Why Lithuania is a one of the production hot-spots in Europe?
Eastern Europe was always a friendly place to shoot. Creative decision making sprinkled with crew's determination and combined with wonderful locations stretching for centuries add quite some value for production services in Eastern Europe. So Warsaw, Prague or Budapest are long on the international shooting map. But have you ever wondered what's going on up north?
Lithuania is a small country of a small nation that has been making it's way to the international production maps for over a couple of decades. And if you haven't shot in Lithuania yet, it doesn't mean it hasn't made it yet. Scandinavian, French, German, British and other international TVC productions are coming to film in Lithuania a few times per month. Moreover, Lithuania is no secret anymore as such giants as BBC, HBO, ABC or Netflix have made their way here already.
But what makes a film production in Lithuania special?
To begin with, this northern-eastern dwarf has a significant depth of location variety. It's charming nature leaves no-one indifferent: the flat-terrain is filled with miles and miles of magnificent forests and fields. The seaside is there with sandy beaches and enchanting dunes. There is over a thousand of lakes, not mentioning rivers and streams, here and there accompanied by beautiful and unique villages or once sumptuous castles and mansions. Going downtown you'll encounter one of the most beautiful UNESCO heritage old towns in Europe with it's stunning Baroque and Renaissance architecture in Vilnius. All this beauty is well accompanied by a unique XX century modernistic architecture in Kaunas. Also, to this company, dozens of soviet-style architecture heritages, not to exclude contemporary city districts should be added. Supplement it all by 4 truly distinct seasons, and you might at least want to come and see it with your own eyes.
Secondly, you get it all by a hand reach. Lithuania is over 6 times smaller in area than California or 4 times smaller than UK and less than 400 km across, yet it has all of it. The furthest you can get is no more than 4 hours away. In addition, Latvia, a neighbouring and emerging shooting destination is just there. It is only a 4 hours drive (and less than an hour flight) between two capitals, Riga and Vilnius, Nevertheless, Lithuania's modern infrastructure is really worth mentioning: besides good roads, it has a well developed 4G with almost 100% area coverage and one of the fastest Internet in the whole world. And finally, Lithuania itself is by a hand reach - from any main European hub it is not more than 2-3 hours flight.
Thirdly, the prices are not on a pre-2000 level anymore but still rather affordable. Combined with a tax incentive of 20% that was just lifted to 30% it already sounds like a plan. What is more, the government here applies some really shooting-friendly policies that get in handy both time-wise (a permit normally takes no longer than a week) and in terms of location access.
Number four, is the local professionals. Besides such world-class productions as Emmy-winning "Elizabeth I", HBO's "Chernobyl" or BBC's "War and Peace", a constant influx of international projects is already brewing the 2nd generation of English speaking high-class film professionals of all areas: stuntman, cameraman or a producer. In addition, art department and set construction well meet the international standards, however competitive in price. And this recently has become one of the main target areas from international productions.
Once all of these factors combined, Lithuania seems to have it all needed for a proper production of any scale, be it a TV commercial, a TV show, reality show, documentary or a feature. We strongly recommend you not only adding it to your maps, but seriously considering giving your shoot in Lithuania a chance.