Germany 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 Germany? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Germany
For an introduction to shooting in Germany 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.
Germany Film Locations
Germany offers a wealth of locations including vast forests, rivers and mountain ranges, period architecture, modern cities and sporting venues.
The country has played host to many international films including Captain America: Civil War, Downfall, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Inglourious Basterds, Diamonds Are Forever, Octopussy, The Bourne Supremacy, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich are the main production centres.
Film locations of note can can be divided into the following states:
Hamburg is a major port city know for its contemporary and period architecture, vibrant nightlife, and unique neighborhoods including the waterside HafenCity district (of note is the Elbphilharmonie building) and Speicherstadt warehouse district. Other northern locations of interest include Juist Island beaches, Sylt Island sand dunes and lighthouses, Glücksburg Castle, Lübeck’s Brick Gothic architecture, Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Rügen Island, Müritz National Park, Schwerin Palace, Herrenhäuser Gardens, and the pretty town of Goslar. Stralsund and Wismar on the Baltic coast are historic towns.
Bavaria is known for the beauty of the Bavarian Alps, Bavaria Forest National Park, Neuschwanstein Castle, and the renaissance town of Bamberg. Nördlingen is a town encircled by well-preserved medieval walls. Nördlingen featured in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). The city of Munich is known for Oktoberfest, Nymphenburg Castle, Marienplatz, Munich Residenz, Cuvillies Theater, Müller’sches Volksbad, and Allianz Arena. Baden-Württemberg locations of note include the Black Forest, Lake Constance, Berchtesgaden Eagle`s Nest, Heidelberg Castle, Ludwigsburg Palace, Lichtenstein Castle, Nuremberg Castle, and Solitude Castle. Picturesque towns include Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Tübingen, and Esslingen.
The German capital Berlin is a contemporary city known for its unique neighborhoods, famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag, and wealth of museums. With a museum for pretty much everything, museums of note include the Pergamon Museum, Jewish Museum, Topography of Terror, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, and Stasi Museum. A short drive from Berlin you can find Charlottenburg Palace, Sanssouci Palace, and Halbe Tropical Islands. Farther still, you can find Magdeburg’s Green Citadel and Millennium Tower, Rakotzbrücke (Kromlau), Krämerbrücke in Erfurt, Albrechtsburg Castle, Dresden Castle, Dresden Frauenkirche, Moritzburg Palace, Wernigerode town, Müritz National Park, Quedlinburg Abbey, Magdeburg Water Bridge, and Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland National Park. Göltzsch Viaduct is the world’s largest brick-built bridge. Wünsdorf was once the largest Soviet military camp outside of the USSR. Görlitz was the film location for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Locations of note include the Rhine River, Cologne Cathedral, Aachen Cathedral, Bremen’s old city and Schnoor Quarter, Porta Nigra Gate and Roman Monuments, Eltz Castle, Stolzenfels Castle, medieval market square of Bernkastel-Kues, Freudenberg’s half-timbered houses, Frankfurt’s modern city skyline, Waldspirale building in Darmstadt, suspension monorail in Wuppertal, Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Minden Aqueduct, and vineyards. Bremen Drop Tower is the only microgravity tower in Europe. The old Romans city of Trier is known for Porta Nigra, Aula Palatina, Trier Cathedral and Karl Marx House. Landgrafen Palace is a fairytale castle location.
Germany’s agricultural looks of interest include wheat and barley fields, apple and cherry orchards, and vineyards.
Germany Film Location Permits
Germany can be quite bureaucratic. A single location might require several different permits. That said, the process is very well organised, so an experienced service producer / fixer can arrange permits for most locations quickly and easily. Allow at least 2 weeks processing time for shoots that require exclusive use of public space. Small handheld b-roll shoots in cities can get generally away without permits. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Germany has a four-season climate with hot summers (June to September), colourful leaves in fall (October to November), white winters (December to March), and spring (April to May) in full bloom. May to October are the best months to film for warm weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Events of interest include:
• Kiel Week Regatta in June.
• Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt Open Air Festival in July.
• Munich’s Oktoberfest in September / October.
• Cologne Carnival in November.
• Fasching Karneval in November or January.
• Tübingen Chocolate Festival in December.
• Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) held all over Germany including Rothenburg, Nuremburg, Cologne, and Goslar during November and December.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Germany.
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. Germany trades in the Euro. It is a relatively expensive place to shoot but the film infrastructure is second to none, so you do get what you pay for. Germany cannot compete with Eastern Europe in terms of costs so most productions will only shoot in Germany for specific reasons. Any locations requiring travel outside of the main production centres are an additional cost to filming. 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. Germany offers a rebate of up to 25% on an international film’s qualifying German spend. Regional sources offer additional financial support.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Germany has a good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Germany has world renowned, experienced, efficient professional technical and creative crews. Crews speak fluent English. Its close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.
Contact us if you are looking for a Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf or Munich 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 Germany.
Talent. Germany is a very multicultural country offering a vast variety of unique featured talent. For examples see MGM Models, Harry’s Model Management, Talents Munchen.
Germany Film Equipment
Equipment. Germany has all of the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment as well as many boutique equipment suppliers offering a wide range of specialized equipment. Examples include ARRI Rental, Panther, MBF Filmtechnik, Delight Rental Services, and Cinegate. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Germany is an ATA carnet country.
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 is of the highest standard.
Studios and backlots. Many options exist. Some examples include: Pinewood Studios, Bavaria Studios, Havelstudios, Kubisch Rent Studios, and Studio MMC Cologne. Babelsberg Studios has built a permanent exterior hybrid set, the New Berlin Road. Westernstadt El Dorado located in Templin is a wild west theme park available for filming.
Post Production. Germany offers the highest standard of post production facilities.
Visas & Work Permits
Germany is a Schengen Area member state. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your local German embassy or representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Highly developed transportation infrastructure. Many international and budget regional airlines service flights to and from German cities. The train system is extensive and often a faster alternative to flying. Germany’s famous autobahns allow for quick and efficient land travel around the country.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and other parts of Germany. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:
Safety. Germany is a very safe place for foreign productions to visit. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Berlin is a fun party city.
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 Germany, please see below:
Hire Germany Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Germany, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Germany, 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.