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Israel

Israel 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 Israel? 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 Israel? See below for an introduction to Israel locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, fringes and premiums, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Israel Film Locations

Israel is a small country offering a vast variety of locations in close proximity to each other. From the main production centre of Tel Aviv, it’s a short 2hr drive to the Dead Sea and Negev Desert, a 3hr drive to the Arava Desert, and a 4hr drive to Eilat and the Red Sea.

Israel has hosted productions including A Tale of Love and Darkness, Not Without My Daughter, and the TV show Homeland.

Israel’s largest city, Tel Aviv is a modern city offering a variety of exotic and contemporary locations. Film locations of note include the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Grand Synagogue, Yitzhak Rabin Center, Carmel Market, Gordon Beach, and the Clock Tower in Old Jaffa.

The ancient city of Jerusalem is known for its important Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious sites. The Dome of the Rock, next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque within the Temple Mount complex, is one of Islam’s most holiest sites. Jerusalem locations of note include the Dome of the Rock, Western Wall (Wailing Wall), Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa, Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, Tower of David, Dormition Abbey, Jerusalem city gates (Zion, Dung, Golden, Lion, Herrod, Damascus, New, and Jaffa), the Israel Museum, and Yad Vashem. Both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as their capital.

The Roman ruins in Caesarea include a hippodrome, a Roman theatre, a collection of Crusader-era fortifications, a temple and an impressive aqueduct.

Nazareth is the biblical birthplace of Jesus. The Basilica of the Annunciation sits at the centre of the city.

Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake and biblical site where Jesus performed miracles.

The Dead Sea is a salt lake famous for its buoyant water and mineral-rich mud. It is the lowest point on earth.

The northern city of Haifa is home to the garden terraces of the Baha’i Gardens.

The rarely-visited Golan Heights are known for their natural beauty.

Khan al-Umdan is located in the Old City of Acre.

Makhtesh Ramon is a vast arid expanse in the Negev Desert.

Masada is an ancient fortress in the Judean Desert.

Eilat, located on the Red Sea, is known for its underwater photography options.

Israel is a world leader in cyber security. Beersheba is Israel’s Silicon Valley.

With a climate similar to California, Israel offers a wide range of agricultural looks including wheat, corn, citrus, avocado, grape, tomato, mango, and banana plantations. Moshav Villages cooperative agricultural community make for interesting aerial photography.

Israel Film Location Permits

Israel film location permits for most locations usually take no longer than two weeks. There are some difficulties with filming near army bases but even those locations can be permitted given enough lead time. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Israel has a Mediterranean climate. Winters (November to March) are mild and rainy, with occasional snowfall in mountainous regions. Spring (April to May) has mild temperatures with plenty of sunshine. Summers (June to August) are long, hot and very dry. Fall (September to October) has milder temperatures with very little rain. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Jewish High Holidays are celebrated in September / October. Easter and Christmas sees many visitors to Jerusalem’s Holy Land sites.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Israel.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. In terms of local costs, Israel can be one of the more expensive service centres in the Middle East. That said, unlike much of the Middle East, Israel is an established production service centre. Our Tel Aviv based fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. The Jerusalem Film and Television Fund offers financial incentives for qualifying visiting productions.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Israel has some talented local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Israeli crews are union. All speak English. The government offers incentives for using local crew.

Contact us if you are looking for a Tel Aviv 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 Israel.

Talent. Israel has both union and non-union talent. The rules are quite similar to those used in Germany and France.

Israel is made up of a great diversity of cultures. Jewish people have come from all ends of the globe and thus formed a wonderful mosaic of faces, ethnicities and cultures.

Fringes. No hidden extras. No fixed premiums apply. Our Israeli producer / fixer packages deals for local crew and talent.

Premiums. Israel works on a ten hour shoot day with a thirty minute break for breakfast and one hour break for lunch. It’s a six day week, whereby Friday is limited to daylight time only. Crew must be given eleven hours rest between each day of filming.

Israel Film Equipment

Israel is mainly Arri based. All of the standard new HD camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. More specialised gear can be easily brought in from nearby European rental houses. For productions looking to bring in their own gear, Israel is an ATA carnet country.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction are up to international standards. Large scale constructions are expensive to produce locally compared to somewhere like Eastern Europe. Small scale construction is highly rated.

Studios & Backlots. There are four main large sized studios, and a number of smaller sized spaces. At present no backlots exist in Israel.

Post Production. Several good post companies exist in Tel Aviv.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Crews travelling on Western passports can enter Israel visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Contact your local Israeli embassy / representative for more information.

Some Muslim countries restrict access to travellers who have Israeli stamps in their passports. Filmmakers, photographers and journalists that intend to make any future trips to these countries should ask Israeli border guards not to stamp their passports with the Israeli entry/exit stamps, instead opting for a separate entry card being stamped.

Crew with passport stamps indicating extensive travel to Muslim countries may also face extensive questioning by Israeli immigration and border officials.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. The local transport infrastructure is up to known and expected world standards. Many international airlines service flights to Tel Aviv.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Israel include:

Mamilla Hotel
Hotel Montefiore
Sea Hotel
Nina Cafe Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. On the whole, Israel is a safe place to shoot. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Tel Aviv is a fun place to shoot with great night life, very good restaurants and beautiful hotels.

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 Israel, please see below:

Hire Israel Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Israel, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Israel, 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.