Mexico offers a wealth of film locations including megacities, Spanish colonial architecture, magnificent cave systems, desert landscapes, Pacific and Caribbean waters, beaches, vineyards, waterfalls, jungles, and much more.
In terms of agricultural looks Mexico has corn, wheat, sugarcane, tomatoes, avocados, oranges, grapes, coffee, and livestock to name a few. For travel and food productions, Mexico offers an impressive diversity of regional cuisines.
Cost & Rebates
The USD is strong against the Mexican Peso. In general, filming in Mexico is much less expensive than filming in the US. Mexico is a large country and many locations require extensive travel. Although some crew and equipment can be found around the country, Mexico City is the main service centre. Mexico City is a large, sprawling city that can take several hours to reach the city limits.
Mexico offers tax incentives for co-productions of feature films. Visiting productions are eligible for a 16% VAT refund. Some cities and states also offer their own incentives and discounts for films shot locally.
When To Shoot
The climate of Mexico varies considerably depending on the region and time of the year.Mexico is home to many colourful fiestas held throughout the year including:
• Carnaval in February / March.
• Semana Santa in March / April.
• Guelaguetza Festival in July.
• Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) in November.
• Bullfighting, bull leaping (recortadores), and charreada events take place throughout the year.
• Lucha Libre contests take place throughout the year.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs.
Crews travelling on passports from western countries can enter visa-free for stay of up to 180 days. There are no special work permits required to film in Mexico.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Mexico has a small but good pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Mexican crews are very experienced in servicing international productions. They are hard working, resourceful and speak fluent English. Both union and non-union options are available. Must use union crews for feature films. Can use non-union talent for all other media. Mexico is a short flight from major US production centres should you ever need to access those crews. Talent. Both union and non-union options are available. Must use union talent for feature films and TV shows. Can use non-union talent for all other media. Mexico offers mainly Mestizo (mixed Caucasian and Amerindian) and International-Latin looks. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad. Mexico offers a range of standard and specialised equipment including 35mm and HD cameras, underwater housing, grip equipment including Technocrane, and a range of lighting packages.
For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Mexico is an ATA carnet country.