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Nigeria

Nigeria Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Nigeria? 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 Nigeria? See below for an introduction to Nigeria locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Nigeria Film Locations

Nigeria has a variety of landscapes. The far north has the Sahel, where the Sahara desert transitions into savannas which make up most of the country. The far south transitions into rainforest and beaches. The south-east and south-west are marked by rugged plateaus. Nigeria’s main rivers are the Niger and the Benue. They are home to a large area of Central African Mangroves. These rivers converge and empty into the Niger Delta, one of the world’s largest and most polluted river deltas. The Yankari Wildlife Reserve, Cross River National Park, and Gashaka Gumti National Park are home to a wide variety of African animals. The Trans-Sahara Highway ends in Nigeria.

Lagos is the most populous city in Africa. It is a chaotic, congested and polluted metropolis. Film locations of interest in Lagos include the central business district high-rise buildings on Lagos Island, Makoko floating shanty town, a variety of interesting looking hotels, beaches, a container port, an airport, and Eko Atlantic City – a business district the size of Manhattan that is being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.

Nollywood, Nigeria’s vibrant local film industry ranks second in the world after India in terms of number of annual productions. Films such as Half of a Yellow Sun were shot in Nigeria.

Nigeria Film Location Permits

A film permit from the Nigerian Film Corporation is required to film in Nigeria. The permit costs USD350 per production and is usually processed within 24hrs. The permit covers any type of production for up to 1 week of filming.

More lead time is required for larger footprint productions such as shoots that involve traffic control or large setups. Nigeria is a film-friendly country that is very much open to any business that promotes the country, especially film and photography projects. Pretty much anything is possible as long as you approach the right people in the right way. For projects shooting outside of Lagos or Abuja this may also involve our local fixer / producer arranging permits in person, on the local level, so make sure to allow extra time and money for that.

Filming in sensitive government areas, national parks, historic sites or with drones may also require extra permits.

Note, illegal filming of certain government buildings and public infrastructure such as airports, bridges and military installations, may be penalised with arrest, fines and confiscation of film equipment.

Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Nigeria has a tropical climate with variances in different regions. The dry season runs from October to April. The end of the dry season is the best time to film wildlife with animals congregating around water sources. May to September is the wet season. It is best to avoid the heaviest rains from April to July as roads outside of cities become impassable. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Argungu Fishing Festival in Kebbi takes place in March. The Osun Festival of the Yoruba tribe takes place in August. The Calabar Carnival, held through December, is Nigeria’s largest street party. Nigerians also observe Muslim holidays (mainly in the north) and Christian holidays (mainly in the central and southern areas).

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Nigeria.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. The favorable exchange rate means that your currency goes far in Nigeria. Our Nigerian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no specific tax incentives for feature films or commercials shooting in Nigeria, although the government is amenable to providing incentives in kind (free location permits, free security detail, reduced rates at hotels, etc) as long as the project has a positive promotional benefit to the country.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Nigeria has some impressive local directors, videographers and stills photographers to choose from. There is also a good pool of key and supporting crew.

Contact us if you are looking for a Lagos 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 for your shoot in Nigeria.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. Casting facilities are undeveloped in Nigeria so street casting is often required. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and home to over 250 ethnic groups. Non-African looks are limited so it is recommended to bring from abroad.

Nigeria Film Equipment

Film equipment is owned by different local production companies who rent from each other when necessary. Nigeria has all of the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally including the latest Alexas, Red Dragon, Sony F55, Canon C300, large cranes, tracks, dollies, lighting packages, sound equipment, and new drones for aerial filming. More specialised equipment such as high speed cameras or the Russian Arm need to be brought in from abroad. 

If you are a project bringing in a small amount of gear (eg: Canon 5D, boom, mic, etc) you can just bring it in as luggage. If you are importing a large amount of gear, you will need to hire a local Nigerian customs broker. For the latter, you will need to provide our local fixer / producer with a full gear list, serial numbers and value of gear. The importation tax is usually around 5% of the value of the equipment. Make sure your gear is well insured.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is limited beyond Nigerian looks.

Studios. These do exist but are just converted warehouse spaces with basic facilities.

Post Production. Basic facilities. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Most nationals require a visa to enter Nigeria.

For small projects such as documentaries you can enter on a business visa. Our Nigerian fixer / producer will provide you with an invitation letter, which you will include in your application at your closest Nigerian embassy or consulate. It usually takes about 10 days from submitting your application to having your passport stamped with a business visa.

Temporary Work Permits are required for larger projects such as visiting TV commercials, TV shows or feature films. The sponsoring Nigerian fixer / service producer will submit your application and your USD300 fee to the immigration office in Abuja or Lagos. It usually takes about 10 days to have this approved. Once approved, the approval is then sent to your closest Nigerian embassy or consulate where your passport is stamped with the Temporary Work Permit. This part usually takes about 4 days.

If necessary, our local fixer / producer also has contacts with Nigerian embassy staff around the world to make sure your application is prioritised.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation. Lagos has extreme traffic congestion so allow plenty of time to get from one location to the next. Main roads in Nigeria are of a fair standard. Rural roads can be very slow going with some becoming impassable during the rainy season. Best to avoid road travel by night. Our local Nigerian fixer / service producer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Nigeria is well serviced domestically and internationally by several airlines.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Nigeria include:

Protea Hotel
Southern Sun Hotel
Moorhouse Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. See here for vaccinations required for Nigeria.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Nigeria, please see below:

Hire Nigeria Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Nigeria, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Nigeria, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.