India 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 India? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in India
For an introduction to shooting in India 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.
India Film Locations
India is an extraordinary country of great beauty, contrast and sensory overload. With over one-sixth of the world’s population, India is home to a rich array of cultures, religions and ethnicities. India is a country where ancient architecture sits beside modern towers, a country where absolute wealth lives next to extreme poverty. The diversity of location looks range from paradise beaches to mountain peaks, picturesque tea plantations to colourful crowded markets, dense forests to arid deserts, colonial buildings to ancient temples.
Mumbai and New Delhi are the major production centres. Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad are also significant production centres.
As well as being the home of Bollywood, India has hosted Hollywood films such as The Dark Knight Rises, Slumdog Millionaire, Eat Pray Love, The Bourne Supremacy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, The Way Back, Octopussy, and Close Encounters of The Third Kind.
India’s film locations of interest can be divided into the following regions:
Includes the states of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a union territory known for its lush green forests, meandering rivers, and cascading waterfalls.
Daman and Diu is a union territory known for its beaches such as Gomtimata Beach, Devka Beach and Jampore Beach.
Goa is known for its beautiful beaches, Portuguese colonial architecture, spice plantations, jungles and waterfalls, all within a 2hr drive of each other. Beaches of note include Calangute Beach, Palolem Beach, Baga Beach, and Anjuna Beach. Portuguese colonial architecture of note includes Fort Aguada, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Chapora Fort, Se Cathedral, and the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. Goa’s interior features small villages, verdant jungle, and waterfalls such as Dudhsagar Falls.
Gujarat. India’s westernmost state, Gujarat is known for its numerous sacred sites. Film locations of note include Rani-ki-Vav, Adalaj Stepwell, Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vijaya Vilas Palace, Shree Somnath Jyotirling Temple, Shree Dwarkadhish Temple, Akshardham in Gandhinagar, Jami Masjid, Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, Sidi Bashir Mosque, Mahabat Maqbara Palace, Palitana Temples, and the Statue of Unity. The Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is an impressive salt desert. Marine National Park can be found in the Gulf of Kutch. Gir Forest National Park is home to the Asiatic Lion. Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state. Extraction (2020) filmed in Ahmedabad. Alang is the world’s largest ship breaking yard. Gujarat is the largest producer of cotton in India.
Maharashtra. The sprawling, fast-paced metropolis of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is India’s main production centre and home to the Bollywood film industry. Mumbai film locations of note include the Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Siddhivinayak Temple, The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, and Dharavi which is one of Asia’s largest slums. Outside of Mumbai you can find the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, Shree Ambabai Mandir Kolhapur, and Tadoba National Park. Bibi Ka Maqbara located in Aurangabad is an alternative to filming at the Taj Mahal.
Includes the states of Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Rajasthan.
Chandigarh is a union territory. The Chandigarh Capitol Complex is known for its Le Corbusier designed buildings such as the Legislative Assembly, Secretariat building, and Punjab and Haryana High Court. The state of Chandigarh doubled as Pakistan in Zero Dark Thirty.
Delhi. National Capital Territory of Delhi is a union territory that includes New Delhi, the capital of India. The city has doubled for locations such as Lahore in The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Unique locations of note include the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Akshardham, Humayun’s Tomb, Lodhi Gardens, Laxminarayan Temple, Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, Agrasen ki Baoli, Jantar Mantar, India Gate, and Chandni Chowk.
Haryana. Film locations of note in Haryana include the Kingdom of Dreams, Yadavindra Gardens, and Sultanpur National Park.
Himachal Pradesh. This beautiful state is known for its Himalayan locations and Tibetan culture. Dharamshala is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. Key Gompa is an important Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Spiti Valley. The Rohtang Pass is a famous dangerous high mountain pass running through Himachal Pradesh. Hidimba Devi Temple is a historic Hindu wooden forest temple. The Great Himalayan National Park and Pin Valley National Park are located in Himachal Pradesh. Beautiful mountain lakes in this region include Chandra Taal, Bhrigu Lake, Prashar Lake, Kareri Lake, Manimahesh Lake, and Dal Lake. Shimla, once the summer capital of British India, is known for locations such as Rashtrapati Niwas. Kangra tea comes from Himachal Pradesh.
Jammu and Kashmir is a region administered by India. The region is known for Himalayan mountains, valleys, and rivers. Other Buddhist monasteries of note include Alchi Gompa, Hemis Gompa, Spituk Gompa, Likir Gompa, Phyang Gompa, Diskit Monastery, and Stongdey Gompa. Hindu temples of note include Vaishno Devi, Amarnath Temple, and Raghunath Temple. Srinagar is the largest city in the region. Gulmarg is a popular skiing resort. The far north of Jammu & Kashmir is very remote and lacking in basic services.
