What’s Malta’s secret?
Malta’s well known secrets
Boasting 90 years of cinematic history, Malta is no newcomer to the international film industry. Anyone not familiar with the Mediterranean island however will be forgiven for questioning why such a small country has had such a huge success in attracting so many high profile international films. Surely if you hadn’t heard of Malta, you certainly must have seen Malta disguised as Rome in Spielberg’s Munich or as France in Angelina Jolie’s By the Sea. The question that begs asking is “What’s Malta’s secret?”
Whether its countryside or urban areas, we have most of what you may need and more. We may not have Mountains but we compensate with the many beautiful beaches, clear blue waters and omnipotent cliffs. The Maltese landscape is dotted with potential in the form of ancient fortified cities perched on hills, traditional fishing villages or baroque palaces. We pride ourselves with the wide variety of versatile locations and let’s face it while Malta as Malta is gorgeous, Malta is also great when it stands in for other countries. Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Iraq and Libya are but just a handful of countries we’ve impersonated. And let’s not forget we were ancient Rome in Gladiator, ancient Greece in Troy, ancient Egypt in Agora and medieval Spain in Assassin’s Creed.
Our Maltese ancestors might have built the impressive Megalithic temples predating even the Egyptian pyramids but it could also be said that Maltese skilled workers re-built the ancient empires of Rome, Greece and Egypt from the ground up. As one empire obliterated its predecessors, none of these magnificent film sets still stand today but their opulence can be witnessed and admired in the films which will endure for many years to come. Building lost empires is not our only speciality! Being an island, we also excelled in the building of boats of all shapes and sizes. Tiny rafts, fishing boats, Pirate galleons, submarines or Viking ships we’ve done it all.
Filming on Water
While we’re on the subject of boats or anything aquatic, our mastery does not end with the building of vessels. Our expertise in creating the wildest storm sequences is unparalleled. At the Malta Film Studios’ water filming tanks we’ve been trusted with some of the most prestigious A-listers of our times. Our wave machines, wind machines, water cannons have battered boats for the likes of Tom Hanks, Colin Firth, Christian Bale, Jeff Bridges and many others always under absolute total control. While safety divers are always just a few feet away for any eventuality, even the severest of storms can be stopped instantly on command. And while our SFX Shallow Tank is impressive it is dwarfed by the huge deep underwater tank. For EuropaCorp’s upcoming action comedy Renegades we built an underwater village complete with a church, a bank and houses all around a main square.
It follows that over the years many great directors including Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Wolfgang Peterson, Ridley Scott, Alan Parker and many others discovered what Malta had to offer and used it for their productions with outstanding results. Maltese crews on all these productions have simply learnt from the best in the industry. Our crews are known for their vast experience and for their professional approach. Indeed in Malta you’ll find a solid base of crews who’ve done it all – with the best teams around.
It’s true that we’re considered a film-friendly nation but we’re friendly across all spheres of life. Malta has been voted year in year out as one of the best places to live or retire and the Maltese people are renowned for their friendliness and warm heart. No problem is too big for us and our can-do attitude has ensured even some of the most difficult demands have been accommodated. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s By the Sea required the picturesque Mgarr ix-Xini bay to be closed by air, sea and land – and we did it. Michael Bay’s “13 Hours, The secret Soldiers of Benghazi” required the busiest road in Malta, the main thoroughfare into the capital city to be closed – and we did it as well. We know film, we understand film and we’ve built around us a wide network of key people who appreciate these requirements.
While on set you can’t beat our professionalism but upon wrap, Malta offers a myriad of leisure options where one can wind down and enjoy the hard-earned rest. Short distances mean that you’re never more than half an hour away from work or pleasure. We’re accustomed to unit moves and we’ve had productions which shot at multiple locations on a single day. And our hotels are always situated within walking distance to nearby night life spots or restaurants. Malta is absolutely safe and almost everyone speaks English. No wonder most cast and crews choose to bring over their closest relatives for short stints.
And that’s not all
Yes, we have all the infrastructure in place to guarantee the smoothest and most professional shoot. We have fleets of industry trucks and stocks of all major camera and lighting equipment. We have mentioned the construction workers and the film crews but we haven’t even touched upon our talent base or our enthusiastic extras. We haven’t even discussed the financial incentives which sweeten the deal and make filming in Malta an experience second to none.
The added production value of filming in Malta goes way beyond the exotic locations which imbue your production with the colourful and vibrant scenes we’re well known for. In return you’ll have a great time and should your production be eligible, we could also top the experience by rebating most of the costs incurred in Malta. We have serviced a handful of Indian productions in the past and we look forward at re-building new bridges with the highly esteemed Indian Film Industries.
If you wish to set up a meeting during the American Film Market, contact Jean Pierre Borg to set up an appointment