Ecuador 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 Ecuador? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Ecuador
For an introduction to shooting in Ecuador 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.
Ecuador Film Locations
Ecuador is a small equatorial South American country that offers a variety of locations in very close proximity to each other. In a single day you can drive from the Amazon, across a range of volcanoes, through verdant cloud forests and arrive on the Pacific coast.
Agricultural film locations include plantations of cocoa, coffee, bananas, sugarcane, corn, palm oil, rice, potatoes, pineapples, oranges, cotton, timber, and cut flowers. Ecuador is known for its shrimp farms. Industrial locations include oil and gas facilities, as well as gold mines.
Ecuador has hosted productions including Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Proof of Life (2000), Clear and Present Danger (1993), and Baraka (1992).
Film locations can be divided into four main geographic regions:
The Andes region includes the provinces of Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Bolívar, Chimborazo, Cañar, Azuay, and Loja.
The Andes mountain chain offer a variety of incredible landscapes including volcanoes, national parks, scenic train journeys, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and colonial towns.
Quito is Ecuador’s capital and main film production centre. Situated in a valley of volcanic peaks, Quito is best known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial old town area and beautiful gilded churches such as the Church and Convent of St. Francis and Compañía de Jesús. The Convent of St Francis also has a beautiful green courtyard ideal for film shoots. Proof of Life (2000), and Clear and Present Danger (1993) filmed in Quito.
A scenic rail journey runs from Quito all the way to Guayaquil, with the spectacular Nariz del Diablo portion of the track being of particular interest to filmmakers.
Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world.
Quilotoa and Cuicocha are two picturesque crater lakes in this region.
The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception is located in Cuenca.
The Coastal region includes the provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí, Los Ríos, Guayas, Santa Elena, and El Oro.
The Pacific coast offers beaches, surf breaks, rivers, scenic coastal roads, whale breeding areas, coffee and banana plantations.
Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and the main production centre in this region.
Montañita is a bohemian beach town known for its surfing.
Machalilla National Park protects forests, coast and ocean life.
The Coastal region includes the provinces of Sucumbíos, Napo, Francisco de Orellana, Pastaza, Morona Santiago, and Zamora Chinchipe.
Ecuador’s Amazon jungle region, located to the east of the Andes, is one of the world’s most accessible areas of the upper Amazon basin.
Yasuni National Park is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth.
600 miles west of Ecuador’s coast the world renowned Galapagos Islands are home to marine and land creatures found nowhere else in the world. Of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers are the albatrosses of Isla Espanola, Galapagos giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island, iguanas of Tortuga Bay, beautiful beaches and Sierra Negra volcano of Isabela Island, Floreana Island, San Cristobal Island, Bartolome Island and the Blue Lagoon on Rocas Baimbridgen. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) filmed in the Galapagos.
Ecuador Film Location Permits
Permitting depends on the scale and specifics of the project. Note, even small scale filming like b-roll in places such as national parks, historic centres, or churches requires additional permitting and may incur fees. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Ecuador’s weather varies depending on the region. Along the coast, high rainfall occurs during the months of February and March. From the month of June to December, the coast experiences dry weather. The Andes region has a rainy season from October to May and a dry season from June to September. The dry seasons are the best times to film for weather. The Amazon region has rainfall throughout the year. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
• Carnival takes place in February.
• Semana Santa processions are in April.
Ecuador 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 Ecuador.
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.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. Ecuador trades in the USD. Locations, local talent, support crew, and locally produced goods are inexpensive. The need to bring in most key crew and equipment adds to the costs of shooting in Ecuador. Our Ecuadorian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no specific government tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials shooting in Ecuador.
The Ecuadorian government may offer support in kind. If you have a long-form project requiring multiple-entry travel for crews and equipment, and many locations to permit, then our local production team can organise supporting letters from various government departments. Your script and other information needs to first be submitted. If the government deems the project to be of benefit to the country then the supporting documents will be approved. These documents will make it easier to get crew and gear in and out of the country. It will make it less expensive and easier to deal with permitting authorities for various public locations such as those run by national parks and municipalities. Various other public departments will also be made available to assist you, such as the police. The application process takes about a month.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Ecuador has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Crews are non union. Supporting crew are good, resourceful and speak English. There are some key crew but for more complicated projects it is recommended to bring in your key crew from abroad.
Contact us if you are looking for a Quito, Guayaquil, or Galapagos 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 Ecuador.
Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiable.
Talent looks vary by region. Ecuador’s ethnic composition is made up of Mestizos, Caucasians, Amerindians, Montubios and Afro-Ecuadorians. Other talent looks are best cast abroad.
Ecuador Film Equipment
Equipment. Basic camera, lighting and grip equipment available locally. Additional equipment can be easily brought in from Chile or Argentina.
In terms of bringing in equipment, a customs permit is required to make sure you can clear gear without paying import taxes. To process the customs permit our Ecuadorian fixer / service producer will require you to send a project synopsis, equipment list with serial numbers, flight information and passport bio page scan of crew member responsible for the equipment.
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.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction. It’s best to bring in art department key crew to oversee the project. Quality of local craftsmanship is high and man power is cheap.
Studios. TV Stations such as Ecuavisa, Gamavisión and Teleamazonashave have studios for rent.
Backlots don’t exist at present.
Post Production. Some basic post facilities exist in Quito.
Visas & Work Permits
Ecuador has one of the most open visa policies in the world allowing visa-free travel for most nationals for stays of up to 90 days. US passport holders can find more information here. For more information contact your local Ecuadorian embassy / representative.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Major roads are up to international standards. Some rural roads are poorly maintained and slower going. Most larger towns are serviced by domestic flights. There are daily flights to the Galapagos Islands. Several international airlines service flights into Quito.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Quito include:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. 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 Ecuador, please see below:
Hire Ecuador Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Ecuador, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Ecuador, 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.