Indonesia 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 Indonesia? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Indonesia
For an introduction to shooting in Indonesia 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.
Indonesia Film Locations
Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country consisting of over 17,000 islands.
Agricultural film locations include palm oil, rubber, cocoa, tea, coffee, rice, corn, tobacco, and sugarcane plantations. Indonesia mines oil, gas, coal, tin, bauxite, manganese, copper, and gold. Energy locations include coal-fired power plants, and hydroelectric dams.
Indonesia has played host to films such as Gold (2016), The Act of Killing (2012), Savages (2012), The Raid (2011), Eat Pray Love (2010), and The Fall (2006).
The country can be divided into the following regions:
Located in the southern central part of the country, Java is a beautiful island where beaches, terraced rice fields, palm forests, plantations and volcanoes shape the land. Java is the most populous region.
Javanese film locations can be divided into the following provinces:
Special Capital Region of Jakarta. Jakarta is Indonesia’s capital and largest city. The Act of Killing (2012), and The Raid (2011) filmed in Jakarta.
Java Man is a hominin fossil found on the banks of the Solo River.
Special Region of Yogyakarta
Java boasts world-renowned locations including the Borobudur and Pranbanan temples, and the active volcanos Mount Krakatau and Mount Bromo. Ujung Kulon National Park is known for its monitor lizards, gray macaques, peacocks, rhinoceros, banteng cattle, leopards and unique Javan crocodiles. Kebun Raya Cibodas is a high altitude botanical garden. Kampung Warna-Warni is a colourful village in this part of Indonesia. Kawah Ijen is a volcano in East Java famous for its gases that combust and stream an electric-blue coloured fire down the side of the volcano.
Sumatra is a large island located in the west of the country. It is known for its rugged tropical terrain, wildlife, and volcanoes.
Sumatran film locations can be divided into the following provinces:
Aceh. Aceh is a semi-autonomous province known for its practise of Sharia law.
The city of Banda Aceh is known for the Museum Tsunami Aceh, Aceh State Museum, Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Putroe Phang Park, and Apung 1 which is a Tsunami stricken ship turned museum.
Gunung Leuser National Park is a mountainous landscape that includes a Sumatran orangutan sanctuary. Other wildlife in the park include Sumatran elephants, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinos, siamangs, Sumatran serows, sambar deers, and leopard cats.
The Banyak Islands are a spectacular tropical island location with a lighthouse.
Aceh beaches of note include Lampuuk Beach, Iboih Beach, Lange Beach, Pasie Saka Beach, and Sumur Tiga Beach.
West Sumatra. Jembatan Akar root bridge.
Bangka Belitung Islands.
Sumatra is known for its lush rainforests, exotic flora and fauna, cascading rivers, sparkling crater lakes, white sand beaches, and spectacular volcanic landscapes. Locations of note include the Sumatran Orangutan Society, Mount Merapi active volcano, Lake Maninjau, Sipisopiso waterfall, and the Kampar River which offers tidal bore surfing of the Seven Ghosts Bono.
The Act of Killing (2012) filmed in Medan.
Lesser Sunda Islands
The Lesser Sunda Islands include the provinces of Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.
Bali. Bali is known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. There are eleven volcanoes to chose from with Mount Batur still active. Bali offers black, white and yellow sand beaches, and surf breaks. There are many sleek, modern villas and resorts available for filming. Film locations of note include Ghost Palace Hotel, Leke Leke Waterfall, Tanah Lot Hindu temple, Pura Bratan lake temple, Luhur Uluwatu Temple, and the Ubud Monkey Forest. Taman Festival Park is an abandoned amusement park in a jungle setting. Bali also has an abandoned 737 plane in a jungle setting next to a limestone quarry. Eat Pray Love (2010), and The Fall (2006) filmed in Bali.
Nusa Penida is an exotic island best known for Kelingking Beach, Diamond Beach, Broken Beach, Atuh Beach, Suwehan Beach, Angel Billabong, Teletubbies Hill, and Tembeling Forest.
West Nusa Tenggara. Lombok is a pristine tropical island a short plane or boat ride from Bali. The interior consists of a luscious jungle surrounding the huge volcanic centerpiece of Gunung Rinjani. Lombok has picture-perfect, white sand beaches, turquoise waters, tropical islands and surf breaks. Lombok is also known for its underwater photography options.
Sumbawa island has beautiful mountainous terrain and surf breaks.
Moyo Island featured in Savages (2012).
East Nusa Tenggara. Komodo National Park is the home of the Komodo Dragon. Padar Island has white, pink, and black sand beaches.
Flores island is a rugged island known for the Kelimutu volcano caldera.
Sumba island is known for Tanggedu Waterfall, Matayangu Waterfall, Lapopu Waterfall, Puru Kambera Beach, and Marosi Beach. Bandokodi, Waikabubak, Ratenggaro, and Kampung Tarung are traditional Sumbanese villages.
Western New Guinea
Western New Guinea includes the provinces of West Papua, and Papua.