Ladakh is a region administered by India. The region is known for Himalayan mountains, valleys, and rivers. Hemis National Park is a high altitude national park in the eastern Ladakh region. The Puga Valley is an otherworldly landscape. Thikse Gompa doubles well for Tibet’s Potala Palace. Indian Astronomical Observatory is located in Hanle.
Punjab. Film locations of note include Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Durgiana Temple, Qila Mubarak, Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, Fateh Burj, Central Sikh Museum, Jagatjit Palace, Dakhni Sarai, and Moti Bagh Palace.
Rajasthan is known for its palaces and forts, temples, deserts, and lakes. Jaipur film locations include Amber Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), City Palace, Jal Mahal (Submerged Water Palace), Nahargarh Fort, Albert Hall Museum, Jaigarh Fort, Panna Meena ka Kund, Jawahar Circle, Govind Dev Ji Temple, Johari bazaar, and Man Sagar Lake. Jodhpur locations of note include Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, and Jaswant Thada. Jaisalmer is known for Golden City Fort, and Patwon Ki Haveli. Udaipur is known for Udaipur Palace, Chittorgarh Fort, Shri Ekling Ji Temple, and Lake Pichola. Pushkar is located by the Thar Desert on the banks of Pushkar Lake, a sacred Hindu site with 52 ghats (stone staircases) such as Gau Ghat where pilgrims come to bathe. Pushkar is known for its hundreds of temples including Brahma Temple and Savitri Mata Temple. Other Rajasthan structures of note include Junagarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Taragarh Fort, Vijaya Stambha, Deeg Palace, Chand Baori stepwell, Ranakpur Jain Temple, Dilwara Temples, Mehandipur Balaji Temple, and Karni Mata Temple. Nature park locations of note include Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, and Keoladeo National Park.
Includes the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
Chhattisgarh. Film locations include Chitrakote Falls, Teerathgarh Falls, Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanger Valley National Park, Danteshwari Temple, Rajiv Lochan Temple, and Bhoramdeo Temple.
Madhya Pradesh. Film locations of note include Khajuraho Erotic Temples, Gwalior Fort, Jahangir Mahal in Orchha, Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal, Omkareshwar, Sanchi Stupa, and Rajwada Palace in Indore. Maheshwar is the Varanasi of central India. “Dynasties” Tiger (2018) filmed in Bandhavgarh National Park. Other nature parks of note include Kanha Tiger Reserve, Panna National Park, and Satpura National Park.
Uttarakhand is known for its Himalayan locations and Hindu temples. The Valley of Flowers National Park and Corbett National Park are two beautiful film locations. The picturesque Gaumukh is the source of the Ganges. Auli is a ski resort in Uttarakhand. Haridwar, Rishikesh, Nainital, Mussoorie, Munsiyari, and Char Dham are other locations of note in this state.
Uttar Pradesh is one of India’s most important historical, architectural and religious states. Agra is home to the iconic Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Moti Masjid, Itmad-ud-Daula, Tomb of Akbar the Great, and Chini Ka Rauza. The holy city of Varanasi, located on the Ganges River is famous for its ghats (Manikarnika, Dashashwamedh, and Assi Ghat), as well as Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Ramnagar Fort, Dhamek Stupa, and Chaukhandi Stupa. The bathing ghats of Mathura are often filmed in place of Varanasi given its proximity to New Delhi. Mathura is also also known for Prem Mandir. Lucknow is home to Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Chattar Manzil, and Ambedkar Memorial Park. Fatehpur Sikri is home to Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal, and Jama Mosque. Khusro Bagh is located in Prayagraj. Shri Radhakrishna Temple is located in Kanpur. Dudhwa National Park is located in Palia Kalan. Uttar Pradesh agricultural locations include wheat and sugarcane fields as well as rice paddies.
Includes the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim.
Assam. The Kaziranga National Park is home to the one-horned rhinoceros. Kareng Ghar is located in Gargaon. Kamakhya Temple is located in Guwahati. Assam is the largest tea growing state in India.
Arunachal Pradesh, the “land of the dawn-lit mountains” is the northeastern most state in the country. Namdapha National Park is home to the Red Panda. The Talle Valley is home to the Apatanis people. The Sela Pass and Sela Lake are picturesque Himalayan mountain locations. Pankang Teng Tso is a glacial lake. The Tawang Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in India. Golden Pagoda is located in Namsai. Kameng River is known for its white water rapids.
