Spain continues to be a popular filming destination thanks to its tax incentives, unique locations, significant cast of professionals and diverse infrastructure.
Filming in Spain
Having increased its filming incentive, Spain continues to be a popular filming destination thanks to its tax incentives, unique locations, significant cast of professionals and its diverse infrastructure with excellent connectivity.
Spain’s credentials include some of the biggest global productions of recent years. Filming infrastructure and high level support can be accessed throughout the mainland and its various islands. Following on from the success of the Game of Thrones and Star Wars shoots, high-end dramas including HBO’s Westworld, in Valencia’s science & technology park, Amazon’s Hanna, in the Almeria Desert and Netflix’s White Lines, set on the island of Ibiza, have all been recent visitors.
You can find mountains, deserts, forests, sand dunes, rivers and lakes, over 8000km of coastline in three different seas, 3000 beaches, nature parks, tropical areas, flatlands and plateaus. Spain’s historical and architectural heritage is unique and in exceptional condition. It features castles, medieval villas, windmills, ancient walls, mountain and coastal villages, churches and chapels, aqueducts and forts – in sharp contrast to its modern or futuristic cities, airports, ports and stations.
The varied locations, higher incentives and sunny weather in the Canary Islands has encouraged productions to visit the archipelago. The island of El Hierro, one of the smallest in the Canary Islands archipelago, was the winner of the 2019 EUFCN Location Award for hosting Movistar thriller TV series Hierro. The island boasts a craggy coastline and dramatic cliff faces.
Because of Spain’s position on the Iberian peninsula, its climate is affected by both the Atlantic Ocean on its western and northern sides and the Mediterranean Sea to its south and east. The Mediterranean climate enjoyed in most of the country provides over 3000 hours of sunshine a year, which on the Mediterranean coast and in the islands, equates to 200-220 days of brilliant light conditions for audiovisual shoots.
Mediterranean Spain has hot, dry summers and mild winters. There is virtually no rain between June and August except for the occasional thunderstorm. In particular, the Canary islands have long sunny days with mild temperatures ranging between 19ºC and 24ºC all year round due to the presence of the Trade Winds and the thermal inversion that they generate. There are very few cloud formations and rain is scarce.
Central Spain and the Southern Atlantic coast also have low rainfall, although there can be heavy snow in the Sierra Mountains in winter. Summers can be very hot. North and north-west Spain are more influenced by the Atlantic. They are the wettest, cloudiest and coolest parts of Spain.
Our production services Partner for Spain was founded in 2000. Initially focused on TV Commercials and still photos, they soon expanded to TV programs, feature films and content. Their latest move, in 2020, is an Artists representation department, with photographers and directors.
They operate in Spain and Portugal, complying with health and safety at work, insurance coverage, image rights and official permits, making sure our clients are safe. Their rules are:
– Transparency. No over-promising when budgeting, they do not lower the bid price or intentionally miss things that are needed. They prefer to lose a bid rather than putting their client in a difficult situation. From thefirst cost estimate, they can start adjusting together.
– Always “on the ball” when things change , giving fast info to the client, so they know how the changes will affect the budget and they can make an informed decision. That includes being honest when things go wrong, to find a solution together.
– Detailed and transparent breakdown of the budgets, so they can identify things that are not needed and cut them off. Producers need detailed breakdowns to understand what they can reduce to match their clients’ budgets, and get more chances to go ahead with the project.
– They are not black & white when following a brief, they try to think about alternatives to make the production smoother with a similar result, rather than just adding whatever is requested no matter the cost. They care about costs, the producers pay them for that.
– Flexibility. Not only big campaigns, even a content project is also important for them.
– Integrity. They adjust the final costs with all possible savings. Approving a budget does not mean that you will have to spend everything you confirmed at the beginning.
Tax Breaks & Incentives
Productions filmed on the mainland can now access up to 30-25% rebate, while shoots taking place in the Canary Islands can access 50-45% and 35% in the Navarre region. The 30% rebate applies to the first EUR1 million claimed dropping to 25% thereafter. Critically, the cap per production now sits at EUR10 million. The expenses will have to be at least $997,500 (€1m), and $199,500 (€200,000) in the case of animation and VFX projects.
There are territories within Spain that have different tax regimes for international shoots: Navarre has a 35% tax credit (source: navarrafilmindustry.com/en) with a $2.9m (€3m) cap, while the Canary Islands’ rebate has risen from 40% to 50% for the first $997,500 (€1m) and 45% (from a previous 40%) thereafter.
The cap for the total tax rebate on one shoot in the Canary Islands has also increased to $17.5m (€18m). Minimum expenditure remains at $997,500 (€1m) for projects with at least a total budget of $1.9m (€2m). For post-production and animation, the minimum expenditure that triggers the 50% tax rebate is $199,500 (€200,000).
A special fiscal regime allows audiovisual companies that establish a base on the Canary Islands to pay a reduced corporate income tax rate of 4% instead of the 25% applied in the rest of Spain (source: canaryislandsfilm.com).
Production houses: The Family (ITALY), Conspiraçao Filmes (BRAZIL), Deja Vu (DUBAI), Papaya (POLAND), Film Works (DUBAI), City Films (LEBANON), Film Pudding (DUBAI), E+P (GERMANY), DEPO Film (TURKEY), Academy Films (UK), Pacific Films (RUSSIA), Red Horse (CHINA), Dream Box (LEBANON), Steam Film (CHINA), Ginga Pictures (MIAMI), DUO Films (USA), Radio Films(AUSTRALIA / KOREA), Compass Production (USA / KOREA), Calltime Productions (AUSTRALIA / KOREA), Samsung Korea (Innocean Worldwide) (SOUTH KOREA), DDS Films (CHINA), Rabel Films (ISRAEL), Archers Mark (UK)
Directors: Inti Calfat (Norman Bates), Bellone & Connsoni, Daryl Goodrich, Mike Ho, Hanki Go, Marco Grandia, Martin Aamud, Joel Pront, Andrucha Waddington, Breno Silveira, Daniel Azancot, John Park, Jong Won Kim, “King” Jae Hyung, Silvio Helbig, Wong Wai Kee “Wicky”
From the first email we sent [them], we felt by their reply that they were different, they catch the idea instantly, they directly highlighted the challenge and got back to us very quickly, with a lot of professionalism and complete answers… our team never had so much fun being away from home!! They are great people, close to the heart, friendly and funny!!!
It was really a great experience and they are now for us our second home in Spain!!!
General Manager, Dreambox
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