Filming in Chile
Hiring a fixer in Chile
Whenfilming in Chile, you have to keep in mind that the distance to locations means that you have to allocate a larger transportation budget. On the other hand, it is not an expensive country to be shooting in. The visas are relaxed, equipment is widely available, and the climate – diverse. Tax incentives are quite appealing, according to our fixer in Chile. Depending on the production, film permits can represent a big issue, so make sure to allow for enough lead time.
Visa for Chile
Filming in Chile as a US citizen, you do not need a visa for a tourist or business stay of 90 days or fewer (if traveling on a tourist passport). Upon arrival, you will receive a Tourist Card valid for up to 90 days, which you can extend for another 90 days by paying $100 US at the Chilean Immigration Office and which you must return upon departure. For passports from other countries, ask us for details.
Film Permits in Chile
The Chile Film Commission offers film permit information in Spanish. You generally do not need permits for hand-held b-roll. Shoots that set up a tripod or lay cable require film permits, however. Chile is divided into 346 comunas, each with its regulations. National parks and historic sites require additional permits. Drone filming is allowed outside national parks. Projects that involve exclusive use of public space or police support can require up to a month to get permits for.
Special equipment renting info
Chile has one of the most developed technology infrastructures in Latin America. It has all of the standard camera, lighting, and grip equipment as well as more specialized gear. That includes 2 Russian Arms, a Techno crane, hot heads, Motion Control, helicopters and flight heads, drones, quads with stabilizers, camera cars, and process trailers. For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Chile is an ATA carnet country. Our film fixer can help you bring in gear from Buenos Aires or Los Angeles.
Film permits in Chile are not the only complexities of filming here. You have some cultural peculiarities, too. For example, do not be offended by Chileans asking personal questions, calling you ‘gringo’, or being late. Avoid saying ‘no’, especially in business dealings. Do not hide your hands below the table throughout a meal, use cutlery and finish everything on your plate. Avoid politics and religion. Focus on families, children, history, and the arts. If you run out of topics, Easter Island is a popular one.
Weather when filming in Chile
Northern Chile is one of the world’s driest regions with temperatures ranging from 17 C in July to 28 C in March. Central Chile has a Mediterranean climate with warm, rainless summers. The winters are mild and moderately wet. Southern Chile tends to be wet all year, with very changeable weather. On the coast, winters are rarely very cold, but summers are cool and cloudy. Filming in Chile, you will discover precipitation is light in the northern mountains and so the snowline is high.
Tax rebate in Chile
As per our fixer in Chile, there is an incentive of 30% of spend for productions that exceed 2 million USD in expenses. Chile is less expensive than Brazil or Argentina. Santiago is the main production center. Filming outside of it, especially in Atacama or Patagonia can add significantly to the travel and transport budget. That said, our locally-based fixer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Conclusion on filming in Chile
Our fixer in Chile will ask you a lot of qualifying questions to plan for obtaining your film permits. If you work with them and contact us in due time, they will make sure the documentation is waiting for you upon arrival, filed to be close at hand during shootings.
Be mindful of hand gestures when in Chile. Do not make a fist and slap it against the other hand, or hold the hand as if holding a round object – both would be misinterpreted as impolite gestures. Beckoning is considered impolite, too. Do not hold your fist upright at the level of your head – it might be considered a communist sign. Choose our services and we will instruct you on local singularities.
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