Switzerland 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 Switzerland? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Switzerland
For an introduction to shooting in Switzerland see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, fringes, premiums, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Switzerland Film Locations
Switzerland is known for its snow-capped mountains, year-round glaciers, ski resorts, wooden chalets, winding mountain roads, picturesque lakes, green meadows, vineyards, deep forests, rushing rivers, castles, charming villages, and luxurious houses.
Geneva and Zurich are the main production centres.
Examples of films shot in Switzerland include Syriana, Chocolat, Touching the Void, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Regions of interest to visiting productions include:
Includes the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Glarus, Schaffhausen, and Graubünden.
The Julier Tower is a theatre located in the heart of the Alps.
Graubünden is famous for its winding mountain roads with stunning vistas such as San Bernardino Pass and Oberalp Pass. The train over the Landwasser Viaduct and Brusio Spiral Viaduct are also magnificent film locations.
St. Moritz is one of the world’s best known ski resorts. The White Turf is an exclusive horse racing event that takes place on the snow every February.
Davos hosts the World Economic Forum.
Includes the canton of Zürich.
Famous as Switzerland’s chocolate making capital, Zürich is also Switzerland’s largest city. Located on Lake Zurich, locations of note include the picturesque Altstadt, Limmatquai, and Rathaus. The city is a global center for banking and finance.
Rhine Falls are located in this region.
Includes the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Lucerne, and Zug.
Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe.
Stoosbahn funicular railway.
Includes the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, and Aargau.
Includes the cantons of Bern, Solothurn, Fribourg, Neuchatel, and Jura.
Bern is Switzerland’s defacto capital. Locations of note include Altstadt, Neo-Renaissance Bundeshaus, Französische Kirche, and the Zytglogge.
The Eiger is a famous Alpine peak in this region. The summit of the Schilthorn has a revolving restaurant.
The Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory and Jungfrau Railway are impressive locations.
The Trümmelbach Falls are easily accessible subterranean waterfalls.
Gruyères is the cheese capital of Switzerland.
Includes the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, and Valais.
Geneva is the headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross. It is a major global centre for banking in finance. The city is also famous for clock as watch making.
Situated on a tiny island on Lake Geneva, Château Chillon is the most beautiful castle in Switzerland.
The spectacular Lavaux vineyards are set against a mountain and lake backdrop.
The Blue Lake in Arolla is a beautiful glacial mountain lake.
The Matterhorn the world’s most photographed mountain.
The Aletsch glacier is the largest in the Alps at 23 km long. For film crews, it is one of the more easy to access glaciers in the world.
Hotel Belvédère is a picture perfect mountain location that sits on a hairpin turn of Furka Pass.
CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, is located on the French border.
Includes the canton of Ticino.
Ticino is an Italian-speaking region in southern Switzerland with palm-lined lakes and sharp Alpine peaks. Locations of note include Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Locarno, and the castles of Bellinzona.
Switzerland Film Location Permits
Switzerland is a very film-friendly country. Permits can be obtained to shoot in most public places quickly and easily. Privately owned locations are often very accommodating. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Winters (December to March) are cold and snowy. Spring (April to May) has mountain flowers in full bloom. Summers (June to August) are warm, with many blue sky days. Fall (September / October) sees leaves changing colour. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Switzerland hosts hundreds of festivals and events throughout the year including the Lucerne Festival, Art Basel, and Montreux Jazz Festival. Fête des Vignerons is a winegrower’s festival that takes place every 25 years.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Switzerland.
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. Switzerland is one of the more expensive places to shoot in the world, particularly for large, complicated shoots. Switzerland trades in the Swiss Franc. Our Swiss service producer / fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. Entitled the Switzerland Film Investment Refund (PICS), the scheme allows co-productions to claim back between 20% and 40% on all eligible local expenditures. The fund has a per-project cap and minimum local spend requirement. There is no service tax levied on foreign companies purchasing film making services in Switzerland. Coproduction agreements exist with some countries.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Switzerland has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Crews are of a very high technical and professional standard. All key crews speak fluent English and production staff are multilingual. Switzerland’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.
Contact us if you are looking for a Geneva, Zurich or Bern 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 Switzerland.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Most local talent is Swiss, French, German and Italian. Switzerland also offers a small pool of multicultural talent, enough for background roles. Switzerland is also home to many celebrities, which is one of the main reasons productions shoot in Switzerland.
Fringes. Swiss law requires that crews be on the service company’s payroll. Quotes are all inclusive and there are no hidden extras.
Premiums. The standard length shooting day is 9 hours. Overtime hours are negotiated on a per project basis.
Switzerland Film Equipment
Equipment. Switzerland has all the standard camera, lighting and grip equipment you would expect from a sophisticated western filming centre. Its close proximity to other European production centres makes sourcing additional equipment an easy process. For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Switzerland is an ATA carnet country.
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. The standard of construction is high but it is expensive. Some good local art department is available and the rest can be easily brought in from abroad.
Studios. Switzerland offers several high quality facilities.
Post Production. Switzerland has all of the standard post facilities such as sound design, editing, and a film lab.
Visas & Work Permits
Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it is a Schengen Area member country. US crews do not require visas or work permits to enter and film in Switzerland for stays of up to 90 days.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are in an excellent condition including many tunnels that make travelling the mountainous landscape quick and easy. Public transport is extensive and highly reliable. Switzerland is also well serviced by several international and budget airlines.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Switzerland. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. Switzerland is a very safe and reliable filming centre. Switzerland has remained a neutral country for almost two-hundred years. See here for up to date travel advice.
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 Switzerland, please see below:
Hire Switzerland Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Switzerland, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Switzerland, 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.