Manipur. Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world, famous for the floating phumdis of Loktak Lake. Tharon Cave is an impressive location. Other film locations of note include Shri Govindajee Temple, Manipur State Museum, Sirohi National Park, Dzukou Valley, Leimaram Waterfall, and Khwairamband Bazaar in Imphal.
Meghalaya is best known for its living root bridges. Nokrek National Park, Siju Wildlife Sanctuary, and Balpakhram National Park are known for their biodiversity. Other film locations of note include Nohkalikai Falls, Daiñthlen Falls, Krang Shuri Waterfall, Laitlum Canyon, Umiam Lake, Umngot River, and Mawphlang Sacred Forest.
Mizoram. Film locations of note include Phawngpui National Park, Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary, Dampa Tiger Reserve, Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, Murlen National Park and Vantawang Falls. Mizoram has the highest concentration of tribal people among all the states in India. Aizawl is the largest city in the region.
Nagaland is a mountainous state home to a diversity of indigenous tribes. Film locations of note include Dzukou Valley, Naga Heritage Village, and Kohima War Cemetery.
Tripura. Ujjayanta Palace, Neermahal Palace, Agartala Railway Station, Jagannath Bari, Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary and Jampui Hills are impressive film locations in this Indian state.
Sikkim. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. Pakyong Airport is located in a spectacular Himalayan setting. The Nathula Pass connects Sikkim to Tibet. The off-beat hamlet of Zuluk is known for its winding mountain road. Sikkim is home to hundreds of monasteries including Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Tashiding Monastery, and Karma Kagyu Monastery. Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple is a Hindu temple. Namchi is famous for its giant Buddhist and Hindu statues. The picturesque Yumthang Valley of Flowers is home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Tsomgo Lake is a spectacular glacial lake. Bakthang Waterfall and Banjhakri Falls are beautiful film locations. The bright green Temi Tea Gardens are lined with cherry blossom trees. Gangtok is the capital of this mountainous state.
Includes the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.
Bihar is home to important Buddhist pilgrimage sites including the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya’s Mahabodhi Temple, and Great Buddha Statue. Gaya is home to the Vishnupad Temple. Other film locations of note include Golghar granary, Barabar Hill Caves, Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Buddha Smriti Park, Mahavir Mandir-Patna, Kakolat Falls, Tomb of Sher Shah Suri, and Rohtasgarh Fort.
Jharkhand is best known for its waterfalls including Dassam Falls, Lodh Falls, Usri Falls, Jonha Waterfalls, Hundru Waterfall, and Lower Ghaghri Falls. Other film locations of note in Jharkhand include Jagannath Temple, Maithon Dam, and Betla National Park. Coal fires in Jharia and Bokapahari burn out of control.
Odisha is known for its tribal cultures and Hindu temples. Tribal villages of Orissa include Rayagada, Chatikona, Jeypore, Baliguda, Onukudelli, and Belghar. Hindu temples of note include Konark Sun Temple, Lingaraja Temple, Rajarani Temple, Taratarini Temple, Shree Jagannath Temple. The Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are an ancient location. Simlipal National Park, Bhitarkanika National Park, Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary, Satkosia Tiger Reserve, and Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary are home to biodiversity such as tigers, elephants and salt water crocodiles. Impressive waterfalls include Barehipani Falls, Duduma Waterfalls, Khandadhar Falls, and Joranda Waterfalls. Beaches of interest include Chandipur Beach, Puri Beach, and Gopalpur Beach. Chilika Lake is another beautiful film location in Odisha.
West Bengal. Home to the Bengal tiger, the magnificent Sundarban National Park is a vast mangrove forest spread over 102 islands. The Great Banyan Tree is located in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden. Bishnupur is famous for its terracotta temples. The city of Kolkata is known for its slums and British Colonial architecture. Kolkata film locations of note include the government buildings around B.B.D. Bagh Square, Victoria Memorial, Calcutta High Court, Eden Gardens, Indian Museum, Science City, Mother Theresa’s House, and Dakshineswar Kali Temple. Adding to the colonial feel, Kolkata is the only city in India to have a tram car network. Cooch Behar Palace was modelled on Buckingham Palace. With far-stretching rice paddies, West Bengal is the largest producer of rice in India.
Includes the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
Andhra Pradesh. Tirupati Temple is an important Hindu site. Nellore is known for its rice paddies. Chittoor is knowns for its beautiful green forested hills and Chandragiri Fort. Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park is one of the largest concentrated solar power plants in the world.
