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Spain

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

Spain Film Locations

Spain offers an impressive diversity of locations and cultures in close proximity to each other. In the winter, you can film beach scenes in Costa del Sol, then drive for two hours and shoot snowy mountains, drive another hour and a half and shoot in the desert where the Spaghetti Westerns were shot in the 70’s.

Spanish locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers can be divided into the following regions:

Central Spain. Spain’s capital Madrid is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks. Locations of interest include Buen Retiro Park, Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Oriente, Prado Museum, and Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Outside of Madrid, central Spain locations of interest include the walled city of Cuenca, Art nouveau architecture in Burgos, MUSAC Museum in Leon, medieval Toledo, Merida’s Roman amphitheatre, the fairytale castle Alcazar de Segovia, the town of Tordesillas, city of Salamanca, a variety of Don Quixote landscapes, and a long list of beautiful cathedrals and palaces.

Northeastern Spain. The cosmopolitan city of Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia. Famous for Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, Barcelona offers visiting productions a diversity of locations including the Gothic quarter, modern architecture, beaches, Camp Nou Stadium, and the nearby peaks of Montserrat. The ski resorts and green pastures of the Pyrenees Mountains are a 2 hour drive from Barcelona. The Gorge of Mont-Rebei is in this part of Spain. Castellfollit de la Roca is one of the most picturesque villages in Catalonia. Empuriabrava is the world’s largest residential marina.

Northwestern Spain. Galicia’s capital Santiago de Compostela is the terminus of the Camino de Santiago. Galicia is a verdant region also known for the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park and As Catedrais beach. The Tower of Hercules is the oldest still in use Roman lighthouse. The Asturias region is known for Oscar Niemeyer’s International Cultural Centre, the coastal city of Gijon, picturesque fishing villages and a variety of beaches. 

Northern Spain is known for its surf beaches, beautiful coastal towns, rugged mountains and wineries. Locations of note include the Basque capital of San Sebastián, Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim, Centro Botín in Santander, the city of Pamplona, picturesque island of Gaztelugatxe, and La Rioja wine region.

Eastern Spain. The Valencia region is best known for its beautiful beaches and the City of the Arts and the Sciences buildings (Hemisfèric, Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, Oceanogràfic, Umbracle, and Agora). The Historic Blast Furnace at Port of Sagunto are another location of interest to filmmakers and photographers.

Southern Spain. Spain’s sun-baked Andalusia region is known for the beaches of the Costa del Sol, the Sierra Nevada mountain range (ideal for car commercials), Granada’s Alhambra, and Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque. Almeria is known for its Alcazaba, Cathedral and greenhouses that make for interesting aerial photography. Locations of interest in Seville include the Metropol Parasol, Plaza de Espana, Cathedral, Alcazar of Seville and the Solar Power Towers.

Balearic Islands include the party island of Ibiza, beautiful Majorca and Menorca.

The Canary Islands are famous for their beautiful beaches.

Spain’s agricultural looks of interest include orange orchards, olive groves, wheat fields and vineyards.

Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga are the major film production centres.

Spain has hosted a long list of films including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lawrence of Arabia, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Conan the Barbarian, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and The Machinist, as well as many films by Spanish cinematic greats such as Pedro Almodovar and Luis Buñuel.

Spain Film Location Permits

Spain film location permits vary for each city, municipality and location.

There is no blanket city-wide permit for filming in Madrid. Permits can be processed within 3 days if the shoot does not assert exclusive use of public property. These permits only grant use of property for a specific time and location. For projects in Madrid that intend to assert exclusive use of public property such as laying track or controlling traffic, permits take up to two weeks to process.

In Barcelona, small shoots that assert exclusive use of public property require about 5 days to permit. More complex shoots involving street closures, stunts, pyrotechnics, and such require more time. Much depends on the specific locations required. Non-commercial productions are exempt from fees. Permits involving children take about two weeks to process.

