In film speak, a fixer is a local connect studios keep on hand in different cities to help facilitate productions. Fixers do a ton to help productions get started. First and foremost though, they provide on-the-ground support in nearly every part of production, including but not limited to: logistical support, permit acquisition, entry through customs and immigration for foreign contractors, location management and scouting, local talent and crew hires, equipment rentals and the arrangement of travel, transport and accommodations for all of the above.
For every city or state you want to film in, the rules and regulations will be entirely different. That’s why the importance of having a local fixer on hand can’t be overstated! Say, for instance, you want to film in New Hampshire. What can a fixer in New Hampshire tell you about the ins and outs of that process? How many precious pre-production hours can they help you save?
A fixer knows right off the bat that there are no general filming permits needed if you’ve arranged to film on private property on New Hampshire. But if you need to film on public property, you may need additional documentation. Keyword: may. Any producer can tell you that a huge chunk of their time goes into making sure they’re covered during the shoot (meaning that their production is following all the rules and won’t be shut down by The Man mid-scene.) Your New Hampshire fixer looks at all the things you want to do in your production and can tell you exactly what permits you will and won’t need and who to talk to about them.
Imagine you’re shooting in Lake Winnipesaukee. Where are you allowed to fly a drone? Are you allowed to have submersibles? What about underwater diving permits? It’s important to know what you’re up against at every corner so your production runs as smoothly as possible when shoot day comes. On top of that, a fixer can give you information to help you save and shave wherever possible. For example, the first thing a NH fixer would tell you is that the state is sales tax free and you’ve made a great financial decision to film there!
What About Road Closures?
Road closures can be a particular headache in some municipalities. But, your New Hampshire fixer knows that’s not the case in New Hampshire! For local roads, you will only need to coordinate the closure with the impacted city of the town and work out police units with those folks. If the road has a route number or bigger, you will need to submit an application with the DOT for a parade permit or other activity on a state highway system, as well as and coordinate with the city or town affected. But it’s always $0 to apply, a far cry from the high application fees associated with other states and cities.
Filming in NH Nature
One of the best reasons to film in New Hampshire is the diverse range of nature settings available within close proximity to each other. For a relatively small state, NH has mountains, rivers, serene oceansides, amazing lakes and dense forrests. Springtime New Hampshire is a particularly gorgeous backdrop for a film or TV show. But it doesn’t get much prettier than a New Hampshire forrest covered in pure white snowfall in January.
Through lots of experience scouting and working within these settings, your NH fixer can take a look at your script and recommend spots within parks as well as privately owned land that would work. They are also very familiar with the local climate and so can help you craft a nearly fool-proof filming schedule.
So, let’s say you want to film a nature scene at Mount Washington. You’re going to need a permit from the Parks and Recreation authority, a contact that your fixer probably has in their back pocket, ready to go. On top of that, there is a $100 administrative fee and, of course, a good ol’ Certificate of Insurance required. Anyone within 100 feet of a film set knows how crucial COI’s are. You need one wherever or whenever you’re shooting, pretty much, so any liability falls on the production company and not on the kind folks allowing you to film your pretty shots at their location. As much as we would like to, you can’t plan for accidents. That’s why ECG is fully insured, to the nines. And that’s why we work with great fixer’s who can help us be prepared just in case.
Fixin’ it all up at ECG
Hopefully by now we’ve convinced you how helpful a fixer can be, especially a good one who knows exactly what they’re doing. At ECG Productions, we’ve been in the biz long enough to have connects with just those types of fixers in nearly every place you’d like to film. Take advantage of our years of experience and relationships, and see how we much we can streamline your production! Get the conversation started today.