Why Hollywood productions travel to Europe

Viewers watching Netflix, HBO or Prime Video have seen many European locations such as France, Germany or Russia.

But often what you see is not what it seems. More and more productions are using places like Lithuania and Estonia to stand up as other foreign cities.

Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent Jaweed Kaleem wrote about Hollywood’s new frontiers and joined Lisa McRee on the LA Times Today show.

Hollywood has sought tax credits and rebates for decades, but the locations are new. Kaleem explained why the productions are looking for new countries to shoot in.

“Places are changing, which can be said to become newer points. Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries, the Balkans. It is in these places that the countries are newer and the currency is even cheaper.

Most of the filming activity in Eastern Europe is driven by streamers.

“These are HBO, in Lithuania and other European countries, and Amazon Studios, whose centers are in the UK and Spain. Of course, it’s Netflix, which is also opening offices in Poland and other European countries to really capture this new content, which just has to be consistently, consistently high quality, because that’s what people are demanding now,” Kaleem said. .

Hollywood productions have brought a lot of work and money to these smaller countries. Tourists flock there to see where their favorite shows were filmed. Kaleem talked about the economic impact of manufacturing eastward.

“These countries are promoting and attracting American filmmakers, Los Angeles filmmakers, because it’s going to benefit them. Their unemployment may be high, as in Greece, or they may simply have an underdeveloped creative industry. And they want people to work as filmmakers on location, to work in hotels, to offer services and housing. They want more Airbnb, they want tourist accommodation. And it works.”

But there are downsides to the sudden influx of film crews into previously quiet communities.

“They are just not used to closed streets [for film shoots]. To be honest, it was still a strange thing. And then there’s the salary. What Hollywood broadcasters pay if you work as a director or costumer or any job is nowhere near what you get if you work in Eastern Europe. [Locals] get a share of the salary and there is no union either,” Kaleem explained.

Click the arrow above to see the full interview.

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