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Old June 6th, 2003, 12:38 AM   #1
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Production Opportunities in Eastern Europe

Just got back from Yugoslavia. A perfect place for an indie production. Great scenery, all kinds; highly skilled craftsmen; extremely inexpensive. Visited Czech Republic. More skilled people and facilities -- you can rent anything there, but the prices are higher. This is the Eastern European country where studios shoot most. Very nice scenery and medieval through modern architecture. We'll shoot in Yugoslavia but there is a possibility of opening a production company in the Czech Republic; will be going to Cine Equipment Expo in Studio City tomorrow, maybe also on Saturday; then back to Europe.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:09 AM   #2
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Did you take any pictures while you were there? I'm curious what the scenery looks like.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:13 AM   #3
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In the past half decade Prague has become the new film capital of Eastern Europe. It's a modern city with great locations and an extremely favorable exchange rate, and, I have been told, an extraordinarily attractive populous.*

One need only look to IMDb to see how many big Hollywood productions have chosen Prague lately--films like Mission Impossible, Blade II, XXX, The Affair of the Necklace (set in France), The Bourne Identity, Bad Company, Dungeons & Dragons, Shanghai Knights, Spy Game, and Timeline (the upcoming Michael Crichton adaptation directed by Richard Donner).

*Read: women
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Old June 6th, 2003, 07:44 AM   #4
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So I assume, Joseph, that you've had a safe trip? Good!

I vote for a picture as well...

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Old June 6th, 2003, 08:43 AM   #5
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Glad to here you were not kidnaped! :lol

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Old June 6th, 2003, 12:52 PM   #6
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Women: We were sitting in this restaurant in Karlsbad, a.k.a. Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic, watching the girls go by. They say that there are more 10's per square mile in Hollywood than anywhere in the world. Go to Karlsbad and you'll change your opinion. Pretty, educated, nice, no feminist b----s there. Their 5th grade education is about equal to California last year of public HS. You'll have a hard time finding an ugly chick there. If you ever visit that town, it is one of 2 world's largest spas and certainly the most unique. It used to be frequented by international nobility. Kings, queens and princes, counts and whatever. A Russian Czar during his visit built there a copy of the famous Russian church that sits in the Red Square in Moscow. The city had a major fire at the end of the 19th century. So when they built a new one, it was all built in the art noveau style that was modern at that time. A truly unique and unforgettable experience. Nice castles everywhere. The prettiest we saw was in Moravia. Everything is very well kept and restored. If you visit castles in France, the repairs are sloppy; not here.

Pictures: When I have time, I'll post some; probably the next time I come back.

Crime: Forget it! A lot more of it here. Supposedly when you go to Russia, the situation changes.

Film Schools: In Prague they have FAMU; they take only a few extremely talented students a year int their film directing program but when they graduate -- the couple of them that were not kicked out in the process -- they become top notch director with full understanding of all technical and art aspects of film and ability to help actors to act -- and with full hands on experience, ready to direct a major motion picture. The schools, at least the better ones, are all state owned and the number of openings for various majors is about the same as the number of positions the country will need to fill in the future. So if you want to study film, you may be out of luck, but if you graduate, you'll have no problem with employment, or handicap because your training did not prepare you enough for your occupation. and you can study in English. But if you wish to apply, you'd better have a US BA first to get ton the overall level of their HS gradates.

Film Production: The biggest studios in the Czech Republic are Barandov Studios in Prague that were actually partially owned before the communist era by the Havel family. We also saw another studio just north of Prague, supposedly the largest in Europe, but it was only one, whereas Barandov has a number of studios.

Met some of the directors, artists and craftsmen. Jiri Menzl, who has an Oscar, was their best, but in the last 10 years has concentrated mainly on directing plays. We also saw a film by him that was not distributed in the US, and was made after the fall of communism -- Incredible Adventures of Solder Chonkin. Incredibly funny. I actually saw that one once already when I was in Europe.

There is a guy that got Oscar for Kolja and made My Blue World -- for about $3 million. If Fox or Sony were to make it there, they'd spend 30 million. Te prices vary according to who you are. If you have your own studio or a production company there, you can get the same craftsmanship for a small fraction of price that the Studios are paying. That director -- Sverak also made a film similar to easy Rider -- for about $40K-- 35 mm -- excellent -- saw it. The prices you can get there are just incredible.

