Production service company AmericaCine helps us get to grips with the filmmaking opportunities of the land of poets
Chile is becoming one of the most desirable filmmaking destinations in the world. The country is host to globally renowned areas of natural beauty such as the Andean Peaks, Atacama Desert and the Patagonian glaciers. It’s one of the most geographically diverse and visually attractive countries on the planet and filmmakers are starting to give the nation serious attention.
But Chile’s most appealing qualities for filmmakers are not just the country’s scenic versatility. The Latin American powerhouse is an increasingly modernised state. It’s considered the safest country in Latin America due to its low level of corruption and is one of the easiest nations on the South American continent for film crews and brands to create work and do business. For example, Chile is one of only two Latin American countries that accepts the ATA Carne, a work permit initiative which allows foreign businesses to easily gain flexible working arrangements in the country.
We sat down with various members of the AmericaCine Team, a leading Chilean production service company, who are based in the nation’s capital Santiago, to discover more about the Chilean production industry and the future of commercial filmmaking in the nation.
LBB> What do you do at AmericaCine and where are you positioned in the Chilean filmmaking industry?
AC> AmericaCine facilitates and helps to manage shoots in Chile but we also offer our services in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama. We have state-of-the-art facilities and an exceptional crew throughout Latin America.
We’re big proponents of our PC2PC communication channel. This stands for production company to production company, rather than production company direct to brands or agencies.
Our aim is to optimise this channel and create and nurture relationships in this manner for all commercial shoots that we service south of the US border.
Ford - 'Caballeros', Santiago
LBB> How would you pitch Chile and the surrounding region to any production companies looking to shoot in the area? What are the main qualities of your region?
AC> Firstly, I would have to say our country’s location. Chile is host to such a range of beautifully diverse locations from snow to beaches, to mountainous regions and historic cities.
Secondly, Chile also enjoys the benefit of reverse seasons to the Northern Hemisphere. Our winter is from June to October and summer is from December to March. Therefore, the country can offer many hours of sun and natural light when the north is in the winter season and vice versa. if you need a snowy scene when it’s summer in LA or Europe, come to Chile.
Another benefit for filmmakers is that Chile is a Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA free zone. Film crews, talent and post-production costs are considerably lower than average international standards.
Also, for American filmmakers, travel to and from our main facilities is in many cases more affordable and competitive than travelling to Europe/South Africa.
Lech - 'Premium', Ritoque, Lagunillas, Santiago
LBB> If you had to give some advice to filmmakers who are potentially coming to Chile to shoot a campaign/film, what would you tell them?
AC> Once you come to Chile be prepared to never want to shoot anywhere else because once you visit here you may never go back.
The biggest misconception that many people have about shooting in Chile is that it is dangerous, the work culture can be unreliable, the equipment isn’t up to scratch and the talent pool is poor.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Pockets of Latin America are dangerous but that is true everywhere in the world. We have some of the safest and most beautiful locations in the world.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to clear up the stereotype of the Latin American worker who are known for their ‘manana manana’ or ‘tomorrow, tomorrow’ attitude. We don’t work like that. We respect our mutual timelines, scheduling commitments and budgets!
In general, the AC core team has spent the majority of our working lives producing with North American, UK and European clients, so we are very well aware of the work ethic that is expected.
Our team is super talented and between us we speak fluent Spanish, Portuguese and English.
Nissan - 'Meet the Accomplice', Chuquicamata, El Salvador, and Santiago
LBB> Tell us about the climate and the best or worst times to shoot in Chile?
AC> There is never a best or worst time to shoot in Chile - it all depends on what look you are going for as we have everything available to production companies.
LBB> What specific work permits / visas are required to shoot in Chile?
AC> The government-run film Commission in Chile, the FCCH, which was created to promote Chile as a filmmaking destination and assists filmmakers by helping them to get location and facility permits.
In order to make things more simple, production companies such enlist a local production company such as us at AmericaCine and we can help you to arrange filming permits for different shoots.
Our services are very helpful when you need to shoot at official government buildings or protected national areas.
Chile superimposed on a map of Europe and Africa - demonstrating how the country has such a diverse range of climates.
LBB> What is the infrastructure in Chile like for supporting large productions?
AC> We’ve produced TV commercials for some renowned brands for products including cars, clothing, soft drinks and spirits, technology, foodstuffs and luxury accessories.
Chile is really loved by the automobile industry. At AmericaCine we don’t just manage car commercials, but there are some great brands from well-known international production companies who consistently choose to shoot in Chile because of the amazing diverse terrain available including Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.
Our Portfolio also includes LATAM Airlines, Coca-Cola, Purina, KitKat, Always Gatorade, Palmolive and Bridgestone.
Dodge Ram - 'Believe', Santiago
LBB> Where would you say is the biggest competitor to Chile in the LATAM region?
AC> At the moment, Colombia is also another big Latin American-based destination for commercials and long content productions, for example Netflix’s Narcos series was filmed there, so it’s definitely becoming a competitor in our region.
LBB> Do you have any other recommendations for tourists?
AC> If you love your wine, Chile has some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère in the world.
Coca-Cola - 'Pool Boy', Santiago