What Makes Shooting in Lithuania a Touch of Magic?
Opinion and Insight 305 Add to collection
Lithuania’s leading production service company Magic reveals the unique alchemy of shooting in the country
Based in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, Magic has been bringing its creative superpowers to brands such as BMW and Decathlon since its inception in 2011. Built on the ethos that magic is no accident, the company has become Lithuania’s leading production service unit and an integral production partner, given the Baltic country’s booming status as a hotspot for international shoots.
With mammoth productions such as BBC’s ‘War and Peace’ (starring Paul Dano and Lily James) choosing to shoot almost entirely in the country, and the upcoming HBO series ‘Chernobyl’ also set to be filmed there this year, Lithuania’s magnetism shows no sign of waning.
The key to Magic’s success is in its name, as the unit’s team maintains an unshakeable dedication to planning, producing and crafting excellent productions rather than leaving anything to chance. The company services productions, equipped with its strong roster of talented and skilled crew. Executive Producers, Aurimas Pukevicius and Ramojus Petrauskas, pride the company on having a solid team of top talent and ‘stress-resistant specialists’ who are creatively, technically and logistically seasoned all-rounders.
BMW – Be the One Who Dares – Director’s Cut
Magic serviced the brilliant ‘Be the One Who Dares’ with BMW and production company Iconoclast Germany.
With its stunning Renaissance and baroque architecture and UNESCO World Heritage-recognised Old Town, Vilnius is famed for providing the epic backdrops for productions including the BBC’s ‘War and Peace’ and Primetime Emmy Award-winning series ‘Elizabeth I’ (starring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons) to name a few. But one-stop production service company Magic says there is much more to the Baltic state’s landscapes than fairy-tale and folklore.
Harnessing the spellbinding variety of locations Lithuania has to offer, it seems that Magic has perfected the alchemy for shooting in the country. Explaining why brands and agencies are flocking to the small Baltic nation, Aurimas says: “The region is characterised by a diversity of seaside spots, enchanting forests and fields, sand dunes, and over one-thousand lakes, so the country certainly is not short of alluring natural environments. Lithuanian architecture also offers an incredible mix of aesthetics from new city skyscrapers, soviet-style buildings, charming villages, to castles and mansions.”
Human Rights Watch – #ProtectSchools
With Magic also servicing neighbouring Latvia, the choices for clients looking to shoot in the region are vast. For one, Latvia’s capital Riga (just a few hours by car from Vilnius) offers an entirely different look as it is famed for having the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world.
Thanks to its compact size and flat terrain, this impressive range of locations is all reachable within half a day’s travel – saving productions time and money. Considering this ease of access, it’s no wonder that international companies are deeming Lithuania a dream shoot location. Another benefit that distinguishes Lithuania from its Nordic neighbours across the Baltic sea is its distinct seasons; with snow beginning earlier in the year and guaranteed sunshine in the summer, producers can rely on capturing a range of looks.
Highlighting the country’s production-friendly policies, Aurimas says: “Obtaining shoot permissions is a quick and simple process here. Whereas in some countries, this can drag on for months and become very costly, in Lithuania it usually takes no more than a week. Relaxed laws on flying drones also means that we are able to service and execute great outdoor productions. We can fly drones practically everywhere, opening up vast creative opportunities for our clients.”
Aldi – Fireworks
The project was serviced by Magic with German production company It’s Us.
Whilst Magic has serviced an array of productions in mesmerising locations, the other jewel in Magic’s crown is its incredible expertise in set-building. Commenting on the company’s widely acclaimed film sets, Aurimas says: “Whether it’s building moving structures in studios or crafting period sets outdoors, we have a highly-skilled team that can custom-build and design sets to bring your vision to life. Lithuania has a strong studio presence: there are six studios in the country, the biggest which spans up to 1,500 square meters.”
With a flight time from London of just over two-and-a-half hours, multi-lingual crews, competitive pricing and a local casting pool that replicates Nordic and European looks, it is easy to see how Magic is crafting Lithuania as the go-to country to shoot.
Production in the country is rocketing and with Magic’s turnover growing by 30% each year mirroring this incredible momentum, it’s clear that the future of production in Lithuania is only set to flourish.
VEIKKAUS – For the Fortunate Ones
Magic serviced this production for the Finnish lottery, VEIKKAUS, and production company Lucy Loves Stories