BTW -- if you visit Karlsbad, stay at least one night in Granhotel Pupp. See their ballroom and the adjoining areas. And visit one of the balls there. I heard that their Playboy magazine balls are best. These are not in Prague but in Karlsbad. We were invited to one of the balls. 4 different bands in different ballrooms. Incredible. And then you see the girls. And I had my girlfriend with me.

Yugoslavia: Unbelievable scenery. The Germans filmed there a bunch of Westerns that were very popular in Europe titled Vinetu. Very friendly and sincere people; well developed film industry and craftsmanship. Can build sets there for almost nothing. You have everything there -- from mountains with snow to great Mediterranean coast. If you want to shoot cheap; this is the place. Some resentment to Americans is present however.

Poland: Highly developed industry. Supposedly France makes the most films per capita. Czech republic is second, with their own production; plus there is the international production that brings excellent revenues to the country. The Poles make large production films; a lot less than the Czechs or the French, but a lot more expensive.

They make nice cars there in the Czech Republic -- Skoda -- but since VW bought them, most models are basically VWs. with some changes. Their best cars were Tatra, a company started by a guy named Ledvinka, who was responsible for the original Porsche design. The Tatra engines were air-cooled -- look really nice. When Communism fell, lot of these companies were bought bu western firms since they owned these East German and Czech companies patent royalties. Porsche used Tatra patents without paying them royalties. Now they don't own them anything.

Czech Beer: Pilsner, Gabrinus and Budwise -- their best beers. The beers there have a lot higher alcohol content; when exported to the US; it is a different product. Pilsner is the world's oldest. Budwiser is made in city of Budweis, a.ka. known as Ceske Budejovice, is a lot older that American Budweiser, and from the time Anheiser Bush failed in their repeated efforts to buy them in the 90's, they are being constantly sued by Anheiser that the Czechs stole the name from them. In most markets the Czechs win and the Buweiser sold there is the Czech Budweiser. The beer there has to have certain cool temperature; it must not be ice cold. When you drink the beer at that temperature, it tastes a lot better thab American beer. Czech beer is basically the same as German beer.

Anyway; got to go. I may not post again until I get back again. Try to have fiun here. I know I'll have mine in Eastern Europe.


If any of you want to lose weight, go to Karlsbad. They have these fat Arabs from Saudi going there and they come out normal size. And Western European women get face lift there that supposedly lasts a lot longer than the one done here; it is done differently and less radically. If you're short and want to grow a few inches, they have a facility in Russia where they work on ballerinas, etc. It works. They brake your legs in several places. Then they build some kind of structure around the leg to stretch it out and the bone, with some special process, grows together longer. Amazing results. no side effects. If you want a bigger manhood, come to Hollywood. Never seen more ads for this than anywhere else. I guess different strokes for different folks.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 02:17 PM   #7
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Nice post George. You obviously had an enjoyable and educational visit. I hope the best for your new venture.

Now I just need to find a little time to visit Prague Karlsbad far from there? ;-)
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Old June 8th, 2003, 10:34 AM   #8
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Karlsbad is about 120km west of Prague and about 80km north of Pilzen (where they make Pilsner beer). Kerlsbad is certainly my most favorite city there.

When I talked about the prettiest gilrs in Hollywood, I actually meant a certain area around Sunset; the rest of Hollywood is where the ugly girl live, walk the street, and some of them have deep male voices when not talking to clients. You have to be very careful in that town. Not everything is what it seems.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 10:04 AM   #9
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I remember when I was in Germany, all the Germans talked about how great the beer in Pilznen was. Beautiful hills and woods, but swarms of huge black flies in the summer. Learn to smoke cheap cigars to keep them away. hehehe.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 10:37 AM   #10
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Have to catch a plane today -- if for nothing else then to get a sip of a real Budweiser, my favorite beer; although the real Pilsner is great too. No huge black flies when I was there. The insects are not any different, larger, or in more quantity than in Germany, France, or wherever.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 01:34 AM   #11
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Hey Joseph, is nice to hear you had a good time in EE! I thought you will!
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