West Papua. Irian Jaya (West Papua) is known for its tropical rainforests, craggy mountain peaks, swampy lowland forests, grassy savannahs, mangrove forests, beautiful coastal islands, and isolated indigenous villages such as the Korowai. Small permanent snowfields and relic glaciers grace the highest elevations at Puncak Jaya. The Raja Ampat Islands are a paradise archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands.
Kalimantan includes the provinces of West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.
Kalimantan (Borneo) is known for its beautiful beaches and ancient rainforests which are home to a wide variety of biodiversity including orangutans, clouded leopards and exotic plants such as the enormous Rafflesia flower. The limestone pinnacles of Mount Api are an impressive location.
Sulawesi includes the provinces of North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi.
Sulawesi is world-renowned for its coral reefs and dive sites, such as Bunaken Marine Park, the Togian Islands and Wakatobi Marine Park. Tana Toraja in the mountainous northern part of South Sulawesi is one of the most beautiful regions of Indonesia. Traditional Toraja villages sit in a backdrop of rugged mountains and green terraces. Lore Lindu National Park and Tangkoko National Park are home to a variety of biodiversity.
The Maluku Islands include the provinces of North Maluku, and Maluku.
Also known as Spice Islands, the Maluku Islands.
Indonesia Film Location Permits
To film in Indonesia, a visiting production is required to obtain both a National Film Permit as well as permits specific to locations. The fastest and easiest way to get these is through a local accredited service producer or fixer. To apply for film permits, our Indonesian service producer / fixer will need you to first send them a complete application form, visiting crew and talent list with passport photocopies, a final list of locations, equipment list, complete schedule and project synopsis. Our local fixer / service producer will then review the application to make sure the best approach is taken. The visiting crew then submit the complete application to their local Indonesian consulate/s. Authorities in Jakarta review the application. Depending on the project, permit approval can take up to a month so allow plenty of lead time. The process can sometimes be expedited at extra cost. Once the National Film Permit is approved, our Indonesian service producer / fixer will then go ahead and obtain any required regional and forestry location permits. Note, the film permit is valid for 30 days. A government appointed minder may be required to accompany the visiting crew during filming. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Indonesia has a year-round warm, humid tropical climate. The wet season runs from November to March. April. The cooler, dry season runs from April and October. This is the best time to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
The Pasola Festival takes place in February / March on the island of Sumba. Waisak takes please in Borobudur in May. The Lembah Baliem Festival takes place in Papua (Irian Jaya) in August with tribes performing mock wars. The Bali Arts Festival takes place in September. The Krakatoa Festival is held in October.
Indonesia is a predominately Muslim country where many observe the holy month of Ramadan. Many services remain open during this time although permitting offices may be slower to respond.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Indonesia.
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. The favorable exchange rate means that your currency goes far in Indonesia. Locations and talent are generally inexpensive. The greatest cost is the need to bring in your key crew and equipment. Indonesia is a very large country and locations are often remote which also adds to costs. That said, our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for feature films or commercials in Indonesia.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Indonesia has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Unfortunately the depth of local crews is quite limited and most don’t speak fluent English. It is advisable to bring your key crew from abroad.
Contact us if you are looking for a Jakarta or Bali 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 Indonesia.
Talent. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation. The Javanese and Sundanese are the largest ethnic groups but many other groups exist offering a variety of pan-Asian and indigenous talent looks.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis.
Bali as a major tourist centre offers a variety of locally based multicultural looks to choose from.
Irian Jaya is home to many unique indigenous looks. One fifth of the world’s languages are spoken in Irian Jaya.
Java offers pan-Asian looks with some multicultural talent available in Jakarta.
Kalimantan, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Sumatra also offer an array of pan-Asian and indigenous looks.
Indonesia Film Equipment
Equipment. Standard grip, lighting and camera equipment is available out of Jakarta. The two largest Indonesian equipment houses are Elang Perkasa and Cinerent. The rest needs to be flown in abroad with Kuala Lumpur and Singapore the closest major production centres for gear.
For productions intending to bring in equipment Indonesia 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 are up to international standards. Master craftsmen and construction teams are plentiful and inexpensive.
Studios do exist but facilities are very basic.
Backlots. At present no backlots exist in Indonesia.
Post Production. The best facilities are offered by G1 post. Eltra Studio and VHQ Jakarta also have facilities.
Visas & Work Permits
Clients, agency and talent travelling on western passports can enter visa-free for stays of up to 30 days. Visiting shooting crews require journalist visas. At the same time that the above mentioned (see Location Permits section) National Film Permit application is approved, so to is the journalist visa. Each visiting crew member then needs to go to their local Indonesian embassy / consulate to get their passports stamped. The film permit and journalist cards are then picked up in Jakarta by either the visiting crew or the local fixer / service producer. Note, both the film permit and journalist cards are valid for 30 days. Contact your local Indonesian embassy / representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. The road system is quite undeveloped. Indonesia is well serviced domestically by several airlines. Charter planes and helicopters are often required to reach more remote locations.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Indonesia include:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. 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 Indonesia, please see below:
Hire Indonesia Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Indonesia, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Indonesia, 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.