Venezuela in South America offers exotic natural landscapes and world-class technical facilities for film production
The Gateway to South America, Venezuela offers filmmakers a great number of crystal-water exotic beaches, where the sky mixes with the huge Caribbean Sea and golden sands to create perfect harmony with the radiant tropical sun.
It is a land of contrasts, where you can touch the sky while filming in the Andes and their over-15,000-foot-high peaks, walk through the plains, plough through sand dunes that end in the sea or return to the origins of this land by exploring the amazing Venezuelan tropical forest, where you can find the highest waterfall on the planet, Kerepakupai Vena or Angel Falls. In every corner of Venezuela, there is a mix of flavours, rhythm, joy, history, traditions and hospitality.
Venezuela is a treasure of nature, a veritable paradise for those who seek exotic locations and uncommonly beautiful natural settings. It is a place to make films, and that includes its well-developed film services industry, its world-class technology, talent and technical and professional personnel, all within the context a modern legal and regulatory framework.
In addition to its natural beauties, Venezuela is an ideal place for film and audio-visual productions because it offers foreign producers:
• Film studios, sound stages and locations with old style architecture perfect for period pieces
• World-class laboratories and post-production facilities
• Digital production and editing
• A first-rate technology platform with experienced sound technicians
• High quality and competitively priced computerised video animation capabilities
• Lighting systems for both studio and location shooting
• Insurance for audio-visual productions that covers equipment, negatives and policies against loss or damage of equipment, third party liability and loss or damage while in local transit
Venezuela’s geographical location, near the equator, gives it a moderate tropical climate, with temperature variations depending on altitude. Temperatures thus range from 24ºC to 27ºC, with 12 hours of sunlight year round. The climate is warm-to-hot all year, with averages somewhat lower in the dry season.
Lowest temperatures are found on the snowy Andean peaks, where temperatures drop below 0°C in the coldest months. The highest averages, topping 38°C, register in some lowland cities such as Maracaibo. Rainfall varies from a minimum of 400 mm a year in some coastal areas, to 4,000 mm a year in the Amazonian forest of Venezuela’s far south.
Venezuela is a privileged place for a film producer from various viewpoints: geography, talent, professional ability to production platforms. The advantages can be summed up in a few key concepts: availability, adaptability, versatility and competitiveness.
Venezuela has a well-developed services infrastructure, including excellent land and air transportation and a good hotel network, telephone and radio communications throughout the country and offices for assistance and general information.
It is worth remembering that Venezuela’s technical staff will be most beneficial to a foreign production. And in all cases, the presence of a local producer, fixer or representative is required.
The basic forms for requesting permission for audio-visual production are few and easily procured but they vary and become more complex according to the kind of production.
The most important permit for a foreign production is the General shooting permit granted by Centro Nacional Autónomo de Cinematografía – CNAC (National Film Board) – followed by permissions given by local or national authorities according to the site chosen for filming.
All persons coming to Venezuela to work on an audio-visual job need a visa which must be secured in his or her country of origin.
In general, given their advantages in handling local codes and their experience in the country, it is required to contract the production services of a Venezuelan company, a local producer or agent, to undertake the filming permission procedures.
The Venezuelan Film Commission is in a position to orient producers in everything concerning changes in steps required for permits, as well as new procedures in transactions and to direct producers new to Venezuela to the local producers with experience in the area.