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Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic? 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 the Dominican Republic? See below for an introduction to Dominican Republic 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. The Dominican Republic offers an impressive variety of locations. Natural looks of interest include black and white sand beaches, turquoise waters, coral reefs, surf breaks, mountains including Pico Duarte (the Caribbean’s highest peak), forests, river valleys, tropical waterfalls and sugarcane plantations.

Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic’s vibrant capital and main production service centre. It is most interesting for Spanish colonial looks such as those found in the old town, Zona Colonial. American productions such as Godfather II and The Lost City have filmed in Santo Domingo to replicate Old Havana. Other locations of interest include the colossal Columbus Lighthouse and the Quisqueya baseball stadium.

The best beaches can be found in Punta Cana, a 3.5 hour drive from Santo Domingo. Altos de Chavon is a re-created medieval European village, 2 hours drive from Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic also has many modern waterfront mansions, resorts, golf courses and marinas to choose from.

The Dominican Republic has played host to many international productions including The Good Shepherd, Havana and Miami Vice.

Dominican Republic Film Location Permits. A Film and Photography Shooting Permit is required when shooting in the Dominican Republic. It must be presented in the event of a random police check. This permit can be obtained through a registered production service provider. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? The Dominican Republic has a hot, tropical climate. Coastal areas are warmer than the mountainous central regions. The hot, rainy season runs from May to October, although there are still plenty of dry, sunny days during this period. Hurricanes occur during the rainy season. The cool, dry season runs from November to April and is the best time to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The colourful Carnaval de la Vega takes place in February.

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

Costs. The Dominican Republic is a cost efficient place to shoot. The Dominican Republic has a more established film infrastructure than most Caribbean countries, so crew and equipment do not usually need to be brought in. Our Dominican fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiable. The Dominican Republic offers a mixture of Mulatto, Caucasian and Afro-Caribbean looks. All other talent needs to be cast abroad. There is a constant pool of US and European visitors if looking for western extras.

Crews. The Dominican Republic has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew is available locally. Larger and more specialized shoots may require you to bring in some crew such as a production designer, stunts or special FX teams. Local crews are experienced in servicing foreign productions and most speak fluent English.

Contact us if you are looking for a Santo Domingo 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 the Dominican Republic.

Equipment. The Dominican Republic has a good depth of standard lighting, grip and camera equipment including cranes, jimmy jibs, Fisher and Panther dolly, 35mm and RED cameras, scuba-cams. Rental gear is owned by local production companies and studios. More specialized equipment can be brought in from Miami, a short 2.5hr flight away.

If bringing in gear from abroad, a Temporary Entry of Goods Permit is required to clear equipment through customs. To obtain this permit you must first have a Film and Photography Shooting Permit. This application must also go through a registered production service company or fixer. The paperwork takes about 5 days.

The following documentation is required to bring in gear:

• Third Party Liability Insurance / Covering All Crew And Gear.
• Copies Of All Passports
• All Flight Details / Arrivals And Departures / Airline / Airline Number
• Letter To Dgcine-film Commision Including Local Fixer / Producer Information.
• List Of All Equipment / Including Serial Numbers And Prices
• Project Synopsis

Original documents must be presented at customs where agents will check equipment in front of you and your service producer / fixer. Inability to produce required documents may result in non-release of gear and hefty fines.

Art department and set construction. Some good art directors. Construction crews are hard working and talented.

Studios and backlots. Located a one hour drive from Santo Domingo, Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios has 4 stages and an 8 acre water effects facility including a 60,500 sq ft natural ocean horizon water tank with blue screen capabilities and fully equipped diving and marine department. The location is also nearby other tropical filming locations.

Tax Incentives. The Dominican Republic offers qualifying productions a 25% Transferable Tax Credit plus VAT (18%) and custom duties exemptions.

Post Production. Best to post abroad.

Visas and Work Permits. Film crew travelling on Western passports can obtain tourist cards on arrival for stays of up to 30 days. For US passport travellers, see here for more information. Contact your local Dominican Republic embassy or representative for more information.

Transportation Infrastructure. The Dominican Republic has a good network of well maintained roads. Rural roads are slower going, especially during wet weather when travel by 4WD’s is recommended. The Dominican Republic has 10 International airports with over 200 scheduled flights each week from North America and Europe.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotel and resort options in the Dominican Republic include:

Santo Domingo: (Base for colonial looks)
El Embajador
Holiday Inn

Punta Cana: (Base for beaches)
Tortuga Bay Punta Cana
Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing.

Safety. The Dominican Republic is a safe place for foreign productions to visit. 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 the Dominican Republic, please see below:

Down Time. Eat! — Sancocho, Mangú, Habichuelas Guisadas, Pollo Guisado, Tostones, Bizcocho Dominicano.

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer in the Dominican Republic, please contact us.

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