Location Spotlight in association withLBB

Location Spotlight: Ukraine

Production Company
Kyiv, Ukraine
Share talks us through Ukraine's production potential and shooting after lockdown

With a stunning mix of mountains and beaches, Ukraine offers the best of both worlds when it comes to shooting. The team at delve into the most up and coming locations, the privilege of blocking roads and the best restaurants to visit after a day on set. 

How would you pitch Ukraine to any production companies looking to shoot in your region?

Ukraine is quite often overlooked as a service production destination point, but this is something we would like to rediscover for our new clients. In the new world after the lockdown we have a major advantage - Ukraine is open for filming and there’s no quarantine on arrival. 

What are the main qualities of Ukraine? 

We can highlight the main things that make Ukraine a place to go – being one of the most budget friendly countries in Eastern Europe, we have talented production designers that can lead the project themselves, superb construction teams and direct flights from most European countries up to three hours; direct flights from Los Angeles, New York and Toronto for our North American clients. 

What would you say are the top locations in Ukraine? 

We have sandy beaches on the South and picturesque mountains on the western part of Ukraine, modern and old European looking cities and one of the biggest brutalist heritage forms from the Soviet era. The best thing is that we can get any permission within a few days, even for the most difficult cases. 

What location would you say is most popular?

There are plenty of locations most directors fall in love with. You can find them in music videos, car commercials and lifestyle videos.

Which location would you describe as the biggest attribute to local production?

We believe that despite the variety of locations, set construction is our strongest point. The bigger scale of the set design, the more cost-effective it becomes for our clients. Besides that, our privilege is the possibilities of blocking roads, streets and the availability to shoot in the subway. 

Explain the climate and the best/worst times to shoot in Ukraine? 

The best months to shoot outdoors for green grass and blue sky would be mid-April through October. December to February are the best choice for snowy landscapes. 

For earlier spring weather, we can go to Odessa and take the route to the Carpathians for earlier snow. For special cases we are always ready to arrange fake snow any time of the year.

What specific work permits/visas are required to shoot in Ukraine?

Ukraine is easy to enter: no work permits are required. Most of our clients from the UK, US, EU, Switzerland, Japan do not require visas to enter the country. Citizens of around 60 countries can apply for a simple e-visa. 

How is the infrastructure in Ukraine for supporting large productions? 

A-list English speaking professionals, no extra charges for working over the weekend and public holidays, and inexpensive overtime for the crew. Also available is the newest equipment and Filmotechnic head-office (Phantom Flex, Motion Control ((Bolt, Milo)), 360 rigs, Underwater boxes, Drones, Russian arm, Techno crane etc).

What has been your biggest/most successful production in Ukraine to date? 

Our most challenging project was filmed right after the lockdown. GOJEK was a massive production done with Henry Scholfield for Caviar. Despite the fact the job itself was technically challenging, it was also the first project to be done under the new circumstances following Covid set safety rules. 

As an outsider, what would you say are the biggest Dos and Don’ts in the region? 

There seem to be no don’ts that are worth mentioning. The locals are friendly, English-speaking and open to new challenges.

Where would you suggest a foreign production stay while they are in Ukraine? 

We usually recommend hotels within a walking distance from our office, so our partners can enjoy the neighbourhood and we are happy to share special deals with the best hotels around – Premiere Palace, InterContinental, Hyatt Regency, Hilton etc.

Where are the best bars/restaurants? Any hidden gems you could suggest?

There are bars and restaurants that offer the best quality food and service over the years, they are well-known among the industry – Favorite Uncle, Sho, Shoti and Adelle. Despite the current situation with lockdowns, we are happy to see the new places pop up that are already becoming our favourites – Rare Bird and T.C. Pizza opened by our friends.

Any other tourist recommendations? 

Having fun is an important part of every project for us and we always try to make the best of it – either wakeboarding in summer, going to karaoke after the shoot or visiting Chernobyl on the weekend. 

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