• Dmitry Trakovsky

Iceland is Re-opening for Video Production. It's a Great Opportunity for Companies Looking to Shoot

Updated: May 22



Good news for agencies, brands, and storytellers around the world: Iceland is cautiously opening back up to international film productions, which means that new and shelved projects can begin shooting in the near future.


In this post, we'll cover the reasons Iceland is reopening and what procedures to expect if you plan to work there. We'll also list why Iceland might be a better choice than the alternatives.


Finally, we'll let you know the ways in which Filmkraft can help with your Icelandic shoot. Filmkraft is quite possibly the only US video agency with a team on the ground in the island nation, and we're setting up to help US companies safely begin production there as quickly as possible.




Iceland has Covid-19 Under Control



We're not epidemiologists, but it seems that Iceland did a pretty good job in battling the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the country has recorded just three confirmed cases in May and only one over the past week!


This success is likely due to a combination of factors: Iceland's island geography, its testing capacity, contact tracing measures. In any case, it's safe to assume that Covid-19 is under control in the country now and will likely remain so through Summer 2020 and beyond. This predictability provides a unique opportunity for companies and studios looking to shoot.




New Rules for Professionals Starting on May 15



Yesterday, Film in Iceland sent out a press release detailing new directives from the Icelandic government that would begin opening the country back up to various professional activities, including international video productions. You can find the full text here, but in a nutshell the reopening will look something like this:



Modified Quarantine Procedures Begin May 15


Starting May 15, filmmakers arriving in Iceland will be eligible for a modified quarantine procedure. This will include the opportunity to request an exemption from home quarantine as long as you comply with certain requirements and enact specific safety measures on shoots.



The Next Phase: A Testing Option at the Airport


The press release goes on to say that no later than June 15, 2020 the country will further ease restrictions. At that point, travelers will be able to avoid quarantine by proving that they are virus-free (by showing a recent diagnostic or antibody test, we presume).

If traveling professionals are not able to do so, Iceland will offer a choice between a quarantine and a Covid-19 test upon arrival. We've heard some indications that the government is working on rapid tests that may provide results in as little as 15 minutes.



A Big Opportunity for US Companies


What all of this means is that Iceland might become one of the best options for US video productions in the near future. The island is safe, and precautionary measures are becoming more and more convenient. In the words of Iceland's Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation, Mrs.  Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, "I am happy that in spite of COVID-19 we have managed, in cooperation with our health authorities, to provide a rare opportunity for international film-crews to continue work, while of course respecting all the precautions and measures we have put in place in order to make this possible.“







Additional Reasons to Shoot in Iceland



There several reasons not related to Coronavirus that make shooting in Iceland advantageous:


1. Bang for your buck - The Icelandic Krona has fallen by about 15% compared to the dollar since March 2020. That means your production budget can go a lot further there than it could even two months ago.


2. Skilled crew - Iceland has all the film talent you'll ever need. Numerous big productions have been shot there in past years ("Game of Thrones", "Prometheus", and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" to name a few). The country has also produced countless award-winning fiction films on its own, and is packed with talented film professionals. Filmkraft has an extensive network in the country, but more on that later... ;)


3. Incentives - The country offers generous incentives to film productions. These have been in place for almost 20 years, and they work.


4. 12-hour shoot days - The length of a shoot day in Iceland is 12 hours. By comparison, some European countries limit time on set to 10 or even 8 hours.


5. Natural beauty - Iceland offers unrivaled exterior locations and lots and lots of open space.


6. It's close - Iceland is closer than some other countries that are opening up for video production... 6 hours from NYC compared to 18 to New Zealand!





Filmkraft is on the Ground in Iceland and Ready to Shoot



We'd bet that we're one of the only US-based video agencies with a team in Iceland that's ready to shoot right away!


Our Head of Production is in Reykjavik laying the groundwork to accommodate multiple productions, and we've partnered with Sensor, an Icelandic production company helmed by director Erlendur Sveinsson. Here's an eerie post-apocalyptic music video they created for Sony Music last month:



We also have an extensive network of experienced Icelandic producers, crew, and talent who are ready to begin production.


So, whether you're looking to relocate your production to Iceland or would like to have us shoot something for you soup to nuts, Filmkraft is ready to help.




How can Filmkraft Help with your Icelandic Video Production?



We can Shoot your Commercial or Show from Start to Finish


As a video production company with crew on the ground in Iceland, we're ready to safely execute your physical shoot right now, in May 2020. You can guide the project remotely from the United States or, if necessary, travel to Iceland to work together with the Filmkraft team.


BTS on the set of Kanarí, by Erlendur Sveinsson

We'll be your Icelandic Fixer


For productions that need to bring cast and crew to the country, we can also be your Icelandic liaison. We'll help you understand the new Covid-19 video production guidelines and apply for permits, and we'll hook you up with all of the crew and resources you need for your shoot.



We can also Help you Adapt your Script


As a creative agency with an understanding of Icelandic locations, resources, etc., Filmkraft can help you adapt your concept or screenplay for shooting in Iceland.





A Safe and Reliable Shooting Location


In conclusion, whether you're shooting a series, feature, or commercial, Iceland is emerging as an optimal production option for the Covid-19 era. This is great news for companies and professionals that are eager to safely get back to work and begin telling stories again.



Contact iceland@filmkraft.tv or call +1 (909) 477 0248 for more information on shooting in Iceland with Filmkraft.

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