California-based film and video production servicescompany Chainsaw has opened its first European post-production facility inBucharest, Romania.

"Thesuccess of the movie Cold Mountain and other TV and movie projectsraised Romania's profile as an excellent place to make and produce beautifulfilms, commercials and TV for far less money,' Chainsaw founder andpresident Bill DeRonde said.

'Thecosts in Romania are half of what they are in London and a third less thanthose in Budapest or Prague. Romania has become the new Prague."

ChainsawEurope's vice president of sales, Radu Butufei, told ScreenDaily.comthat the company's interest in Romania was sparked by Miramax's $80m-plus ColdMountain, which shot in Transylvania in 2004.

'Eversince Cold Mountain was here, the market pretty much exploded, so that'swhy they saw the opportunity to invest into this market.' Butufei said.

The newscomes as Francis Ford Coppola announced that he would shoot his first featurein eight years, Youth Without Youth, in Romania. The film is anadaptation of Mircea Eliade's novella and stars Tim Roth.

Butufeisaid that Roth had recently dropped in on Chainsaw's Bucharest facility for anADR session for the DeLaurentiis production Decameron: Angels & Virgins,directed by David Leland, but could not confirm whether Chainsaw would beinvolved in the Coppola project.

'I know that one of the stockholders in Chainsaw metwith Francis Ford Coppola but I cannot tell you at this point whether we aregoing to be involved with his movie here in Romania or not,' he said.

Butufeisaid Chainsaw Europe has completed post work for advertising firms Ogilvy &Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett, and has drawn post-productionwork from Los Angeles, London, Moscow and elsewhere.

'We'reworking on several Turkish projects and we're looking into the Russian marketas well,' Butufei said.

Chainsawis touting its facility as the only studio in Eastern Europe to offer bothstate-of-the-art digital post-production facilities for film, television andcommercials and a highly-experienced staff that includes both U.S. and Europeanprofessionals.

ChainsawEurope will also offer production project management, from hiring and qualitycontrol of local crews to the booking of talent, studio space, music and otherproduction needs. The Bucharest studio boasts Romania's first Avid Symphonyon-line editing tool, the newest HD2 Pro Tools audio system, 3-D capability andinternet connectivity capable of sending uncompressed video around the world.

ChainsawEurope is hoping to lure producers and directors by offering complimentaryairfares to and from Bucharest, private trainers, a cook, drivers and masseurs.

In LosAngeles, Chainsaw has done the post-production for the last four Academy Awardsshows, Fox's "American Idol", "MTV Music Awards" and the recent "Shelter fromthe Storm".