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An Apple TV+ production company is dodging bills in Finland

Helsinki, Finland [Pexels/Tapio Haaja]

The production of Apple TV+ psychological thriller "Constellation" hasn't paid its bills in Finland, a report claims, with over a million euros ($1.08 million) in debts left unpaid months after filming ended.

The Apple-commissioned show under the working title "Constellation" took to Finish Lapland in January and February, with a crew of between 200 and 300 people descending into Ivalo and Inari for those two months. During that time, the crew used a lot of services provided by local entrepreneurs, but it seems that the small businesses haven't been compensated properly.

"Constellation" is said to be one of the most expensive series to be filmed in Europe, and the largest TV production in Finland.

According to Helsingin Fanomat, more than one million euros of bills have yet to be settled. In documents seen by the publication, the largest single bill is close to 300,000 euros ($324,000).

The unpaid bills covered expenses ranging from paying actors to catering, fuel for transportation and the hiring of Siberian huskies, among other elements.

The entrepreneurs have tried getting paid by contacting the German department of production company Turbine Studios as well as Apple TV+ for over half a year.

"We have financed this million-dollar project with our small business," said Sirly Yllasjarvi of catering service Aurora Estate. "We have just survived the corona, which has been a really severe blow to the industry. We have done everything that has been asked and much more. A big company has grossly taken advantage of us. How dare they?"

For Aurora, there were issues with the number of diners being agreed upon in advance, with a doubling of meals required in the second week unexpectedly. It is claimed all services exceeding a previously-arranged budget was approved by the German side of the production company, but that has yet to be rectified.

Turbine Studios and Finnish production service company Film Service Finland are said to be in dispute with each other over the responsibility of the invoices. Turbine Studios claims it was aware of the open invoices in March and April, and started investigating the unpaid invoices at that time, and that the original budget was paid to Film Service Finland.

"We have tried to get information from the local production service company and companies about how this could have happened," a spokesperson for Turbine explains. "It has taken a long time to investigate the matter and form some sort of understanding of the use or possible misuse of the budget. At the moment we have no answer as to why the invoices have not been paid."

Film Service Finland believes that Turbine hasn't paid off all of the production costs. "There is a significant amount of expenses incurred by the production company that have not been paid to us and our subcontractors. We fight for that all the time," said FSF producer Jupe Louhelainen.

Business Finland provided an incentive of over 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) to the production, as a way to bring more projects to Finland, with expectations it will get 25% of money spent back. However, as the production company hasn't submitted a post-project cost and content report with assurances that all costs have been met, the grant remains unpaid.