Filming in Nepal
By professional, I do not mean your average travel documentary or a home-made video content. By professional, I mean big film shoots with a large crew, with sophisticated technology and highly specific requirements, with a strict schedule and a generally above average budget above the sub-10,000 US dollars category.
For a youtube content maker or even a vlogger, most of the procedure applicable for professional shoot do not apply. The filming process is then quite simple. Bring along your gear at various places, pay the photo / videography fee if applicable, and start shooting. No additional permissions required.
But say, you are the line producer for a 7-days shoot in Nepal, with a cast and crew of 2 dozen people, with fairly sophisticated technology, with lights, sound setup and trolleys, you cannot roll out like an independent content-maker, obviously. You need to be informed, you need to be prepared against all possible contingencies and obstructions, you need a streamlined workflow at the location. Which you can only achieve if you are a local with lots of knowledge on the location, or if you hire the services of a fixing company.
In Nepal’s scenario, the government has mandated that professional film works, especially those originating from the outside of the country, need to complete certain procedures to be able to shoot in the country. Completing some of these procedures need the help of local fixing and line production companies. So it’s fair to say that professional shoots, especially those from outside of Nepal, must hire a line production company locally to help with all the procedures, endorse the shoot in the country, and act as a liaison between the government and the filming project.
Local line producers and fixers are film companies that help professional shoots with arranging travel & logistics, conducting casting services, approaching various stakeholders like the government and applying for necessary permissions, providing equipment rental and location counseling services, sound and post production services, and even helps with securing the suitable technicians, artists and other necessary manpower for the film.
Professional filming in Nepal is a relatively easy and hassle-free process. The government of Nepal welcomes film makers and professionals to the country with open arms. The filming process starts with appointing a local fixer / fixing company / line production company – registered as a film / media company – to approach the government and requisition for all necessary permits. After reviewing the project details, the government will grant the request and also appoints a liaison officer as a bridge between the production company, the line production company and the government. After getting the permit, the line production company also assists the project in logistics, travel and casting. The filming process is depicted below.
If you are a small-scale film maker, or a Youtuber, or any independent visual content creator, there is no hassle in opting to film in Nepal. The Nepalese people are quite friendly and open, and don’t mind you hanging out in public places with your camera and tripod.
If you are a professional film makers planning to shoot in Nepal, you need to secure the services of a line production company locally, who will help you make your shoot a reality.