Why Stranger Things and Jurassic World were filmed in Europe

Jurassic World Dominionis one of the highest-grossing films of the summer, the latest in a popular sci-fi franchise about dinosaurs battling humans for control of civilization.

The film was filmed in British Columbia, London and Hawaii. But another place that is increasingly attracting the attention of Hollywood, Malta, also made this list.

In one memorable scene, Chris Pratt races his motorcycle through the cobbled streets of an old European city that has been overrun by dinosaurs when a predator chases and nearly kills him. The city of Malta’s capital, Valletta, was chosen in part because filmmakers could get a generous 40% discount on spending from the government – an increase from 27% just a few years ago.

For its part, Malta is hoping more big Hollywood hits – and hordes of tourists – will make it to the tiny archipelago country as competition for US dollars and crews in the Mediterranean, Balkans and Baltics intensifies.

“Before, there were only a few places that really successfully collaborated with Hollywood, for example, Hungary, whereDuneswas shot,” says Anna Franklin, London-based publisher Film New Europe. “Now every country is trying to outdo the other by offering more generous incentives to film there and courting Hollywood.”

The work being done in Malta, which has long attracted filmmakers looking for tanks for water scenes that can hold millions of gallons, is further evidence that Hollywood is pushing its boundaries, launching multi-million dollar shoots, studios and film education in the far reaches of Europe. The Apple, HBO and Netflix teams are also present.

The Times appealed to those who are between Hollywood and Europe.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

couple of movie and television icons

Nele Pope
Tallinn, Estonia
Film Commissioner, Film Estonia/Estonian Film Institute
The tax incentive for international production is capped at 30%.

Tenet directed by Christopher Nolan and actor John David Washington.

Director Christopher Nolan and actor John David Washington on the set of Tenet.

(Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros.)

When Christopher NolanDogmachose the Estonian capital Tallinn for key scenes, including an epic car chase where one car races forward while another chases it backwards, it was a “turning point” for the country’s film scene, Pave said. Since then, the upcoming American horror film “Kill the Child” and production from Finland, Denmark and other countries have become popular in the Baltic countries.

“We didn’t really have much going on until 2016 when we started working on the film here in Estonia. At first, Finland and Denmark filmed here. These are places that are close neighbors. But then companies began to come from afar, for example, from Hollywood. When Tenet showed up here right before the pandemic, it was a huge deal for us. When you have Warner Bros. in your country it creates a real stir. Then everyone else will be interested too, because Hollywood has a lot of trust in you and believes that you can be part of a high quality and valuable work.

“The need for staff is much greater than even a few years ago because the demand for streaming shows and mini-series is on the rise. But our community of professionals is small. Sometimes we do not always have enough staff for filming. Therefore, we work with neighbors who send their workers. We often do this with Latvia. And people from Finland, who are only two hours away by boat.”

couple of movie and television icons

Yariv Lerner
Sofia, Bulgaria
General Director of the film studio “Nu Boyana”
Bulgaria offers a 25% discount on foreign productions.

Sylvester Stallone posing with a group of people

Left to right: Victor Hadida, Christa Campbell, Avi Lerner, Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega and Yariv Lerner at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival screening of Rambo: Last Blood.

(Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)

Lerner, an American, has been in charge of Nu Boyana since 2005. The studio is behind hundreds of action movies, including “series “The Expendables”., “Protege” (2021) and “Rambo: Last Blood” (2019). Most recently, Lerner opened a branch of his studio in northern Greece, where they are filming Robert De Niro’s upcoming film The Tin Soldier. Lerner’s father, Ari Lerner, is the founder of Millennium Films in Los Angeles.

“What is being offered in Bulgaria and many other countries is not just about saving money. This is only part of it. You get incredibly talented, dedicated people at all levels of film making from start to finish. The country itself is beautiful.”

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Stavrula Geronimaki
Athens
Acting Director of the Hellenic Film Commission
Greece gives international filmmakers a 40% discount.

Antonio Banderas (left, in the background) gets into the car, accompanied by a crew member.

Antonio Banderas getting into a black car performs during the filming of The Enforcer on July 3, 2021 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

(Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images)

Greece, which was among the most affected European countries during a global recession, is still recovering and has one of the lowest unemployment rates on the continent at nearly 13%. In 2018, it began offering generous paybacks—first 35% of costs and now 40%—to Hollywood productions that are moving to Athens and smaller cities. My Big Big Greek Wedding 3 was set in Corfu this summer, while the sequel to Knives Out, The Glass Bow: The Knives Out Mystery, was filmed on the island of Spetses in the Attica Peninsula.

“We want people to come and enjoy our country, learn about the people and see everything we have to offer, from historic sites to the vibrant and creative local industry that is growing. From the beginning of the Greek cash discount program [April 2018] up to April 2022, more than 349 million euros have been invested in Greece. This amount includes both national and international production.”

couple of movie and television icons

Vaidotas Martinaitis
Vilnius, Lithuania
Stranger Things actor
Lithuania reimburses international filmmakers 30% of production costs.

Vaidotas Martinaitis in makeup and costume with Brett Gelman.

Actor Vaidotas Martinaitis (left) with Stranger Things co-star Brett Gelman.

(Courtesy of Vaidotas Martinaitis)

In recent years, Lithuania has been the filming location for some of HBO’s biggest hits (“Chernobyl”) and Netflix (“very strange things”) after launching a recruitment agency ten years ago. Today, several streaming companies, including major players outside the US such as Viaplay (Sweden), have chosen the capital Vilnius over Moscow, Paris, Mexico City and Washington DC.

“I am 53 years old and have been in this profession for 30 years. During my career, I have played many roles in plays, films and television. The most famous and the one that I’m most proud of was the Lithuanian film “New Lithuania”, where I created a role for which I was awarded a national film award. Secondly, without a doubt, this is my role in Stranger Things. I ended up in a place that I could not even dream of.

“Vilnius became famous, especially after the TV series Chernobyl, people started talking about it. Now, with the release of Stranger Things, Vilnius is being talked about even more. A journalist told me that in India, when he asked the locals, “Do you know Lithuania?” They replied: “This is Vilnius. I saw Stranger Things. “

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Concha Diaz Ferrer
Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Chief Director
Tenerife Film Commission
The Canary Islands will pay filmmakers up to a 50% discount.

Patty Jenkins looks at a laptop with Gal Gadot dressed as Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins (left) on set with Gal Gadot.

(Clay Enos / DC Comics)

The Canary Islands, located off the coast of Morocco, are part of Spain and the European Union. Known for its beaches, mountains and lush valleys, the Canary Islands were the setting for the movie “The Eternal(2021), “Wonder Woman 1984(2020), the upcoming third season of the series “TV series Jack Ryan (Amazon) and Money Heist, a Spanish crime drama distributed by Netflix. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands.

“In total, 190 performances were filmed on the island. [of Tenerife] in 2021, bringing €58.3 million to the island, including staff and equipment. There are many different aspects of the island that attract foreign production, but we would highlight the incredibly wide variety of landscapes. The island can be doubled for almost any other place in the world, which means production saves a lot of time and money as they can recreate many different countries in one place. Our tax credits of 50-45% for films are among the best in the world.”