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Ecuador

Ecuador 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 Ecuador? 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 Ecuador? See below for an introduction to Ecuador 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.

Ecuador Film Locations

Ecuador is a small equatorial South American country that offers a variety of locations in very close proximity to each other. In a single day you can drive from the Amazon, across a range of volcanoes, through verdant cloud forests and arrive on the Pacific coast. Ecuador locations can be divided into four main geographic regions:

Andes. The Andes mountain chain offer a variety of incredible landscapes including volcanoes such as Cotopaxi (the highest active volcano in the world), national parks, scenic train journeys, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and towns such as Otavalo and Ibarra. Quito is Ecuador’s capital and main production centre. Situated in a valley of volcanic peaks, Quito is best known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial downtown area and beautiful gilded churches. A scenic rail journey runs from Quito all the way to Guayaquil, with the spectacular Nariz del Diablo portion of the track of particular interest to filmmakers.

Coastal. Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and the main production centre in this region. The Pacific coast offers beaches, surf breaks, rivers, scenic coastal roads, whale breeding areas, coffee and banana plantations.

Amazon. Rich in biodiversity, the Amazon jungle region, located to the east of the Andes, is one of the world’s most accessible areas of the upper Amazon basin.

Galapagos Islands. 600 miles west of Ecuador’s coast the world renowned Galapagos Islands are home to marine and land creatures found nowhere else in the world. Of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers are the albatrosses of Isla Espanola, Galapagos giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island, iguanas of Tortuga Bay, beautiful beaches and Sierra Negra volcano of Isabela Island, Floreana Island, San Cristobal Island, Bartolome Island and the Blue Lagoon on Rocas Baimbridgen.

Ecuador has hosted productions including Baraka, Clear and Present Danger, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Ecuador Film Location Permits

Permitting depends on the scale and specifics of the project. Note, even small scale filming like b-roll in places such as national parks, historic centres, or churches requires additional permitting and may incur fees. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Ecuador’s weather varies depending on the region. Along the coast, high rainfall occurs during the months of February and March. From the month of June to December, the coast experiences dry weather. The Andes region has a rainy season from October to May and a dry season from June to September. The dry seasons are the best times to film for weather. The Amazon region has rainfall throughout the year. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Carnival takes place in February. Semana Santa processions are in April.

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

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Ecuador trades in the USD. Locations, local talent, support crew, and locally produced goods are inexpensive. The need to bring in most key crew and equipment adds to the costs of shooting in Ecuador. Our Ecuadorian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no specific government tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials shooting in Ecuador.

The Ecuadorian government may offer support in kind. If you have a long-form project requiring multiple-entry travel for crews and equipment, and many locations to permit, then our local production team can organise supporting letters from various government departments. Your script and other information needs to first be submitted. If the government deems the project to be of benefit to the country then the supporting documents will be approved. These documents will make it easier to get crew and gear in and out of the country. It will make it less expensive and easier to deal with permitting authorities for various public locations such as those run by national parks and municipalities. Various other public departments will also be made available to assist you, such as the police. The application process takes about a month.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Ecuador has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Crews are non union. Supporting crew are good, resourceful and speak English. There are some key crew but for more complicated projects it is recommended to bring in your key crew from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a Quito, Guayaquil, or Galapagos 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 Ecuador.

Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Talent looks vary by region. Ecuador’s ethnic composition is made up of Mestizos, Caucasians, Amerindians, Montubios and Afro-Ecuadorians. Other talent looks are best cast abroad.

Ecuador Film Equipment

Basic camera, lighting and grip equipment available locally. Additional equipment can be easily brought in from Chile or Argentina.

In terms of bringing in equipment, a customs permit is required to make sure you can clear gear without paying import taxes. To process the customs permit our Ecuadorian fixer / service producer will require you to send a project synopsis, equipment list with serial numbers, flight information and passport bio page scan of crew member responsible for the equipment. 

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. It’s best to bring in art department key crew to oversee the project. Quality of local craftsmanship is high and man power is cheap.

Studios. TV Stations such as Ecuavisa, Gamavisión and Teleamazonashave have studios for rent.

Backlots don’t exist at present.

Post Production. Some basic post facilities exist in Quito.

Visas & Work Permits

Ecuador has one of the most open visa policies in the world allowing visa-free travel for most nationals for stays of up to 90 days. US passport holders can find more information here. For more information contact your local Ecuadorian embassy / representative.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Major roads are up to international standards. Some rural roads are poorly maintained and slower going. Most larger towns are serviced by domestic flights. There are daily flights to the Galapagos Islands. Several international airlines service flights into Quito.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Quito include:

Boutique Hotel Mansion del Angel
Radisson Royal
NU House Boutique 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.

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 Ecuador, please see below:

Hire Ecuador Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Ecuador, 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.