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France

France 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 France? 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 France? See below for an introduction to France locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, fringes and premiums, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Film Locations. For a relatively small country, France offers a great depth of location looks.

Paris is not only the capital of France but it is also a global capital for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. The city is known for its cafes, wide boulevards and impressive architecture. Locations of note include the Eiffel Tower, Champs de Elysee, Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame, The Louvre, Pompidou, Louis Vuitton Foundation, and bridges over the river Seine.

Outside of Paris, the provinces have much to offer visiting productions. France is known for its many beautiful palaces and castles including Versailles Palace, Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, and Palais des Papes. Other locations of note include Provence, Côte D’Azur, The Loire Valley, Brittany, Normandy, Champagne, Burgandy, Alsace, Bordeaux wine region, the Alps, surf beaches, Corsica beaches and car commercial roads, and Roman amphitheaters in Arles and Nimes.

Paris and Marseilles are the main production centres but some crews and equipment can also be found in Aquitaine, Rhone Alpes, Nord Pas de Calais and other provinces.

France has hosted many Hollywood productions including Midnight in Paris, Da Vinci Code, and The Bourne Identity, to name a few.

French Overseas Departments and Territories include Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, French PolynesiaSaint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Martin, St BartsNew Caledonia, and French Southern and Antarctic Lands.

France Film Location Permits. France has a streamlined permitting process and most locations are open to filming.

Paris street filming requires a permit from the Paris Film Office (for the City of Paris) and from the Prefecture de Police (the city’s police authority). If the crew consists of fewer than 10 people with a light amount of equipment, you will only need a permit from the Prefecture de Police. Permits generally take about a week to process. Most Paris streets and landmarks are free. Drone filming is possible.

You can control traffic on the Champs de Elysee providing you shoot early in the morning. This usually takes about 10 days to permit.

It is possible but difficult to get permission to film at the Louvre Museum (including the Louvre Pyramid). The decision is based on whether the brand is deemed to match the image of the museum. For instance, the Louvre may accept filming for a high end perfume but reject filming for a soft drink. The permit process usually takes at least 3 weeks and officials reserve the right to revoke permission at any stage. The location fee is also determined on a case by case basis. It can be up to 50,000 EUROS.

As far as image rights are concerned, only buildings whose architect is living or who has died less than 70 years ago are subject to image rights. Additional rules also apply, such as with the Eiffel Tower which is free to use by day but if shooting by night, royalties are due to the lighting artists.

All shoots are required to hold valid insurance, including the small b-roll shoots.

Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? The climate of France can be divided into three climatic zones – Oceanic, Continental and Mediterranean. Paris and Western France have an oceanic climate with warm summers and chilly winters. Central and Eastern France have a temperate continental climate. Southern France – Riviera, Provence and Roussillon have a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. June to September is the high season. The Alps have snowy winters. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

France celebrates year-round with events that can be sure to involve good food, wine, and music. Of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers are the:

• Carnaval de Nice in February / March
• Cannes Film Festival in May.
• Cannes Lions Advertising Festival in June.
• Bordeaux Wine Festival in June.
• Paris Air Show in June.
• Bastille Day is July.
• Nice Jazz Festival in July.
• Tour de France in July.

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

Costs. France is a relatively expensive place to shoot. This is due mainly to the high costs of crew. France trades in the Euro. See here for the current VAT rate. Any locations requiring travel outside of Paris or Marseille are an additional cost to filming. That said, our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent is union for feature films although the unions are not as strong as they once were. Talent is non-union for commercials and buyouts are negotiable. The buyout amount depends on the brand – buyouts are often less for smaller brands and more for larger brands.

France has a very good and extensive pool of multicultural and multilingual talent. Model agencies of note include Rebecca Model and Elite Models. Actors agencies of note include L’Agence de Comediens, Coccinelle, Success Models and Boutchou. Wanted Models offer interesting and usual looks. For laws governing working with children and infants see CNC.

Crews. France has a very good pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. France has a great depth of experienced, English speaking key and supporting crew. Crews are non-union for feature films and commercials. For stunt crews check out France Stunt.

Contact us if you are looking for a Paris, Marseilles, or Cannes 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 France.

Fringes. Production must pay 62% social security on crew wages. Talent social security contribution is 48% but agencies include this in the fee. Contact us for more information.

Premiums. Standard shoot day is 8 hours but it can usually be negotiated to a 10 hour day. The maximum allowed shoot day by law is 12 hours. If you go into a night shoot, weekend or public holiday our producer negotiates and packages a deal that is fair to all involved.

Equipment. Both Arri and Panavision camera, grip and lighting equipment available as well as a host of specialty suppliers you might expect to find in any developed production centre including Motion Control, Wescam, all the cranes, all the heads, all the toys for car commercials, heli-mounts, underwater filming, etc. For productions looking to bring in film equipment France is an ATA carnet country.

Art department and set construction. Art department is very strong. To give you an example films such as City of Lost Children and Amelie were shot in Paris. Set construction is of the highest standard but it is very expensive. French companies themselves often head to Eastern Europe to achieve projects heavy on set construction.

Studios and Backlots. France has high a range of large and small quality film studios.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials filming in France. Tax incentives exist for TV dramas / series, animations and feature films. The Tax Rebate for International Production (TRIP), for films and high-end TV series is 30% on qualifying expenses. Visit Film France for more information.

Post Production. Very high standard of post production facilities in Paris. Of note are BUF, Mac Guff, and Micros Image.

Visas and Work Permits. France is a member of the Schengen Area. There are no specific work permits required for visiting crews. Crews travelling on US passports can enter and film visa-free for stays of up to 90 days.

Transportation Infrastructure. Highly developed transportation infrastructure. Many international and budget airlines service flights to and from French cities. The train system is extensive and often a faster alternative to flying. Paris is a very busy, congested city with limited parking near the main points of interest. 

Accommodation. Contact us for rates at film friendly hotels in Paris, Marseilles and Cannes. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:

Le Pigalle
Hotel Sezz

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and video conferencing.

Safety. France is a safe and reliable place to film. 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 France, please see below:

Down Time. Joie de vivre.

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

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