Written by Rowena Carr-Allison on May 5, 2010. Posted in On Location

Location Profile: Mallorca

Located just off the Spanish coastline, the Balearic island of Mallorca is surprisingly beautiful and charming. Just 1,400 square miles, it’s a small, concise island offering a world of opportunities far from its tacky reputation.

In addition to its beautiful beaches and its historic cities, modern designer houses and picturesque hills, Mallorca hides other assets like an international and culturally diverse population, perfect for casting, and a great source of freelancers.

In the last 20 years Mallorca has seen its local film industry thrive. The island now boasts three major studios. In addition to those, there’s a host of production and service companies on the ground. Never mind that Mallorca is an island – what isn’t already there can be shipped or flown in easily.

Mike Day, Managing Director at Palma Pictures points out “there’s always something weird and wonderful people want, but the upside is that Mallorca is within easy reach to fly or ship anything in.”

Companies like Unilever and Procter & Gamble are regulars, using Palma Pictures to work on household name ads like Pantene, Max Factor and Dove making Mallorca a busy commercial centre. They often run three units and 200 crew daily. Day continues: “We are a hybrid business combining studio rental and services, specialising in image capture, whether it’s film or stills.”

Although it’s early days, Mallorca is also seeking to attract more feature film and TV shoots. Sky is shooting a new series, Mad Dogs, on the island, and local government is being supportive, making paperwork easy and even offering
a grant.

Ask anyone what Mallorca’s big plus is, they tend to agree on its size and the proximity of locations. Everything is within easy reach, whereas bigger competitors like South Africa, have far greater distances to cover, impacting travel budgets.

Uwe Paris, Executive Producer at Orange Valley Productions, a small independent services company in its first year says: “We compete thanks to the comprehensive local equipment, the great buy-out rates and the amazing range of locations.”

The locations are so versatile, they regularly pass as Paris, Rome, the Swiss Lakes, Helsinki and even Thailand!

Art Director, Martin van der Meijden, explains: “thanks to Mallorca’s complex history, we have everything from Roman style to Moorish, medieval and modern here, so it passes as just about anywhere. We even turned Soller’s station into India! Everything is possible.” He adds: “clients love the Caribbean-like beaches, but we don’t have the coconut trees, so we just made some!”

As for the weather, it plays its part too. With 300 days of sunshine yearly, shooting goes uninterrupted, and the 22 golf courses are much appreciated too…

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