Finland 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 Finland? 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 Finland? See below for an introduction to Finland 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.
Finland Film Locations
Finland is known for its thousands of lakes and islands, dense forests, wooden cottages, snow-covered north, and the city of Helsinki.
Films of note shot in Finland include Hanna and the classic Doctor Zhivago. The country is a popular destination for productions coming from all over the world including Chinese, Indian, German, and French shoots.
Helsinki. Helsinki is the capital and main film production service centre. It is a city of parks, forests and waterways, with sleek modern architecture and one of the largest concentrations of Art Nouveau buildings in Northern Europe. Helsinki buildings of note include Helsinki Cathedral, Finlandia Hall, Musikkitalo, Olympic Stadium, Kamppi Chapel of Silence, Haltia, St Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel, Metso Library, Sami Cultural Centre Sajos, and Amos Rex Museum. Suomenlinna fortress is located a short ferry ride from the city.
Porvoo, located an hour’s drive east east of Helsinki is known for its charming cobblestone streets and iconic red wooden shore houses.
Coastal Southwest. A picture perfect archipelago of forested islands with old wooden towns, lighthouses, historical manors and and a laid-back islander lifestyle. Bengtskär lighthouse is a location worth travelling to film. Turku is a medieval city located in this part of Finland. The Åland archipelago is an autonomous Swedish speaking region of Finland.
Lake Region. Central Finland is known for its deep green forests, rolling hills, and thousands of lakes. If you’re looking to film the cozy lake cottage and sauna lifestyle, this is where you will find it. There are 39 national parks in Finland. National parks of note include Riisitunturi, Pallas-Yllästunturi, Nuuksio, Urho Kekkonen, Oulanka, Koli, Punkaharju, and Repovesi. Tampere is the largest city in the lake region although it feels more like a small town.
Northern Finland. One third of the country lies north of the Arctic Circle. Sparsely populated, the area is mostly tundra and dense forest. In the far north, Lapland conjures up images of reindeer sleigh rides through a snow-covered winter wonderland landscapes, Santa Claus Village, lit up by the magical Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Lapland is home to the Sámi people.
Finland Film Location Permits
Finland has a film friendly and streamlined permitting process. Filming that does not significantly disrupt public use of a location does not generally require a permit. Permission for filming in Helsinki with exclusive use of public property generally takes about a week to process. More complicated shoots, filming in national parks or historic locations usually take around 2 weeks to permit. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Finland has a four-season climate. Winters (December to March) get very cold and snowy. During midwinter in Lapland, the sun does not rise above the horizon, meaning 24 hours of darkness. The best time for filming the Aurora Borealis is between September and March. Spring (April to May) starts to see warmer weather and longer daylight hours. In Lapland snow can remain on the ground until May, making it an ideal place to shoot late snow looks. Summers (June to September) are warm with Lapland receiving 24 hours of daylight. Forested areas are plagued by mosquitoes during the midsummer months so remember to bring plenty of repellent. Fall (October to November) brings colourful leaves. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Finland hosts some interesting events including:
• Reindeer Championship Races (March / April)
• Juhannus Midsummer Festival (June)
• Wife Carrying World Championships (July)
• Air Guitar World Championships (August)
• Savonlinna Opera Festival (July / August)
• World Berry Picking Championship (September)
• Christmas markets throughout Finland including Helsinki, Naisten Joulumessut, Porvoo, Turku, Tampere, Oulu, Rovaniemi (November / December)
• Christmas in Lapland in Santa’s Village from December 24th – 26th
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Finland.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. Finland is a member of the EU and trades in the Euro. Generally speaking, Finland is the least expensive of the Scandinavian countries. Location and equipment costs are more or less the same across Scandinavia. The main difference is labour costs and over time costs. To elaborate, Finland crews work a ten-hour day and have lower fees. In Sweden crews work an eight-hour day and fees are 15% higher. Denmark crews work an eight-hour day and fees are 20% higher. Norway crews work a ten-hour day and fees are 20% higher than Finland. All that said, our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.
Tax Incentives. As of 2017 Finland will offer qualifying productions a 25% cash rebate. Visit the Tekes website for more information.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Finland has a good pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers, several being of the highest international standard. Finnish crews are non-union. Crews are experienced, efficient, hard working and experts in working in very cold conditions. Crews speak fluent English.
Contact us if you are looking for a Helsinki or Lapland 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 Finland.
Talent. Finland offers both a union and non-union option. Amateur actors and featured extras are non-union. Buyouts are 50% of day rate for Baltic countries, 50% for Scandinavia, 50% for Russia, 100% for Europe and 500% for worldwide. But it is always possible to negotiate with union actors.
Finland offers mainly Scandinavian looks. The Sami people are an indigenous minority living up in Lapland. Finland’s close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.
Fringes. Finland does have a social security and pension system but all of this is already covered in the budget.
Premiums. For crew, Finland works on a ten-hour shoot day. The next two hours are time and a half and double time after that. There is no difference between a day or night shoot. Holidays and Sundays are at slightly higher rates. Talent receives a flat day rate but if it’s a longer day then our Finnish producer / fixer will negotiate a fair rate for that.
Finland Film Equipment
Equipment. Finland is Arri based and has all the standard cameras, lights and cranes available locally. Helsinki has the major equipment houses with some basic gear also available in Lapland. More specialised equipment such as Russian Arms can be easily brought in from nearby major European production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Finland is an ATA carnet country.
In terms of communications, Finland has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction is of a very high standard in Finland.
Studios. Finland has several good studios.
Post Production. Finland offers a high standard of post production services including colour grading, visual effects, 3D motion graphics, editing, and sound. Companies of note include Fake and Toast Post.
Visas & Work Permits
Finland is a member of the Schengen Area. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your closest Finnish embassy / representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Finland has a highly developed transportation infrastructure. Many international and regional budget airlines service flights to and from Finnish cities. The train system is extensive and often a faster alternative to flying.
Accommodation. Contact us for rates at film friendly hotels in Helsinki and other parts of Finland. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:
Safety. Finland is one of the safest countries in the world. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Relax in one of Finland’s thousands of saunas, try some traditional food (sauteed reindeer, cloudberries, and salmon) and drink (Kossu Finnish vodka).
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 Finland, please see below:
Hire Finland Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Finland, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Finland, 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.