Written by Murray Ashton on Aug 10, 2012. Posted in Interviews

Filming on location in Prague with Stillking’s Andrea Chadimova

Stillking has a global presence, with the Prague office servicing projects in Czech Republic. Producer Andrea Chadimova talks to TLG about filming in the central European country.

What can you tell me about the region that you cover?

Prague has a very strong filmmaking tradition. We have very experienced film professionals, exceptional infrastructure and very talented crews. The art departments and set construction people are incredible, we have great post-production services and quality casting agencies.

It is very rare for us to have to bring in equipment from elsewhere and when we do we take advantage of sharing a land border with Germany. We have great location diversity and apart from sea and beaches - irreparable historical mistakes! - we can cover nearly any location request.

What locations are most commonly used by film and TV crews when they film with you?

Stillking cover Czech Republic from Prague. The majority of the shoots we undertake happen in and around the capital, and take advantage of our very picturesque city or our well-appointed and sizeable studio complex Barrandov. In addition we have accessible mountains, beautiful countryside, sports stadiums and most importantly pretty consistent good weather.

Prague has been used extensively for historic productions and is pretty adaptable when doubling for other cities. In recent years Stillking has serviced films including Casino Royale and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which have required us to source locations in Czech Republic that double for other European locations from varying historical periods, the USA and even the Bahamas.

What are the more unusual locations that our readers would not necessarily associate with the region?

We have accessible railway lines running through picturesque countryside and it is possible to hire trains and have full control on certain lines.

Prague has a very strong filmmaking tradition. We have very experienced film professionals, exceptional infrastructure and very talented crews.

What has been your most difficult location assignment to date and why?

It’s always very exciting and challenging to shoot with feature film directors on a commercial. The commercial production methods have to adapt to a feature film production style that’s happening within the commercial timeframe. The crews are bigger, more structured and the separate departments run more independently on the production, so smooth and clear communication and strong organisation become even more important.

Recently I worked on a Victoria’s Secret commercial directed by Michael Bay. A lack of time meant the many amazing locations we required were a challenge logistically. We had to move very quickly between historical, highly protected exterior and interiors of all different types with a very large crew and equipment. I love cracking those ones!

What types of production do you work on most?

As a company we are asked to work on everything from TV shows and documentaries to digital online projects. Our mainstays are commercials and movies. In the last 12 months we have shot commercials for VW, Mercedes, Kellogg’s, Kia, McDonald’s, Nike, Dove, Coca-Cola, Lufthansa, Heineken, Cadbury, Toyota and Citibank to name a few. We are servicing a major movie at the moment.

The London and USA-based commercial production company Rattling Stick won Production Company of the Year at British Arrows and it was gratifying to see work that we had serviced for them feature at the awards ceremony. My personal favourite was for Kronenbourg directed by Andy McLeod and Produced by Kirsty Dye. The spot featured the band Madness who came and had a lot of fun with us in Prague. Andy and Kirsty came to us with one of Andy's first directing jobs and to still be working with them years later and to be trusted to deliver on a project like this is very pleasing.

As a producer at Stillking it’s a gratifying feeling to have production teams come back to us regularly. For the past two years we have been servicing beauty shoots for a client of Tempomedia, one of the biggest German production companies. You develop close working relationships based on trust and mutual respect and that is what I have with Alexander Schildt, the Executive Producer, who is a pleasure to work with.

Are there any tips that you can offer our readers about filming in Czech Republic?

In the summer be prepared for long warm days – bring a sun hat and sunscreen. In the winter, bring your thermals.

There are no immigration issues for EU members. Czech Republic is an EU member, but like the UK it hasn't joined the euro. If you do need to change money while you are here, let us send one of our drivers. Many of our drivers are members of a VIP exchange service that provides the best rate in CZ. You can check the rate online before the driver goes and that is the rate you get; no commission and no charges.

Prague is a very beautiful city ... It’s very compact and can be toured on foot to gain a different understanding of the city.

Which is the best regional airport?

Prague Ruzyne is serviced by many major airlines.

What are the most film-crew-friendly hotels?

The Mandarin Oriental, Augustine (Rocco Forte) and Hotel Josef all prove popular with our clients. They cater for different budgets but maintain high standards.

What do you do with your time off and what would you recommend crew and cast do to have fun and relax?

Prague is a very beautiful city. Every visitor should try to make at least a bit of time to just wonder around the old town. It’s very compact and can be toured on foot to gain a different understanding of the city.

You can always find something surprising, new or charming in all these little streets that tangle around both banks of the river or end up in one of our beautiful Prague parks or stunning castle gardens. At the risk of sounding like a tourist brochure, even living in Prague you cannot tire of the beautiful city skyline so come and enjoy the spirit of our inviting city!

Thank you

To contact Andrea please click here.

(Photo credits: Alzbeta Jungrova & Stillking Location Archive)


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