Loaction Partnership India
Loaction Partnership India
"Location Partnership India
    "Bollywood" is the film capital of the world and produces more films per capita than anywhere else. (800 to 1100 plus films per year). The major production centres are Bombay, Hyderabad and Chenai; and in terms of audience there are over 1 billion people domestically and around 40 million Indian's living abroad.
    The Indian production community has grown from and is mostly
    geared towards producing for Indian filmgoers. Even so, India has much
    o offer foreign productions that are prepared to cope with the vagaries of filming
    in one of the world's most vibrant and chaotic cultures.
    The challenges are steep but the rewards can be great.
    Loaction Partnership India
    India is a fascinating location. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian cultures mix with amazing outcomes. The Taj Mahal is one example of India's historical Persian influence, while coastal Goa still maintains its Portuguese colonial atmosphere. Ancient cremation rituals define the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, while cities like Mumbai and Delhi claim both modern high rises and teeming slums. From the accessible Himalayan range and Tibetan dry desert plains of Ladakh, to the beaches and jungles of the tropical southern tip, India can provide almost any location look you need.
    Explore India and you'll find representatives of the world's great faiths and cultures. India's people are among the most diverse on the planet, Fair skinned Aryans of the north contrast with dark-skinned Tamils in the south. The Punjab is home to turbaned, bearded Sikhs Indian, while austere Jains are found in the south. Wealth and poverty, urban and rural, the religious and profane, all exist in India, sometimes side by side.

    Inefficiency can be the bane of any production and life in India is nothing if not uncertain. Locations can fall through at the last minute. Entire train lines or roads can be shut down for weeks because of rockslides. Things have been moving slowly in India for 4000 years and the needs of your commercial shoot are unlikely to impress a stubborn bureaucrat who needs a tea break. If you can't cope with uncertainty, India is not for you.

    India is an enormous country and roads are in terrible condition outside urban centres. Getting from point A to point B for scouting or shooting takes time. On the other hand, the train transportation system traverses large swaths of the country fairly reliably. The country is also well serviced by domestic airlines, which fly to all major and many minor cities. No matter what transport you rely on, however, it's best to plan ahead and expect everything to take longer than it should.

    While there is no question that India provides a wealth of opportunities, the challenges that come along can prove daunting, even to the most experienced producer. The best way to mitigate many of these challenges is to hire a knowledgeable local production service company.

    A strong production service company can minimize, if not eliminate, the headaches of shooting in India. An experienced firm will take care of your crew contracts, location clearances, and government guidelines as well as alert you to unique cultural issues that can trip up your shoot. For many people, INDIA can stand for I'll-Never-Do-It-Again. Hire a good production service company, however, and the colour, diversity and chaos of India is there for you to capture on film.
    India offers a modest selection of highly skilled film technicians who have had international production experience. Local talent can be sourced out of Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkotta, Bangalore, Delhi, and Trivandrum to support an international quality production. Most heads of department are brought from abroad and supported by local crew. However there is a selection of very talented and recognized DOP's, Production Designers, Art Directors, Grip, Gaffers and Make-Up Artists.
    India has a diverse pool of acting talent with a wide range of ethnicity's available to the international production. Local casting agents and modelling agencies can offer African, Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic looking talent.

