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Northwest Territories Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in the Northwest Territories? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in the Northwest Territories

For an introduction to shooting in Northwest Territories see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Northwest Territories Film Locations

The Northwest Territories are know for vast frozen otherworldly landscapes of ice roads, Arctic ice floes, thousands of lakes, boreal forest, granite mountains, pingos, canyons, salt flats, waterfalls, and historic mines. The Mackenzie River is the second longest river system in North America. The territory is home to polar bears, grizzly bears, Arctic wolves, and herds of musk ox, bison, and caribou.

Agricultural goods are mostly imported. The Northwest Territories mine diamonds, gold, lead, copper, zinc, oil and gas. Energy locations include hydroelectric generating stations, and fossil fuel electrical generating stations.

The Northwest Territories have hosted productions including Arctic Air (2012-2014), Ice Road Truckers (2007-2017), and Ice Pilots (2009-2014).

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

North Slave Region

This central-eastern region is the most populous.

Yellowknife, located on the Great Slave Lake, is the territorial capital and largest community of the Northwest Territories. The city has hosted Ice Road Truckers (2007-2017), and Ice Pilots (2009-2014).

Diamond Mines in this region include Ekati Diamond Mine, Diavik Diamond Mine, Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine, and Snap Lake Mine.

The Ingraham Trail runs from Yellowknife to Tibbitt Lake.

Ice Road Truckers (2007-2017) filmed in Yellowknife, Ingraham Trail, BHP-Ekati, De Beers-Snap Lake, Diavik, and Lockhart Lake Rest Stop.

Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve is known for its red granite cliffs, peninsulas, canyons, waterfalls, forests and tundra. Wildlife of note includes grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, and moose.

South Slave Region

The South Slave Region is located in the southeastern part of the territory.

Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park. The park is home to a large diversity of wildlife including wood bison, moose, black bears, timber wolves, cougars, musk oxen, and whooping cranes.

Alexandra Falls, and Louise Falls are beautiful waterfalls.

Fort Resolution featured in Arctic Air (2012-2014).

Hay River featured in Arctic Air (2012-2014), and Ice Pilots (2009-2014).

Dehcho Region

The Dehcho Region is located in the southwest of the territory.

Nahanni National Park Reserve is one of the most beautiful, under-explored parks in the world. Vast and difficult to access, the park is known for its spectacular aerial photography. Virginia Falls is a stunning waterfall that pours around Mason’s Rock. The Cirque of the Unclimbables is known for spectacular granite climbs including Lotus Flower Tower, Mount Proboscis, and Middle Huey Spire. Ram Plateau is a beautiful film location. The South Nahanni River, lined by impressive canyons, is known for whitewater rafting. The Rabbitkettle Hotsprings and Tufa Mounds are otherworldly film locations.

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve is known for its mountains, forests, rivers, as well as wildlife such as caribou, grizzly bears, and mountain goats.

Sahtu Region

The Sahtu Region is located in the northwest of the territory.

Great Bear Lake is the largest lake that lies entirely in Canada.

Inuvik Region

The Inuvik Region is located in the far north of the territory.

Aulavik National Park, located on Banks Island in the Arctic Archipelago, is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of musk ox.

Tuktut Nogait National Park is an important caribou calving ground. The park is also home to musk ox, grizzly bears, Arctic wolves, and a wide variety of migratory birds.

The Tuktoyaktuk Pingos region is home to a quarter of the world’s pingos.

La Roncière Falls is a spectacular remote waterfall location.

The far north town of Inuvik is home to the Our Lady of Victory Church, and Midnight Sun Mosque.

The Dempster Highway links Inuvik to Dawson City in the Yukon.

The Northwest Passage is a sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the Arctic Ocean.

Northwest Territories Film Location Permits

Northwest Territories Film Location Permits are required for filming in Territorial Parks and National Parks. Filming on First Nations lands also requires consultation and permission from local authorities. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Spring in the Northwest Territories brings colorful flowers. Summers are warm with areas above the Arctic Circle seeing 24 hours of sunlight. Summers have intense light conditions so camera filters may be required. Rainfall is uncommon. Note, summers see a lot of mosquitoes and black flies. Birch and poplar leaves change color in fall. Winter comes early with average temperatures well below freezing. Winter months above the Arctic Circle experience 24 hours of darkness. The Northwest Territories have the longest snow cover season in Canada.

The Aurora Borealis is best photographed from September to March. The Northwest Territories experience the meteorological phenomenons Diamond Dust and Sun Dog. The Inuvik Sunrise Festival takes place in January. Snowking Winter Festival takes place in February / March.

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

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Northwest Territories Tax Incentives For Filming

Tax Incentives. The Northwest Territories offer a 25 percent rebate for eligible productions on qualifying spend. An additional 15 percent rebate can be applied if residents receive on-set training or if shooting takes place outside of Yellowknife.

Northwest Territories Film Crew & Talent

Crew. There is a small pool of supporting crew in Yellowknife. Key crew and equipment can be brought in from Calgary and Vancouver. Canadian crews are very experienced in working in cold and challenging conditions.

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 the Northwest Territories.

Talent. The sparely populated territory has a very small pool of locally available talent so additional casting may be required out of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary or abroad. Only about 40,000 people live in the entire territory. About half of the population is Inuit and Dene. Film characters synonymous with the Northwest Territories include Inuit hunters, ice road truckers, bush pilots, ice fisherman, and mushers.

Northwest Territories Film Equipment

Equipment. Some standard camera, lighting, and grip equipment is available in Yellowknife. All else can be easily brought in from abroad or Western Canada production hubs such as Vancouver or Calgary.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Visas & Work Permits

Previously the rules were very strict with all visiting crew required to have work permits that were very time consuming and expensive to get. The good news is now commercial advertising shoots are exempt from the work permit process on the condition the project is foreign funded. See here for more information.

For crew members who will be entering to oversee the project, Western passport holders are able to enter Canada visa-free with an eTA for a period of up to six months. This excludes US nationals arriving directly from the US, who are exempt from the eTA requirement.

Northwest Territories Transport & Accommodation

Transportation. Yellowknife is the main point of entry by air. Distances are vast and roads are very limited outside of Yellowknife. Long journeys are best done by air and shorter distances can be covered by ATV, snowmobile or dog sled.

Accommodation. Please contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Yellowknife and other areas of the Northwest Territories.

Final Notes

Safety. The Northwest Territories are a very safe and reliable place to film. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Try the pickering at Bullocks Bistro, Yellowknife.

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 the Northwest Territories, please see below:

Hire Northwest Territories Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in the Northwest Territories, 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.