in Arctic Norway means snow, ice, and the famous Northern Lights! Unique to this region is the very low 3oo m treeline, giving rise to vertical snow-covered peaks jutting straight up from the crystal blue fjords below. Inland you find expansive white landscapes, the vastness of the Finnmarksvidda plateau, and the animals and indigenous Sami people living, travelling and working in this frozen environment with awe-inspiring ease. The contrast with urban snow-covered cityscapes is riveting
Old wooden fisherman´s cabins and modern architecture contrast brilliantly with epic, extreme surroundings, and even when it´s freezing outside the Norwegians have a cosy open fire or a knack for making even the most modern of buildings warm and welcoming.
Old, dilapidated fishing villages are often “decorated” by local graffiti artists, and architectural gems are littered in surprising locations, from urban environments to an outdoor loo in the middle of nowhere.
The Arctic light creates filming magic - pink midnight sun in the summer and the magical blue light of the polar nights in winter, adds drama and a sense of the unknown. The Northern Lights also graze these skies more often than anywhere else in the world, so if the mythical Aurora is what you´re after, this region is your best bet.
24 hours of daylight in summer also means you can you shoot for longer hours, and the vertical shadows cast over arctic landscapes, buildings and staggering mountains and fjords in the low sunlight creates otherworldly dimensions.
The openness of the people of the North and outward looking culture, lures you in. Every face tells a story in a land where fishermen, Vikings, indigenous people and sailors from all over the world has ended up looking for trade on the way to Russia.
Today, people here present uniquely as well informed, hugely “tech-forward” and acutely proud of their traditional ways of survival in the Arctic.
- Your barista with the super edgy hair cut may be the art scholar daughter of a fisherman, who, apart from her Saturday barista job fillets fish during the holidays.
Arctic Norway has always attracted people from all over the world, making diverse and culturally interesting communities in the most remote locations.
The Lofoten islands used to attract fishermen from all over Europe – Now is houses thriving international art, surfing and climbing communities.
The Sami indigenous population are spread across the Sapmi region of Arctic Norway. Sami traditions and music infuse the region.
The urban hub of Tromsø has a vibrant university, culture, nightlife and music scene.
This is the land if the Vikings and home to Europe’s only indigenous people, the Sami and their huge flocks of reindeer. The proximity to Russia and the shared border with Northern Sweden and Finish Lapland has shaped culture and history– but it is the fish that has kept this region alive. Vikings relished in the richness of the oceans here, creating big communities that have, or are being, archeologically excavated.
Tromsø itself is steeped in polar explorer history and Amundsen started his famous expeditions here. The rock carvings in Alta are on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, and Finnmark, Narvik and Troms were vital battle grounds during WW II
Filming in Arctic Norway
It is a good idea to collaborate with a local good line producer or producer when filming in Norway, and to use Norwegian crew, both because they are experts on the locations and any legal and logistical reequipments, but also because this is one of the requirements putting any production in line for the 25% cash rebate scheme.
Norwegian crew are getting more and more used to working on big international productions, and they all speak English. Most crew members union members, but this is not a given, although all crew are generally treated as if they are. Capable crew, from DOPs cinematographers and line producers, to fixers, location scouts and drone operators are dotted around Norway and more concentrated around local towns like Tromsø, or in Oslo. All crew are used to relocating and filming all over this very long country with its intricate shoreline.
Crew costs are generally a little higher than in some other countries, but Norwegian crew are known for being highly efficient and experienced, meaning you sometimes don't need the same size crew as you would somewhere else. Svalbard has especially professional locations and productions services, and the film studio Filmcamp with HoD-facilities and more is located inland in Arctic Norway, near Målselv.
Permission to film
We collaborate with the Film Commissions of each region in Norway, who facilitate and help getting finance, permits and sometimes crew. Generally, Norway is a film friendly country. If you are on public ground, you do not need a permit to film unless you’re obstructing roads or other public spaces. You can also film private spaces and houses freely if you are standing on public ground. National parks do have some restrictions when it comes to use of drones and aerial filming, as well as motorised vehicles, and there may be restrictions on any human activity in some parts of Arctic Norway depending on the season and specific wildlife and environmental issues.