Ukraine is a prime shooting location
Kyiv is emerging from one of the best-kept secrets in Europe to a premier film shooting destination in Europe. Some of the world’s most well-known music artists and brands are flocking to Kyiv to shoot their latest music videos or commercials. In fact, Apple, Google, Diesel, VW, Mazda, and Lacoste have all filmed a commercial in Kyiv and the list keeps growing every year. However, what is behind Kyiv’s popularity to western musicians and companies? Why is Kyiv such an attractive shooting location?
Let's explore it together!
Kyiv offers the best of both worlds
Due to its Soviet past, Kyiv offers a blend of communist-era architecture and unfinished new constructions along with modern new buildings. This offers producers and artists a wide array of backdrops to better suit the mood and atmosphere of the video or commercial. Even if you need to shoot in the metro you can get permission a lot faster than in other European locations, which is important because time is always a critical factor. You can also get permission to shoot inside train stations, airports, and military terminals which are all much less accessible in Eastern Europe.
Therefore, the number of exciting locations, the blend of urbanist, natural, contemporary, post-Soviet, bleached, and colorful spots, and the lack of red tape are one of the biggest reasons video creators choose to shoot their videos in Kyiv.
It is worth pointing out that while Kyiv is in many ways the heart of Ukraine, there a many other beautiful cities and locations for you to consider. For example, you can go a little outside Kyiv to the ghost town of Prypyat’, which is on the territory of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. This is where the British band, Pink Floyd shot their famous video Marooned. Further south you have many med-style beaches and the Oleshky desert, the largest in Europe. In western Ukraine, there are picturesque mountains, ski resorts, castles from the 13th and 17th centuries as well as many opera houses and theatres.
Keep costs under control
In addition to the vast choice of locations we described earlier, Kyiv also offers affordable prices. According to renowned Ukrainian director Andriy Boyar, it costs around $4-5,000 to make a quality music video in Ukraine. Shooting a commercial is also much cheaper than in Western Europe. In fact, shooting an advertisement video for up to a minute in length, prices start from 30,000 euros (around $35,200), while in Germany or France it would cost twice as much, around 50,000-60,000 euros ($58,000-70,000).
In addition to this, hiring mass scene actors is also much more affordable. In Ukraine, the rates for mass scene actors start at 10 euros per day ($12) while in Western Europe the prices are ten times higher. What this means is that you get more value for your money and you can work slightly longer hours, if needed.
Qualified and modern production teams
Kyiv is home to some of the best post-production teams in the world. This is not an exaggeration. Their work is recognized and appreciated abroad. We can prove this by the number of music videos that have been created or co-created by Ukrainian companies. World-famous artists like Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and many others.
When we step back to take a look at the broader picture, we see that Ukraine, in general, is home to many remarkable fashion designers, filmmakers, and advertisers. As a result of their efforts, Ukraine shows up as a full-fledged member of the global creative industry. Needless to say, shooting a music video or a commercial is a very creative endeavor and you will be able to find all of the qualified specialists you need to help you on your journey in Ukraine.
Kyiv offers high quality professional equipment
Needless to say, the equipment used for shooting is an integral and important part of any filming process. It helps to create a comfortable work environment on-site and produce quality video products. Instead of having to transport all of the needed equipment for hundreds or even thousands of miles, why not rent all of the equipment you need in Kyiv? You will be able to find mobile and ergonomic, professional camera equipment that makes the most incredibly creative ideas possible. Need auxiliary equipment to make the production process a lot easier? No problem! We will help you find this and anything else you need.
The Ukrainian government supports video creators
A lot of times, government laws, bureaucracy, and red tape obstruct video production causing costly delays. You always need to get some sort of license, permit, and other permissions depending on the location you are shooting in. Ukraine allows you to avoid these headaches. It is also worth pointing out that while many governments are obstructing production, Ukraine is financially encouraging it. In October 2019, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law to support foreign filmmakers which offers a State subsidy to reimburse 25% of the cost to foreign filmmakers to shoot films in Ukraine and an additional refund of 5% of the costs if foreign filmmakers use the works of Ukrainian authors or a story about Ukraine to make films.
Take a night on the town
So far we have focused on all of the benefits of shooting a video in Kyiv, but you will not spend your entire time on the set. You will want to go out and get a taste of the local nightlife and Kyiv offers a wide abundance of cafes, restaurants, clubs, and many other places where you can relax and have a good time. In fact, don't be surprised to see locals, ex-pats, and tourists alike mix and mingle in the nightlife establishments and their variety will offer something for all age groups. Regardless of the type of entertainment, you are looking for, Kyiv has it all!