Chile 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 Chile? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Chile
For an introduction to shooting in Chile see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, fringes, premiums, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Chile Film Locations
Given that Chile is as long as the US is wide, you can find a great variety of locations including deserts and glaciers, volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, beaches and rugged coastline, islands and lighthouses, lakes and rivers, deep old-growth forests, rural settings, Spanish colonial looks, modern city architecture and American looking suburbs.
Chile is a popular place for visiting productions to film opposite-season looks. As the US and Europe enjoy warm summer weather, the Andes mountains see snow, particularly from July to September. When the Northern Hemisphere enters the dark, colder months, Chile offers long, sunny shoot days with Patagonia wildflowers in full bloom and beaches and cafes busy with people.
Agricultural film locations include vineyards, apple orchards, wheat and corn fields, cherry and cranberry farms, timber plantations, and salmon fisheries. Industrial locations include copper, lithium, gold, silver, molybdenum, iron ore, and coal mines. Energy locations include coal, oil and gas fired power plants, as well as hydroelectric plants, solar and wind farms.
Chile has hosted productions including A Fantastic Woman (2017), Knock Knock (2015), The 33 (2015), The Green Inferno (2013), Quantum of Solace (2008), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), and Rapa-Nui (1994), and Death and the Maiden (1994).
From north to south locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
Includes the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo.
The Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world. The region is also known for archaeological ruins and the Andean highlands. Dragon Hill is an enormous sand dune outside of the city of Iquique. The Chanaral – Llanta – Potrerillos railroad runs through a spectacular arid landscape that was formerly a copper mine.
Atacama Large Millimeter Array is an astronomical interferometer of 66 radio telescopes in the Atacama Desert.
The Paranal Observatory located on the mountains of Cerro Paranal is home to the Very Large Telescope. The location appeared in Quantum of Solace (2008).
Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on Cerro Tololo.
Gemini South Observatory is located in Cerro Pachón.
The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on the summit of Cerro Chajnantor.
Las Campanas Observatory is home to the Giant Magellan Telescope.
Also in the Atacama Desert the Atacama Cosmology Telescope is located near Llano de Chajnantor Observatory.
Chacabuco is an abandoned mining town and former Pinochet-era torture prison.
Valle de la Luna, located in Los Flamencos National Reserve, is known for its moonlike landscape of dunes, rugged mountains and unique rock structures.
The El Tatio geyser field is one of the largest in the world.
Includes the regions of Valparaíso, Santiago, O’Higgins, Maule, and Ñuble.
Santiago is the capital, the largest city, and main entry point by air. A clean and orderly city, visiting production have doubled Santiago for Chicago, New York and Paris.
Within a 2 hour drive from Santiago you can find looks that double for Himalayan mountains, Californian beaches, Mid-Western wheat fields, and sandy deserts. The National Astronomical Observatory of Chile is located in Santiago.
Outside of Santiago lies the beach town of Valparaíso, famous vineyards and some of the best ski resorts in the Southern Hemisphere. Los Caracoles Pass is known for its scary switchbacks (hairpin turns). Sewell is an interesting abandoned mining town in the Andes. San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo is the largest swimming pool in the world. Salto del Maule waterfall is located in Radal Siete Tazas National Park.
Ski resorts close to Santiago include Portillo, La Parva, El Colorado / Farellones, El Arpa, Chapa Verde, and Valle Nevado. Groomed, off-piste and mountaineering areas are available for filming. These northern resorts are at higher altitude so filming is above the tree line. Heading south of Santiago the resorts of Nevados de Chillan, Ski Pucon, Corralco, and Antillanca drop in elevation allowing for winter filming in tree areas. Northern resorts see around 7 metres of snow every year and the southern resorts see up to 10 metres.
Includes the regions of Biobío, Araucanía, Los Ríos, and Los Lagos.
Chiloé Island is famous for its colourful stilt houses, iconic wooden churches, and pastoral landscapes. The Chiloé and Tantauco National Parks are known for their evergreen forests and wildlife such as penguins, whales and sea lions.
This region is home to the indigenous Mapuche people.
Includes the regions of Aysén and Magallanes and the Chilean Antarctica.
Queulat National Park is where you can find the spectacular Hanging Glacier. Many productions heading to shoot in Antarctica will film through Chile. Patagonia is famous for its otherworldly landscapes of glaciers, fjords, mountains, islands and deserts.
Also known as Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua, the remotely located Easter Island, famous for its stone heads, is also part of Chile. Ahu Tongariki is the largest with fifteen moai lined up facing sunset. Caves of note include Ana Kai Tangata and Ana Kakenga. Rano Kau is an otherworldly volcanic crater location. Anakena is a beautiful white sand beach. Rapa-Nui (1994) filmed on Easter Island.
