Brazil 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 Brazil? 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 Brazil? See below for an introduction to Brazil 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.
Brazil Film Locations
South America’s largest country, Brazil is famous for its depth of beautiful, iconic locations. Filmmakers and photographers from all over the world come to shoot its picturesque beaches, underwater life, surf breaks, sand dunes, rainforests, deciduous forests, rivers, waterfalls, cave systems, canyons, mountains, dramatic car commercial roads, diverse wealth of architecture, city skylines, unique neighbourhoods, sporting venues, container ports, industrial and rural looks.
Brazil’s film locations of interest can be divided into the following regions:
North. The Amazon is the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The city of Manaus is the gateway to the Amazon. One unexpected location in the Amazon is the Teatro Amazonas, a opera house in Manaus. The Anavilhanas Archipelago is a group of over 400 islands in the middle of the Amazon. Pantanal is the world’s largest freshwater wetland. Mount Roraima in the far north of Brazil is a spectacular film location. The city of Belém sits near the South Atlantic coast, at the confluence of the Guamá and Pará rivers. Its riverfront old-town has well preserved Portuguese colonial architecture. The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory is a scientific research tower in the Amazon rainforest with a height of 325 metres (1,066 ft). The nearby Pororoca tidal bore phenomenon offers Amazon surfing on the Guamá river every February / March.
Northeast. Brazil’s Northeast has several cities of interest to filmmakers and photographers, known for their beautiful beaches and Portuguese colonial architecture. Salvador has a charming Old Town. As does Recife. The city of João Pessoa is known for its baroque and art nouveau architecture. The city of Maceio has an offshore reef. Fortaleza is known for its beaches, red cliffs, palm trees, dunes and lagoons. Specific Fortaleza locations of interest include Catedral Metropolitana and José de Alencar Theater.
The Northeast’s natural locations of note include Chapada das Mesas National Park, Chapada Diamantina National Park, Fernando de Noronha archipelago, Sete Cidades National Park, Serra da Capivara National Park, and Lençóis Maranhenses National Park with its lagoons in the desert looks.
The BR-116 Highway is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
Central-West. Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, built on the futuristic designs of Oscar Niemeyer, is home to some of the world’s most fascinating modernist architecture. The sprawling, sterile city rising out of the Brazilian savannah offers filmmakers many creative options. Outside of Brasilia, Vale da Lua is an otherworldly rock formation in Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park. Emas National Park is another natural location of interest to filmmakers and photographers.
Southeast. São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. The metropolis is known for its expansive high-rise skyline, rooftop heliports, traffic congestion, extensive metro network, football stadiums, city parks, museums and a variety of architectural styles including modernist, art nouveau, Portuguese colonial and contemporary. The Liberdade district is home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. Buildings of note include the São Paulo Museum of Art, Altino Arantes Building, Theatro Municipal, Sala São Paulo, São Paulo Cathedral, and Hotel Unique. Just outside of Sao Paulo is Ilha da Queimada Grande, also known as Snake Island.
Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s most popular film destination. The vibrant, iconic city is famous for images such as Sugar Loaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, Maracanã Stadium, Favelas, Carnival, and beautiful people sunning themselves on Ipanema or Copacabana Beach. Beyond these locations, Other interesting locations of note include Rio de Janeiro Cathedral, Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil, Ilha Fiscal, the Museum of Tomorrow, and Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist Niterói Contemporary Art Museum. Parque Lage is a beautiful public park with an old colonial mansion that has been used in many TV commercials and music videos.
Belo Horizonte is another city of note in Brazil’s southeast. Locations of interest include the vast Mineirão Stadium and Oscar Niemeyer’s Church of St. Francis of Assisi.
Paraty is known for its Portuguese colonial architecture.
Ouro Preto is a colonial town in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains.
Viaduct Petrobras is an abandoned stretch of elevated road in the middle of the Brazilian jungle.
Anchieta Island Correctional Institute is an interesting ruin available for filming.
Santa Cruz Air Force Base has a well maintained airship hangar.
Nature areas of note in the southeast of Brazil include Pedra Azul State Park and Itatiaia National Park.
South. The Iguazu Falls are one of the wonders of the Americas. The city of Florianópolis has some of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches. Curitiba is known for its Botanical Gardens and Museu Oscar Niemeyer. Blumenau has a large German population and hosts a big Oktoberfest celebration every year. Porto Alegre also has a strong European heritage.
Agricultural looks of interest in Brazil include cattle ranches, as well as plantations of coffee, rice, wheat, corn and sugarcane.
Brazil is home to a variety of new and upgraded sporting facilities having had hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Brazil has hosted films such as City of God, The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Moonraker.
Brazil Film Location Permits
Applications for film permits can only be made by ANCINE approved production service companies / fixers. Generally speaking permits are not required for small footprint b-roll shoots that do not require exclusive use of public space. It is however, still a good idea to have the local service producer / fixer engage local authorities to make sure everything is covered. Larger projects requiring exclusive use of public space will require permits from one or multiple permitting authorities. Traffic control on a city street usually takes about a week to process and is recommended to shoot over the weekend. Filming in national parks requires permission on both the local and federal level.
Drone filming is permitted and Brazil has experienced locally based drone operators. Although the practice is not strictly regulated, local permits are required. You will also need to get public liability insurance from home as local insurance companies to not cover drone filming yet.
Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Brazil is a huge country with several climate zones ranging from the arid interior to the wet Amazon. Except for the extreme south of Brazil, which has a four-season climate, the rest of Brazil has a semi-tropical climate with a wet summer season and a dry winter season. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• Carnival events take place across Brazil in February. The most famous is Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival with a week of wild street parties and colourful samba schools competing in the Sambadrome.
• Festa de lemanja celebrated in Rio on January 1st.
• Lapinha procession in Salvador held on January 5th.
• Boi Bumbá takes place in Parintins in June.
• Festival of St Benedict held in July.
• Sao Paulo hosts the Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix in November.
• Christmas of Light is held throughout November and December.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Brazil.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. Brazil is one of the more expensive countries in South America. That said, recent currency devaluations have made it a more cost competitive place to film. Our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Foreign credit cards are widely accepted particularly in the cities. Note, daily withdrawal limits may apply. In more remote areas, cash is king.
Tax Incentives. Brazil has co-production agreements with several countries.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Brazil has some world-class directors based locally as well as many good stills photographers. Brazil also has a very good depth of internationally experienced film crews. Crews are union.
Contact us if you are looking for a Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, or Brasilia 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 Brazil.
Talent is both union and non-union. However the union does not have strict rules regarding rates and deals are made through free negotiation. As such, talent day rates and buyouts vary considerably depending on the specifics of each project.
Brazil offers an impressive depth of talented actors and models. Talent is very multicultural, especially in the megacity of Sao Paulo, which is home to 22 million people. Many looks are represented including Latin and Southern European, Afro-Brazilians, Japanese and Korean, Nordic and German looks, Irish red-heads, Turkish and Arab looks.
Fringes. There are union fees and social charges amounting to 10%.
Premiums. Shooting day is twelve hours. There is overtime but no turnaround for commercials and costs are the same on weekends, nights, holidays, etc.
Brazil Film Equipment
Brazil has all of the latest HD camera equipment you might need including Arri Amira, Alexa, Red Epic Dragon. There is a wide selections of lights, cranes, dollies and remote heads. Stabilized heads, camera-cars and shot-makers are of the highest standard. Underwater housing is available in Brazil. For drone filming check out CH8 Aerial Productions.
Renting film equipment in Brazil is generally very expensive in comparison to rental prices in the US or Europe. We recommend bringing in your main gear with you, especially your camera and lenses. Heavy grip and electric equipment can be sourced locally.
Brazil is an ATA carnet member country. Bringing in your gear as check-in luggage is an easy process. Firstly, you need to go online and fill in an e-DBV form online. You will be provided with a barcode that you need to print out and present on arrival at customs. Officials will check the gear list against the gear you are bringing in and then provide you with a new form including a dated entry stamp. When leaving Brazil, you need to arrive at the airport early, clear your equipment with customs before checking-in, making sure you receive a dated exit stamp on the same form. The whole process is free but it can be a bit of a hassle as the website is known to be buggy and many Brazilian customs officials don’t speak English. If you would like to ensure that everything runs smoothly, our Brazilian fixer / service company is also able to facilitate the process from making sure the e-DBV form is submitted correctly, through to arranging a customs official to meet you at the airport. If you have the budget, the latter approach is recommended.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction. Excellent art department and construction available. Most work in Brazil tends to be location orientated rather than builds but there is a wide range of professional craftsmen and world-class art directors if needed.
Studios. Although locations are the main reason for filming in Brazil there are several state of the art studios.
Backlots. None exist at present.
Post Production. Brazil has several good post production facilities.
Visas & Work Permits
EU nationals travelling to Brazil as tourists can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. US, Canadian and Australian nationals need to have for a visa before travelling.
For commercial productions, US crews are required to enter on business visas. This applies to the director and DP, but not the producers, agency and clients, who can enter as tourists. The process for obtaining a business visa for filming is as follows. Once the project contract is settled, an ANCINE approved Brazilian service company or fixer will register the project with ANCINE who will then contact your local consulate to approve the business visa. Each crew member needs to submit their passport to the consulate to have the visa stamped. The process takes up to a month but can generally be expedited to a week.
For co-productions ANCINE rules require that two-thirds of the crew are Brazilian. Journalistic projects are exempt.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Road quality varies. Cities and federal highways are paved and relatively well maintained. More remote areas are slower going with boat travel often required in the Amazon. Note, Brazilian law requires that vehicles carrying 6+ passengers can only be driven by a specially licensed driver. Brazil is well serviced by a network of domestic flights. Several international carriers service flights to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and other parts of Brazil. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. For those looking to stay with indigenous communities in the Amazon our Brazilian fixer / producer also organises hosted accommodation.
Final Notes. Fantastic locations, extensive talent choices, a high standard of production services and the vibrant Latin culture makes Brazil the kind of service centre that clients continue to return to.
Safety. On the whole though Brazil is a safe place for visiting productions. As in most major cities around the world there are certain areas it would be sensible to avoid. Our local Brazilian fixer / service producer will arrange the appropriate level of security whether you are filming inside a favela or in a remote rural area. 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 Brazil, please see below:
Hire Brazil Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Brazil, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Brazil, 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.