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Estonia

Estonia Film & Photography Production Services.

Looking for a film or photographic production service company, producer or fixer in Estonia? Contact us for referrals, questions, bids and references. See below for an introduction to Estonia 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. Estonia is best known for its beautiful forests, scenic lakes and wetlands, waterfalls, over a thousand remote islands, seaside and beaches, lighthouses, luxurious manor houses, winding car commercial roads, farms and pastures, medieval architecture, industrial estates, Soviet architecture, castles and palaces, and impressive contemporary architecture such as the KUMU museum. National Parks of note include Lahemaa, Soomaa, and Matsalu. The beautiful medieval capital of Tallinn is the main production centre.

Estonia Film Location Permits. Estonia is a very film friendly country. Tallinn requires permits to film in public spaces. Allow 40 days for permitting if filming will affect public transport lines. Allow 30 days if your shoot will end after 11pm. In all other cases, allow at least 2 weeks for processing. Most of the rest of Estonia does not require any special film permits. Our Estonian producer / fixer would consult with local municipalities to ensure all required permits are obtained. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? Estonia has a four-season continental climate. Summers (June to August) are warm with long daylight hours (18 hours in June). The mild summers mean that natural green looks don’t dry out as much as in other countries. Fall brings rains and colourful leaves. Winters are dark (as little as 5 hours of daylight) and snow-covered with ice roads opened between the mainland and the islands during the coldest months. Spring brings migratory birds and flowers in full bloom. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Estonia is known for the many music festivals it holds throughout the year. Tallinn Old Town Days medieval celebrations are held in June and the Ollesummer beer festival is held in July.

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

Costs. Estonia trades in the Euro. It is generally more expensive than its Baltic neighbours but much less expensive than Scandinavian countries. Estonia’s limited film infrastructure means that the additional costs of bringing in crews and equipment need to be factored in. In any case, our Estonian fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.

Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Estonia has mainly Slavic and Scandinavian looking featured talent. Most other talent looks need to be cast abroad. Estonia’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.

Crews. Estonia has a small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Estonian crews are known to be efficient, hard working and flexible with day rates and working hours. Department heads all speak fluent English. Crews are often sourced from other Baltic countries giving the region a depth of 5-6 good crews. It is recommended to bring in a 1st AD and an art director on more complicated jobs. Estonia’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those technical and creative crews.

Contact us if you are looking for a Tallinn 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 Estonia.

Equipment. Estonia has some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally. Most equipment needs to be brought in from Latvia or Finland. Latvia is Arri based and has all the latest 16 & 35mm cameras, Sony HD 900, RED CAMS, Panther & Magnum dollies, a variety of cranes including a Technocrane and contemporary lighting kit. More specialized equipment can be brought in from Germany or Finland. Helsinki is a short 70km (43mi) ferry trip and Riga is a 300km (186mi) drive from Tallinn. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Estonia is an ATA carnet country.

Art department and set construction in the Baltic region is of an international standard. Builds are very cost competitive. There are at least 4 very good art department teams. Of the Baltic states Latvia is traditionally the busiest with commercials whilst Lithuania does films and Estonia shoots the least of both.

Studios. Estonia has several studios including Downtown Studios and XL Studios.

Tax Incentives. Estonia offers a cash rebate of up to 30% for qualifying productions.

Post Production. Estonia has basic post facilities.

Visas and Work Permits. Estonia is a member of the Schengen Area. Work permits are not required to film in Estonia. Crew travelling on US passports can enter visa-free for periods of up to 90 days. Contact your closest Estonian embassy / representative for more information.

Transportation Infrastructure. Locations are easy to reach. Estonia is a small country with a good network of well maintained roads. Regular ferries service Estonia’s many islands. Spring time access to the Soomaa wetland area is only possible by boat. Estonia is well serviced by several international and regional budget airlines.

Accommodation. Contact us for special rates at film friendly hotels in Tallinn. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Communication. Estonia is a technologically advanced country.

Safety. Estonia is a very safe and reliable filming centre. 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 Estonia, please see below:

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

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