How To Have An Unforgettable Experience While Working And Filming In The Dominican Republic
erhaps you’ve heard about the financial incentives and superb hospitality that make filming your next production in the Dominican Republic a great idea. You might be wondering what to expect while you and your show come down here to film. You can have an incredible experience working in the DR without being bogged down by logistical headaches that could get in your way. The film studio and local production company you select can help make your stay run smoothly and help you coordinate with local suppliers, governmental agencies and crew members.
The first thing to know about the Dominican Republic is that the bulk of their economy is based on the tourism industry. There are over 80,256 hotel rooms available throughout the country — the largest number in the Caribbean — with some accommodations rated among the best in the world. In fact, the DR received 22 nominations and won 2 awards at the 2020 World Travel Awards. Your local producer can assist you in blocking entire hotels, if necessary, to keep your crew together and ensure the creation of a production bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Depending on your project, the best time for filming is the dry season, which runs from December to late May. The average temperatures oscillate between 75F to 90F depending on the season. It can get cooler at night, so be sure to pack layers and light jackets. The DR is a true tropical paradise that offers a lot of natural beauty for filming.
A few tips to make working in the DR more seamless for film crews:
- For European travelers, make sure to bring plug adapters for electronics.
- Bring US/EU currency into the country and exchange at the local banks to get the best rates.
- In general, it’s best to stay within your area, hotel, or studio grounds. If you wish to travel on your own, consult with your local producer or travel coordinator for advice.
- Use the studio-provided transportation for your film crew and equipment. Avoid traveling on your own if possible.
- You can arrange for helicopter rides with local vendors for scouting locations if need be.
- Many hotels and restaurants carry a variety of foods that range from local favorites to American and European staples.
- You can download the CESTUR (tourist police) app that includes updates from the U.S. Embassy on COVID-19 and other news, or call their hotline.
- Bear in mind that strict curfews are currently in place for COVID-19 safety.
- Bring bug repellent and sunscreen to remote locations.
You’ll find the local community and workers are all very friendly, welcoming, and accepting of people from all cultures. It’s a wonderful and diverse working environment where you can expect excellent teamwork, which will make your job managing a film crew so much easier. If you’d like to do some sight-seeing and vacationing while in the country, your local production representatives will happily assist you in making that happen safely.
If you need to bring in special equipment through customs, it’s important to know that anything related to your project will be exempt from taxes by requesting a temporary import permit, including all goods and services related to pre-production, production, and post-production. This is called a VAT exemption and can help lower overall production costs. You’ll find this is just one of many reasons to consider filming in the Dominican Republic.