Karnataka. Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) is a high-tech hub and the main film production service centre in the south of India. Bengaluru locations of note include Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Sri Chamarajendra Park, Bangalore Palace, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, and Hindu temples such as Sri Radha Krishna ISKCON Temple and Shivoham Shiva Temple. The laid-back village of Hampi is famous for Sri Virupaksha Temple, Vijaya Vittala Temple, Achyutaraya Temple, Kadalekalu Ganesha, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Saasivekaalu Ganesha, Elephant Stables, Lotus Mahal Hampi, and Pushkarani. Karnataka’s waterfalls of note include Abbey Falls Madkeri, Jog Falls, Shivanasamudra Falls, Iruppu Waterfall, and Hebbe Falls. Other Karnataka film locations of note include Mysore Palace, Gol Gumbaz, Chikmagalur Mountains, Nagarhole National Park, Bannerghatta Biological Park, and Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. Karnataka is known for its sunflower and cotton fields, as well as coffee and tea plantations. Pavagada Solar Park is one of the largest concentrated solar power plants in the world.
Kerala. Located on the southwest coast, Kerala is known for its beautiful palm-lined beaches, backwaters, national parks, and tea and coffee plantations. Agricultural products of note include rubber, coffee, and spices. The best beaches include Varkala Beach, Marari Beach, Bekal Beach, Kannur Beach, and Cherai Beach. Nature parks of note include Bandipur Tiger Reserve & National Park, Nagarhole National Park & Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
Puducherry is a union territory known for its French colonial influences, film locations of note include the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Matrimandir, Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach Island, Chunnambar Backwater, and Ousteri Lake. Underwater photography is also an option in Puducherry.
Tamil Nadu. Chennai (formerly Madras), the largest city in the state, is known for its colonial Portuguese influences such as San Thome Cathedral, as well as Hindu temples including Kapaleeshwarar Temple, and Ramakrishna Mutt Temple. Nilgiri tea comes from this area. Tamil Nadu is famed for its Dravidian-style Hindu temples including the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Shore Temple, Brihadishvara Temple, Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple, and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. Kanchipuram, the “City of a Thousand Temples” is also famous for its distinctive silk saris. Tamil Nadu’s beaches of note include Mahabalipuram Beach, Marina Beach, and Edward Elliot’s Beach. Waterfalls of note include Silver Cascade Falls, Hogenakkal Waterfalls, Siruvani Waterfalls, and Catherine Waterfalls. Other film locations of interest include Thanjavur Royal Palace, Fort Dansborg, Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, and Kodaikanal Lake. Kamuthi Solar Power Project is one of the largest concentrated solar power plants in the world.
Telangana. Hyderabad, the largest city in the state is home to Charminar mosque, Golconda Fort, Hussain Sagar, Chowmahalla Palace, Birla Mandir, Mecca Masjid, Qutb Shahi Tombs, and Chilkoor Balaji Temple. Warangal is home to the Thousand Pillar Temple, and Warangal Fort. Other film locations of note include Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple, Medak Cathedral, Bogatha Waterfall. Ramoji Film City is the world’s largest film studio.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are famous for their beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Cellular Jail is a colonial-era prison. The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living in North Sentinel Island.
Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 islands in the Arabian sea.
India Film Location Permits
India is known for its red tape so choosing the right service producer / fixer is essential. Permits are generally not difficult to obtain as long as local customs and traditions are respected. Laws governing filming have many clauses that can be used to shut down a shoot making it impossible for foreign producers to exercise complete control over any production so a patient approach is required. India is made up of a collection of states that have their own practices alongside the central government bureaucracy so hiring a well connected local producer / fixer definitely helps. As an example, filming in the Himalayas, requires several layers of permitting.
The Ministry of External Affairs has streamlined the permitting process to 3 days for non-sensitive documentary films. This includes fashion and tourism shoots.
Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
India is a large country with a wide range of weather conditions. India hosts six major climatic subtypes, ranging from desert in the west, to alpine tundra and glaciers in the north, to humid tropical regions supporting rainforests in the southwest and the island territories. Many regions have starkly different microclimates. India has four seasons: winter (January and February), summer (March to May), a monsoon (rainy) season (June to September), and a post-monsoon period (October to December). In Northern India, November to March are the best months to shoot for weather and cool temperatures. Some parts of the Himalayan range are inaccessible due to heavy snow from November onwards and then road access does not usually reopen until June. The north is also subject to landslides during the monsoon season. Southern India east of the Western Ghats remains dry during the monsoon period. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
India is home to many colourful festivals and events. Some of the better known ones include:
• Kumbh Mela Ganges pilgrimage is held every 3 years in January.
• International Kite Festival in January.
