Mike Day the CEO of Palma Pictures. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

It's a milestone year for Palma Pictures, one of the most important audio-visual production companies in Mallorca, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Its projects are spread across various parts of Spain and the globe at large and they have been responsible for some of the biggest productions that Mallorca has hosted over the past few years, such as Hustle with Adam Sandler and the fifth and sixth seasons of The Crown, which was filmed at various locations on the island - and don’t forget The Night Manager, which used a host of locations around the island. Then there was Special Ops: Lioness starring Nicole Kidman, Zoe Saldana and Morgan Freeman, large parts of which were shot in Mallorca earlier this year.

Palma Pictures continues to have big plans for the future.
Founded in 1993 in a small studio in La Lonja by Ola Holmgren and his wife Grete, it is now Londoner Mike Day who holds the reins of the company as CEO. He told the Bulletin this week that Palma Pictures will continue to go from strength to strength.

Q.— How and why did you first get involved in film?
A. — At 18 years old I was hired as a ‘runner’ for a television production company based in Soho, London. Luckily, they had just signed a contract with MTV Europe and so my job quickly became one of a camera assistant filming concerts in and around London.

Q.— When and how did you become part of Palma Pictures?
A. — In 1998, I was hired as an assistant director to work on a movie shot in Mallorca. Palma Pictures was the local service provider and after having spent a few months on the island, I was asked by the original founder, Ola, to continue a collaboration. My role evolved over the following years until I became a partner and CEO in 2007.

Q.— What has been the secret to Palma Pictures’ success?
A. — Our fabulous team.

Q.— How many types of services does Palma Pictures provide?
A. — We provide an extremely broad suite of services to visiting producers. Basically, everything imaginable to bring their shows, movies or advertising campaigns to the screen.

Q.— In how many global locations is Palma Pictures now based?
A. — Palma Pictures operates across Spain and Portugal, with our headquarters at our studio facility in Mallorca and offices in Barcelona and Lisbon. We also have team members based in London, New York and Los Angeles.

Q.— How have you seen the industry in Mallorca and Spain change and expand at an international level over
the years?
A. — When I first started to collaborate with Palma Pictures, our client base was largely formed of Scandinavian advertising producers. Nowadays we shoot movies, television dramas, unscripted entertainment and television advertising/print campaigns from all over the world. With producers visiting us from as far afield as the US, Canada, India and Japan.

Q.— What makes Mallorca and Spain so attractive for filming?
A. — An alluring combination of; world class crews, an incredible tapestry of locations, strong government backed tax incentives, experienced local production partners, great weather and Spanish hospitality.

Q.— How has the level of professionalism in the audio-visual industry changed in Mallorca?
A. — Over the 25 years I have been filming on the island, the level of professionalism has grown exponentially.
Both in terms of the level of skills available locally, as well as the significant increase in the crew base.

Q.— Apart from world-leading brands you have worked with at a commercial level, what have been the stand-out TV and cinema productions?
A. — We have had the privilege of working on a great range of shows and movies. Some of them would include; The Crown – Seasons 3/4/5/6, The Night Manager, Hustle and Operation Mincemeat.
We also just shot a TV version of Sexy Beast for Paramount which I am looking forward to seeing. And we collaborated on our first Bollywood feature last year, Pathaan, which has become the most successful film in Hindi cinema history. We are always delighted to host a variety of leading entertainment formats such as ITV’s Love Island. A consistently returning show that leaves a substantial economic foot print on Mallorca.

Q.— Why, for example, were Mallorca and Spain chosen for the Crown and more recently Who Is Erin Carter?
A. — We have a long-standing relationship with the producers, Left Bank Pictures, as well as Netflix. A Spanish location backdrop made lots of creative and financial sense for The Crown’s diverse sequences. And across the various seasons we doubled locations such as Los Angeles, Nevada, Arizona, Australia and Greece on the mainland as well as Monaco, the French Riviera and Bosnia for Mallorca.
Who is Erin Carter? was also produced by Left Bank Pictures/Netflix and they approached us early in the show’s development with a major Spanish city in mind for the series backdrop. Having scouted a few options they finally elected Barcelona and we shot the project over six months during 2022.

Q.— How tough is the competition in the market now?
A. — Competition is always tough, but we look to embrace it, as it drives us to sharpen and evolve our offering on a constant basis.

Q.— Could Mallorca or the Balearics in general be offering greater tax breaks to productions? Some areas of Spain offer more incentives?
A. — Enhanced tax breaks are always of interest to potential production partners. The more financially attractive a region is, then inevitably the more projects will land there.

Q.— How do you see Palma Pictures moving forward? Are there plans to expand the studio for example or build a water tank?
A. — We want to continue deepening our relationships with the world-leading creative teams we are currently collaborating with.
We have no current plans to expand our studio footprint but are always open to opportunities to expand our footprint on the island.
From our perspective, a water tank in Mallorca would be a very appealing proposition to our production partners and are happy to be involved with any such plans as they present themselves.

Q.— How much has streaming changed the industry?
A. — The arrival of the SVODs and now AVODs has changed the industry irrevocably.
From Palma Pictures’ perspective, we have been delighted by the scale, complexity and creativity of the projects that we have the opportunity to regularly collaborate on.

Q.— How many different locations has Mallorca doubled for?
Mallorca has doubled for a myriad of locations including Greece, France, the Caribbean, the US, Croatia, Italy and many more destinations. 90% of the scripts we receive want Mallorca and Spain to double for another territory.

Q.— How many people do you now employ?
A. — We currently have just over 70 full-time team members.