In the Good Old Days, movies were made at the dream factories in Hollywood. But not any more. It takes over a thousand people to make a blockbuster and while you can’t save much on the cost of release-prints (although digital projection will eventually help there) and publicity, you CAN save plenty on the production.
Provided you’re prepared to Go EAST, Young Man.
For in places like Prague and St Petersburg, skilled plasterers, chippies, painters etc., work CHEAP. And bits of these cities can be dressed up to look like almost ANYWHERE in the West. Just CG in the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Empire State Building – whatever. And extras cost $5 a day.
In fact MANY movies wouldn’t get MADE today, were it not for these savings. If you’re making a FANTASY that requires 200-odd surreal sets, they all have to be constructed from SCRATCH. And in the West, that comes PRICEY. So much so, that said West has now priced itself out of the market.
But hard currency is welcomed in the East – and they require a lot LESS of it. So for a modest amount, you can realize the most fantastical sets imaginable – built to a standard that Hollywood couldn’t best at ANY price.
So next time you see a movie like “The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen” – or “Underworld” – and you notice all those funny names down amongst the end credits – be thankful. Without them, you’d never have SEEN that movie!