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In Central and Eastern Europe, the battle for international production shoots used to be a race to the bottom. Territories competed mainly on labor costs, and the cheapest workforce won. Things have changed. These days, the region is looking to partner with foreign producers by offering high-end production services and smart financial incentives to make shooting in Budapest or Warsaw, Zagreb or Tallinn as simple (while still as cheap) as possible. The Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia have followed Hungary’s lead in introducing tax rebates to bring in foreign production and have buffed up their film promotion bodies to make shooting in and among territories nearly frictionless. With both tentpoles (Spider-Man: Far from Home, Terminator: Dark Fate, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune reboot) and high-end series from Netflix (The Witcher), Amazon (Hanna) and HBO (Game of Thrones, The Sleepers) choosing the region, the strategy obviously is working. No longer competing solely on price, the nations of Central and Eastern Europe now push their unique appeal — historical, cultural and geographical — as well as those tasty incentives, to pull in foreign shoots.
Here’s everything you need to know about shooting in one of the world’s busiest locations sectors.
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