Audiovisual production in Colombia is booming. The Colombian television industry successfully exports programs -especially soap operas- to a number of continents and is now a constant source of programming for the Latin US market.
The country’s advertising industry has taken solid root over the past few decades and in past years several Colombian production houses specializing in production of spots on Colombian locations have begun to produce for international clients whose spots air in many different countries. Film is undergoing a promising awakening; many Colombian feature films and documentaries compete annually at film festivals throughout the Americas and Europe.
All this activity is supported by courses of study at universities, several of which, such as advertising programs, have been around for decades. Film studies have become particularly popular at traditional universities and new schools and academic centers around the country. Young people are particularly interested, constantly producing short films, videos, and video-art on all kinds of formats including one minute films and music videos.
The country boasts many talented individuals experienced in television production – Colombia has one of the best TV industries in Latin America and exports products to over 80 countries around the world. This talent can also be found in national and international advertising agencies and production companies that produce an average of 30 international commercials each year and in the film industry, which in 2010 released 10 Colombian features, most of them co-produced with other countries and recognized at international festivals in the Americas and Europe.
Colombian film crews are known for their enormous commitment, hard work and resourcefulness. There are no audiovisual unions at this time, or fixed rates for services or labor, which makes it possible to negotiate directly with personnel required. There are a number of Colombian associations working to ensure the wellbeing and development of the audiovisual industry.
Department heads on several films have begun to garner international attention, such as Diego Jimenez, whose camerawork on the film “Todos tus muertos” was awarded the World Cinema Cinematography Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Colombian talent is highly prized throughout the world and has met with enormous success on the international market. Some of the best known actors include Catalina Sandino, who starred in “Twilight Saga: Eclipse”, “Che” and “Love in the Time of Cholera”; Sofía Vergara, known for her work in the television series “Modern Family” and “Men in Trees”; Paola Turbay, whose credits include “Royal Pains”, “Cane” and “Love in the Time of Cholera”; and Manolo Cardona, who recently appeared in “Beverly Hills Chihuaha”. Each of them has charmed US audiences with their talent and charisma. Juana Acosta, star of “Carlos” and “Hospital Central”, and Angie Cepeda, outstanding in “Los Protegidos”, “Fuera de Lugar” and “Love in the Time of Cholera” have earned solid recognition in Spanish-speaking markets.
Television series like “Betty la Fea” and “Café”, written by screenwriter Fernando Gaitan, have achieved great success in countries around the world. And Hollywood has bid for the rights to remake several recent Colombian films.
Several companies in Colombia focus exclusively on physical special effects and have extensive audiovisual production experience.
These companies can produce the most commonly requested special effects such as body shots, suspensions and fire and rain. They also have experience in designing unconventional effects to meet specific production needs.
Arms collectors with accredited experience in television, films and advertising spots can provide audiovisual productions with technical, theoretical and practical knowledge in the handling and use of arms.
There are three stunt companies in Colombia, two of them local and the third transnational. All three have experience in the field of stunt work and have developed 100% of the action scenes filmed for the national industry in recent years while adhering to international safety protocol.
Other services include aerial systems, general and flight safety for stunts, actors and production equipment, precision pilots for planes, helicopters, cars, motorcycles, boats, yachts, jet-skis, open-water work, rivers, stunt coordinators and second director units.
Most sound stages are located in the city of Bogotá. The largest of these covers 16,000 square feet (1,487 square meters). Other companies have studios ranging from 3,500 square feet (325 square meters) to 10,000 square feet (929 square meters).
There are warehouses throughout the country available for productions that require large spaces.
Sound Stages – Estudios Colombia
Digital post-production studios have been operating in Colombia for many years. This year, a multinational laboratory with headquarters in Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina will open its doors in Bogotá.
Software: Flame, Flint, Smoke, After Effects, Mocha, Nule.
Units equipped with 4:4:4 technology to be used in HD SR format.
Screening room and 4K colour correction
- Assimilate scratch and Tangent Theatrical Mastering modules for 4K color correction. Side by side screening with a Sony 4k digital projector.
- Specially designed software for data composing from SD to 4K.
Duplication and conversion of all SD/HD, HD SR formats.
