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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland 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 Northern Ireland? 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 Northern Ireland? See below for an introduction to Northern Ireland 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.

Northern Ireland Film Locations 

Northern Ireland is known for its castles, glacial valleys, mountains and rugged coastal looks.

The largest city, Belfast is known for the Grand Opera House, Botanic Gardens, Queens University, Belfast City Hall, Belfast Castle, Albert Memorial Clock, Ulster Hall, Ulster Museum, modern Waterfront Hall and Titanic Quarter, HM Prison Crumlin Road, and Crown Liquor Saloon which is an elegant Victorian era pub.

Given Nothern Ireland’s relatively small size, all locations can be reached within a 2 hour drive from Belfast. Locations of note outside of Belfast include:

County Antrim is home to the Giant’s Causeway, Carrickfergus Castle, The Dark Hedges of Gracehill House, Cairndhu House (great haunted house location), Old Bushmills Distillery, the Glens of Antrim, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and Rathlin Island.

County Londonderry is home to Dunluce Castle ruins, Mussenden Temple, and Downhill Strand. Londonderry is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland.

County Down is home to Mount Stewart house and garden, Castlewellan Forest Park, Slieve Donard stone walls and burial mounds, and the Mourne Mountains.

The Game of Thrones series was filmed at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast along with various locations around Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has also hosted films such as Lost City of Z, Philomena, and The Good Son.

Northern Ireland Film Location Permits

Northern Ireland film location permits costs, rules and timing vary depending on the location and extent of location control required. Shoots looking for exclusive use of public locations such as city streets generally take around 2 weeks to permit. Northern Ireland authorities are very film-friendly. Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Northern Ireland has a predominately wet climate that can change in an instant. The winters are mild and the summers are relatively cool. June through September are the best months to film for sunny weather and long daylight hours. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

St Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated in March.

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

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Northern Ireland trades in the Great Britain Pound. It is similar in costs to the rest of Great Britain. Our Northern Irish fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.

Tax Incentives. As part of the UK, Northern Ireland benefits from a number of tax reliefs. There are no tax incentives for foreign commercials shooting in Northern Ireland. Incentives exist for visiting films and TV series projects. For films with a total core expenditure of £20 million or less, the film production company can claim payable cash rebate of up to 25% of UK qualifying film production expenditure. See Northern Ireland Screen for more information.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Northern Ireland has a small but good pool of locally based directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are of a high international standard.

If need be, additional crew can drive in from Dublin. Specialists can easily be brought in from nearby European production centres.

Some crew are in unions, but there’s flexibility and our producer / fixer is able to package deals.

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 Northern Ireland.

Talent are generally union members so costs are based on those standards. That said, agents are flexible to negotiate rates. Most talent in Northern Ireland is ethnically Irish but there are also some pools of African and Asian looks available.

Fringes. No hidden extras.

Premiums. The standard shoot day is 8 hours with 1 hour lunch included. Lunch penalties apply after 5 hours from unit call. For night shoots overtime is charged at 1.5 until midnight and double time after midnight. Weekend work is charged at 1.5 for Saturday and double time for Sunday. Bank Holiday work is charged at 1.5.

Northern Ireland Film Equipment

Northern Ireland has several equipment houses and studios that service productions from all over the world.

For productions looking to bring in film equipment Northern Ireland is an ATA carnet country.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. Some teams available locally. Additional specialists can be brought in from London and Dublin.

Studios and backlots. Northern Ireland has several cutting edge studio facilities including Belfast Harbour Studios, Titanic Studios, Britvic, and the Linen Mill Studios.

Post Production. Post facilities exist locally.

Visas & Work Permits

Northern Ireland is a part of Great Britain and a member of the EU. Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Contact your local British High Commission for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are up to expected European standards. Several international and budget airlines service flights to Northern Ireland.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Belfast include:

Merchant Hotel
The Fitzwilliam Hotel

Tara Lodge
Benedicts 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.

Down Time. For breakfast, try the Ulster Fry – eggs, bacon, soda farls and potato bread.

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 Northern Ireland, please see below:

Hire Northern Ireland Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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