Production services in Italy
At Swixer we provide local production services in Italy. We assist you with everything from booking a crew to find locations, logistics and more. Our locally based Fixers, Producers and Production Managers comes with local knowledge and can help manage and coordinate international shoots of any kind. We have experience in TV-series, feature films, commercials, branded content, documentaries, corporate as well as still shoots. We have staff all over Italy and can easily help you with production services, whether you want to film in Rome, Venice, Florence or in the countryside.
Fixers, Producers & Local Crew in Italy
Italians value a very high quality and the Swixer crew are both highly educated (licensed) and skilled. Depending on the scale of the production we are happy to provide staff who are trained to do several of the mentioned tasks, so they can cover more than one position on a project where the production allows. For example we provide fixers, producers and production managers, castings and sound operators in Italy.
Introduction to Italy
As one the Beauties of Europe Italy offers a vast variety of locations and an immense architectural variety. The 20 regions of Italy provides great diversity and each region has its own flavour, both environmental and with their own specific cultural heritage and food.
Several regions has their own specific Italian dialect like Sardinia, the region of Campania or Sicily, but everyone speaks the Florentine dialect which would be standard Italian. In the larger cities most people also speak English so travelling around is simple and smooth.
Filming in Italy is also a pleasant process since it is part of the European Union, so if you’re an EU citizen there’s no work permit needed, and bringing equipment and specific crew is effortless. For non-EU citizens each country has their own specific guidelines but the process is usually fluent and uncomplicated.
In the north we have the monumental Alps with its Swiss and Austrian influenced villages surrounded by forests of Larch and Spruce. Between Milan and Bologna in Emilia Romagna there’s the beautiful Po Valley with its vast lakes and rivers. Close to Milan in Lombardy we have the Lombard lakes as lake Garda, surrounded by evergreen cork oak and cypress, which is one of the most sought after retreats in Europe.
Further south around Florence are the iconic vineyards and Tuscan hills that has bore wine grapes for hundreds of years. Both Florence and Rome in the Lazio region bears the eternal history of the Roman Empire which is still all present in thousand year old monuments like the Colosseum and Castel Sant’Angelo, sided by Churches built throughout history like the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and the St. Peter’s Basilica. Countless of smaller cities throughout Italy has old-towns which all carry a remarkable heritage.
Close to Naples the Amalfi Coast extends with its luxury vacation destinations of Positano and Sorrento, and as we continue to travel south in both to the region of Calabria and Puglia, the rich nature dries out and a barren torrid steppe-like environment arises with its own rare flora. Here the architecture takes on another form with lower building bearing influences from a mixture of cultures, like Greek, Arabic & Byzantine to name a few. In Puglia also the famed Trulli buildings has their home in the peculiar Itria Valley.
Filming locations in Italy
The great variety in nature is mirrored by a similarly assortment of cities all with a mixture of different architectural styles that would fit most film productions. In the Veneto region Venice lies like an old museum over the water surrounding the island. Countless films has been shot here, from Once Upon a Time in America to Casino Royale. In vicinity, the island of Murano with its colourful houses, preserve one of the oldest glass blowing heritages in the world. Cinque Terre in Liguria is scattered with similar colourful architecture, where no cars are allowed to drive, keeping the sea breeze fresh and graceful.
Milano in Lombardy has one of the most vibrant fashion scenes in the world, and the city’s posh restaurants and trendy districts are suitable for shoots keeping up with the latest trends, with the backdrop of the city’s historical heritage.
In the outskirts of Rome more rough urban housing and tattered suburbs rise high, ideal for more modern Neo-Realist approaches. Recently the film They Call Me Jeeg, shot in the Roman suburbs, was awarded 8 David di Donatello awards, and in the Roman district of Ostia the film Don’t Be Bad was shot, which later premiered at the Venice Film festival.
In Naples the now iconic buildings of Scampia in Secondigliano where Gomorrah was filmed are prominent shooting locations. In Sicily the suburbs of Palermo and the inland of the island, where parts of The Godfather ware shot, are also sought after places for film productions.
Travelling to Italy
As the saying claims, All Roads Lead To Rome, this also applies in modern times. Rome is one of the most common travel destinations in Europe and is easily reachable by plane from most large airports in Europe and also internationally. Similarly most large cities both in the north like Milan or Florence, and southern cities like Naples and Palermo in Sicily are destinations which comfortably can be reached by air.
Italy also has a high-speed rail network which is well connected to its neighbouring countries and the rest of the well organised European train system.
Film Production in Italy
Italy has a long history of film production, from the Neo Realist movement post-WWII spearheaded by Visconti and De Santis, to the Italian Western of the 60s and 70s, and lately more modern films by directors as Sorrentino and Garrone.
In Rome the huge studios of Cinecittá extends in the city. With an area of 400,000 square metres it is the largest film studio in Europe. The availability and high professionalism of Italian crew makes the country an attractive place for International productions and co-productions. For example was the HBO series The Young Pope starring Jude Law almost entirely shot in Cinecittà, directed by Paolo Sorrentino.
Milan also has a flourishing advertising industry and is used as base for a vast amount of both local and international commercial’s productions. Synchronously the availability of both great post production and VFX companies has grown and expanded together with the advertising industry, making Italy an ideal place to both handle physical productions and their post.
Historically, together with Poland, Italy has an impressive Cinematographic heritage, with likes as Storaro and Rotunno in the forefront, making it an ideal place to source excellent Cinematographers.
Local Film Departments
Filming in Italy is a lovely and pleasant experience. Permits are not regulated by a a central body so they are handled by local authorities and managed separately for each project. Each case is different and authorities are glad to help out and costs are discussed in relation to size of crew and specific locations.
Permits for certain historical monuments has longer lead times though, and could cost more depending on its cultural importance, and the church manages their own properties in case filming is needed at distinct religious sites.
Throughout Italy there’s 20 regional film commissions which handles more local specific funds and incentives, and the Italian Film Commission, IFC, usually oversees larger productions. The Italian state encourages international productions, both large and small, and local authorities offers a 25% rebate for qualifying productions costs.
Italy truly has it all! From the historic streets and all the sights of Rome, to the culture of Florence and to the snow-capped Alps. In between you will find the Italian Riviera as well as vineyards and olive groves in the countryside in, for example, Tuscany.
For both small and large shoots all over Italy Swixer provides:
– Location scouts
– Location Managers
– Permits and logistic help
and much more. Read more about our services here!
Most permitting is done on the local level. Timing and costs vary greatly depending on the location and the size and scope of the project. In Italy’s cities, such as Milan, permits are required once you set up a tripod to film a scene. Taking Rome as an example, permits are required for each location you plan to film in. The process generally takes about 2 weeks. Exclusive filming of the Colosseum is possible outside of public viewing times but only a limited amount of equipment is permitted on location. Drone filming requires special permits and a licensed drone operator. But of course we will sort all of this out for you!
Italy is a Schengen Area member state. Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days.
The weather in Italy
Italy has a largely temperate climate with regional variations. In the northern regions you’ll find heavy snowfalls in winter and a warm climate with occasional rainfall in the summer. The central regions are humid whereas the south is dry and hot. The warmest and most reliable weather is from April to June.