Delivery to all formats and distribution under international protocols.
- Spirit data cine with 2K Da Vinci colour corrector in SD, HD and SR formats.
- 16mm and 35mm, film to tape and tape to tape transfers.
- 16mm and 35mm processing and printing.
- Kodak image care accredited lab.
- Digital record.
Scanning and recording
ARRI LASER. Laser tecnology recorder, worldwide standard to print to 35mm for digital intermediate processes.
- Dolby 5.1 accredited sound mixing facilities.
- Audio postproduction, dialogue editing, ADR and Foley facilities, dubbing, sound special effects, voices casting and sound design for film, documentaries, spots, television and web content.
- Independent sound designers, sound editors, re-recording mixers and music composers.
Digital recording in 2 or 4 channels, Sennheizer booms, wireless monitoring systems and everything needed for any film or HD shoot. Multichannel digital equipment, boom microphones, lavalier, plant, monitoring on set, digital delivery.
There are several television and film equipment rental and sales companies in Colombia whose technicians (either employees or freelancers) are licensed by these companies and trained to handle the latest technology. Many of them are bilingual.
- HD CAMERAS: Alexa, Canon 7D PL, F-3, F-23, F-900, P-2000, EX-3, HDV, Phantom Flex (2550 fps HD), Phantom Gold (1000 fps), etc.
- FILM: 435 X-Treme 3-Perf and ES 4-Perf; Moviecam Compact, SRII and III, Aaton Minima, etc.
- DATA RECORDERS: Codex and Transfer Station (RAW dual link, hi-speed), Cinedeck (4:4:4), Nano Flash (4:2:2), AJA Ki Pro (4:2:2), AJA Ki Mini (for HDV)
- TAPE RECORDERS: SRW-1 (4:4:4), HDW-S280 (4:2:2)
- LENSES: Including complete sets of Cooke 5/i, S4/i, Master primes, Ultra primes and Digi primes.
- ZOOMS: 24-290 Optimo, 17-80 Optimo, 15-40 Optimo, – 25-250 HR, 18-80 Alura. Also available: macros, swing & shift, Innovision, subaquatic, etc.
- ON-SET EDITING: Immediate rushes, editing, color correction, effects and compositing available on the set with wireless returns for rushes and immediate off-line editing for directors, scripts, producers, dops and designated personnel. I-pads with optional return of metadata to original material. RAW files on LTO TAPE. DPX, MOV, TIFF, etc. Wireless H.264
- LIGHTS: Complete line of Dedolight, Arri, K-5600, kinoflo, softsun 50kw, Lightning Strikes, Litepanel, etc.
- LIGHTING ACCESSORIES: All Chimera, Matthews, Avenger, Manfrotto, etc.
- POWER DISTRIBUTION: Mole-Richardson silent generators from 2-170 kw, cables and power boxes, dimmers and safety systems
- ACCESSORIES: Frames, reflectors, plastic mirrors, diffusers, nets, flags, clothes, scrims, etc.
- CAMERA SUPPORT: Stabilized and standard remote heads, cranes, dollies, jibs, Tyler helicopter mounts, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, etc. Milo motion control, Technocrane 30, Fisher 10 and 11, Panther Evo, Goblin Mini-crane, Slider 6″, etc.
- LIGHT SUPPORTS: Complete line of Matthews, Avenger, Manfrotto, Bogen, etc. 13m and 25m “Condor” construction cranes.
- 3, 5, 10 and 16-ton trucks pre-loaded with camera and power support.
- Trucks with silent 60kw, 90kw, 120kw, 140kw and 170kw power generators.
- 4×4 double-cab pick-up trucks for light loads, cameras and passengers.
- 3.5-ton camera-car with cranes, tow-dolly for cars.
- Four-wheeled motorcycle for camera with steady-cam mount and operator.
- Trailer with 4 beds, kitchen, living room, 2 bathrooms and generator.
- Trailers with make-up room and 1 bathroom.
- Vans for 9 and 18 passengers.
- Camera vans.
National and multinational companies in Colombia can be consulted for all tax, legal and exchange questions. They also provide film insurance for all audiovisual productions inside Colombia.
Information regarding companies and crew is available in the Colombian Film Commission’s service directory.