    Note: There are no restrictions or quotas on bringing international cast to film in India.
    As India is the world's largest producer of feature films there is a large range of studio sound stages and backlots to select from depending on the needs of the production. The main centres are Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkatta (Calcutta). There are 10 film studios in Mumbai that collectively have around 40 shooting stages/floors that cater to feature films and commercials. In addition there are another 15 stages that are suitable for television serials and other TV products. The Mumbai studios offer some backlots with existing scenery and sets. Chennai has 15 studios with approximately 50 shooting stages/floors and some fixed sets.
    India's competitive labour costs enable international producers to considerably reduce costs on the design and construction of large-scale sets. For example for the film Gladiator (2000) producers sourced props from India for creating the Roman ambience in the film and transported to Morocco in order to avail of the skilled labour and cost benefits. The resources and expertise that are available can help you create the settings of your choice, whether it is a Masai village or a street in Switzerland. The artists, artisans, and architects do more than just create physical structures. They are trained to work closely with art directors/production designers.
    India's prodigious output of films has ensured that a large inventory of props exists. From Uzi machine guns to ukulele, Ramoji stocks authentic replicas of every conceivable item needed for a film shoot. So whether a production is set in the Stone Age or in the imagined milieu of the future, the necessary props are readily available.
    Vibrant and elaborate embroidered silks, handloom and natural-dyed fabrics, handcrafted jewellery, turbans embroidered with jewels and pearls are few reason why films like Oliver Stone's "Alexander The Great", Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" and "Kingdom of Heaven" and HBO's "Rome" have sourced India for costumes and accessories. The cost of fabric and labour encourage international producers to source India for their costumes.
    Most feature films produced in India are shot on 35mm Cinemascope. Almost all commercials are produced on 35mm standard formats if not on Video. There is a wide selection of Arriflex III's and Arriflex 435's and 4 Arriflex 535's between Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Individual equipment suppliers in India have a basic Camera set-up with Camera body, 5 or 6 standard Prime Lenses (some 435 owners have now upgraded to Ultra Primes), a couple of Zooms, standard filters in each Camera Package. Most Camera packages are available out of Mumbai. Chennai and Hyderabad have several packages, which are well maintained. (Strongly recommend lenses, filters, gels and other consumables be got from abroad - as there is a short supply in India).
    There is a wide selection of Post-production facilities available to international productions filming in India. The main Post-production centres are in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi. There is a comprehensive range of digital film services offered on state-of-the-art equipment and software. The equipment and hardware is comparable to anywhere in the world. As most films produced in India are shot with non-sync sound, it is advised that Audio Post Production be done elsewhere as the infrastructure to facilitate such work is limited.
  • This
    thick, roughly triangular peninsula defined by the Bay of Bengal to the
    east, the Arabian Sea to the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south.
    IndiaÍs puzzle board of 26 states holds virtually every kind of
    landscape imaginable. From its northernmost point on the Chinese
    border, India extends a good 2000 miles (3200 km) to its southern tip,
    where the island nation of Sri Lanka seems to be squeezed out of India
    like a great tear, the synapse forming the Gulf of Mannar.

    Mostly Nepal and the Himalayas, the worldÍs highest mountain chain, dominate IndiaÍs northern border. Following the sweeping mountains to the northeast, its borders narrow to a small channel that passes between
    Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, then spreads out again to meet Burma in area called the "eastern triangle." Apart from the Arabian
    Sea, its western border is defined exclusively by Pakistan.
    The climate in India varies considerably, with average temperature ranging from 50oF to 86oF.
    The northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and the Himalayan region will experience snowfall in winter with the temperature going below the freezing point while in southern part, the temperature can rise up to 114oF in summer.

    The Thar Desert in the northwest region of India experiences less than 10 inches of rain where as the Shillong plateau in the northeast receives more than 450 inches of rain. The town of Chirapunji, in the northeast state of Assam has recorded the highest rainfall, in one year, in the world (1, 042 inches).

    The climate in India is greatly dominated by the two monsoon winds - the Northeast monsoon wind and the Southwest monsoon wind. The most important of these is the Southwest monsoon wind.
    The progress of this wind can be used to divide the year into six seasons: winter, spring, summer, summer monsoon, autumn, and the winter monsoon.
    India is the second most populous nation in the world with over 1 billion citizens. English is the major language of trade and politics, but there are fourteen official languages.

    There are twenty-four languages that are spoken by a million people or more, and countless dialects. India has 7 major religions. Hinduism is the dominant faith of India, serving about 80 percent of the population.

    Ten percent worship Islam, and 5 percent are Sikhs and Christians; the rest (a good 45 million) are Buddhists, Jains, Bahai, and more.
    India has a wide selection of accommodation options available to film crews and visitors. Depending on the production budget there is a vast selection of 4 & 5 Star Hotels, Guesthouses and private housing available in both metros and regional areas.

    From beach resorts in Goa to Heritage listed Royal Palaces in Rajasthan, most international hotel chains are located throughout India including:
    Although the well-known foreign chains can be found throughout the country, India boast some of the world's most spectacular heritage listed locally owned hotels such as The Rambagh Palace Hotel in Jaipur and the Lake Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
    Recent deregulation and liberalization of telecommunications laws and policies have prompted rapid change in local and long distance service provided throughout all regions of the country, with services primarily concentrated in the urban areas
    Main Lines:

    India has an extensive telephone network ranking six in the world for the number of main lines available (48.917 million, 2003). There has been an increase in competition and dramatic reductions in price recently due to the admission of private and private-public investors.


    India ranks 13th in the world with 26,154,400 million cellular phone users. Both CDMA and GSM were introduced in 1994 and organized nationwide into four metropolitan cities and 19 telecom circles each with about three private service providers and one state-owned service provider; in recent years significant trunk capacity has been added in the form of fibre-optic cable and one of the world's largest domestic satellite systems, the Indian National Satellite system (INSAT). Mobile cellular phones are highly available and coverage is excellent in cities and major centres, however service is limited in more remote areas. Prior to travel, mobile phone users should investigate connecting to a GSM international network to enable use within India. The Country code for India is: +91.