• Bikaner Camel Festival in January.
• Thaipusam in January or February.
• Holi Festival of Colours in March.
• Elephant Fair in March.
• Thrissur Pooram in April or May.
• Onam takes place in Kerala in August or September.
• Ganesh Chaturthi Festival takes place in Maharashtra in September.
• Diwali Festival of Lights in October or November.
• Pushkar Camel Fair in November.
Public holidays and festivals may affect timing, availability and costs, so make sure to seek local advice to plan effectively. See here for public holiday dates in India.
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 vary greatly depending on where you plan on filming. Mumbai in particular has become very expensive. Otherwise, other parts of India are still relatively cost competitive. Crew costs are low compared to most of the world. Talent is inexpensive. Most equipment is available locally so there is no need to fly in gear. Cities such as Mumbai have very congested traffic which limits the number of possible crew moves in a day. This may increase the number of shoot days required. Many impressive locations also require travel outside of major production centres which can add significant costs to the shoot. On the other hand, savings can also be made with some nearby locations doubling for difficult to reach locations. For instance, Mumbai has small ghats that can double for the ghats of Varanasi. In any case, our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or feature films shooting in India. Several countries have co-production agreements allowing foreign productions to take advantage of domestic incentives.
Film Crew & Talent
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Unless it’s a celebrity, talent costs in India are generally very cost-competitive. East Indian looks are available in abundance. There is also a pool of East European models based locally. All other talent looks are best cast abroad. There are several good talent agencies in India.
Crews. India has a good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Indian crews are very hard working, inexpensive and flexible. Key and supporting crews speak English. Separate unions exist for different crews throughout India. Indian teams are considerably larger than what is considered normal in the western world. This is the culture. Our service producer makes sure that only the local keys are the points of contact. In some cases key crew should be brought in from abroad.
Contact us if you are looking for a Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata or Hyderabad 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 India.
India Film Equipment
Equipment. All the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available in India. Some specialised equipment needs to be brought in from abroad. For productions looking to bring in film equipment, India is an ATA carnet country. The imported equipment list is included in the location permit visa application and our Indian service producer / fixer works with a local customs broker to ensure all gear clears customs properly. If you are using a carnet, make sure that your port of entry and exit can facilitate them.
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. India has some very impressive production designers. Construction crews are skilled and hard working. Massive sets can be constructed quickly at minimal cost. Large teams with many people on set are the norm.
Studios and backlots. India has several large studio spaces but many of those are booked out for local TV shows and Bollywood features. There is a backlot of a South Bombay Street 3 hours drive from Mumbai.
Post Production. State of the art facilities are available. Both Kodak and Fuji have their own labs.
Visas & Work Permits
Before you apply for a visa, your shoot first needs permission from the India government. Visiting productions need to apply for a Ministry of External Affairs Location Permit at their local Indian consulate or embassy. The application must include an invitation letter from an Indian production service company as well as full project details including synopsis, location list, visiting crew details, equipment list and other relevant information. A simple b-roll shoot can take around 2 weeks to permit whereas filming at a heritage location such as the Taj Mahal can take up to 6 weeks to permit. Please note, this location permit covers the entire crew so it’s important to include all visiting crew members in the same application. Fees will vary depending on the locations required. Once the permit is approved the visiting crew members will be issued with a collective visa deemed appropriate by authorities (usually a journalist, business or tourist visa). Note, travel for scouting or meetings does not require prior permission and you can just enter on a Business Visa or Journalist-Visa. For crew travelling on Western passports India offers online visa applications here.
For long-form projects, India now offers an (F) visa allowing visiting film crews multiple entries for up to one year.
If you are entering India for a scout or other tourist related filming or photography, you can enter under a tourist visa.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Traffic congestion in major cities such as Mumbai can be severe. Early morning is the best time to travel. Note, if your city crew includes larger gear trucks, make sure allow time to navigate the narrow roads and low hanging powerlines. Road conditions outside of cities are often quite poor and congested. India is a large country so if travelling far, expect the unexpected and make sure to allow plenty of time for unit moves. Train travel is a novel way to get around for the more adventurous crews. India is well serviced by several low cost domestic airlines. Several international airlines service flights to India. Travel delays are common on all modes of transport during the monsoon period. One good piece of advice to save on time and money is to always book and pay for excess baggage online, in advance.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in India include:
Note, it is generally much less expensive to have our Indian service producer / fixer book rooms, than to book from abroad. Please contact us for special rates. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. On the whole India is a safe place for foreign productions to visit. 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 India, please see below:
Hire India Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in India, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in India, 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.