Malta is no new-comer to the global film industry - but you may not be aware just how many international films have been shot here.
Image: Copyrighted 2013 Coloumbia Pictures Industries Inc. All rights reserved.
Malta doubled for Rome in Spielberg’s Munich and for Ancient Greece in Troy but Malta’s film history dates back to 1925. Almost 150 films have been shot here over the last 92 years. Recent box office hits include: By the Sea, Angelina Jolie’s post wedding and pre-break-up movie starring herself and Brad Pitt; Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed and Michael Bay’s 13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, both filmed in 2015. In addition, Malta’s name in Hollywood was made through colossal industry successes, namely Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code, The Count of Monte Cristo and Captain Phillips.
Television is no stranger to Malta either with sensational series Game of Thrones’ Dothraki wedding scene being filmed at the (now tragically collapsed) Azure Window on the island of Gozo – a scene indelibly printed in fans’ memories not least due to the natural beauty of the outstanding location.
Recreating marvels of the past.
Maltese ancestors built the impressive Megalithic Temples which even predate the Pyramids of Giza: our skills today go further as we have re-created the ancient cities of Rome, Greece and Egypt. The authenticity and quality of the scene design and construction is testament to Malta’s skills. But building lost empires is not our only speciality. It goes without saying that, as an Island, we excel in nautical reconstructions.
Tiny rafts, fishing boats, submarines, pirate galleons and Viking ships, our craftsmen have done it all. In addition, our home-grown talent offers expertise in logistics and on-location filming, editing, post-production, costume design and the supply of hundreds of extras and voice-over artists.
Whether it’s countryside or urban areas required for filming, the Maltese landscape is perfect. From ancient, fortified, hilltop cities, omnipresent cliffs, traditional fishing villages or baroque palazzi - we have it all in just 316km². However, our unique feature lies in our on-site water facilities making those secluded bays, azure blue seas and sandy beaches a reality.
Image: Malta Film Studios. Copyright - Malta Air Photo
Controlled water facilities - not just beaches
1964 was a milestone for the Malta film industry with the construction of a huge water tank, designed to facilitate the filming of aquatic scenes. Filming in or on water often presents issues and not just due to weather conditions or the unpredictability of the sea. The creation of certain special effects at sea can be very complicated and sometimes impossible, not forgetting the consequential expense. Our facilities offer filmmakers the stage to achieve whatever scene they want in a safe and controlled environment.
Originally, the Film Studios boasted the largest marine facility in the world with a natural horizon. Over the years, other studios have caught up but never overtaken. Our SFX Shallow Tank is impressive but it is dwarfed by our huge deep underwater tank.
Our expertise in creating the wildest storm sequences is unparalleled.
The Malta Film Studios’ underwater filming tanks have played host to some of the most prestigious ‘A’ list film stars. The SFX wave machines, wind machines and water cannons have battered boats with Tom Hanks, Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Jeff Bridges aboard. Naturally safety divers are on hand ready for any eventuality, but even the severest of ‘storms’ can be stopped on command.
With over 50 years of film production, the Malta Film Commission is highly experienced with SFX, scale-model making, boat building and general set construction. The Malta Film Studios have serviced over 200 productions, including feature films, TV series, documentaries, music videos and photoshoots.
Well known films, made at the Malta Film Studios include; Captain Phillips (2013), Kon-Tiki (2012), Troy (2004), Swept Away (2002), U571(2000) and Raise the Titanic (1980). Most recently, the studios played host to Thugs of Hindostan, one of the largest Bollywood productions ever to be shot outside India. Malta has attracted such a high number of prominent productions over the years thanks to both its natural facilities and the talent and innovation we have displayed. Unsurprisingly, Malta is often described as the mini Hollywood of the Mediterranean. Great directors such as Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Wolfgang Petersen, Ridley Scott and Alan Parker all discovered what Malta has to offer and harnessed its potential with outstanding results.
Image: Gladiator. Copyright - 2000 Dreamworks LLC & Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
For filming enquiries, please contact The Malta Film Commission on firstname.lastname@example.org
Published TEMPLE Magazine 2018
Copyright: Temple Concierge Ltd.
Images: Courtesy of the Malta Film Commission