Snow, fog, abandoned psychiatric hospitals and inspiring silver-birch forests that run on for miles are all on offer in Estonia. The northern European country borders the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Finland and is a short ferry trip from Finland and Sweden. It is also just a road trip from major European cities including Warsaw and Berlin. St Petersburg in Russia is an overnight train from Estonia’s capital city Tallinn.
Author - Stuart Kemp
Bog is not often top of a location scout’s list of must-haves. But if that particular topography is required, Latvia is the country that offers soggy surfaces in abundance. The Baltic state is 10% bog or, more fashionably perhaps, marshland.
Namibia shares 967km of its 3,936km long border with South Africa, a neighbour firmly on international filmmakers’ production and locations radar. The relative proximity to South Africa, political stability and Namibia’s extraordinary landscape, flora and fauna are all factors in the country’s growing presence on the locations map.
Over the past five years, South Africa has become a popular destination for Hollywood blockbusters, high-end TV series and independent film productions. They are drawn by the ability to make a production for about half of what it would cost in California, thanks to favourable exchange rates on the rand against the US dollar, euro and British pound. South Africa also has generous, government-backed, sliding-scale tax rebates.
Switzerland is a dream for location scouts. It offers everything from famous Alpine vistas of mountains and lakes to medieval towns and castles, as well as modern cities where the old and the new rub shoulders.
A shamanic snake charmer, a challenging Mallorcan location that tested the crew to its limits, and breath-taking landscapes on the Spanish island all helped give Susanne Bier’s six-part TV series The Night Manager the sweep of an epic cinematic movie.