Service production and filming locations in Iceland
We’re excited to be receiving so many inquiries about filming in Iceland right now! Some of the most popular areas to film are along the south coast, so we decided to take some time to explore a few of them while we were there recently.
Ongoing production and filming locations in Iceland
Last week we visited our local producers in Iceland and check in on some shoots we have going on at the moment. When the weather is cooperative, it’s really easy to rent a car and drive around in the south!
Swixer’s founder and producer Fatima Lagerås admires the view from Reykjanes Peninsula.
Iceland – Hollywood’s favorite playground
Iceland offers cinematic opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. The actively shifting tectonic island has an incredibly varied natural landscape, which has made it Hollywood’s new favorite playground: volcanic black sand beaches, imposing glaciers and snow capped mountains, otherworldly lava fields, majestic waterfalls, and lakes and lagoons with floating icebergs. Cinematographers and photographers from all over the world are drawn to the vast landscapes and fascinating geographical phenomena. Further north, you can also experience the stark highland interior, the tundra, moors patched with blue ponds, and steam-emitting red and yellow sulphur mountains, not to mention the magical northern lights.
Iceland is also used as a stand-in for other countries
Iceland is popular with sci-fi and fiction as it can so easily portray a post-apocalyptic or alien world, but it’s also used as a stand-in for other countries, including Japan, Norway, Greenland, Russia, Canada, USA and even Italy. There are so many fantastic filming locations in Iceland – when you see it, you can’t help but be inspired.
Erin Scolaro – one of our producers.
Skógafoss – one of Iceland’s biggest waterfalls
Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls.
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Maybe the most famous location on the south coast is Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – and it’s easy to see why. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was partly filmed here as well as scenes for Game of Thrones.
The view by Dyrhólaey is something really special. This beautiful nature reserve offers stunning views of rocky cliffs, the endless black sand beach, and Sólheimajökull Glacier in the distance.
Are you interested in filming in Iceland? Contact us at Swixer Iceland!
For both small and large shoots all over Iceland, Swixer provides:
– Location scouts
– Location Managers
– Permits and logistic help
Read more about our production services in Iceland here! Depending on the location, we could even do remote shooting.
Swixer’s backstory started in 2012
Want to know more about how a Swedish fixer became Swixer? Here’s our backstory!
Nine years ago Swixers founder Fatima Lagerås received a request from Morgan Freeman’s production company Revelations Entertainment. They had found her CV online and needed local support for an upcoming documentary shoot for National Geographic in Stockholm. Back then, Fatima worked as a freelance reporter, producer and director.
What’s a Fixer?
At the time, the Swedish market didn’t really offer “Fixers” and in fact – she hadn’t even heard the term before, at least not in a journalistic / production context. To her a “Fixer” was more like a person who could fix one’s broken TV or washing machine perhaps. And now she found herself being “The Swedish Fixer” serving this fun crew from LA in Stockholm.
Swixer’s founder Fatima Lagerås
Swixer was born!
This crew needed someone on the ground who could be their eyes and ears. Someone who could help them plan the shoot, sort permits, secure releases, book interviews, translate and be present during the shoot. And it went great! Fatima figured they probably weren’t the only ones needing help shooting in Sweden. There had to be other international crews out there needing help, right? And boom, just like that: production service company Swixer was born!
Swixer now have provided production services to hundreds of international productions in Sweden
Since then, we’ve been able to provide crew, locations, logistics, casting, management, equipment, talent, etc to hundreds of international productions all across Sweden: TV shows, global commercials, livestream studio shows as well as branded corporate shoots. And it’s all been possible thanks to the network of freelancers we’ve built up throughout the years. And as we speak we are currently scouting locations in Iceland, figuring out how we can get a TV host hanging on a skyscraper in Poland (window cleaning scene – don’t ask) while looking for Fixers who can manage our shoots in Norway. We’re on an exciting and expanding journey and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you Morgan Freeman!
Would you like to read more about Swixer’s backstory and our founder Fatima Lagerås – click here!
To shoot remote – an upswing during the pandemic
During the pandemic, we noticed a remote production upswing. We have always offered this type of service, but during the pandemic, there was an extra need for remote producing. Mainly because you could no longer travel as freely – and meet new people – to the same extent as before.
What is remote production?
