What's the price of cheap filming in Greece?
One piece of apparently good news is that the Greek authorities intend to reduce the price of filming on major Greek archaeological sites. You'll now be able to film on the Acropolis for a mere €1600 a day (down from €4000 in 2005, and a whole lot cheaper than the equivalent in (say) Italy).
This may be a false bargain for the film crews. I doubt if they can provide much practical support for that amount of money (the electricity, the guy with the keys etc.), and I strongly suspect that you won't get an exclusive on the Acropolis at that price. Go and try and make your movie and I bet you'll find another couple of film crews also on the job.
But there's worse. The Greeks are presumably aiming at 'big motion pictures' or adverts (see the joke above) -- but for documentary filming there is more to these prices than just the cash.
I have never filmed in Greece myself, but I know academic colleagues who have. And they say that one of the real downsides of documentary filming in Greece is that the Greek archaeological authorities insist on vetting the script before giving permission for the filming.
That means (and it's understandable perhaps) that you wouldn't be allowed to film on the Acropolis if you were going to say that Elgin had got it right and had actually rescued his marbles (ever wondered why all tv programmes come out anti-Elgin, well now you know). But it goes beyond modern/ early-modern politics. The script vetting comes right down to the interpretation of classical history and culture. Try saying that the god Apollo was a god of plague as well as of light and purity and, I'm told, you'll have a struggle on your hands. You'll need to go armed to the vetting meeting with a copy of the Iliad (which says just that) under your arm, and be prepared for a fight. (The fact is that Greek authorities dont like nasty aspersions being cast on their ancient gods. Plague bad, light good.)
It's true I have all these stories second-hand (but i have no reason to disbelieve them). Makes you realise that, for the likes of me, 'cheap' filmimg wont be quite as simple as it's painted.