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Old April 9th, 2011, 11:30 AM   #1
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What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Hello,

Undoubtedly, there are 1,341,648 threads on this topic, and my search skills turned up none of them. So, I apologize if I'm asking a question answered many, many, many times.

I have never shot outside the US, and I have a client that wants me to shoot something for him in Germany. My search turned up things about getting a carnet and how to deal with insurance, but what about something basic like: Do I need a work permit of some kind, and how do I go about getting one?

So, here are my questions:

1. Do I need some sort of special permit to shoot?
2. If not, how do I deal with the question: Are you here on business? (delivered, undoubtedly, in a creepy WWII-movie accent)
3. What else do I need to know that I'm clueless about.

Thanks to anyone who helps me out, here.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

film-recht index

This may help to answer some of the questions you have

Wayne
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Old April 9th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Thanks for the response, Wayne.

I'm not sure much of this applies, though, since I'm shooting a corporate video, and I'll just be going to a couple of breweries and shooting computers, fork lifts, brewery machinery, and some interviews. In that sense, I'm basically just a guy hired from the US to do work in Germany for a couple of days: probably not much different, by law, from being hired to clean houses.

Shooting permits won't apply, I don't think, since I'm shooting in corporate settings, and I won't need funding and the like.

But thanks for the response. I really appreciate it.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 12:43 PM   #4
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

maybe you could contact the German consulate and see if they have any pertinent information that might be of help to you?
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Old April 9th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #5
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Thanks, Don. Put in a call this morning, and that's what I'll do when (if?) I get a call back. Just thought maybe someone here had done this and knew a thing or two about it.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Hello Stuart,
first of all, that is no legal advice - it's only how I do things (I'm from Germany).

If it is a small shoot (7-10 or less people) and you only shoot on private property (or maybe from the other side of the street towards the company) you need nothing at all.

If it is a bigger productions with large rantals, trucks, hired crew, actors and so on, visit the link in the second post or so.



Edward

PS: Hint: The most cops don't speek english very well - so repeate the word tourist a few times and walk away ;)
PPS: If you have specific Questions and need help with contacts, etc. don't hesitate to contact me!
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Old May 13th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #7
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

I have been based in Canada for many years, and often work in the United States. At best, this is a grey area -- at worst, I'm not allowed to do so. The issue arises when crossing the border; when asked the purpose of my visit if I say to shoot a video or worse to make a video, I will be refused entry. The expense and inconvenience of being turned back will be entirely mine.

If when asked the same question I answer that I am going to the US 'to receive instruction and guidance from my American employer' (sort of true), I will be waved across. Hopefully no one asks about the bags of equipment I'm taking ...

Carnets and permits are no help when confronted with issues of cross border employment. I expect that something similar might affect you when heading to Germany, though my own experience (when based in the UK and travelling to the Continent) is that no one will ask you ... but you're travelling from the US, and the queries might be different.

Not much help I know, but I suspect the message is relevant -- look to the country entry process, and figure out whether you are 'allowed' to enter the country and work ...

Cheers,
GB
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Old May 26th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Thanks to both of you for your replies!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #9
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Just call the German Consulate.
I'm not sure whether the EU is as 'hostile' to 'workers from abroad' as the US seems to be.
In the end this game is always about taxes.

When they won't let you in: contact Edward Black to do the job: he is located in Berlin ;-)
(I'm Dutch, so I can travel and work anywhere in the EU as well :-p )
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Old June 1st, 2011, 07:24 AM   #10
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

I can't offer any legal advice (never been challenged in 7 years), but you should be aware that fluorescent lights in Germany 'flicker' at 50 Hz. If you shoot with the standard 1/60 sec shutter, you get an awful strobing effect. Switching to 1/100 sec solves this. Also, 110 bulbs react badly to 220 AC. If you are in Stuttgart and find yourself needing anything, feel free to contact me.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:07 PM   #11
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Thanks Walter and Steve. Walter, the German Consulate has been singularly unhelpful, I'm afraid. They keep saying it "should" be OK, but they don't really know.

Steve, thanks for the great advice. Luckily, I'll be renting lights in Munich, so bulbs and flicker shouldn't be an issue. Will probably use tungsten, anyway.

Thanks again.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #12
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Re: What do I have to do to shoot in Germany (US citizen)

Hi Stuart,

I have just seen your question. If you already dealt with the settings (breweries) there won't be any major issue. Just have a list of equipment with you and if you want declare it. I usually film abroad (outside Germany) and I never got problems coming back home.

Feel free to contact me as well.

Luck!
Markus
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