From the late 1940s — and taking in “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “El Cid,” “A Fistful of Dollars” and “Doctor Zhivago” — Spain has welcomed some of the biggest movies and series in history.
As it battles to become one of Europe’s foremost production hubs, its service sector has grown with the Mediapro Studio and Secuoya Studios recently launching international shoot service divisions. Following, profiles of five of Spain’s top service players.
For over 50 years, Babieka has helped handle big budget international shoots in Spain. Ridley Scott’s “Exodus,” Terry George’s “The Promise” and Reed Morano’s “The Rhythm Section” figure amongst its recent titles. Babieka also produces (Netflix film “The Paramedic”) and co-produces (series “Intergalactic,” with Moonage Pictures and Sky One). “Top international productions are in our DNA. These prove an amazing training ground for our cast and crew that we benefit from in our own productions,” says CEO Denis Pedregosa.
Line producer Jose Luis Escolar has handled an array of big Hollywood film shoots, taking in Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven”; Tom Cruise vehicle “Knight and Day”; “Cold Light of Day,” toplining Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver; and Shondaland’s ABC TV drama “Still Star-Crossed.” He’s preparing the Julie Plec series project “Vampire Academy” for Universal Television. Calle Cruzada’s productions take in HBO Europe TV series “Escenario 0” and Netflix’s European procedural “Criminal.” “Producing our own content is part of a long-term strategy. It’s great but servicing allows us to be in contact and learn from people and film around the world,” says Escolar.
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Handling shoots across Spain and Portugal, Fresco is well known for hosting Hollywood productions — “Game of Thrones,” “Terminator Dark Fate,” “Spider-Man Far From Home” — having won three times the Location Managers Guild Intl. Award. Under CEO Peter Welter, Fresco has wrapped filming on Netflix thriller series “In From the Cold” in Madrid and Bron Studios-Palomar spaghetti western series “That Dirty Black Bag” plus a new season of Netflix English crime TV drama “Top Boy,” both in Andalusia. Four new international TV series shoots will follow soon. Fresco’s top clients take in HBO, Sony and Paramount.
The Mallorca-based company has physically produced recent high-profile shows such as “The Crown” (Leftbank Pictures/Netflix), “Hanna” (Working Title/Amazon), “The Night Manager” (Ink Factory/BBC) and “White Lines” (Leftbank/Netflix). Since 1993, it has serviced more than 25 film and TV productions. It took “The Crown” on a traveling tour of Spanish landscapes, which doubled for everything from Arizona to Athens to the Australian outback. In 2019, it started to develop its own slate of originals, striking a development partnership with London’s Stone’s Throw Productions on David Edgar-David Keogh projects.
Canary Islands’ leading outfit boasts a remarkable Hollywood connection, servicing features from Marvel Studios (“The Eternals”), Disney and LucasFilm (“Solo: A Star Wars Story”), Warner Bros. (“Wonder Woman,” “Wrath of the Titans,” “Clash of the Titans”), Universal Pictures (“Jason Bourne,” “Fast and Furious 6”), Paramount and GK (“Allied”) plus series from Netflix (“The One”), BBC (“Dr. Who”) and Apple TV (“Foundation”). Sur Film faced competition from international destinations such as Iceland and Malta for “Foundation.” Sur Film persuaded producer Michael Malone, with whom it had previously worked on “Bourne” and “Fast & Furious.” “Selling the Canary Islands as a whole gives enough strength to be able to win projects,” says co-founder Juan ‘Nono’ Cano. “Foundation” filmed in Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Tenerife.
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