    Internet Connection:

    With the significant increase in the bandwidth available for both voice and data traffic a modest range of service providers offering dial-up and broadband services exists. India ranks number 10 in the world for number of Internet users - 18,481,000 (2003).

    Walkie Talkie:

    The Indian Government regulates Walkie-Talkie communication and permits are easily granted for film crews.
    India is an enormous country and roads can be in a terrible condition outside urban centres. Getting from point A to point B for scouting or shooting takes time. On the other hand, the train transportation system traverses large swaths of the country fairly reliably. The country is also well serviced by domestic airlines, which fly to all major and many minor cities. No matter what transport you rely on, it's best to plan ahead.


    The main international airports are Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram. Limited international flights operate to other cities. From London international carriers with direct flights to India are British Airways, Air India, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. All British Airways flights are direct non-stop and it is possible to land at one port and return from another. Air India has the next largest number of flights and also covers the four metro cities, in addition to some other cities including Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. The flights to Delhi and Bombay are direct while those to other destinations are indirect.

    Travelling by air around the country is convenient and comfortable. Three large domestic airlines fly across the country. The government corporation, Indian Airlines and a number of other private well-maintained airlines such as Jet Airways & Sahara, operates domestic air services. Indian Airlines links 61 cities in India and 16 in neighbouring countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand and Singapore.

    A large network of National Highways, State Highways and subsidiary roads makes road transport the main means of travel after the railways. Although the road network is extensive, travelling by vehicle is time consuming and potentially hazardous at night because of poorly maintained roads. There is a wide selection of vehicles to satisfy the needs of each production. Rental vehicles are predominantly chauffeur driven.


    India has the largest rail network in Asia and the second largest in the world. Over 62,300 km of track lay between 7000 stations and over 11,000 locomotives.
    Applications regarding shooting of Features Films, TV Films and Commercials are processed at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Applications must be sent directly or through the Cultural Department / Press Office of your nearest Embassy or High Commission of India. It is only on recommendation of this Ministry that the other Ministry's will provide facilities to film units. Proposals regarding shooting of documentary films however are to be sent to the Ministry of External Affairs (External Publicity Division).

    After the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has granted permission the next stage is to obtain the necessary approval and assistance from the Local Collector (Mayor) of the area where the selected locations are situated. It is only after obtaining his/her permission that the Production Service Company can approach the Police and local authorities for their assistance and permission.

    For Feature IMB Ministry permission is required and it take min. 8 weeks
    For Documentary, T.V or advertisement we need M.E.A permission it takes 4 weeks
    Shooting in Forest area a permission from Forest Ministry is needed along with MEA or IMB permission. It takes min. 4 weeks
    For Defense Forces area a permission from Defense Ministry along with MEA or IMB permission . It takes min. 8 weeks
    For shooting in Railway premises permission from Railway Ministry along with MEA or IMB permission. It takes min. 4 weeks
    Foreign crew is not allowed to shoot in restricted areas if they want to shoot they have to apply in respected depts. and depends on the department's judgement
    For Leh-Ladakh, J&K and Andaman it requires min. 8 weeks for permission

    Should you wish to bring shooting equipment, props & costumes a list of the equipment to be temporarily imported should be provided to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. This will enable them to make a recommendation to the customs authorities to exempt the temporary import from customs duty.

    Keep in mind that climatic conditions in the far north are distinctly different to those of the extreme south. India's climate can be defined by three seasons - the hot, the wet (monsoon) and the cool, each of which can vary in duration from north to south. Monsoon starts around 1 June in the extreme south and sweeping north to cover the whole country by early July. Around October the monsoon ends for most of the country. This is when India sees most tourists - however, it's too late to visit Ladakh (May to October is the optimum period). During October and November it's generally not too hot and not too cool In general filming is fine year round, however it is best to avoid filming in the north of India in the summer months when average temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

    Kodak film is available directly from Kodak in Mumbai. However, order in advance, as stock is not always available especially 1000ft/300 meter cans.

    Most service companies recommend that you process your film outside of the country. They do this more for their own comfort level than because of any real problem with the labs in the country. However we highly recommend Prasad Labs, Adlabs and Rainbow at Ramoji Film City, which are assessed as meeting Kodak Imagecare standards.
    Capital: New Delhi
    Population: 1 billion (UN, 2004)
    Area: 3.17m sq km (1.2m sq miles)
    Major languages: Hindi, English and 17 other official languages.
    Major religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism
    Time: GMT +5.5/4.5 hrs
    Currency: Indian Rupee (Rs)
    Monetary unit: 1 Indian Rupee = 100 paisa
    Credit Cards: Visa, American Express, MasterCard. (When/where accepted)
    Television: PAL
    Voltage: 220 volts, 50 Hz
    Measurements: Metric System
    GNI per capita: US $530 (World Bank, 2003)
    Internet domain: .in
    International dialling code: +91
    Working Hours Offices: (Mon - Fri) 09.00 - 17.00 (Varies to region and State)
    Working Hours Banks: (Mon - Fri) 10.00 - 14.00.
    Exports: Agricultural products, textile goods, gems and jewellery, software services and technology, engineering goods, chemicals, leather products.

