Ever wondered how certain films or parts in a particular series are shot in areas that look Kenyan, Ethiopian or Ugandan? That is because they actually are! This is where film agents come in. They are a locally based representative of a foreign film practitioner registered by the Kenya Film Classification Board. These are the gurus who help international companies such as Netflix carry out various activities before they start filming; part of which we will go through in this write-up. There are quite a number of international films shot in Kenya, one of them being the Lion King!
Let us dive into the services the local agents in Kenya provide, what to know before hiring a film agent and the various film agents in Kenya that can help you.
The 5 services local agents in Kenya provide
Film agents are crucial in providing logistical support to foreign film and television producers planning to film in Kenya. Listed are the services provided by film agents in Kenya.
1. Facilitating permit acquisition/ Kenya filming license
Filming in Kenya, just like any other destination requires that you have filming permits and permissions. Your agent should ensure that they are secured before you start filming. The kind of permit you would need is dependent on what is being filmed. In order to obtain such a permit, the local agents in Kenya ensure that an application form requesting the permit is written, a Kenya film licensing form, and an application form. These will be accompanied by a detailed copy of the screenplay, a synopsis and a shooting schedule. Which your local film agents will send to the film licensing officer. Permits for features, documentaries, music videos, short films, and corporate videos are issued within a few days. However, it takes a little longer for TV series and full-length feature films, under seven days.
2. Location scouting
A location scout works with the film’s pre-production team to find the most suitable place to shoot. Generally speaking, they’ll start by reading the script and/or screenplay. They will then work under the direction of the film’s production unit to find an area that will bring the film to life. Naturally, this is much easier said than done! Narrowing down a filming location isn’t just about aesthetic appeal. Location scouting involves logistics, safety, timing and shooting permissions. For films, in other countries such as Uganda or South Sudan, location scouts deal with the challenges that come with bureaucracy, time zones and language barriers. Having a location scout on-site during production is particularly beneficial. They’re available to deal with unexpected issues, provide local knowledge, and connect you with other professionals in the industry whenever necessary.
3. Talent acquisition
The location of the film is quite important, do you know what else? The local actors that will bring balance to the film. The talent acquisition team should be armed for battle and ready to give you the very best in the game based on the script!
4. Crew sourcing
Filming agents in Kenya have strong working relationships with leading crews in their area. Be it Mombasa, Kisumu or Nakuru they are quite ready for the job. This includes Directors, Cinematographers, Producers, Camera Operators, Sound Mixers, Grips, Gaffers and even PAs. They can add individual crew members to your team, or put together a full crew that’s perfect for the job.
5. Equipment supply
Whether you need a single piece of equipment or an entire gear package, local filming agents in Kenya can help. They have relationships and accounts with the leading equipment rental houses in their area. Because of these relationships, they can get the best rates, which they’ll pass on to you. Many film agents also have their own production and equipment insurance.
Why are local film agents important?
Film agents are particularly important for unfamiliar locations. Through the professional networks and relationships they have developed over time, they help productions save both time and money by knowing where to find the services needed at different budget levels. Productions are able to hit the ground running and not worry about logistical issues. Local film agents are excellent at scouting filming locations, assisting with filming permits, arranging travel and accommodations, and providing recommendations on how to keep the production crew and equipment safe during this time of COVID.
Managing your film agents
Establishing roles and responsibilities up front makes working with filming agents in Kenya easy. Checklists and lists of expectations keep clear communication between the production and the fixer. Depending on how many responsibilities you give the film agent, make sure not to overwhelm them with too many tasks. Ensure they are not set up for failure due to a lack of producing experience or financial resources. Finding film agents in Kenya that can be your ambassador to their city will vary in cost from location to location, but the assistance they provide can be invaluable.
Top 5 film agents in Kenya
Being in contact with experienced and handy local agents in Kenya will be quite beneficial for your production team and for the piece you wish to continue working on! Here is a list of the agents that are a good pick;
1. Video Force Kenya
They are the leading video production company in Kenya, not only do they provide video content for digital audiences through animation videos, illustrations and documentaries; they are also quite skilled at being local film agents in Kenya. Video force Kenya is accredited as a Filming agent by various government institutions.
Call them at +254701850850 or email them via [email protected], do not hesitate to call and reach out to them to make your films in Kenya excellent!
2. HQue Media
They will handle every part of the production process for you, from prep through to post-production, to final delivery and beyond, advising you on delivery strategies. They are filmmakers who understand the power of visuals and stories and share a passion for film and creativity. Our mission is to be more than just good videos.
3. Morph Visuals
This is a robust creative agency based in Nairobi, Kenya. They structure effective communication strategies and come up with impactful and creative digital campaigns for brands, products and organizational programmes as well as sorting out logistics and equipment supply for international film companies.
4. White rhino films
They are a youthful, creative and vibrant production company with a passion for crafting quality and engaging stories. They collaborate with international and domestic partners to bring these great stories to life through location scouting and talent acquisition.
5. Studio Ang
Nairobi-based independent production home that has become a haven for artists who value working on unique, story-driven and visually innovative projects. They collaborate with handpicked talent from a wide array of disciplines combining all aspects of design, technique-driven live action and animation to create original and commissioned work for any screen and for any medium. They surely have a skilled talent acquisition team.
Film agents in Kenya are extremely skilful personnel responsible for fetching unique locations and giving the most detailed and professional remarks to the producers. In addition, they know how to finish work within a specific timeline. Get in touch with Video Force and let them handle every administrative work and ensure that shooting goes smoothly!
Call them at +254701850850 or email them via [email protected], do not be left out!
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