Filming in Costa Rica
Hiring a fixer in Costa Rica
If you are looking to showcase Costa Rica to the world, you should read the Ministry of Tourism website, Services for Press section. Our journalist fixer in Costa Rica can assist you with your current affairs piece or reporting work here. They have access to the local community and can easily arrange interviews for you. No matter what kind of video you are looking to shoot, please read on. We have prepared some useful information for you about filming in Costa Rica.
Visa for Costa Rica
A visa is not required for most nationalities, including American citizens. To double-check, enter your departure country and the country that issued your passport. When filming in Costa Rica, please be mindful of areas frequented by tourists, including national parks as theft and pickpocketing are quite common. Do not leave valuables on the beach, in an unattended vehicle, or unlocked room. Avoid isolated areas when on foot, especially after dark. Maintain situational awareness and secure your valuables out of sight.
Film Permits in Costa Rica
As per our fixer in Costa Rica, obtaining your film permits here is a very straightforward process. Shutting down a street or filming at the airport can usually be organized within a week. Special permits are required for filming in national parks, and each nature reserve needs to be permitted separately. Costs and processing periods depend on the scope and nature of the shoot. A small production might take a day to permit whereas a large production might take up to a month.
Special equipment renting info
All the standard camera, lighting, and grip equipment are available locally in Costa Rica. You can find most of it in San José. More sophisticated equipment such as Steadicams, Tyler mounts, Panavision cameras, Arri master lenses, and underwater housing needs to be brought in from abroad. Our film fixer considers that the best way to bring equipment is as part of your luggage. Another option is to declare the equipment as a temporary import, but this takes time, paperwork, and a 10,000 USD deposit.
Speaking offilm permits in Costa Rica, here are some other rules to follow here. Greet everyone in the room with a kiss on the cheek and say goodbye to everyone when leaving. Smile and say hello or hola, even to people in the street. Do not bathe nude at the beach and limit the use of beachwear to the sand. Do not take a taxi without meters unless you negotiate the fare and do not drink, eat or smell what the taxi driver offers.
Weather when filming in Costa Rica
The central valley has an average temperature of 22C with a spring-like climate all year. The temperature and humidity are much higher in the coastal areas. The Pacific north-west can be extremely hot and dry. The rainy season starts in May and ends in November. The dry season is from December to May, though temperature differences between the two, associated with summer and winter, are very small.Filming in Costa Rica, you will enjoy 12 hours of daylight (plus or minus 30 minutes).
Tax rebate in Costa Rica
At present, there are no tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials shooting in Costa Rica. It is also one of the more expensive countries in Latin America. That said, it is still a cost-efficient option compared to other countries that offer a similar level of film infrastructure, pristine locations, and safe conditions. Our fixer in Costa Rica will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Conclusion on filming in Costa Rica
Besides having your film permits at the ready, your fixer in Costa Rica will also introduce you to local peculiarities. For example, trade your bacon and eggs for gallo pinto. The term translates to spotted rooster, but it refers to a delicious dish made of rice and black beans, traditionally served with breakfast. If you have it with your coworkers, you will notice that they will disappear for a few minutes after eating. No, they are not gossiping about you—they are brushing their teeth. You will see people doing this after every meal in the mall, diners, etc.
If you are looking for a video production company to help you obtain results and get accustomed to the local culture, contact Costa Rica Fixers!
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