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Location Spotlight: Spain



NM productions tell us about Spain’s “flexible and personable” way of doing things and all the options it opens up

Location Spotlight: Spain

NM productions’ location manager James Goldsmith tells LBB about the only place in the world where you can ski in the morning and beach it in the afternoon.

LBB> How would you pitch Spain to any production companies looking to shoot in your region?

James> Spain - what hasn’t it got! Sandy beaches, cliffs, the highest sealed roads in Europe, mountains, deserts, forests, modern architecture, period architecture, sun, sun and more sun. You name it, Spain’s got it.

LBB> What are the main qualities of this region?

James> It’s pretty film friendly in most regions of Spain. If there is an area you are interested in, chances are you can use it. Sometimes it means an extra bit of paperwork here and there or a friendly conversation with a farmer or landowner to get it done. This flexible and
personable way of doing things opens up a plethora of location options.

LBB> What would you say are the top locations in Spain? What is available - from mountains, to beaches, to rocky shore, to architecture, etc. 

James> Automotive clients love the roads through the mountains, as well as the cities. Fashion brands love the beaches, and the sun. Lifestyle brands have access to local talent and a diverse selection of backgrounds including anything from private villas to the more vast and beautiful rolling countryside.

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LBB> What location would you say is most popular?

James> It shifts over time and also throughout the year, as the seasons change. The desert in Almeria was used to film Westerns and is still a popular region for motion pictures. Star Wars was filmed in Seville, along with Game of Thrones. Automotive creatives love the
mountains, and cities with modern architecture. Valencia has long been a popular destination for this very reason.

LBB> Which location would you describe as the biggest attribute to local production?

James> It’s impossible to say! The Andalucia region in the south is used all the time. Popular Northern cities are Barcelona and Valencia, as well as others such as San Sebastian and Bilbao. It’s not the same in countries like the UK where productions seem to be much more localised around London and Manchester.

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LBB> Explain the climate and the best/worst times to shoot in Spain?

James> Again, it’s diverse. The South is a lot drier than most areas, and definitely suits autumn, winter and spring. Some people think it is too hot in the Summer! Further North, although it never gets very cold, it can be rather wet in the Winter, especially along the West coast, so shooting here would suit the summer months more. There is usually a region that comes into its own throughout the seasonal year creating year round shooting opportunities for the country.

LBB> How is the infrastructure in Spain for supporting large productions? Access to high-level cameras and kit, casting, crews, studios etc.

James> Most things are available there, sometimes specialised equipment needs to be brought in, but generally they have the majority of the kit and crew and needed to support large scale productions on the ground. Despite Brexit, it’s still very straightforward to bring things in and out of the country, provided you have your carnets in place, which for seasoned production teams is no problem at all.

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LBB> What have been your biggest/most successful productions in Spain to date? 

James> Spain is one of my favourite places in the world to shoot. This may be down to my love of the country or because 99.9% of the shoots we’ve done have been so enjoyable. Working on productions for Mazda, Carling, Jaguar, BMW, Cardhu, Toyota, to name a few. It would be hard to choose which was the most successful as they were all great in their own way! 

LBB> As an outsider, what would you say are the biggest DOs and DON’Ts in the region?

James> Spain is a pretty relaxed place. Generally, things shut down on Sundays, especially if you are in the rural parts. One thing to look out for are Spanish holidays, there are more than you think and you can get caught out by things slowing down or closing at the very time you need them to be open. Don’t expect early dinners out, most of Spain eats very late and an 8pm dinner at a restaurant is thought to be pretty early by the locals. It’s getting better, but for vegetarians and vegans it used to be tough, so plan ahead, especially if you’re out of the city.

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LBB> What would be your number one tip to anyone coming to Spain to shoot a campaign/film?

James> Eat local food and enjoy the local atmosphere. Get involved in the culture of the evenings. Things will get done and your shoot will be a success, but also remember the Mediterranean lifestyle. 

LBB> Where would you suggest a foreign production stay while they are in Spain? 

James> Paradors are usually good quality places (and similar around the country), but most cities will have nice, comfortable and often independent hotels.

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LBB> Where are the best bars/restaurants? Any hidden gems you could suggest?

James> Depends on where you’re based, try to go where the locals go, and you will find some great little Tapas bars and lovely food for producer friendly prices. Some of the beach restaurants that cook on open fires in old fishing boats are great to visit, and the food is always fantastic and plentiful.

LBB> Any other tourist recommendations?

James> Ski in the mountains and swim in the sea on the same day, how many places in the world can you do that at?

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NM Productions, Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:14:51 GMT