Romania has a wealth of extraordinary, undiscovered locations in close proximity to each other. From cities to small villages, medieval castles to modern structures, snowy mountains to sandy beaches, Romania is a favourite place for productions to film a diversity of locations at a fraction of the cost of filming in Western Europe.
Cost & Rebates
By European standards Romania offers a very cost competitive shoot day. Line item costs are low and a diversity of locations can be reached with little travel required. Of particular interest are Romania’s grand castles and palaces, which are much less expensive than options in Western Europe. Romania is also very well set up for cost efficient studio shoots. Compared to other East European nations Romania is generally less expensive than Croatia, Hungary or the Czech Republic, but more expensive than Bulgaria or the Ukraine. Romania does not yet trade in the Euro.
Romania offers a generous 35% cash rebate on qualifying spend. In cases where the production explicitly promotes Romania and at least 20% of the total budget is spent in the country, the production may qualify for an additional 10% cash back, for a total rebate of 45%. This applies to feature films and shorts, TV series, direct-to-video productions, Internet films, documentaries and animated projects.
When To Shoot
Romania has a four-season climate. Winters (November to March) are cold and rainy with snow on the mountains. Spring (April to May) has wildflowers in full bloom. Summer (June to August) is hot and sunny. Fall (September to October) is mild with leaves changing colour. The best months to film for warm, sunny weather are between April and October.
Although Romania is not a Schengen Area country, visiting crews travelling on western passports can enter Romania visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Work permits are not required.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Romania has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are also non-union. Crews are experienced, hard working and flexible with overtime and turn around times. Heads of department all speak fluent English. Most shoots are able to source key crew locally. Romania’s close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further. Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are very reasonable and negotiated on a case by case basis. There is a good pool of Caucasian looking local talent. Although there are plenty of women to choose from, there is a shortage of men with blonde hair. The local Roma community doubles well for Middle Eastern looking people. Otherwise, there is a rather limited selection of Indian, African and Asian looks. Romania’s close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further. Romania has a good offering of locally based film equipment ranging from new digital cameras such as Alexas and Reds through to lighting and grip equipment including a Technocrane. More specialised equipment such as Libra heads can be easily brought in from nearby European production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Romania is an ATA carnet country.