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Switzerland

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

Switzerland Film Locations

Locations of interest include snow-capped Alpine peaks (Matterhorn, Eiger), picturesque lakes, wood cabins and ski chalets, green meadows, vineyards with mountain backdrops, forests and rivers, Rhine Falls, French and German style castles (Chillon, Bellinzona), winding mountain roads with stunning vistas such as San Bernardino Pass and Oberalp Pass, train over the Landwasser Viaduct, Brusio Spiral Viaduct, charming villages and towns. Then there’s access to luxurious houses and modern apartments, opulent mansions, and plush hotels set against beautiful backdrops. There are the traditional Swiss industries of cheese making at Gruyere, clock and watch making in Geneva; and chocolate making. Switzerland is a great destination for filming mountain sports. Snowy looks are available all year round with several easy access glaciers on offer. The Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory is a location of note.

Geneva and Zurich are the main production centres.

Examples of films shot in Switzerland include Syriana, Chocolat, Touching the Void, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Switzerland Film Location Permits

Switzerland is a very film-friendly country. Permits can be obtained to shoot in most public places quickly and easily. Privately owned locations are often very accommodating. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Winters (December to March) are cold and snowy. Spring (April to May) has mountain flowers in full bloom. Summers (June to August) are warm, with many blue sky days. Fall (September / October) sees leaves changing colour. For monthly weather statistics please see here

Switzerland hosts hundreds of festivals and events throughout the year including the Lucerne Festival, Art Basel, and Montreux Jazz Festival.

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

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Switzerland is one of the more expensive places to shoot in the world, particularly for large, complicated shoots. Switzerland trades in the Swiss Franc. Our Swiss service producer / fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. Entitled the Switzerland Film Investment Refund (PICS), the scheme allows co-productions to claim back between 20% and 40% on all eligible local expenditures. The fund has a per-project cap and minimum local spend requirement. There is no service tax levied on foreign companies purchasing film making services in Switzerland. Coproduction agreements exist with some countries.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Switzerland has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Crews are of a very high technical and professional standard. All key crews speak fluent English and production staff are multilingual. Switzerland’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 Geneva, Zurich or Bern 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 for your shoot in Switzerland.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Most local talent is Swiss, French, German and Italian. Switzerland also offers a small pool of multicultural talent, enough for background roles. Switzerland is also home to many celebrities, which is one of the main reasons productions shoot in Switzerland.

Fringes. Swiss law requires that crews be on the service company’s payroll. Quotes are all inclusive and there are no hidden extras.

Premiums. The standard length shooting day is 9 hours. Overtime hours are negotiated on a per project basis.

Switzerland Film Equipment

Switzerland has all the standard camera, lighting and grip equipment you would expect from a sophisticated western filming centre. Its close proximity to other European production centres makes sourcing additional equipment an easy process. For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Switzerland is an ATA carnet country.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. The standard of construction is high but it is expensive. Some good local art department is available and the rest can be easily brought in from abroad.

Studios. Switzerland offers several high quality facilities.

Post Production. Switzerland has all of the standard post facilities such as sound design, editing, and a film lab.

Visas & Work Permits

Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it is a Schengen Area member country. US crews do not require visas or work permits to enter and film in Switzerland for stays of up to 90 days.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are in an excellent condition including many tunnels that make travelling the mountainous landscape quick and easy. Public transport is extensive and highly reliable. Switzerland is also well serviced by several international and budget airlines.

Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Switzerland. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. Switzerland is a very safe and reliable filming centre. Switzerland has remained a neutral country for almost two-hundred years. 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 Switzerland, please see below:

Hire Switzerland Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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