Aegna: The Tiny Island where Anything is Possible
If you’ve ever seen the suspense thriller Shutter Island, you know that there are a few elements to it that make it so terrifying: first, the concept of not “knowing” you are going crazy; and second, the fact that they are stuck on an isolated island with no escape.
Shutter Island isn’t just a movie — it’s an idea. And it’s not accidental that the “idea” is an actual island, rather than some other isolated place such as a closed room or a remote spaceship.
Islands have elements which spaceships and closed rooms lack: nature, fresh air, space, and most importantly, hope.
It’s this vacillating tension between terror and hope that makes movies like Shutter Island all the more emotionally jarring than it may be otherwise.
Filmmakers can benefit from settings which have the potential to engage the viewer in a range of emotions, and islands like Estonia’s Aegna can offer just that. Not only does the island have plenty of peaceful and hopeful nature scenes, but it can also create a feeling of distress should the filmmaker want to offer viewers a feeling of suspense that comes with the hope of a narrow escape.
Aegna, an island of a single square mile and only six residents, sits off the coast of the Viimsi peninsula, around nine miles north of Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn. In strolling the roads of this stunningly quiet place, you may get the feeling that the “six” residents include some bugs and animals. But I can assure you that there are at least six human beings in this obscure place all year round.
Despite its tiny size, Aegna island has about six miles of coastline, one for each permanent resident. And they should feel blessed, since much of the island’s coastline consists of sandy beaches.
But there’s much more than just pretty nature, here. The island was used for military purposes in the past, and was even closed to the general public at times — who knows what happened during these days, we can only imagine. But it’s filled with interesting military sites to spur the imagination, including a watchtower, a railway, a huge gun battery and even underground tunnels.
Nowadays the island is definitely open, though you need to catch a boat to get there. A small ferry will take you to the island during summer only, so should you desire to shoot during winter, you will need to bring your own transport.
So long as you have transportation, taking your crew and cameras to the island shouldn’t be much of a problem, unless someone is prone to seasickness. The good thing is that the journey by boat is very short, which means that your crew can set up and start shooting almost right when they arrive.
Estonia has plenty of fascinating locales for movie sets, but beyond that, we have an even bigger reason to invite you here to film your next movie: the Film Estonia cash rebate incentive.
This supports the production of feature films, feature documentaries, animation films, animation series, high-end TV-drama and the post-production of all aforementioned works.
An application can be made for international production service or co-production to receive a cash rebate up to 30% on eligible production costs.
Estonia is a friendly and inexpensive country with a seemingly endless array of set options and other creative opportunities — why not give it a shot?