Magazine article Variety

Creating Worlds of Whimsy and Fantasy

Magazine article Variety

Creating Worlds of Whimsy and Fantasy

Article excerpt

WHILE THE CZECH Republic's historical architecture, scenic landscapes and stateof-the-art soundstages have made it a favorite location for international filmmakers, the country's long tradition of animation, along with its high-tech visual effects and post-production sectors, have helped solidify the nation's place as a cinematic hub in the center of Europe.

As with production, the Czech vfx and post industries have benefited from the country's film incentive program, which continues to lure major film and TV projects. "International productions in the Czech Republic are very dependent on rebates and subsidies," says Vit Komrzy, managing director of Prague-based Universal Production Partners (UPP), the country's leading post-production and vfx house.

UPP has handled vfx services for such recent shows as the FX series "Tyrant," BBC's "The Musketeers," and Netflix's "Marco Polo" while also continuing to work on major studio films such as "Gods of Egypt" and Robert Zemeckis'"The Walk."

Smaller vfx outfits include Progressive FX, which recently worked on Roel Reine's Dutch historical epic "Admiral"; Dazzle Pictures, whose credits include Giuseppe Tomatore's "Best Offer," with Geoffrey Rush; and I/O Post, which focuses largely on domestic productions.

In animation, the Czech Republic's toon tradition continues to make its mark. Animation company MamFilm co-produced the experimental short "Superbia," which unspooled at this year's Cannes'Critics'Week, and Lucie Sunkova's short "The Tree."

Like many of the country's animators who embrace the traditional craft and individuality of hand-drawn animation, Sunkova's paint-on-glass technique is labor-intensive: one second of film involves repainting a scene 24 times. In an interview with Monocle, Sunkova says the technique serves her artistic style well, although financing remains a struggle because Czech cinemas do not show short films. …

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