Consisting of more than 700 islands, The Bahamas is nestled between Cuba and the Florida Keys. Following the US and Canada the Bahamas is one of the richest states in the Americas in terms of GDP per capita and has a population of nearly 350,000.
Craig Woods, the Film Commissioner for the Bahamas, sums up by stating that “the islands offer the "hot look’ in abundance more than any other film location destination in our region. What we have more than any other location are the finest and widest variety of beaches in the world”.
The Bahamas have been a scenic location for filming for many years due to their beautiful sea and landscapes. There is a desire to expand the facilities to make films on the islands and the availability of production assistance and equipment is growing. The impact of filmmaking on the islands can be illustrated by the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean films which injected over $40m into the Freeport economy at a time when the film industry was struggling to make ends meet. More information can be found at the Bahamas Film & Television Commission
In 2013 two feature films were partially shot in The Bahamas. The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio and Seth Grogan and The Other Woman with Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Don Johnson and Kate Upton. A major commercial for the Irish lottery has also been shot in Nassau. Two Pirates of the Caribbean films and Casino Royale were also shot there in 2006 and 2007.
The Bahamas Film and TV Commission needs seven days notice before a production arrives on the islands. Information required includes types of locations, list of cast and crew members, equipment including values, estimate of budget and special requirements such as traffic control and helicopter permits. A full list of Permitting Procedures can be found on the Commissions website.
From 1 July 2013 a processing fee of 1% ad valorem – minimum $10 maximum $500 must be paid for the import of equipment/goods for commercial film and TV production.
The Bahamas Film Studios at Gold Rock Creek saw their last production in 2008 and are currently closed. No studio or backlot facilities are available at present.
The Bahamas has good weather all year round although there is a hurricane season from May to November. There is an abundance of beach locations with white sand and turquoise water as well as historic English colonial buildings and forts and colourful Caribbean architecture. Exuma and Freeport were the settings fortwo Pirates of the Caribbean films. Casino Royale was shot in Nassau and on Paradise Island. Some unusual locations on the islands include the Pink Sand Beaches on Eleuthera and the inland Blue Holes on Andros Island.
The Bahamas Film Television Commission offer a location scouting service.
Based in Nassau The Movi Group provide various services including equipment rental. Sky High Media specialise in aerial filming but also have equipment to hire. Stuart Cove who is also based in Nassau is a specialist in setting underwater stunts and action. His website provides more information.