Estonia Film & Photography Production Services
Looking for a film or photographic production service company, producer or fixer in Estonia? Contact us for referrals, questions, bids and references. See below for an introduction to Estonia locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.
Estonia Film Locations
Estonia is best known for its beautiful forests, scenic lakes and wetlands, waterfalls, over a thousand remote islands, seaside and beaches, lighthouses, luxurious manor houses, winding car commercial roads, farms and pastures, medieval architecture, industrial estates, Soviet architecture, castles and palaces, and impressive contemporary architecture such as the KUMU museum and Science Centre AHHAA. Estonia has many interesting museums covering subjects as diverse as KGB history through to traditional village life. The Seaplane Harbour Museum explores Estonian maritime history. Estonia is one of Europe’s greenest countries with over have of the country covered in forest. National Parks of note include Lahemaa, Soomaa, and Matsalu. The beautiful medieval capital of Tallinn is the main production centre. Narva is an interesting city in eastern Estonia.
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet filmed in Estonia.
Estonia Film Location Permits
Estonia is a very film friendly country. Tallinn requires permits to film in public spaces. Allow 40 days for permitting if filming will affect public transport lines. Allow 30 days if your shoot will end after 11pm. In all other cases, allow at least 2 weeks for processing. Most of the rest of Estonia does not require any special film permits. Our Estonian producer / fixer would consult with local municipalities to ensure all required permits are obtained. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Estonia has a four-season continental climate. Summers (June to August) are warm with long daylight hours (18 hours in June). The mild summers mean that natural green looks don’t dry out as much as in other countries. Fall brings rains and colourful leaves. Winters are dark (as little as 5 hours of daylight) and snow-covered with ice roads opened between the mainland and the islands during the coldest months. Spring brings migratory birds and flowers in full bloom. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Estonia is known for the many music festivals it holds throughout the year. Tallinn Old Town Days medieval celebrations are held in June and the Ollesummer beer festival is held in July.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Estonia.
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. Estonia trades in the Euro. It is generally more expensive than its Baltic neighbours but much less expensive than Scandinavian countries. Estonia’s limited film infrastructure means that the additional costs of bringing in crews and equipment need to be factored in. In any case, our Estonian fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.
Tax Incentives. Estonia offers a cash rebate of up to 30% for qualifying productions.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Estonia has a small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Estonian crews are known to be efficient, hard working and flexible with day rates and working hours. Department heads all speak fluent English. Crews are often sourced from other Baltic countries giving the region a depth of 5-6 good crews. It is recommended to bring in a 1st AD and an art director on more complicated jobs. Estonia’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those technical and creative crews.
Contact us if you are looking for a Tallinn 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 Estonia.
Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Estonia has mainly Slavic and Scandinavian looking featured talent. Most other talent looks need to be cast abroad. Estonia’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.
Estonia Film Equipment
Equipment. Estonia has a range of standard camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally. More sophisticated gear can be easily brought in from nearby Helsinki (70km ferry trip), Riga (300km drive), or major European production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Estonia is an ATA carnet country.
Communication. Estonia is a technologically advanced country.
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 in the Baltic region is of an international standard. Builds are very cost competitive. There are at least 4 very good art department teams. Of the Baltic states Latvia is traditionally the busiest with commercials whilst Lithuania does films and Estonia shoots the least of both.
Studios. Estonia has several studios including Tallinn Film Wonderland, Downtown Studios and XL Studios.
Post Production. Estonia has basic post facilities.
Visas & Work Permits
Estonia is a member of the Schengen Area. Work permits are not required to film in Estonia. Crew travelling on US passports can enter visa-free for periods of up to 90 days. Contact your closest Estonian embassy / representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Locations are easy to reach. Estonia is a small country with a good network of well maintained roads. Regular ferries service Estonia’s many islands. Spring time access to the Soomaa wetland area is only possible by boat. Estonia is well serviced by several international and regional budget airlines.
Accommodation. Contact us for special rates at film friendly hotels in Tallinn. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. Estonia is a very safe and reliable filming centre. 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 Estonia, please see below:
Hire Estonia Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Estonia, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Estonia, 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.