Filming in Chile. Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Chile? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.
Want to know more about shooting in Chile? See below for an introduction to Chile locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, fringes and premiums, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.
Film Locations. Chile is a popular place for visiting productions to film opposite season looks. Given the country is as long as the US is wide, you can find a great variety of locations including deserts and glaciers, volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, beaches and rugged coastline, islands and lighthouses, lakes and rivers, deep old growth forests, rural settings, Spanish colonial looks, modern city architecture and American looking suburbs.
Locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include the Atacama Desert, Andes Mountains, the colourful stilt village of Chiloe, Los Caracoles Road (ideal for car commercials), and Patagonia’s otherworldly landscapes of glaciers, mountains, islands and deserts.
Santiago is the capital and main entry point by air. Visiting production have doubled the city for Chicago, New York and Paris. Within a 2 hour drive from Santiago you can find looks such as Himalayan mountains, Californian beaches, Mid-Western wheat fields, and sandy deserts.
The remotely located Easter Island, famous for its stone heads, is also part of Chile.
Chile has hosted films including Rapa-Nui, The Motorcycle Diaries, Quantum of Solace, The 33, The Green Inferno, and Death and the Maiden.
Chile Film Location Permits. Depending on the location, you generally don’t need permits if filming hand-held b-roll. Shoots that involve setting up a tripod or laying cable require permits. Separate permits are required for each location you want to film in and may need to be obtained from several authorities. National parks and historic sites require additional permits. Drone filming is allowed but not in national parks. Certain parts of Santiago can be difficult to permit with filming often restricted to the weekends if you require traffic control. Projects that involve exclusive use of public space, police support, weapons or pyrotechnics require anywhere from 5 days to a month to permit. A good fixer / service producer is essential to make sure you know the best places to film for your budget. With a good fixer and low-key approach, you can film many locations at minimal cost. Please contact us for location specific information.
When to shoot? The Chilean climate is determined by the latitude, the proximity to the sea and the altitude.
The north of Chile is home to the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest desert. Summer (December to March) temperatures are very hot and winter (June to September) temperatures are mild with cold nights.
Central and southern Chile has a Mediterranean to temperate four-season climate. Summers are hot with long daylight hours. Falls are mild and rainy. Winters are rainy with heavy snowfalls in the Andes. Springs bring green fields and flowers in bloom.
Farther south in Patagonia, summers are mild with very long daylight hours and winters are very cold with very long nights.
Easter Island is best avoided during the wet season from May to June.
For monthly weather statistics please see here.
The Tapati Festival takes place on Easter Island every year in February. The Festival of the Virgen del Carmen is celebrated in the small Atacama desert town of La Tirana from June 12-17 every year.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Chile.
Costs. On average, Chile is less expensive than both Brazil and Argentina. Santiago is the main production centre. Filming outside of the city in far away locations such as the Atacama or Patagonia can add significantly to the travel and transport budget. That said, our locally based fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Talent. is non-union and day rates are negotiable. Upfront talent buyouts are no longer required. Chile is very good value for money given the great diversity of multicultural talent looks including Latino, Caucasian, African, Asian and Indigenous talent.
Chile’s close proximity to Buenos Aires allows us to access those significant talent pools should you ever need to look further. Note, when bringing in talent from Buenos Aires, Argentinian union laws don’t apply, so costs are negotiable.
Crews. Chile has a small but good pool of local English speaking directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key and supporting crews are very experienced in servicing international productions. Crew members belong to an association but costs are negotiable.
Contact us if you are looking for a Santiago based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Chile. There are also good locally based FX teams, with additional support available out of Buenos Aires.
Fringes & Premiums. Crew fringes are 24%. The base is a 10 hour day. With overtime at 1.5x base rate for the next 2 hours, then 2x base rate for the next 2 hours. The day is capped at 14 hours. That said, talent and crew rates are all negotiable.
Equipment. Chile has all of the standard camera, lighting and grip equipment as well as more specialised gear including 2 Russian Arms, Technocrane, hot heads, Motion Control, helicopters and flight heads, drones, quads with stabilizers, camera cars and process trailers.
For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Chile is an ATA carnet country. Buenos Aires is the closest major production and gear can easily be brought in from Los Angeles too.
Art department and set construction is very strong in Chile. There have been many complex sets constructed for large scale productions.
Studios. Sound stages in Chile tend to be mostly used for TV production. Most stages are small but larger industrial spaces can be easily converted into studios.
Backlots. At present no backlots exist in Chile.
Tax Incentives. Chile’s 19% tax does not apply to visiting productions as they are consider exports. Otherwise, there are no specific tax incentives for feature films or commercials in Chile.
Post Production. Chile offers post production services in all phases.
Visas and Work Permits. There are no work permits required for film crews. Passport holders of most western countries can enter Chile visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Visas are required for longer stays. Press passes may be required for documentary and news crews depending on the project.
Transportation Infrastructure. Chile has a developed and well maintained road network. Regular domestic flights connect the length of the country and Easter Island. Several international airlines service flights to Santiago.
Accommodation. Chile offers many great options. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Santiago and other parts of Chile. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include Matildas Hotel Boutique, Santiago.
Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing.
Safety. Chile is a very safe place for foreign productions to visit. See here for up to date travel advice.
Projects. For an example of TV commercials, online advertising, corporate videos, stills campaigns, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Chile, please see below:
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer in Chile, please contact us.