Ukraine 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 Ukraine? 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 Ukraine? See below for an introduction to Ukraine locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.
Ukraine Film Locations
Located at the crossroads of Russia and Europe, Ukraine offers a wealth of locations ranging from Futuristic Soviet architecture to onion-domed churches, from heavy industry to hundreds of castles and palaces, from endless wheat fields to snow covered mountains.
The capital Kiev is Ukraine’s main film production centre as well as the main entry point by air. Kiev offers modern architecture such as the Institute for Nuclear Research, Soviet style apartment blocks, abandoned factories, production friendly metro stations and airport, bridges, a huge interior bus parking lot, several new football stadiums, city parks, wide boulevards, museums and Orthodox architecture. Of particular interest is the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, a historic Orthodox Christian monastery, and the Golden Gate of Kiev, built in the 10th century.
A couple of hours drive from Kiev you can find the deserted Chernobyl city of Pripyat. The Soviet-era Duga Radar Array (Russian Woodpecker) is also within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Strategic Missile Forces Base is a Cold War era museum.
The Dnipropetrovsk State Circus building is an interesting Soviet-era location.
In the west of Ukraine you can find Lviv, a city that doubles well for Prague. Market Square is full of beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo buildings. Lviv also has a beautiful Art Nouveau railway station available for film shoots. Lviv enjoys close proximity to the Carpathian mountains which are known for their deep forests, traditional Carpathian wooden churches as well as several ski resorts. Outside of Lviv, you can also find the famed Tunnel of Love, Pidhirtsi Castle, and Khotyn Fortress.
Heading south, the Black Sea city of Odessa is best known for the Potemkin Stairway, Odessa Opera House and a film friendly container port.
In terms of agricultural looks available for filming, Ukraine has many apiaries, wheat and sunflower fields.
Ukraine has hosted many TV commercial productions and films such as Transporter 3, House of Flying Daggers and the classic Battleship Potemkin.
Ukraine Film Location Permits
With the right approach, virtually any location is possible. Ultimately it comes down to money. Small shoots that do not require exclusive use of public property do not require permits. This includes shooting from a tripod. More complicated shoots such as those that need to control street traffic, metro stations or restricted zones require at least a week to permit. It’s possible to permit several location without cost, so that productions have options right up to the final days before the shoot. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Ukraine has a four-season climate. Summers run from May to September and are hot and dry. Winters run from November to March and are bitterly cold and snow covered. The southern coast has more of a Mediterranean climate. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Lviv City Day, Kiev Day, and Victory Day all take place in May.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Ukraine.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. Ukraine is one of the more (if not the most) cost competitive film production centres in Europe. It’s particularly worth heading to Ukraine for studio builds and locations that double for both Western European looks and Russian looks. Our Ukrainian service producer / fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. Ukraine offers a cash rebate of up to 25% for qualifying productions. This financial incentive is for feature films, television series, as well as music videos and commercials.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Ukraine has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. There are some very experienced camera, lighting, grip and art department crews but less in special effects and table top. Most heads of department speak fluent English. Crews are non-union. Ukraine’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 Kiev 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 Ukraine.
Talent. Productions that are talent heavy can make significant savings shooting in Ukraine. Talent is non-union. Day rates charged are generally very flexible to the production’s budget. Most models and actors do not charge buyouts. With top models and celebrities being the obvious exception, the average price for a main part (key actor) varies from 250-600EUROS per shoot day, depending on how recognized the talent is. Featured extras and background actors usually charge no more than 100-200EUROS per shoot day, depending on the script requirements. An extra costs 15-25EUROS per shoot day, depending on the number of hours on set.
Ukraine offers mainly Slavic looking talent with Ukrainians and Russians being the main ethnic groups. There are also some minorities consisting primarily of immigrants from former Soviet states as well as countries formerly aligned with the Soviet Union but their small numbers mean that they are best suited for background roles. If your shoot requires a key actor or model of non-Caucasian appearance, we recommend you bring them in from abroad.
Ukraine Film Equipment
All the standard film equipment (cameras, dollies, cranes, lenses) is available. Most camera and lighting equipment is supplied by Arri. Special systems such as Motion Control or Time-Slice need to be brought in from abroad. Ukraine is an ATA carnet member country.
Illuminator is the official Panavision representative in Ukraine and has camera, lighting and grip equipment.
Filmotechnic and Operatech have camera and high-end grip equipment including the Russian Arm, which was actually invented in the Ukraine.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction. Ukraine has very skilled art department crews experienced in building sets of enormous size and complexity including numerous miniatures.
Studios. There are three basic ex-Soviet era film studios. Dovzhenko Studio has one of the largest sound stages in Ukraine. There are also several more recently built studio complexes in Kiev and Odessa.
Post Production. Ukraine has a few good post production facilities including Kiev Post Production, Post Modern and Cinnamon.
Visas & Work Permits
Visiting crews travelling on most western passports can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Work permits are not required to film in Ukraine.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are of a good standard. Rural roads are slower going with many in disrepair. Ukraine is a large country so travel between major cities is best done by air. Several international airlines service flights to Ukraine.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Kiev and other parts of Ukraine. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:
Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Visit the beautiful, less explored city of Lviv.
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 Ukraine, please see below:
Hire Ukraine Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Ukraine, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Ukraine, 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.