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Jamaica 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 Jamaica? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Jamaica

For an introduction to shooting in Jamaica 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.

Jamaica Film Locations

The home of Reggae music and Caribbean chill, Jamaica has long been a popular destination for international productions having had hosted films such as Cool Runnings (1993), Legends of the Fall, Cocktail, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and the Bond Films – Golden Eye, Dr No, and Live and Let Die.

Kingston is the capital and main entry point by air. The city offers bustling Caribbean streets, vibrant markets, Spanish Town’s colonial architecture, old forts, urban areas, and landmarks such as the Bob Marley Museum. Note some locations, such as the Bob Marley Museum, require location releases.

Jamaica has doubled for many different countries. The country can be divided into several climatic zones.

Negril and Montego Bay on the west coast has a dry climate with miles of untouched, palm-lined, white sand beaches and turquoise waters.

The eastern side of Jamaica is more lush, with dense rainforests, beautiful waterfalls such as the Dunns River Falls, and gorgeous coastline such as Frenchman’s Cove Beach near Port Antonio.

The little-visited south side of Jamaica has a dryer climate where even cactus can be found. This south also offers dark sand beaches. Of note is Treasure Beach.

The north coast is lined with palm trees including the beach resort town of Ocho Rios. Dunn’s River Falls is a famous waterfall near Ocho Rios.

The Blue Mountains area has a cooler climate with coffee plantations and pine trees. Mandeville is known for its slow-paced colonial charm.

Jamaica is also known for its banana and sugarcane plantations. Rum distilleries of note include Appleton Estate, Hampden Estate, Innswood Clarendon, Long Pond, and Worthy Park Estate.

Jamaica Film Location Permits

A Film License is required for filming in Jamaica. The license costs $300 per shoot and allows you to film public locations all over the island. To apply for a Film License our local service producer / fixer will need to submit this fee along with the following information:

(i) A synopsis of your company, and
(ii)  Brief description of the what is being shot and TV or online outlet if applicable, and
(iii) Proof of insurance (not essential for granting of license)

Location specific permits are usually arranged on the parish level. Government departments can move slowly in Jamaica, so the general rule is to allow plenty of lead time for film location permits, especially if you require street closures or large setups. Filming in national parks and markets requires separate permits. Many locations allow free use if there is a tourism benefit. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Jamaica has a tropical climate with year-round conditions ideal for film shoots. When it does rain, showers are short, heavy and followed by sunshine. The rainiest weather occurs in May and June and later in October and November. Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur between July and November. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Bob Marley Week takes place in February. Jamaica Carnival, held in March / April is the biggest event of the year with street parades, calypso music and dancing.

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

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 in Jamaica are comparable to the rest of the Caribbean. The greatest cost is the possible need to bring in your key crew and equipment. Our Jamaican fixer / production manager will negotiate local 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 films shooting in Jamaica.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Jamaica has a small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Some key crew are available locally although visiting productions often bring in their preferred key crew.

Contact us if you are looking for a 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 for your shoot in Jamaica.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Jamaica offers mainly Afro-Caribbean looking talent. There is also a small pool of multicultural talent looks suitable for featured roles.

Jamaica Film Equipment

Equipment. Jamaica has a 3 ton truck with basic grip and lighting equipment. Some camera equipment is available locally including a RED with a small number of lenses. Equipment is based in Kingston. All other equipment including underwater housing, large cranes, or car kits needs to be brought in from abroad.

Jamaica is not an ATA carnet country but bringing in gear is easy. Our Jamaican service producer / fixer arranges a local customs broker. An imported equipment list is to be provided including information on the type of gear, serial numbers, and value of gear, along with corresponding flight information. It’s best to bring all gear in on the same flight to save on costs.

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. Jamaica has production designers and skilled construction crews. Props and wardrobe are limited beyond local looks.

Studios and backlots. Some basic facilities exist. No major studio facilities at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Visas and Work Permits. Crews who are entering Jamaica on Western passports can enter visa-free for periods of up to 180 days depending on the country. US travellers, see here for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Jamaica has an extensive network of roads. Most locations are less than a 3 hour drive from Kingston or Montego Bay. Kingston roads can get congested and many rural roads are in poor state of repair with limited signage. Several international airlines service flights to Jamaica.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Jamaica include:

Rockhouse Hotel
The Caves

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice. Our Jamaican producer / fixer organises an appropriate level of security for each shoot.

Down Time.

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 Jamaica, please see below:

Hire Jamaica Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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