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Jordan

Jordan 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 Jordan? 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 Jordan? See below for an introduction to Jordan 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. Jordan is best known for its wealth of historic and natural locations. There are also many locations that double well for filming in countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Amman is the capital and main film production centre. Parts of Amman look like Ramallah and other parts can be made to look like Baghdad. Historic film locations of interest include a Roman amphitheater and citadel, traditional Arab markets and the Temple of Hercules.

Jerash is a well preserved Roman city 45km north of Amman.

Bethany, the site revered as the place where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist is 40km west of Amman.

The Christian city of Madaba is 40km south of Amman. Mount Nebo Moses Memorial Church is the presumed site of The Prophet Moses’ death and burial place. A small square church was built on the spot by early Byzantine Christians. St. George Church, built in 1884 over the remains of a Byzantine church has a famous Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land and Jerusalem dated around 560 AD. Machaerus, the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great where John the Baptist was beheaded.

The Dead Sea is 45km west of Amman. Sitting at 400 meters below sea level is believed to be the site of five biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar (Bela). Lot’s Cave – The cave is on a hill near a tiny spring, overlooking the Dead Sea. Desert castles – Scattered throughout the various deserts in Jordan. Built mostly under the Umayyads (AD 650-750). Ajloun Castles are 60km north of Amman. Karak Castle and Al-Shobaq in the south built by the crusaders. All the above mentioned castles are well preserved.

Wadi Rum. The land of the Bedouin and Lawrence of Arabia, Wadi Rum offers an outstanding desert landscape 300km outside of Amman.

Petra. The ancient city of the Nabataeans. Built more than 2000 years ago. It can be found 250km south of Amman.

Aqaba. Located on the Red Sea Aqaba offers sandy beaches, coral reefs and world class diving. Aqaba is 350km from Amman.

Wadi Moujeb Reserve. Hot springs inside a gorge. The reserve area is located in the deepest point on earth. This is 50km west from Amman.

Parts of Salt look exactly like Jerusalem and have been used to double for that location.

Umm Qais also boasts the most undisturbed ruins in the Kingdom (the city was never resettled like Gerash). They have had less reconstruction work than the ruins in Gerash, but the view of the Sea of Galilee makes up for it.

Jordan also offers a variety of beautiful natural scenes such as rivers, canyons, natural spas and valleys. The Jordan Valley doubles well for Afghanistan.

Agricultural locations of interest include plantations of dates, olives, figs, almonds, grapes and apricots.

Jordan has played host to an array of big Hollywood features including The Martian, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker, Lawrence of Arabia, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Prometheus and Brüno.

Jordan Film Location Permits. Most public locations are free to permit. Filming b-roll around Amman usually takes no more than a day to permit. Shoots that require exclusive use of public space or large equipment setups take no more than a week to permit. Drone filming is possible but strictly controlled. Permits take around 2 – 3 weeks to process. Filming at refugee camps is highly restricted, so plenty of lead time is required. On the whole though, Jordan is a very film-friendly country. The Royal Film Commission is active in making sure your shoot is a safe, easy and inexpensive experience. Compared to other countries in the region, Jordan also offers relatively easy access to full military rental services. Please contact us for location specific information.

When to shoot? Jordan’s climate has regional variations with higher elevations experiencing cold winters and lower lying areas experiencing very hot summers. From March to May the weather is temperate and everything is green. June to August has the longest days for shooting although temperatures can get very hot in desert areas. September to November has cloudy, cooler weather. December to February can get very cold and rainy with snow a possibility. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Muharram, the start of the Islamic New Year, in January.
• Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival in February celebrates Bedouin culture.
• Jerash Festival in July.
• The Jordan Rally takes place in October.

It’s best to avoid filming during Ramadan as many services close during this period.

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

Costs. It’s all job specific but on average Jordan is at a similar price point to other service centres in the Middle East. Compared to Egypt for instance, key crew and talent in Jordan are more expensive but on the other hand public locations are free of charge. Supporting crew in Jordan are inexpensive. Hotels are much cheaper in Jordan than Egypt or UAE. Jordan is also overall less expensive and has less red tape than Israel. Equipment in Jordan is more costly as most of it needs to be brought in from abroad. Our Jordanian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Talent both union and non-union but mainly the latter.

Jordan offers mostly Middle Eastern looks from dark Bedouin looks to almost Caucasian European looks. Its close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those multicultural pools of talent should you ever need to look further.

Jordan has several talent agencies and street casting is also common.

Crews. Jordan has a small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Jordan has professional, internationally experienced crews that speak fluent English. Often visiting crews will bring in their own focus puller and clapper loader to ensure a more cohesive team. All other crew including a sound operator, grip, gaffer, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, are available locally.

Contact us if you are looking for a 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 for your shoot in Jordan.

Equipment. Jordan offers complete grip and lighting kits but camera equipment needs to be brought in from abroad. Lebanon is the closest production centre an hour flight away. Dubai also has all of the standard and specialised equipment you might need for a shoot.

For productions intending to bring in equipment Jordan is not an ATA carnet country. Bringing in gear is an easy process. You provide a list of gear you are bringing in including serial numbers and the passport information on the crew member responsible for the gear. Our local fixer / producer arranges for an official to meet you at the arrival gate and take you through customs. Note for aerial drones, the government policy is that a representative of the army will collect your drone once you arrive, deliver it to set, and then return it to you at the airport when you leave.

Art department and set construction are skillful but tend to require creative guidance. There are some very talented Jordanian set designers as well as a great pool of impressive talent from Egypt and Iraq.

Studios. There are several smaller studios all based in Amman.

Tax Incentives. Since the film negative (or hard drive) is considered an export, foreign productions are exempt from the 16% sales tax. Other than that there are no specific rebates or other tax incentives offered.

Post Production. Jordan offers basic post-production services but for more complicated work the closest places to post are Tel Aviv or Beirut which are both a short one hour flight away. Dubai also has sophisticated post production facilities.

Visas and Work Permits. There is no need for work permits. Film crews travelling to Jordan on western passports can obtain a visa on arrival at any point of entry except the Wadi Araba and King Hussein / Allenby Bridge land border crossings. Visas are valid for stays of up to 30 days.

Transportation Infrastructure is all up to known and expected world standards. Jordan is widely considered as having one the more developed transport infrastructures in the Middle East.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Jordan include:

Amman:
Four seasons
Grand Hyatt
Canyon Boutique Hotel

Aqaba (Red Sea):
Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea
Moevenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

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 Jordan, please see below:

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

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