With a population above 10,000,000, Moscow is the most populous city in Europe, and the seventh-largest city in the world. Situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, this capital city of Russia is dotted with the most architectural of cathedrals. Having played a central role in the development of the Russian state and its history, Moscow was the capital of the former Soviet Union. The city continues to pave the way as Muscovites move into the 21st century and Moscow is slowly becoming the cultural cauldron of the North.
A 950-year-old city, Moscow has many reminders of its imperial and Soviet past. It is a sprawling city with numerous museums, Soviet-era monoliths and post-Soviet kitsch.
Free from the strictures of censorship and hardship, Russia’s capital city is experiencing a burst of creative energy, evident in its contemporary culture. Former factories and deserted warehouses have been converted into edgy art galleries and intriguing underground clubs.
World-class venues such as the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum are experimenting and expanding. Tchaikovsky and Chekhov are well represented at Moscow theatres but you can also see world premieres by up-and-coming composers, choreographers and playwrights. Foodies flock to wine bars, coffee bars, sushi bars and even beer bars, while night owls enjoy a dynamic scene of exclusive nightclubs, bohemian art cafés, underground blues bars and drink-up dives.
The ancient city has always been a haven for history buffs. The red-brick towers of the Kremlin occupy the founding site of Moscow; churches and monuments remember fallen heroes and victorious battles; and remains of the Soviet state are scattered all across the city. Even history is being examined in innovative ways, as new museums broach subjects long brushed under the carpet.
Much of Moscow’s geography is defined by the numerous ring roads thatcircle the city at various distances from the centre, roughly following the outline of the walls that used to surround Moscow. With Red Square and the Kremlin at the very centre, the innermost ring road is the Boulevard Ring (Bulvarnoye Koltso), built in the 1820s, where the 16th century walls used to be. It runs from the Christ the Savior Cathedral in south-west central Moscow to the mouth of the Yauza in south-east central Moscow.
Russia has been the backdrop for innumerable films, videos and commercials. The Russian Film Commission offers services like:
• Location scouting
• Resource guides
• Permit information assistance
• Production assistance
• Crew hire
• Local transport hire
• Lodging & other business referral
• Interpreter services
St Basil’s Cathedral: It is a Russian Orthodox Church on the Red Square in Moscow. The building’s design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, was built on the order of Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan and it marks the geometric centre of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. It was the tallest building in Moscow until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.
Moscow Kremlin: The Moscow Kremlin, sometimes referred to as simply, The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River (to the south), Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square (to the east) and the Alexander Garden (to the west). It is the best known of Kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes four palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation.
One of the most important features for filming in Russia is that there are no unions. Moreover, salaries of local personnel have become very competitive, compared to other European countries as the UK, France, Spain or Italy. Besides, due to global economic recession, which hit international film/TV industry badly the Russian Film Commission is likely to guarantee many excellent professionals, extras and services with quite negotiable wages, costs and expenses.
Many international productions and co-productions from Hollywood and Western Europe have been shot with participation of Russian companies, talent, experts and services. There are provisions to hire the best second unit directors specialised in action and car races, with Russian stuntmen who won Taurus Award in the US for Hollywood action films.
Some of the most high-tech and top-of-the-line equipment can be hired to shoot on film, HD, HDV, DVCAM, MiniDV, Digibeta and Beta SP. Russian mobile-equipped crews are essentially English-conversant.
In Russia, authorities may charge different location fees and administration prices but The Russian Film Council contacts them as good-will-ambassadors to find the best solutions or to solve problems if necessary and make all conditions acceptable as well as minimise claims or make them nominal.
The Film Council provides filmmakers with a provisional approval by email shortly after they examine the producer’s application with:
• Application letter with detailed information on the production company
• Comprehensive plan, projection of the budget for the production
• Ideally, the finished version of the script, or full synopsis with part of the script
• The shooting at locations in Russia/ex-USSR.
Qualifying expenditure is incurred during the production in locations on services includes: labour, accommodation, transportation equipment and hire, location fees, catering services, leasing of offices, computer equipment, props, property, animals, equipment, wardrobe rentals, vehicles, boats, telecommunications, craft service, laundry and cleaning services and professional services.
Presentation of expenditure should include the net of VAT (Value-Added Tax) charged at 18 per cent.