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Jamaica Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, strand, ad agency onr 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

Jamaica is a Caribbean island nation. The north coast is known for its all-inclusive resorts and palm-line white sand beaches with turquoise waters. The east of the country is more lush, with dense rainforests, and beautiful waterfalls. The mountainous interior of the country has a cooler climate with coffee plantations and pine trees. The little-visited south side of Jamaica has a dryer climate where even cactus and dark sand beaches can be found.

Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae, dancehall, ska, rocksteady, mento, and, dub music.

Agricultural film locations include plantations of sugarcane, coffee, marijuana, bananas, oranges, coconuts, allspice, cacao, tobacco, vanilla, ginger, and ackee fruit. Fishing boats are available for filming. The country is known for its rum distilleries. Jamaica mines bauxite, gypsum, marble, limestone, iron ore, copper, lead, and zinc. Energy locations include oil-fired power plants, and hydroelectric dams.

Jamaica has long been a popular film destination having had hosted productions such as The Amazing Race 7 (2005), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Legends of the Fall (1994), Cool Runnings (1993), Cocktail (1988), and the Bond Films Live and Let Die (1973), and Dr. No (1962).

Film locations can be divided by the following counties:

Surrey County

Located in the east of the country, Surrey County includes the parishes of Kingston, Portland, Saint Andrew, and Saint Thomas.

Kingston is the capital and largest city. It offers bustling Caribbean streets, vibrant markets, old forts, and run down urban areas. Film locations of note include the Bob Marley Museum, Trench Town Culture Yard Museum, National Gallery of Jamaica, Bank of Jamaica building, Fort Charles, Devon House, Hope Botanical Gardens, Emancipation Park, Sabina Park Cricket Stadium, and Norman Manley International Airport.

Maroon towns include Moore Town, Charles Town, and Scott’s Hall.

Frenchman’s Cove Beach is a spectacular beach nestled between forested cliffs. Other beaches of note include Winnifred Beach, Boston Bay Beach, and San San Beach.

Waterfalls of note include Reach Falls, Somerset Falls, and Reggae Falls.

Blue Lagoon is located in Port Antonio.

Blue Mountain Peak is the country’s highest mountain.

Middlesex County

Located in the centre of the country, Middlesex County includes the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, Saint Ann, Saint Catherine, and Saint Mary.

Spanish Town is known for its British and Spanish colonial architecture.

Ocho Rios is a beach resort town. Legends of the Fall (1994), Cool Runnings (1993), and Cocktail (1988) filmed in Ocho Rios.

Beaches of note include Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Reggae Beach, James Bond Beach, Dunn’s River Falls Beach, Burwood Beach, Puerto Seco Beach, Hellshire Beach, Fort Clarence Beach, and Long Bay Beach.

Waterfalls of note include Dunn’s River Falls, Konoko Falls, Island Gully Falls, and Turtle River Falls.

Green Grotto Caves are a beautiful film location.

Mandeville is a town known for its slow-paced colonial charm.

Cornwall County

Located in the west of the country, Cornwall County includes the parishes of Hanover, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Trelawny, and Westmoreland.

Montego Bay is a major cruise ship port known for its beach resorts, golf courses, and coral reefs. Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach and Sandals Royal Caribbean are all-inclusive resorts. Beaches of note include Doctor’s Cave Beach, Walter Fletcher Beach, and Dead End Beach with planes landing overhead into Donald Sangster International Airport. Rose Hall is a historic Jamaican Georgian plantation house. Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is located near Montego Bay. The Amazing Race 7 (2005), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), Live and Let Die (1973), and Dr. No (1962) filmed in Montego Bay.

Negril, located on the west coast, has a dry climate with miles of untouched, palm-lined, white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Beaches of note include Seven Mile Beach, Half Moon Beach, Long Bay Beach Park, Booby Cay, and Bloody Bay. Negril Lighthouse and Kool Runnings Waterpark are located in Negril.

Blue Hole Mineral Spring is a beautiful film location.

Accompong Town is a Maroon town.

Waterfalls of note include YS Falls, and Mayfield Falls.

Floyd’s Pelican Bar is an offshore bar built on stilts, located near Salt Spring Junction.

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.

Note some locations, such as the Bob Marley Museum, require location releases.

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.

Events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the following:

• Accompong Maroon Festival takes place in St Elizabeth in January.
• Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival takes place in Montego Bay in January.
• Bob Marley Week takes place in Kingston in February.
• Reggae Summerfest takes place in Ocho Rios in February.
• Jamaica Kiteboard World Cup takes place in Port Antonio in March / April.
• Jamaica Carnival is the biggest event of the year with street parades, calypso music and dancing across the country, takes place in April.
• Montego Bay Yacht Club’s Easter Regatta in April.
• Little Ochi Seafood Carnival in July.
• Reggae Sumfest takes place in Montego Bay in July.
• The National Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala takes place in Kingston in August.
• Port Antonio International Fishing Tournament in October.

Jamaica is a predominately Christian country, so those holidays are observed. Rastafarianism originated in Jamaica and continues to be practised by some.

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.

Jamaican patois is the national language.

Most Jamaicans are of African descent. A small number of Asian, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern looks are also available. Jamaican Maroons, who live in the island’s mountainous interior, maintain a culture separate to the rest of the island.

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
Geejam

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. Chill. Beach Time. Reggae Music. Blue Mountain Coffee. Try some delicious local dishes such as jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, mannish water, chicken foot soup, steamed calallo, and gizzada.

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.