One of the attractions of filming in Mexico is the variety of breathtaking landscapes, cultural wealth, architectural styles and climate.
There has been constant expansion and technological evolution within industry services; there are two major film studio facilities (Churubusco in Mexico City and Baja Studios in Baja California) as well as modern labs and post-production facilities.
Mexican film workers are said to have an outstanding level of knowledge and experience along with a good work ethic.
In addition, the film workers’ unions in Mexico are modern and flexible, easily adapting to the new conditions and needs of film and audiovisual productions.
Mexico also has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure, and efficient air and ground transportation.
But the USP would have to be the fact that with all its great locations it is still very good value to shoot there, much cheaper than the US and even Europe.
A good place to start for any queries about filming in the country is the Mexican Film Commission.
Drug thriller Sicario 2: Soldado spent a couple of weeks filming in Mexico City, becoming perhaps the highest-profile international movie to shoot in Mexico since James Bond movie Spectre. For that, director Sam Mendes shot the opening scene in Mexico City, set against a backdrop of a recreation of The Day of The Dead celebrations.
Terrence Malick's currently untitled feature film stars Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender, was partly filmed in Yucatan province.
In terms of television, among the most high-profile productions to have filmed in the country has been the sci-fi series Sense8 and zombie drama spinoff Fear the Walking Dead.
Many commercials have been filmed in Mexico, including spots for McDonald’s, Nissan and Max Mara.
Waltmart teapot Hispanic 2011 – EU; McDonalds mango pineapple smoothie burst – EU; Nissan – EU; Domino effect ruins 2011 – EU; Max Mara Mexico – EU; Alternative education –EU; W 2012 – EU; Latam winter 2012 - EU.
Mexico is now an ATA Carnet country. The carnet is a passport that allows productions to temporarily bring in camera equipment into Mexico, without paying duties for up to 180 days. The equipment that can be brought into the country under this passport is camera equipment, props, electrical, sound equipment, decor and costumes all used for productions. This passport means no requirement for a customs broker or cost of duties, creating savings for productions.
After filling out the Carnet you will need to allow 2-3 days for it to be approved by the Mexican customs. It is important to make sure Mexico is listed in the ATA Carnet, as an ATA Country. Since this is a brand new mechanism here, not every country has been included in the list.
To be able to film in Mexico there are three types of non-immigrant visas you can obtain, the type of visa you get depends on the duration and topic of your project.
Please note: Mexico charges a $22 fee to all tourists and business visitors arriving into the country.
Among other shooting facilities, Estudios Baja boasts the largest and most important aquatic installations in the world, in addition to sound stages.
Estudios Churubusco has a variety of warehouses and sound stages, its own lab, post-production facilities and office space.
On the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende there are plans for a $16m studio built called Fabrica GIFF, this will offer production studios and post-production facilities, another studio set to put Mexico on the map.
Other Mexico-based studios are listed here.
Mexico has many labs offering integral post-production services, ranging from developing negative transfer, dailies in any format, to digital design compositing, 2D and 3D digital animation, clearance shots, THX sound mixing.
With just under 10,000 km of coastline, ancient Mayan ruins, untouched rainforests and bustling mega metropolises, Mexico is bursting with potential when it comes to filming locations.
Given the sheer size of the country, it plays host to many climates which have individual weather patterns throughout the year, although if needed, you will find year-round warmth and sunshine.
The two coasts both offer turquoise water with some of the best beaches being in Playa de Carmen, Los Cabos, Tulum, Cozumel and Huatulco.
The Sierra Madre Mountains run through Mexico from California in the north, to Guatemala in the south. The highest peaks are located in the state of Puebla, where the highest peaks reach over 5000 metres.
There are over sixty national parks which cover the diverse range of terrains and climates with the country; filming in them is possible but those wishing to do so should contact the Mexican Film Commission.
With the greater area population at over 21 million, Mexico City is a capital like no other, and is home to everything from modern skyscrapers to the historic centre which has been classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. It also has its own film commission.
In Mexico, there are companies that rent top quality specialised equipment, with sufficient stock to cater for large productions, and with the flexibility and administrative capacity to adapt to market conditions.
Suppliers of note include Riviera Maya Lighting, Grip and Electric Rentals.