Chile Film Location Permits
Depending on the location, you generally don’t need permits if filming hand-held b-roll. Shoots that involve setting up a tripod or laying cable require permits. Separate permits are required for each location you want to film in and may need to be obtained from several authorities. National parks and historic sites require additional permits. Drone filming is allowed but not in national parks. Certain parts of Santiago can be difficult to permit with filming often restricted to the weekends if you require traffic control. Projects that involve exclusive use of public space, police support, weapons or pyrotechnics require anywhere from 5 days to a month to permit. A good fixer / service producer is essential to make sure you know the best places to film for your budget. With a good fixer and low-key approach, you can film many locations at minimal cost. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
The Chilean climate is determined by the latitude, the proximity to the sea and the altitude.
The north of Chile is home to the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest desert. Summer (December to March) temperatures are very hot and winter (June to September) temperatures are mild with cold nights.
Central and southern Chile has a Mediterranean to temperate four-season climate. Summers are hot with long daylight hours. Falls are mild and rainy. Winters are rainy with heavy snowfalls in the Andes. Springs bring green fields and flowers in bloom.
Farther south in Patagonia, summers are mild with very long daylight hours and winters are very cold with very long nights.
Easter Island is best avoided during the wet season from May to June.
For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Events of interest include the following:
• The Tapati Festival takes place on Easter Island every year in February.
• The Festival of the Virgen del Carmen is celebrated annually in the small Atacama desert town of La Tirana from June 12-17th.
• The Atacama Crossing race takes place in September.
Chile is a predominately Christian country so those holidays are observed.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Chile.
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.
Chile Costs & Tax Incentives For Filming
Costs. On average, Chile is less expensive than both Brazil and Argentina. Santiago is the main production centre. Filming outside of the city in far away locations such as the Atacama or Patagonia can add significantly to the travel and transport budget. That said, our locally based fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. Chile offers a 25-30% cash rebate on eligible local expenditures.
Chile Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Chile has a small but good pool of local English speaking directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key and supporting crews are very experienced in servicing international productions. Crew members belong to an association but costs are negotiable.
Contact us if you are looking for a Santiago 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 Chile. There are also good locally based FX teams, with additional support available out of Buenos Aires.
Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Chile is very good value for money given the great diversity of multicultural talent looks including Latino, Caucasian, African, and Asian talent. Indigenous peoples in Chile include the Mapuche, Aymara, Quechua, Atacameño, Kolla, Diaguita, Yaghan, Rapa Nui, and Kawaskhar. Chile’s close proximity to Buenos Aires allows us to access those significant talent pools should you ever need to look further. Note, when bringing in talent from Buenos Aires, Argentinian union laws don’t apply, so costs are negotiable.
Fringes & Premiums. Crew fringes are 24%. The base is a 10 hour day. With overtime at 1.5x base rate for the next 2 hours, then 2x base rate for the next 2 hours. The day is capped at 14 hours. That said, talent and crew rates are all negotiable.
Chile Film Equipment
Equipment. Chile has all of the standard camera, lighting and grip equipment as well as more specialised gear including 2 Russian Arms, Technocrane, hot heads, Motion Control, helicopters and flight heads, drones, quads with stabilizers, camera cars and process trailers.
For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Chile is an ATA carnet country. Buenos Aires is the closest major production and gear can easily be brought in from Los Angeles too.
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.
Chile Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction is very strong in Chile. There have been many complex sets constructed for large scale productions.
Studios. Sound stages in Chile tend to be mostly used for TV production. Most stages are small but larger industrial spaces can be easily converted into studios.
Backlots. At present no backlots exist in Chile.
Post Production. Chile offers post production services in all phases.
Chile Visas & Work Permits For Filming
Crews travelling on western passports can enter Chile visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Australian and Mexican passport holders can also enter Chile visa-free for up to 90 days upon paying the reciprocity fee on arrival. Visas are required for longer stays. There are no work permits required for film crews. Press passes may be required for documentary and news crews depending on the project.
Chile Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Chile has a developed and well maintained road network. Given the long distances and mountainous terrain, domestic flights are a preferred method of travelling the length of the country and Easter Island. Several international airlines service flights to Santiago.
Accommodation. Chile offers many great options. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Santiago and other parts of Chile. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:
Safety. Chile is a very safe place for foreign productions to visit. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Visit remote Easter Island.
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 Chile, please see below:
Hire Chile Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Chile, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Chile, 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.