Bulgaria 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 Bulgaria? 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 Bulgaria? See below for an introduction to Bulgaria 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.
Film Locations. Bulgaria offers a wealth of unique looks and easily doubles for a range of international looks.
Sofia is the capital and Bulgaria’s main film production centre. The city’s architecture has influences of Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Turkish styles. Urban areas of Sofia have doubled for Moscow.
Bulgaria’s rugged mountains can double for Rocky Mountain looks, the Alps and Scottish Highlands. Of note are the Seven Rila Lakes. There are several ski resorts to choose from for winter looks. Trigrad Gorge offers car commercials some spectacular locations. Rock formations of interest include Zlatnite Mostove stone river and Pobiti Kamani. Raiskoto Praskalo is Bulgaria’s largest waterfall. Bulgaria’s forests, rivers and valleys have doubled for Northern California. Bulgaria also offers several picturesque vineyards with 18th century wine cellars.
The Black Sea’s gold sand beaches, rugged coastal looks and resorts resemble the French Riviera and parts of the Mediterranean coast. Of particular interest are the picturesque coastal villages of Balchik and Nessebar. Sunny Beach is a popular tourist resort.
Bulgaria also offers unique architecture such as the Soviet era Buzludzha Monument, Rila Monastery, Batchkovo Monastery, St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and ancient Plovdiv Roman Stadium.
Bulgaria Film Location Permits. Bulgaria has a very film friendly permitting process with public locations requiring usually no more than two to three days to permit. Please contact us for location specific information.
When to shoot? Bulgaria has a four-season climate. Winter (December to March) is cold with snow on the mountains. Spring (April to May) sees green fields and flowers in bloom. Summer (June to September) is hot and sunny. Fall (October to November) sees leaves changing colour. April to October are the best months to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Kukeri is an interesting Pagan festival held on January 1st in the town of Razlog.
Epiphany Day on January 6th sees men performing the traditional Bulgarian “horo” dance in the icy waters of the Tundzha River.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Bulgaria.
Costs. Bulgaria continues to attract visiting productions with one of the best per shoot day costs in Europe. Local costs are low and the exchange rate is favorable for most major currencies. Many visiting US and European productions have shot in Bulgaria for as little as a third of the cost of doing it at home. See here for the current VAT rate. Our Bulgarian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Bulgaria offers mainly ethnic Bulgarian looks with some Turkish and Russian looks available too. Bulgaria also has a sizable Roma population. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.
Crews. Bulgaria has a small pool of locally based directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Bulgaria has a small pool of internationally experienced key and supporting crews. Its close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.
Contact us if you are looking for a Sofia 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 Bulgaria.
Equipment. There are a couple of companies offering state of the art camera, lighting and grip equipment. More specialised equipment such Technocranes or camera mounts need to be brought in from larger European film production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Bulgaria is an ATA carnet country.
Art department, set construction, studios and backlots. Bulgaria is well set up to service international productions. Backlots include New York City, Ancient Rome, WWII Italy, Arabia and a Japanese Dojo. The Nu Boyana Film Studios have serviced many visiting productions including Expendables 2 & 3 and The Way Back.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Bulgaria.
Post Production. Best to post abroad.
Visas and Work Permits. Although Bulgaria is not a Schengen Area country, visiting crews travelling on Western passports can enter Bulgaria visa-free for stays of up to 90 days and work permits are not required.
Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are up to international standards. Several international and budget airlines service direct flights to Bulgaria.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Sofia. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:
Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing.
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
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 Bulgaria, please see below:
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer in Bulgaria, please contact us.