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Germany

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.

Agricultural film locations of interest include wheat and barley fields, apple and cherry orchards, and vineyards. Industrial locations are as diverse as factories producing automobiles, machinery, electrical equipment, chemicals, and a range of high tech precision products. Energy locations include nuclear plants, coal-fired plants, solar and wind farms.

The country has played host to many international films including The Queen’s Gambit (2020), Captain America: Civil War (2016), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), Inglourious Basterds (2009), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Downfall (2004), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Octopussy (1983), Suspiria (1977), and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) to name a few

Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich are the main production centres.

Film locations of note can can be divided into the following states:

Berlin

The German capital Berlin is a contemporary city known for its unique neighbourhoods, famous landmarks, and wealth of museums.

With a museum for pretty much everything, Berlin museums of note include the Pergamon Museum, Jewish Museum, Altes Museum, Topography of Terror, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, and Stasi Museum. Other film locations of note include the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag Building, Berlin Wall Memorial, Alexanderplatz, Berlin Cathedral, Berliner Fernsehturm, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Olympiastadion, Berliner Philharmonie, Teufelsberg, Botanical Garden, Berlin Tempelhof Airport, Palais am Funkturm, Friedrichstadt Palace, and Berghain.

Charlottenburg Palace is located on the outskirts of Berlin.

The Queen’s Gambit (2020) doubled Berlin for locations as diverse as Kentucky, New York, Paris, Moscow, Las Vegas, and Mexico City.

Brandenburg

Brandenburg is the eastern state that encircles Berlin.

Sanssouci Palace was the summer palace of Frederick the Great.

Wünsdorf was once the largest Soviet military camp outside of the USSR.

Tropical Islands Resort is a tropical theme park located in Halbe.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a northeastern state known for its Baltic beaches and Hanseatic cities.

Stralsund and Wismar on the Baltic coast are historic Hanseatic cities.

Schwerin Castle is a beautiful lakefront palace.

Rügen Island is known for Jasmund National Park and Cape Arkona.

Usedom island is known for its beaches.

Müritz National Park is also located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Saxony

The eastern state of Saxony is known for its palaces and castles.

Dresden film locations of note include the Dresden Zwinger, Frauenkirche, Semperoper, Green Vault, Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden, Katholische Hofkirche, and Dresden Castle. Dresdner Molkerei has an elaborate 19th century store interior. Yenidze is a former cigarette factory that resembles a mosque. Striezelmarkt is famous for its Christmas market. Brühl’s Terrace is a scenic riverfront film location. The Dresden Railway Museum has steam locomotives available for filming. The Dresden Suspension Railway is a monorail available for filming. A short drive from Dresden you can film at the Grand Garden Palace, Moritzburg Palace, Albrechtsberg Palace, Sonnenstein Castle, and Barockgarten Großsedlitz.

Rakotzbrücke is a fairytale bridge located in Kromlau.

Muskau Palace is a beautiful lakefront film location.

Saxon Switzerland National Park is known for Bastei Bridge.

Göltzsch Viaduct is the world’s largest brick-built bridge.

Görlitz was the film location for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).

Saxony-Anhalt

Saxony-Anhalt is located in the central-eastern part of Germany.

Magdeburg is known for Hundertwasser’s Green Citadel, Millennium Tower, Magdeburg cathedral, and Magdeburg Water Bridge.

The town of Wittenburg is the birthplace of the Reformation.

Wernigerode is a picturesque medieval town.

Quedlinburg Abbey is another interesting film location in Saxony-Anhalt.

Thuringia

Thuringia is located in central Germany.

Erfurt is known for the Erfurt Cathedral and Krämerbrücke (Merchants’ Bridge) which is a medieval arch bridge lined with shops and houses.

Other film locations of note in Thuringia include Wartburg Castle and Altenstein Palace.

Bavaria

The southeastern state of Bavaria is known for its Alpine beauty, castles, museums, modern architecture, and Oktoberfest celebrations.

The city of Munich is known for Oktoberfest, Marienplatz, Odeonsplatz, St. Peter’s Church, Munich Residenz, Frauenkirche, Cuvillies Theater, Bavarian State Opera, Alte Pinakothek, Deutsches Museum, Glyptothek, Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Nymphenburg Castle, BMW Museum, English Garden, Olympiapark, and Allianz Arena. Müller’sches Volksbad is a beautiful indoor pool location. Parts of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) were filmed in Munich. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site is located just outside of Munich.

Nuremberg is known for the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg, Weinstadel, Albrecht Dürer’s House, St. Lorenz Gothic Cathedral, and the Nazi Party Rallying Grounds which were the staging grounds of the Nuremberg Rallies.

The Renaissance town of Bamberg is known for Altes Rathaus, Bamberg Cathedral, and Neue Residenz Bamberg.

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the world’s best fairytale castle locations. Mespelbrunn Castle is a beautiful moated castle location. Fortress Marienberg is located in Würzburg. Other castle locations of note in Bavaria include Hohenschwangau Castle and Linderhof Palace.

Margravial Opera House is an opulent venue located in Bayreuth.

The Stone Bridge in Regensburg is a 12th century bridge.

The Walhalla is a neoclassical building that honours historic German figures.

Nördlingen is a town encircled by well-preserved medieval walls. Nördlingen featured in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971).

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a picturesque well-preserved medieval town that featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010).

Ettal Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the village of Ettal.

Weltenburg Abbey is a beautiful location on the Danube River.

