Filming in South America with Location Manager Mariano Cukar
Mariano entered the industry 25 years ago as a Production Manager, Line Producer and Production Director in Argentina. In 2001 he moved into locations and he’s since worked extensively on features, commercials and photo shoots.
Working as a Scout, Location Manager and general fixer, he’s worked on about a dozen feature films and hundreds of commercials and photo shoots.
What can you tell me about your region?
I’m based in Buenos Aires and I cover Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile. The region offers all kind of landscapes, climates and talents and on my huge database (one of the biggest locations database available for the region) you can find anything from snow landscapes to a black volcano desert, and everything from European architecture to shantytowns.
Buenos Aires and Montevideo often double for European cities, while Buenos Aires and Santiago offer more American-style architecture.
What locations are most commonly used by film and TV crews when they come and film in the area?
Buenos Aires and Montevideo often double for European cities, while Buenos Aires and Santiago offer more American-style architecture. The deserts and the ski resorts in Chile and Argentina, and the beaches in Uruguay, are also popular.
What are the more unusual locations that our readers would not necessarily associate with the region?
I would say the glaciers and the jungle.
What has been your most difficult location assignment to date and why?
Some years ago we were shooting a feature film involving whales off the Patagonian coast. We opened a road and built a big base camp to shoot on a beach where the whales were. One day before we started shooting a big storm left the beach completely covered by seaweed, the road flooded and our base being used as a squat by some tourists who were camping nearby. It took us two days to put everything back in order.
What types of production do you work on most?
I work mainly on films, commercials and stills. Recent jobs include clients like HBO, Mercedes Benz and a stills campaign for Ford, as well as a commercial for Sony Latam.
Are there any tips you would like to offer about filming in your region?
Filming in South America is quite easy when it comes to permits, available equipment and very hard-working and friendly crews. Probably one of the biggest problems for Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay is that those countries don’t have the Carnet so you will need a custom broker to clear equipment at the borders.
Which are the best airports to use? Any tips on customs clearance or film-friendly freight agents?
Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile are the main airports with daily connections to all major destinations in the world.
Filming in South America is quite easy when it comes to permits, available equipment and very hard-working and friendly crews.
What are the most film-crew-friendly hotels in your region and where is your favourite wrap party venue?
There’s the Palacio Duhau-Hyatt and some boutique hotels in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, the W hotel and Hyatt in Santiago and Sheraton, and the Radisson and Cottage in Montevideo. There are many, many places to have parties here!
There are usually set costs for Public Liability cover for film units and costs for insuring locations. Can you tell us about location insurance and possibly examples of costs in your region?
Insurance covering Public Liability will cost about USD100/150 per day and crew insurance is about USD10 per-person per day.
What do you do with your time off and what would you recommend crew and cast do to relax in any downtime?
When I have free time I love to stay at home and relax with the family. I’ll recommend the Buenos Aires nightlife and meat restaurants, or you should travel to Patagonia and see the glaciers. Enjoy the beach at Punta del Este in Uruguay or visit the new seventh wonder at Iguazu Falls.
To contact Mariano please click here.
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