Switzerland is known for its snow-capped mountains, year-round glaciers, ski resorts, wooden chalets, winding mountain roads, picturesque lakes, green meadows, vineyards, deep forests, rushing rivers, castles, charming villages, and luxurious houses.
Cost & Rebates
Switzerland is one of the more expensive places to shoot in the world, particularly for large, complicated shoots. Switzerland trades in the Swiss Franc. Entitled the Switzerland Film Investment Refund (PICS), the scheme allows co-productions to claim back between 20% and 40% on all eligible local expenditures. The fund has a per-project cap and minimum local spend requirement. There is no service tax levied on foreign companies purchasing film making services in Switzerland. Coproduction agreements exist with some countries.
When To Shoot
Winters (December to March) are cold and snowy. Spring (April to May) has mountain flowers in full bloom. Summers (June to August) are warm, with many blue sky days. Fall (September / October) sees leaves changing colour.
Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it is a Schengen Area member country. US crews do not require visas or work permits to enter and film in Switzerland for stays of up to 90 days.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Switzerland has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Crews are of a very high technical and professional standard. All key crews speak fluent English and production staff are multilingual. Switzerland’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further. Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Most local talent is Swiss, French, German and Italian. Switzerland also offers a small pool of multicultural talent, enough for background roles. Switzerland is also home to many celebrities, which is one of the main reasons productions shoot in Switzerland. Switzerland has all the standard camera, lighting and grip equipment you would expect from a sophisticated western filming centre. Its close proximity to other European production centres makes sourcing additional equipment an easy process. For productions looking to bring in film equipment, Switzerland is an ATA carnet country.