Lake Königssee is one of Germany’s most beautiful lakes. The area also has a beautiful natural infinity pool ideal for film shoots.

The Bavarian Forest National Park is Germany’s oldest national park.

Partnach Gorge is a beautiful nature location.

Tegernsee is a lake and spa town in the Bavarian Alps.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a pretty ski resort town.

Baden-Württemberg

Baden-Württemberg is a southwestern state known for the Black Forest, green mountainous landscapes, and traditional villages.

Stuttgart is known for Wilhelma Botanical Gardens, Schlossplatz, Mercedes-Benz Museum, and Porsche Museum. Ludwigsburg Residential Palace and Gardens, Solitude Castle, and Schloss Favorite, are located nearby.

Heidelberg is known for Heidelberg Castle ruins, Old Bridge Heidelberg, Marktplatz, and the Church of the Holy Spirit. Schwetzingen Castle is located nearby.

Tübingen and Esslingen am Neckar are picturesque well preserved medieval towns.

The Eagle’s Nest is a Third Reich-era building located on the summit of the Kehlstein.

Europa-Park is the largest theme park in Germany.

Hohenzollern Castle is located on a forested hilltop.

Lichtenstein Castle sits on a rocky outcrop and has a connecting bridge.

Other castles of note in Baden-Württemberg include Karlsruhe Palace, Sigmaringen Castle, Mannheim Baroque Palace.

Schleswig-Holstein

Schleswig-Holstein is Germany’s northernmost state.

Lübeck is a historic Hanseatic city known for its Brick Gothic architecture including the Holsten Gate, Marienkirche, Lübeck Cathedral Burgtor, Heilig-Geist-Hospital, and Salzspeicher.

U-995 is a Nazi-era U-boat museum available for filming.

Sylt Island is known for its sand dunes and lighthouses.

Castles of note in Schleswig-Holstein include Glücksburg Castle and Ahrensburg Palace.

Hamburg

Hamburg is a major northern port city know for its contemporary and period architecture, vibrant nightlife, and unique neighbourhoods.

Film locations of note include the Elbphilharmonie building, Hamburg City Hall, Elbe Tunnel, Port of Hamburg, Fischmarkt, Hamburger Kunsthalle, International Maritime Museum, and the Speicherstadt warehouse district. The U-Boot Museum Hamburg has a Soviet-era B-515 U-Boat available for filming.

Lower Saxony

Lower Saxony is a state in northwest Germany bordering the North Sea.

Hannover is known for Herrenhausen Gardens, the New Town Hall, and Marktkirche.

Goslar is known for its old town, Marktplatz, Imperial Palace of Goslar, and Gustav Adolf Stave Church.

The Phæno Science Center is located in Wolfsburg.

The Meyer shipyard in Papenburg featured in Pacific Rim (2013).

Marienburg Castle is a beautiful Gothic revival castle.

Juist Island is known for its beaches.

Harz National Park is a beautiful nature location.

Bremen

Bremen in northwest Germany is a historic Hanseatic city.

Film locations of note inclue the Bremen Town Hall, Bremen Market Square, St. Petri Dom Bremen, and the Schnoor Quarter. The Bremen Drop Tower is the only microgravity tower in Europe. The abandoned Valentin submarine factory was built to construct U-boats during WWII.

North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia is a western German state known for its cities.

Cologne is known for its museums, old town, and its impressive Gothic cathedral.

Düsseldorf is known for its fashion industry and art scene. Film locations of note include the Königsallee, Rhine Tower, and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Bonn is known for Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Schloss Drachenburg, Poppelsdorf Palace, and Kunstmuseum Bonn.

Aachen is known for its cathedral, city hall, and market square.

Wuppertal is known for its suspension monorail that dates back to 1901.

The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is a large former industrial site in Essen.

The Minden Aqueduct consists of two water bridges.

The Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces are located in Brühl.

Some of Germany’s best vineyards are located in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Hesse

Hesse is a central German state known for forests and cities.

Frankfurt is known for its modern city skyline, Römerberg, Frankfurt Cathedral, and Alte Oper.

Mainz is known for the Gutenberg Museum and Mainz Cathedral.

The Waldspirale building is located in Darmstadt.

Marburg Castle is a fairytale castle location. Braunfels Castle is another interesting film location.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is known for its stunning 350-meter-long Grand Cascade.

Rhineland-Palatinate

Rhineland-Palatinate is located in the southwest of Germany.

The old Roman city of Trier is known for Porta Nigra, Aula Palatina, Trier Saint Peter’s Cathedral, and Karl Marx House.

Freudenberg’s is a fairytale village of half-timbered houses.

Bernkastel-Kues has a beautiful medieval market square.

Geierlay Suspension Bridge is a beautiful forested location.

Rhineland-Palatinate is known for its many castles including Eltz Castle, Cochem Castle, Marksburg Castle, Rheinstein Castle, Stolzenfels Castle, Schönburg Castle, Trifels Castle, and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle.

Saarland

Saarland is a forested state located in the southwest of Germany.

Saarschleife is a water gap carved by the Saar River.

Ludwigskirche in Old Saarbrücken is a beautiful location.

The Völklingen Ironworks are open for filming.

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 generally get 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 and crew quality is second to none, so you get what you pay for. Germany cannot compete with Eastern Europe in terms of overall costs so productions will typically shoot in Germany only 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 great 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:

Lux 11 Berlin
The Pure Frankfurt

Final Notes

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.