moscow. The 71 shooting days were spread between Barrandov Studios and Prague locations. The operation of the Prague metro was limited for a few days to accommodate the film. “Prague, and Czech Republic in general, has a great mix of diverse locations available within one hour from Prague along with a very experienced team of filmmakers,” said the executive producer of Child 44, Adam Merims. He also confirmed that the decision to shoot in the Czech Republic was positively affected by the existence of local production incentives: “Cheaper places to film have less experienced crew or no incentives.” The film spent nearly 3/4 of a billion crowns in the Czech Republic, employing a crew of 265 Czech film professionals and giving work to almost 6000 local extras. The film was produced by Summit Entertainment and Scott Free Productions. Stillking Films ran the Czech production. Stillking Films also oversaw the Czech shoot of the second season of the French-German series Crossing Lines. The first season was shot in CZ last year. The series tells the story of detectives in a special crime unit that investigates serialized crimes across Europe. Two of the detectives are played by William Fichtner and Donald Sutherland. A number of Czech actors appeared in the series as well. Prague and Czech locations doubled for a few European locations. The third season of the show is planned to film in 2014. At the end of 2013, the last of the international TV projects, The Heavy Water War, was filmed in the Czech Republic. The Heavy Water War is a Norwegian project that tells the story of a successful raid to stop the production of a Nazi atomic bomb during the Second World War. The series will screen at the end of 2014 and is produced by the Norwegian company Filmkameratente, in cooperation with the Norwegian public television NRK. The Czech shoot was serviced by Sirena Film. This time, the Czech Republic doubled for London as well as some German and Norwegian locations. It’s also notable that the period American-Korean film The Last Knights was shot in CZ at the beginning of 2013 with actors Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman. The Czech shoot was handled by Czech Anglo Productions.