Portugal offers a rich variety of locations a short drive from each other. Locations include beautiful beaches, picturesque villages, pastoral countryside, palaces, medieval castles, manor houses, contemporary homes, forests, lakes, rivers, mountains, olive groves, vineyards, wheat fields, sunflower fields, roads ideal for car commercials, spectacular lighthouses, and filming out at sea including big wave surfing. Portugal is known by filmmakers as having excellent light for filming.
Cost & Rebates
Portugal trades in the Euro. It is one of the least expensive service centres in Western Europe. Portugal typically comes in less expensive than Spain. Our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Portugal offers a cash rebate of 25-30% for qualifying productions. There are no tax incentives for commercial shoots.
When To Shoot
Portugal is one of Europe’s sunniest countries. Southern Portugal has a climate much like that of Southern California. Summer weather peaks from June to September with very good light for filming. Winter from November to March is rainy with some snow on the Serra da Estrela mountains. Spring through to fall (April to October) are the best months to film for weather.
Portugal is a member of the Schengen Area. US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Only certain countries need visas and there is no need for work permits. Contact your local Portuguese embassy / representative for more information.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Portugal has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Crews speak fluent English and are of a high international standard as you would expect anywhere in Western Europe. There is a considerable depth of good local crews and in most cases there is no need to bring key crew from abroad. If you do need to bring in crews Portugal’s close proximity to other major European production centres makes that easy. Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Portugal has a small but multicultural talent pool. All standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available. The Russian Arm, Flying Cam and high speed cameras can easily be brought in from larger nearby European production centres. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Portugal is an ATA carnet country.