International TV Production Crew Leaves Over $1 Million Unpaid Bill In Finnish Lapland

According to Finnish media, a big production organization, Turbine Studios, filmed parts of an upcoming psychological thriller television series, Constellation, in Lapland earlier this year, but still haven’t paid all of their bills.

The total debt is over 1 million euros (approximately 1,088,675 US dollars), and many local companies and businesspeople that provided services have been facing serious financial difficulties because of it.

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Sirly Ylläsjärvi is one of them. A few days ago, the chef turned to TikTok to explain the situation in greater detail, asking people to help her raise awareness about the whole ordeal.

A TV show, commissioned by Apple TV+, was filmed in Finland at the beginning of 2023, but many locals still haven’t been paid for the services they provided

Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

After Finnish media broke the story, Sirly Ylläsjärvi, a chef who served the crew, went public with her experiences

“Hi, I’m a chef from Finland, and I really need your help. I don’t know if you have been reading any news about what’s been happening in Finland, but there was a big TV production filming in Inari in Lapland last January, ordered by Apple TV and the production team was Turbine Studios, I think it was from Germany, but I think they’re also in England.”

“And they left 1 million euros unpaid bills. And my company is one of those companies that didn’t get the money or the rest of the money.”

Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

“I was taking care of their catering with my business partner. And we worked really hard for it, like really hard. I needed to wake up at 3 o’clock or 2:30 in the morning, just to make sure that they had breakfast at 6 o’clock and the distances are very long here.”

“So we needed to drive for one hour to even get there. It was wintertime, it was dark, but we did everything. And they were really happy. They were happy that Finnish people were so good. We really took care of them. They chose the best team for every job. Like for the lights, of course, the TV, people catering, the accommodation, they were using husky safaris.”

Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

“And because the budget went so over, like everything, they left 1 million euros of unpaid bills, and we’ve been fighting for six months. We didn’t want to go public with this, but the biggest newspapers started calling us last Thursday. So it’s out now and it’s in every Finnish newspaper. But we need your help. Because this is a big company. It’s huge. And I haven’t really seen any news overseas even though I sent a newsletter to all the big newspapers.”

“So can you please tag here Apple TV, Turbine Studios? Can you tag all the biggest newspapers in your country? And can you please help me because I need the money. I have a restaurant and a hotel. We just survived Corona. I’ve been working really hard. So I have paid all their salaries, I have paid the taxes. I have paid for everything. But I didn’t get my money.”

Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

“And I’m not the only one. There are almost 20 companies and individual people here who are missing their money, who need their money. And they don’t do anything. And I can’t believe that this has happened to us. So I need you. Can you please help me? And can you please help us? Because this sucks.”

“It’s been so many nights that I haven’t been sleeping. And I’ve told this to the big bosses of Turbine Studios. And nothing has happened, so they don’t care. They don’t care about us. And the saddest thing is that they were filming a TV show. So I’ve lost the money for what? For entertainment. I’m sorry my English is bad. But I need you.”

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Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

Her TikTok video has been going viral

@sirly.yllasjarvi HS: International film crew leave €1m bill unpaid in Finnish Lapland @Apple TV #Constellation #HelpFinland @Helsingin Sanomat ♬ alkuperäinen ääni – Sirly Ylläsjärvi

Constellation is the largest TV series ever produced in Finland

The series was commissioned by Apple TV+ and is reported to be one of the most expensive TV series ever filmed in Europe. It is also the largest TV series ever produced in Finland.

The lead role is played by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, You Won’t Be Alone) and the cast also includes James D’Arcy (Oppenheimer, Dunkirk), and Emmy Award nominee Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul).

The crew, consisting of 200 to 300 people, filmed around the Ivalo and Inari areas of Finnish Lapland in January and February this year.

Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

The production company was very satisfied with the Finnish work ethic

“There was a very positive atmosphere during the production,” Sirly Ylläsjärvi told Bored Panda. “Everyone knew they were part of something big and took great pride in their work. The production company was very satisfied with the services, especially with the Finnish work ethic.”

Reporting done by Helsingin Sanomat revealed that the creditor list includes a dozen companies that offered the crew accommodation, restaurant services, and audiovisual technology. Invoices have been open for half a year, and the largest amount of debt to a single party is worth almost 300,000 euros (or about 326,475 US dollars).

Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

“We started to worry during the spring,” Ylläsjärvi explained to us. “We have been in contact with Turbine Studio and Apple TV. We didn’t want to go public with this because we were also afraid for ourselves. We have to be really careful not to break our NDAs. But the money is big and we’ve all just survived the pandemic. We can’t afford this now. Many entrepreneurs are in really big trouble.”

Ylläsjärvi isn’t a rookie at the game. On the contrary, she’s a well-known chef and entrepreneur who also participated in TV projects such as MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals as well as other programs. So she did her due diligence.

“I thought very carefully about how this kind of publicity could affect my own publicity and companies,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to ruin my career because of this. But I prefer to fight rather than hide what the other side seems to be doing. Our only hope now is media visibility and we’ll [reevaluate our position afterward]. I can’t say what we’ll do if this doesn’t help.”

Image credits: sirly.yllasjarvi

It has known about the open invoices since mid-Spring

PR consultant Ian Thomson representing Turbine Studios told Helsingin Sanomat that the open invoices came to the attention of the company sometime between March and April, and it is currently investigating the matter. Bored Panda also contacted Turbine Studios, but so far, we haven’t received an answer.

Finland has granted the series a production incentive of over 1.5 million euros (1,634,145 US dollars). The country uses this financial instrument to attract foreign projects to Finland (and keep the domestic ones within its borders). However, Timo Metsä-Tokila, the executive director of funding services at Business Finland, a government organization responsible for the funding, said that no payment has yet been made because the production company has not submitted the required post-project documents.

Additionally, the incentive grant will not be granted if the bills are not paid.

And people want answers

The post International TV Production Crew Leaves Over $1 Million Unpaid Bill In Finnish Lapland first appeared on Bored Panda.

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