Israel is a small country offering a vast variety of locations in close proximity to each other. From the main production centre of Tel Aviv, it’s a short 2hr drive to the Dead Sea and Negev Desert, a 3hr drive to the Arava Desert, and a 4hr drive to Eilat and the Red Sea.
Cost & Rebates
In terms of local costs, Israel can be one of the more expensive service centres in the Middle East. That said, unlike much of the Middle East, Israel is an established production service centre.
The Jerusalem Film and Television Fund offers financial incentives for qualifying visiting productions.
When To Shoot
Israel has a Mediterranean climate. Winters (November to March) are mild and rainy, with occasional snowfall in mountainous regions. Spring (April to May) has mild temperatures with plenty of sunshine. Summers (June to August) are long, hot and very dry. Fall (September to October) has milder temperatures with very little rain.
Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Crews travelling on Western passports can enter Israel visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Contact your local Israeli embassy / representative for more information.
Some Muslim countries restrict access to travellers who have Israeli stamps in their passports. Filmmakers, photographers and journalists that intend to make any future trips to these countries should ask Israeli border guards not to stamp their passports with the Israeli entry/exit stamps, instead opting for a separate entry card being stamped.
Crew with passport stamps indicating extensive travel to Muslim countries may also face extensive questioning by Israeli immigration and border officials.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Israel has some talented local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Israeli crews are union. All speak English. The government offers incentives for using local crew. Talent. Israel has both union and non-union talent. The rules are quite similar to those used in Germany and France.
Israel is made up of a great diversity of cultures. Jewish people have come from all ends of the globe and thus formed a wonderful mosaic of faces, ethnicities and cultures. Israel is mainly Arri based. All of the standard new HD camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. More specialised gear can be easily brought in from nearby European rental houses. For productions looking to bring in their own gear, Israel is an ATA carnet country.