Remote production is when you direct or oversee your production remotely via video conference. With remote shooting you can interact with local crew and talent on set from your home or office! Basically, it’s a type of production that requires real-time decision making although you are not physically on set and when travel isn’t possible.
There are several of benefits with remote shooting! Here’s a list of some of the benefits of using a remote production for your project:
Save budget on travel
You save budget on the trip when you do not have to travel crew and equipment. It also saves the environment by not having to expose the planet to unnecessary emissions when it comes to transportation.
You get real time feedback during production and can be part of the whole process – without being physically present. With the help of today’s technology, it is easy to connect to a computer and be able to join from a computer screen.
Live interaction with crew & talent
You can, during the filming process, interact live with both crew and talent.
Direct camera feed: see what the camera sees
During the filming process you can see what the camera sees. Therefore you can have full control over what happens on set, just as you would be in the same room. At Swixer we have different technical solutions (and dedicated streaming teams) depending on size of shoot and what technical level is needed.
Conduct interviews remotely
Do you need to interview people for your film project? No problem! You can conduct interviews remotely and the viewer will not for a second be able to guess any difference compared to if you had been on set.
Collaborate with on-site director/producer
With remote shooting solutions you will be able to collaborate with an on-site director/producer. Together with a local producer you will have full control over the filming and you will be able to participate in all steps.
Direct the shoot entirely
You’ll be able to direct the shoot entirely. We will help you arrange with a meeting link via Zoom or a similar services.
Picture from Vallastaden in Linkoping, Sweden, where Swixer provided a remote production services for the client.
Clients who have used our remote solutions
Client: Silverback Films / BBC 1. Project: “Earthshot – Clean Our Air”
Client: Captains.nl. Project: “Green Cities Europe”
Client: Dragonfly TV / Discovery+ Project: “Anni: The Honeymoon Murder”
Client: NBCU / L’Oréal Project: L’Oréal Paris’ “Women Of Worth”
Client: Captains.nl. Project: Internal video for IKEA
Are you interested in finding out more about our services? Send us an email and we’ll tell you all about it!
2022 will be the first year with film production incentive when filming in Sweden
Swixer is very happy to announce to you the great news that the Swedish government is working towards introducing a first country-wide film and TV production incentive worth 25% of eligible spend. Recently is was decided that 2022 will be the first year of the incentive!
More information to be announced soon
At this point, the preliminary date is set to September this year. In the government’s budget for 2022, 100 million Swedish Krona (approximately 9 485 000 euros) is set aside for the production incentives. Beyond this, there isn’t a lot of official information regarding this, but as soon as we learn more about the details we will announce them!
Lighthouse on the island Gotland in Sweden
Great values with film production in Sweden
We see this as a clear message that the government sees great values with film production in Sweden and we are so excited to finally share this with you!
Filming in Sweden is always a good idea
Filming in Sweden – here’s all you need to know!
Here on the Swixer blog you’ll find a brand new post with facts and guidelines when it comes to filming in Sweden. On the blogpost you will be able to read about the Swedish culture, transportation, permits and much more. You’ll also find a lot of inspiration when it comes to locations in Sweden. Sweden really has a smörgårdsbord of various scenic locations!
Gothenburg is the second biggest city in Sweden and offers a lot of great locations
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Do you want more news regarding the film production incentive in Sweden? And perhaps about other fun things that’s going on at Swixer? Sign up for our newsletter here!
Filming in Sweden – general guidelines
Are you planning to film in Sweden? Good for you! We’re pretty sure you will love what Sweden can offer in terms of locations, production services and permits. Here are some quick facts and guidelines that might be of help!
The beautiful cold bath house in Varberg, Sweden.
Everyone speaks English pretty much fluently, and there are a lot of expats from all over the world, too. Production and professional standards are high (Swedes are known to be very punctual!), but it’s a relaxed, friendly culture – just make sure there’s coffee on set to take a fika from time to time! It’s easy to rent high quality equipment with the latest technology as Sweden is also very tech-forward.
Fika is always a good idea in Sweden!
In Stockholm: Car rentals are easy, parking isn’t – but just leave that to us. Subways, busses and trains are very efficient, and now you can pay with a chip credit card or smartphone so you don’t even need to buy a transportation card.
The subway in Stockholm is very modern and easy to use.
