The $25m action-adventure film starring Demi Moore and Josh Hartnett shot at Media Pro Studios in Romania for 12 weeks in summer 2008. The film is produced by director Guy Moshe’s Los Angeles-based Picturesque Films, Los Angeles-based Ram Bergman Productions and is fully financed by Keith Calder’s Los Angeles-based Snoot Entertainment.
Why did you choose to shoot in Romania?
We needed a lot of stages available because the whole movie is green-screen and we had to build 30-something sets. We needed to take control of a space for five months.
What were your cost savings?
It was probably 10%-20% cheaper than Prague. We did not want to pay top dollar, like you would pay in London or, to a lesser degree, in Prague or Hungary. Bulgaria and Serbia are potentially 10% cheaper than Romania.
Did you use local crews or bring in crew?
We brought in heads of departments but the rest of the crew was Romanian.
But at the time the dollar was so weak that flying in and paying crew then from the US was as cheap as hiring people from elsewhere in Europe.
Which local person or company was indispensable?
Media Pro Studios. It had the most stages available and it made us a deal that was fair and within our budget.
What advice would you give a producer considering a shoot in Romania?
You need to expect certain things are not going to go in the most typical way. Set up your goals and expectations, what you’re willing to spend, and what you expect to get in return, and you’ll be fine. Also, if you’re shooting at Media Pro and you’re staying in Bucharest, you’re going to have a long drive and you’ll lose part of every day.
Would you shoot in Romania again?
Yes. I’m exploring making another movie there in two months.