Puerto Rico 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 Puerto Rico? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Puerto Rico
For an introduction to shooting in Puerto Rico 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.
Puerto Rico Film Locations
Puerto Rico is known for its colonial architecture, old forts, hotels and resorts, golf courses, white sand beaches and turquoise waters, reefs, lagoons, waterfalls, tropical rainforest, mountains, rivers, lakes, and caves.
Agricultural film locations include plantations of rice, sugarcane, coffee, and corn. Industrial locations include manufacturing of chemicals, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. Puerto Rico is also known for its rum distilleries.
Puerto Rico has hosted productions such as Force of Nature (2020), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Act of Valor (2012), Homeland (2011-2020), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Fast & Furious 5 (2011), Che (2008), Contact (1997), GoldenEye (1995), Species (1995), and Lord of the Flies (1963).
Film locations can be divided into the following municipalities: Adjuntas, Aguada, Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Añasco, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Cabo Rojo, Caguas, Camuy, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cataño, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Culebra, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guánica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Hatillo, Hormigueros, Humacao, Isabela, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Juncos, Lajas, Lares, Las Marías, Las Piedras, Loíza, Luquillo, Manatí, Maricao, Maunabo, Mayagüez, Moca, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Quebradillas, Rincón, Río Grande, Sabana Grande, Salinas, San Germán, San Lorenzo, San Juan, San Sebastián, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa, and Yauco.
San Juan is the capital, the largest city, and the main production service centre where most crew and equipment are based. Film locations of note include Old San Juan historic district, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, Fort San Juan de la Cruz, Fortín de San Gerónimo de Boquerón, La Fortaleza, Cuartel de Ballajá, San Juan Bautista Cathedral, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Museo de las Américas, Plaza Las Deliciasm Plaza de Armas, Plaza Colón, Puerto Rico Pro State Capitol, University of Puerto Rico, and Cementerio Santa María Magdalena. Beaches inside the city include Playa Condado, Playa El Escambrón, Ocean Park Beach, Playa Peña, and Isla Verde Beach.
Heading out of San Juan there are several interesting film locations:
Rincón’s is known for its surf beaches.
Puerto Rico beaches of note include Playa Caracas, Flamenco Beach, Playa Borinquen, Luquillo Beach, Sucia Beach, Boqueron Beach, Sun Bay Beach, Tortuga Beach, Playa Buyé, Zoni Beach, Peña Blanca Beach, Playa La Chiva, and Black Sand Beach.
Tropical islands of note include Isla Palomino, Cayo Icacos, Caja de Muertos, Isla Mona, Culebrita, and Gilligan’s Island.
Other nature locations include El Yunque National Forest, La Marquesa Forest Park, Lago Dos Bocas, Rio Camuy Caves, and Cueva del Indio.
The Intercontinental Hotel of Ponce is an abandoned 1960’s-era hotel.
Lighthouses of note include Faro Punta Higüeras, Faro de Punta Tuna, Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo, and Faro Las Cabezas De San Juan.
Rum distilleries include Casa Bacardi and Ron del Barrilito.
Arecibo observatory radio telescope featured in the films Contact (1997), GoldenEye (1995), and Species (1995). Sadly, the location no longer exists.
Puerto Rico Film Location Permits
Film-friendly government agencies. City-wide public location permits are possible for guerrilla-style exterior shoots. Allow at least 2 weeks for permitting. Proof of insurance is required. Allow longer lead time for more complicated shoots. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Puerto Rico has a tropical climate with warm, sunny days throughout the year. The dry season runs from November to April. This is the best time to film for weather. The hot, rainy season runs from May to October with storms and the possibility of hurricanes. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian in January.
• Carnival in February.
• La Vuelta Cycling Tour takes place in February.
• Saborea Culinary Festival in April.
Puerto Rico is a predominately Christian country, so those holidays are observed.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Puerto Rico.
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. Puerto Rico is one of the more established and expensive film centres in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico trades in the USD. Our Puerto Rican fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. Puerto Rico offers qualifying productions a tax credit of up to 40% of local spend, 20% of nonresident above-the-line spend, and 25% infrastructure tax credit.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Puerto Rico has a small local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are union (IATSE, DGA and SAG). Crews are of a high standard and speak fluent English. Puerto Rico’s close proximity to the US allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.
Contact us if you are looking for a San Juan 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 for your shoot in Puerto Rico.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable.
Spanish and English are the official languages.
Most Puerto Ricans are caucasian. There is also an African minority. All other talent looks are best cast abroad.
Fringe and Premiums. Union rules apply.
Puerto Rico Film Equipment
Equipment. Puerto Rico has a variety of grip, lighting and camera equipment available locally including Alexa, Phantom, RED, 35mm, and various mounts. More specialized equipment can be easily brought in from major US production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Puerto Rico is an ATA carnet country.
Communication. Puerto Rico has some of the better internet connectivity in the Caribbean.
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 is of a good standard but on the expensive side.
Studios and backlots. None exist at present.
Post Production. Best to post abroad.
Visas & Work Permits
Puerto Rico follows United States visa policy. Visitors travelling on most Western passports can enter the US for stays of up to 90 days via the Visa Waiver Program. A valid ESTA is required prior to travel. Canadians can enter visa-free. Working media must enter under a Media Visa. Contact your local US embassy or representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are up to international standards. Please note parking in San Juan is limited so small productions should consider a driver standing by. Several international airlines service flights to Puerto Rico.
Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Puerto Rico include:
Please contact us for corporate rates.
For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. Puerto Rico is a very safe and reliable filming destination.
Down Time. Go surf.
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 Puerto Rico, please see below:
Hire Puerto Rico Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Puerto Rico, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Puerto Rico, 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.