Around Sweden: Sweden is well connected by highway, train, and short flights. It takes about 5 hours to drive from Stockholm to Gothenburg, the second biggest city on the west coast, or a little over an hour by plane. We can easily get local crew or have crew travel for shoots in various places in cities or the country, in the south all the way up to Lapland.
Gothenburg, the second biggest city in Sweden.
Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK). Sweden does not currently use the euro as its currency.
Sweden is an almost cashless society. Many shops and restaurants are no cash so we recommend paying with a credit card – even small sellers take contactless payment through card chip, or smartphone payment such as Apple or Samsung pay. If you do want/need cash we recommend changing money at Forex or one of the bigger banks such as SEB, Handelsbanken or Nordea. You can also check with your bank about getting cash from ATMs here in Sweden, or change cash at the airport.
For visits of up to 90 days, visas are not required for most Western nationals, including Americans, citizens of EU countries, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, Malaysians, Singaporeans and most South Americans.
The “High Coast bridge” in the north of Sweden.
There are no problems bringing equipment into Sweden, and the customs process is generally easy for productions, as long as you’re not bringing plants, animals, or firearms of any kind. Read more on Sweden’s customs website.
You do not need a permit to film outside with a hand held camera in Sweden. However you do need a permit to use a public place or to close off a street, square etc in a city or town. Meaning if you need to create a large production footprint, put large equipment on the ground or close off a street or public square, then you need a permit from the police and – in the case of Stockholm – from the traffic department.
When it comes to filming in the countryside you can go ahead basically anywhere as Sweden has a law called “Right of Public Access”. However, you will need a permit to bring in a large group of people and cars into a Nature reserve or onto a public road. And of course if you want to film on a private property. For specific advice on your locations simply get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swixer Filming in beautiful Stockholm in January.
When do you need a permit?
You’ll need a permit when:
The vehicle is longer than 12 meters
Driving on restricted streets
Restricting public access to a public place
Placing cables on the ground
Using weapon or explosives
Need exemptions from traffic regulations
Need exemptions from transport and parking restrictionsIf using police officers
Permits are not needed when you are:
Not blocking a road
Not interfering with traffic or trade
Not causing any disturbance where you are shooting
It is, however, a good idea to contact local police and municipal authorities when shooting in public spaces.
Beautiful view over Stockholm in Ivar Lo’s park.
For smaller shoots you need to submit your permit application at least five days before the shoot. For closing off a street, it is recommended to apply for a permit three to four weeks in advance. For exemptions from traffic and parking regulations we recommend the permit application to be filed two weeks in advance. Our general recommendation is to apply for any necessary permits as early as possible for your production.
Northern lights in Sweden.
Filming incentive in Sweden
The Swedish government is working towards introducing the first country-wide film and TV production incentive worth 25% of eligible spend – and 2022 will be the first year of the incentive. At this point we do not have a lot of information regarding this but as soon as we get to know more about the details we will announce them. What we do know at this point, is that minister of Culture and Democracy, Amanda Lind, announced the news at a digital press conference in Sept 2021. The proposal was then included in the Government’s budget bill and was approved in Sweden’s Riksdag in december last year.
Discover some of our amazing locations in Sweden
Would you like to discover some of our amazing locations in Sweden? Please have a look here!
Interview with the Swixer founder Fatima Lagerås where some quotes where used in an article for KFTV!
Can you tell me about the work you do and the services you provide?
Swixer is a full production service company for film and photography based in Stockholm with branches in the Nordics, Baltics and Poland. We produce content for all platforms and help international clients from all over the world with their shoots. We provide crew, management, locations, equipment, casting, talent, logistic help – anything needed basically. We work with national and international campaigns, fiction, TV, documentaries, branded & corporate videos.
Photo by Ana Bórquez via Unsplash
During the past year we’ve managed a lot of remote productions, most recently the Battlefield 2042 Reveal for EA & Dice, produced by Advncr. We’ve also done remote shoots on behalf of brands such as IKEA, Microsoft, Mercedes and BBC to name a few.
These remote shots have worked surprisingly well but they do come with a certain nerve sometimes. The Battlefield 2042 Reveal for example was a global remote-directed multicam livestream event with online Q&A’s – no pressure there at all haha. In those situations we’ve been so thankful for having awesome team members who’ve made these types of shoots successful.