    Cell phones:

    GSM mode. European phones should work.  Cell Phones are available for rent or purchase and calls abroad should not be that expensive.

    Travel as light as possible. Clothing and laundry are both quite inexpensive. Dress codes for religious places can include covering your head, being barefoot etc. Ask, so that you don't unwittingly give offence. Its better for women to avoid tank tops or short skirts / shorts. The best outfit, especially during the hot summers, is a T-shirt worn with loose cotton trousers.

    Approx 45 Indian Rupees to 1 us $. Floating Currency. Currency should be changed only at the authorized dealers. (Airports, most banks and many hotels) They will issue an encashment certificate, which is later required to reconvert local currency into foreign currency. Credit cards like Visa and Master cards, as well as American Express and Diners, are accepted in many establishments in the major towns and cities. All foreign nationals have to pay their hotel bills in foreign currency only, in cash or by travellerÍs cheques. (However Indian rupees are accepted if supported by proof of certificate of encashment in India of foreign currency or travellers cheques).

    Driving & Drivers License:
    Forget about it. Really do you want to carry the insurance? Indians drive on the left hand side of the road. Almost all rental cars throughout India are chauffer driven. However if you wish to drive yourself you require an International Driving Permit. This is usually obtained from your local transit department or road associations before arriving in India. However, we recommend you avoid driving yourself. Indian roads can be dangerous if you are not accustomed to them. Seatbelts are compulsory for passengers seated in the front of an automobile. OTR recommends that everyone in the vehicle should use seatbelts.

    Health & Medical:
    Adequate to excellent medical care is available in major urban centres across India are comparable to the west. However regional facilities are usually under-equipped or unavailable. OTR Productions ensures adequate support and proximity to health facilities and/or practitioners is available to the production should the need arise. Internet:
    Service is just being upgraded to DSL in the cities. In the countryside, service is expensive and slow, if it exists at all.

    Shopping & Bargaining:
    India is a shopperÍs dream. Shopping is recommended from fixed price Government Emporiums/Shops and from suggested shops on the list of the Department of Tourism. In small shops, and in small towns and cities, bargaining is a standard practice, and is enjoyed by all concerned. Do not crowd to many places in your itinerary. Make sure that you get a free half-day at every major centre for shopping or to explore and wander around on your own. While Shopping avoid touts and brokers.

    Everything in India takes time - longer than in most places. So always give yourself extra time for whatever you may have to do - even it is just a visit to the Post Office or changing money. Indians joke about the concept of "Indian Stretchable Time" (IST). Certainly, if you're a super-punctual sort, India can be frustrating. Make allowances for this.

    In hotels and restaurants, tips are not normally included in the bill. Some hotels include service charges on their bills. In such cases tipping is not necessary. The standard tip is 10%. In hotels, porters and room service attendants are normally tipped at the end of the stay, though an early tip is likely to get you better service.

    In India, public toilet facilities are few and far between. Take every opportunity you can to use a clean toilet in places such as hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit wherever you go.
    Entry will not be allowed into India without the appropriate visa being issued. Overseas personnel wishing to work in India will require an Employment Visa. For further information regarding the appropriate visa please contact the nearest Indian Consulate.

    Tourist Visa: Is issued for 6 months, 1 year and 10 years. The period of stay in India (for each visit) is 6 months only.

    Business Visa:
    1. Valid for 6-months/one year with multiple entries. A letter (on company letterhead) from Sponsoring Organization indicating the nature of applicant's business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating therein a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses etc. should accompany the application.
    2. Long term Business Visa for ten years (multiple entries) in case of US Citizens and five years (multiple entries) for other nationals are available only to those who have set up industrial / business joint ventures in India. This fact, along with the details of joint venture in India must be mentioned in the sponsorship letter.
    Employment Visa: Employment Visa is initially issued for one-year stay subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. This can be extended at Foreigners Regional Registration Office in India if the job contract continues.

    Journalist Visa: Issued to journalists and film crews the period of time specified by the Ministry of External Affairs and The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

    Restricted/Protected Areas: For visit to Restricted/Protected Areas, a separate application, giving details of the places to be visited, should accompany the visa application. All foreign nationals are required to obtain permits for each visit to a restricted/protected area.
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