Filming in a stunning location abroad can be an exciting part of film production. Being able to travel means you can secure the perfect backdrop for your project, regardless of how specific it needs to be.
But travelling for a film shoot also comes with some inherent risks. Some of these may simply be heightened risks that you would also face in the UK, while others might be unique to filming in another country.
If you’re planning an overseas film shoot, read on to discover four important risks that you need to consider and how you can protect your production from the potential financial implications.
It’s likely that you will already have some form of equipment insurance in place, but travelling abroad with your cameras, sound equipment, and other key pieces adds an extra layer of risk.
For example, you may need to keep the equipment in a hotel room or store it in an unattended vehicle.
Since travelling further afield increases the risk of damage or theft of your belongings, it’s important to check your equipment insurance policy. If needed, work with your broker to update the policy so that your cover extends to the country you’re travelling to.
Your broker can also help you to interpret the fine print and ensure that the cover is appropriate for you. For example, some policies might require that the equipment be kept on your person when you are outside of the studio. This can pose a problem if you need to check it into the hold on a plane.
As well as your cameras, mics, and other filming equipment, you should also consider the risk posed to the materials you use to record your film shoot. Whether you’re shooting on film or storing your takes as digital media, working abroad could mean that there is an increased chance of these items being damaged, lost, or stolen.
While this could mean an unexpected bill to replace the materials lost, even worse, it could require you to reshoot the footage that was contained on the missing items. When you may already be working to a tight budget or a packed schedule, this could create a real headache for you and your teammates.
Fortunately, it is possible to protect your production. Specialist negatives, video tape and digital insurance could help you cover the costs of replacing your items and reshooting any lost footage. This means you won’t be left out of pocket if you do find yourself in this position.
This one may sound extreme, but depending on where you’re shooting, there is a chance that someone on your team could fall victim to kidnappers.
One of the most high-profile instances of a film set being targeted by kidnappers inspired the film All the Money in the World. While working as an extra on a film set in Rome in 1973, John Paul Getty III, the grandson of wealthy oil tycoon J Paul Getty, was kidnapped, with the criminals initially demanding a ransom of $17 million. Though his grandfather refused to pay this, he eventually paid $3.2 million to secure his grandson’s release.
The risk of your production being affected by kidnapping or extortion may be small, but should it happen, it could prove extremely costly and disruptive to your project. Kidnap and ransom insurance could cover the cost of a ransom that has to be paid, protecting you from financial ruin should you need to pay it.
Working overseas can mean that your team must comply with local insurance requirements. For example, you may need to provide proof that you have a certain level of cover to be able to access some locations.
These requirements could include:
Of course, the specifics of your insurance needs will depend on a variety of factors, such as where you are going to be filming, what equipment you’ll be using, and the team you’re taking with you. To ensure you have the correct cover in place, it’s important to speak to a broker who understands the industry and can advise you on the necessary precautions you need to take.
Our team of brokers are all committed to helping you and your production thrive. It’s our job to provide you with peace of mind that you’re protected from the risks you could face. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, please get in touch.
Note that financial protection plans typically have no cash in value at any time and cover will cease at the end of the term. If premiums stop, then cover will lapse. Cover is subject to terms and conditions and may have exclusions.