Psst. Read more about our previous works here!
What are you working on at the moment?
We work on a bunch of different, amazing projects right now! In Sweden we’re helping the BBC with an adventurous nature documentary involving northern lights, then we have a shoot in the sauna capital Tampere in Finland and another corporate shoot for Google in Norway.
Where are the best places to shoot a film, high-end TV series or commercial in Sweden and why?
It depends on what you’re after as there’s so much to get in Sweden. Stockholm is built on thousands of islands and the archipelago is amazing! The islands are often easy to access and perfect if you want to shoot landscape sceneries of roads, fields, untouched nature or just a typical Swedish red cottage/village. Then you have the northern lights and snowy landscapes up north of course. We also have great design, both modern and retro as well as typical architecture, ranging from medieval to contemporary.
Gösta Reiland / imagebank.sweden.se
Lola Akinmade Åkerström / imagebank.sweden.se
Patrik Svedberg / imagebank.sweden.se
Picture by Werner Nystrand / imagebank.sweden.se
Can you tell me about the variety of locations on offer in Sweden? Can they double for other countries?
In the city we have corners that look like New York, Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen etc. We also have different types of forest close to Stockholm city and the archipelago. It’s really easy to film in Sweden! You don’t need loads of permits and if you do, you can get them fairly quickly. We also keep really high quality when it comes to both crew and equipment. Our nature and design are also great reasons to shoot in Sweden.
Is it easy to get permission to shoot in Sweden? What is the process for applying and who to?
Yes it’s easy. You apply for a permit with the police and in some cases the traffic office. Swixer can help out with the application process and will let you know if a permit is needed or not. It’s recommended to submit applications well in advance. No permit is needed if you’re just shooting hand hold and don’t put down a large amount of equipment on the ground.
Picture from where we helped Lululemon produce their winter campaign. Swixer provided everything needed in terms of: management, planning, scheduling, scouting, crew, DoP, locations, equipment, SFX, props etc.
What facilities are available in Sweden (Studios, sound stages etc)?
Sweden is standing at the front line when it comes to production facilities. At Swixer we provide everything needed for both small and big scale productions. We help out with booking of studios, sound stages, equipment, professional crew, talent, locations etc – you name it.
One important note about booking locally is that not only do one keep ones budget down by doing so – booking locally is also a great way to save the planet from unnecessary flying. You don’t have to fly over loads of crew and equipment because you’ll find it here and it comes with a really high standard!
How experienced are the local crew and are there enough of them? Can they handle a few major productions shooting in the country at the same time?
Sweden has a highly developed ecosystem for both domestic and international media production, with professional crews and quality equipment, and has the capacity of juggling several major productions in parallel. An example of bigger films that been shoot at the same time are The girl in the Spider´s Web, Netflix-Quicksand and Stockholm Syndrome.
What financial incentives are available and how do producers access them?
The Swedish government has finally decided to introduce production incentives and they will take effect from 2022. More information regarding this will be announced within a short period of time.
What would international producers need to bear in mind when shooting in Sweden? (eg need a local co-ordinator? Bring their own equipment? Restricted access to certain places? Support from the Film Commission? etc)
It’s easy to shoot here and getting access to places! You can go ahead and shoot pretty much everywhere without a permit unless it’s private area of course or a protected area. In general I’d say partnering up with a local producer / service company like Swixer is key. It saves time, money AND the climate. Getting that valuable local knowledge on how to go about with certain things simplify things.
What do you see as some of the key issues affecting the filming world at the moment? (eg lack of studio space, the impact of the streaming giants, climate change, better training of crew required etc.
We’ve noticed that the streaming giants have become bigger buyers (Swixer have worked with Netflix and Apple TV+ for example) which is fun. In general, I think it’s a positive thing for the production world that quality films and TV series get more resources, viewers and platforms.
When it comes to climate change, the worry is that we keep flying crew and gear overseas like it’s business as usual when it’s not. We believe in a more remote way of working even after corona. If the country you‘re filming in offers professional equipment and crew, use it! And require that your service partner (as much as possible) only use eco friendly sub vendors when it comes to catering, transport options etc. I would love to see more climate discussions in the filming world!
Picture by Mika Baumeister på Unsplash
Thank you KFTV for having us! Read the full interview on KFTW here.