Tampere on its way to become a major European centre of audiovisual productions - Business Tampere Magazine
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Tampere on its way to become a major European centre of audiovisual productions

Business Tampere Film Tampere Photo: Mirella Mellonmaa

Tampere has recently grown – with determined effort – into a city of audiovisual industry where movies and TV shows, drama and entertainment are made. The local assets are audiovisual expertise, facilities and a regional production incentive.

The first step towards being a major European AV production centre has already been taken. There are productions happening in the region, employing local professionals and bringing significant amounts of income and visibility. The second half of the year 2020 has been busy in the local AV business, and the next year will follow suit.

– The productions made in Tampere so far have proved our AV competence on local and global scale, so exciting new productions will be announced in the near future, says Ilkka Rahkonen, Director at Film Tampere.

– There are big entertainment shows made in Mediapolis studios, and both serial drama and film productions are really increasing in the region, says Aku Syrjä, CEO of Akun Tehdas, a centre of expertise in AV productions and events.

Strengths in Tampere: incentive, expertise, facilities

When audiovisual producers are asked why they have chosen the Tampere Region for their productions, the regional cash rebate is usually mentioned first. Then, without delay, they raise the local resources: thriving audiovisual industry, skilled professionals with can-do approach, high-quality studios.

Tampere has a long TV production history which is a good basis for the development of competitive audiovisual ecosystem in the region.

– Tampere has several assets: efficiency, quality, reasonable cost level and active attitudes. Add regional and national cash rebates, and you’ll have a region that is competitive on a global scale, says Rahkonen.

The regional production incentive is a 10–15% cash rebate for production costs used in the Tampere Region. For the City of Tampere it is an investment that makes sense: one euro used for the incentive will produce a ten-fold return in the local economy – and without an incentive a region doesn’t have much chance to attract any productions.

Film Tampere Studio Kuva Mirella Mellonmaa
Photo: Mirella Mellonmaa

Growth continues, more expertise needed

Film Tampere has an ongoing task to develop the region’s AV ecosystem. Domestic AV industry will provide plenty of new opportunities for the Tampere Region, and going international expands the scale hugely. To make all this really happen, the region needs more AV professionals, more infrastructure, service and cooperation networks for the productions and new financing models. 

– As for the staff, there is already an interesting trend emerging. AV professionals graduated in Tampere tended to drift to the capital Helsinki, but nowadays they are coming back because we have more and more jobs available, says Syrjä.

– And we are going to need even more people soon. Film Tampere is considering ways to reorganise AV education to meet the changing needs of the industry, Rahkonen says.

Studio facilities and fresh locations

In the near future Tampere needs a new world-class film and TV studio facility, since the existing ones are already nearly fully booked. On the other hand, there are plenty of options available for location shooting, all of them within a very reasonable distance.

– There are city scenes, lakes, industrial settings – fresh locations that have not yet been seen in the movies too much, Syrjä says.

Attracting more productions to the region is one thing, but Film Tampere is also working on developing the content expertise and IPR management in the region. That is, there should be more new AV brands and products that are originally created in Tampere with their IPR owned locally.

Coronavirus changed practices and accelerates the use of new techs

The coronavirus pandemic did not stop AV industry but it changed a lot of practices in productions. Thus the Tampere Region AV industry is now fully prepared and well informed on COVID-19 safety procedures – an aspect that any production company finds very interesting nowadays.

Akun Tehdas provides both AV production and event services, and the latter one took a sudden stop because of the COVID-19. Since festivals won’t be back to normal any time soon, Akun Tehdas reacted by changing to streaming business.

– For example, staff events for major companies have been organised by streaming content to several locations around the country. Educational and training content has also been streamed, even globally when needed, Syrjä says.

Streaming services have quickly become an integral part of events, training, etc. and new hybrid solutions will be developed further. Technology allows versatile forms of interaction in events as well as in all kinds of TV shows. 

– The main question is, what we can devise and offer or what our customers can imagine and will ask us to do. There is always a way to make it happen with the technology today, Syrjä says.

Author: Päivi Stenroos
Photos: Mirella Mellonmaa

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