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Vanuatu

Vanuatu 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 Vanuatu? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Vanuatu

For an introduction to shooting in Vanuatu 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.

Vanuatu Film Locations

Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean north of New Zealand and east of Australia. It is best known for its turquoise blue waters, palm-lined white sand beaches, tropical rainforest, and waterfalls. Vanuatu has nine active volcanoes. Agricultural film locations of note include copra, cocoa, and kava plantations.

The country has hosted production including Into the Inferno (2016), Celebrity Survivor (2006), and The Blue Lagoon (1980).

Film locations can be divided into the following provinces:

Shefa

Shefa province includes the islands of Efate, Epi, and the Shepherd Islands.

Efate island is home to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Port Vila has a relaxed South Pacific vibe with colourful markets and bustling streets. Baurfield International Airport, located 10km from Port Vila, is the main entry point to access the archipelago. Efate island is also known for its surf spots including Erakor Point, Pango and Breakas.

Malampa

Malampa province consists of three main islands: Malakula, Ambrym and Paama.

Malakula’s indigenous communities, known as Big Nambas and Small Nambas, still wear traditional garb and live in traditional housing.

Ambrym island is home to the active twin volcanoes of Mt Benbow and Mt Marum.

Lopevi is an uninhabited volcanic island that rises up from the ocean.

Penama

Penama province consists of three Islands: Pentecost, Ambae and Maewo.

Pentecost Island is best known for its world famous Nagol (Land Diving).

Sanma

Espiritu Santo is the main island in Sanma province. The island is best known for the crystal clear waters and powdery white sands of Champagne Bay, the location used to film the lagoon scenes in The Blue Lagoon (1980). Other film locations of note on Espiritu Santo include Nanda Blue Hole and Matevulu Blue Hole. Luganville is the second largest city in Vanuatu. Just off the island you can find impressive underwater photography locations including WWII wrecks such as the SS President Coolidge.

Other islands in Sanma province include Aese, Aore, Araki, Bokissa, Malo, Malokilikili, Mavea, Tangoa, Tutuba, Sakao, and Urelapa.

Tafea

Tanna Island is the main island in Tafea province. The island is home to Mount Yasur, one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes. Visiting productions travel here for its continuously reliable magma activity. Mount Yasur is also sacred to many of the locals who subscribe to the cargo cult based around the enigmatic man-god John Frum.

Other islands in Tafea province include Aniwa, Futuna, Erromango, and Aneityum.

Torba

Torba is made up of over 15 islands divided into the Torres and Banks Islands.

Of note, the island of Gaua has the beautiful Mount Garet volcano and Letas Lake.

Vanuatu Film Location Permits

Location permits are arranged on the local level. Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Vanuatu has a tropical climate. The northern islands tend to be hot and humid while the southern islands have a milder and drier climate. November to April is the wet season. May to October is the dry season and best time to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Nagol Land Diving is a local coming-of-age tradition held on Pentecost Island where local men jump off wooden towers from heights of up to 100ft with only tree vines tied to their feet. This takes place from April to June.

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

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.

Vanuatu Costs & Tax Incentives For Filming

Costs. Locations and talent costs are inexpensive but since no filming infrastructure exists on the island all crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Getting to and travelling between the islands can be expensive. Our Vanuatu based fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for feature films or commercials shooting in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Locals are a friendly bunch. Some basic crew is available locally in Vanuatu. Most key crew need to be brought in.

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 Vanuatu.

Talent day rates and buyouts are reasonable and negotiated on a personal level. Casting facilities are undeveloped in Vanuatu so street casting is required. There are very few non-Melanesian looks available locally, so those need to be brought in from abroad.

Vanuatu Film Equipment

Equipment. Best to bring in your camera, grip and lighting gear.

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.

Vanuatu Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is very minimal.

Studios and Backlots don’t exist.

Post Production. None available locally.

Vanuatu Visas & Work Permits For Filming

Only certain countries need visas and there is no need for work permits. Crews travelling on Western passports can enter visa-free for stays of up to 30 days. If you are planning to enter on a private sailing vessel see here for more information. Contact your local Vanuatu embassy / representative for more information.

Vanuatu Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads outside of Port Vila and Luganville are generally in a poor condition, and slower going. Domestic flights are the best way to travel between islands. Vanuatu is internationally serviced by several airlines.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Vanuatu include:

Breakas Beach Resort
Erakor Island Resort
Iririki Island Resort
Sunset Bungalows Resort

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.

Down Time. Try Kava.

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 Vanuatu, please see below:

Hire Vanuatu Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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