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U.S.A – South Dakota

South Dakota 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 South Dakota? 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 South Dakota? See below for an introduction to South Dakota locations, permits, when to shoot, crew and equipment, tax incentives and film friendly hotels.

South Dakota Film Locations

South Dakota is best known for its vast prairies, pristine lakes and rivers, waterfalls, deep canyons, the Rocky Mountains, Black Hills, Badlands, and Mount Rushmore. South Dakota has plenty of cattle ranches, dairy farms, and buffalo herds. Crops of interest include wheat, barley, soybeans, corn and sunflower fields. The state also has a 1880’s Town Old Western Film Set.

Cold War film locations of note include South Dakota Air and Space Museum, and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.

South Dakota has hosted films including Dances With Wolves, Into the Wild, Wyatt Earp, and How the West Was Won.

South Dakota Film Location Permits

There are no state-wide permits. Permits are required for monuments, state parks, forests, and grasslands. Filming on Indian Reservations requires the permission of tribal authorities. Proof of insurance is required. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

South Dakota has a well defined four-season climate with spring in full bloom, hot summers, colorful fall leaves and white snowy winters. Low humidity and lack of pollutants makes for excellent visibility and crisp photography. June to July are the best months to film wheat and barley fields. July to August are the best months to film corn and sunflower fields.

Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo takes place in January / February in Rapid City. Oglala Lakota Nation Annual Pow Wow takes place in August in Pine Ridge. Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup takes place in September.

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

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.

South Dakota Tax Incentives For Filming

No tax incentives for filming in South Dakota at present.

South Dakota Film Crew & Talent

Crew. South Dakota has a very small pool of local crew. Best to bring in key crew with you.

Contact us if you are looking for a Sioux Falls, or Pierre 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 South Dakota.

Talent. South Dakota has a predominately Caucasian population. The state also a large population of Native Americans. The nine sovereign Native American tribes include the Cheyenne River Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Flandreau Santee Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Oglala Sioux, Rosebud Sioux, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Sioux, and Yankton Sioux.

South Dakota Film Equipment

Equipment. South Dakota has a very small pool of local camera, grip and lighting equipment. Best to bring in film equipment with you.

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.

South Dakota Film-Friendly Accommodation

Please contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Sioux Falls, Pierre and other areas of South Dakota.

Final Notes

Safety. South Dakota is a very safe and reliable place for foreign productions to shoot. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Try South Dakota’s official desert, Kuchen.

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 South Dakota, please see below:

Hire South Dakota Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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