Some notes on often requested locations:

For permission to film at the Guggenheim Bilbao, before the museum considers the project, the client is required to become a sponsor which is a minimum fee of 20,000 EUROS, more if the museum deems it. The process can take up to 2 weeks. The membership is valid for 5 years.

Permission for filming at the City of the Arts and Sciences is possible but depends on which buildings are chosen. The standard fee for image rights is 15,000 EUROS plus a 3,000 EUROS daily fee.

Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Spain offers year-round filming opportunities. It has long been a popular destination for European productions looking to shoot warm weather looks in wintertime, without having to travel far. 

Spain’s climate varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. The best months to film for weather and long daylight hours are April to October. Summer, from June to August can be excessively hot in the interior, including Madrid. Coastal regions are milder during the summer. Snow falls in mountain areas from November to March. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Spain hosts a wide variety of colourful, loud festivals and events throughout the year including:

• La Tamborrada held in San Sebastian in January.
• Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos held in Alcoy in March.
• Las Fallas Festival held in Valencia in March.
• Semana Santa held in Seville in April.
• El Colacho, Castrillo de Murcia held near Burgos in June.
• Festival of Saint Joan held in Menorca in June.
• Las Hogueras de San Juan held in Alicante in June.
• Running of the Bulls held in Pamplona in July.
• La Tomantina held in Valencia in August.
• Festes de la Merce held in Barcelona in September.
• Tarragona Concurs de Castells (Human Tower Competition) in October, every two years.

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

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Spain trades in the Euro. It is generally one of the less expensive western European countries to shoot in. Our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for commercial shoots. Spain offers visiting film and TV productions a tax credit of 15% on Spanish spend.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Spain has a good local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Spain has a good depth of very experienced and professional English speaking key crew. Spain’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.

Contact us if you are looking for a Madrid, Barcelona or Malaga 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 Spain.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are very negotiable. Spain is a multicultural country offering mostly Mediterranean looks with some Blonde, African, Middle Eastern and Asian looks also available. Some lead roles of non-Mediterranean talent may need to be cast abroad. Spain is also home to several celebrities including many of the world’s best footballers including names such as Messi, Ronaldo and Bale. Please contact us for recommended casting and talent agencies.

Fringes. No hidden extras.

Premiums. 12 hours is the standard shooting day for commercial projects. 8 hours is standard for news or documentary shoots. On Saturdays overtime begins at 2:00 PM no matter what the call-time was. Sunday and public holidays are double pay at the start and overtime after 12 hours. That said, in the end it’s all negotiable and our producer packages deals that work for your budget whilst being fair to the crew.

Spain Film Equipment

Spain has all of the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment and specialised equipment including Techonocranes and the Russian Arm. Additional equipment can be easily brought in from major European production centres. Please contact us for recommended equipment houses. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Spain is an ATA carnet country.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is of a very high standard for many years now. To give you an idea of the standard of work, A Fistful of Dollars, Lawrence of Arabia, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona were all shot in Spain. Not to mention the many films shot locally by internationally renowned Spanish directors from Luis Buñuel to Pedro Almodovar.

Studios. Spain has many impressive studios, some that include backlots. There are also Spaghetti Western sets in Almeria such as Mini Hollywood.

Post Production. Spain has some very good facilities. Please contact us for recommended post production options.

Visas & Work Permits

Spain is a member of the Schengen Area. Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. US crews can enter and film visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your local Spanish embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are up to international standards. Several international and budget regional airlines service flights to Spain.

Accommodation. Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga are the main production centres in Spain. Please contact us for film friendly hotel options and corporate rates. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:

The Serras Hotel Barcelona

Final Notes

Safety. Spain is a very safe place for foreign productions to come and film. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. The vibrant culture, relaxed approach and beautiful locations make Spain a fun place to film. Enjoy some tapas, paella, sangria in your down time.

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 Spain, please see below:

Book Spain Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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