Cost-Efficient Video Shoots: Top 10 Budget-Friendly Filming Locations

by Igor

Cost-Efficient Video Shoots: Top 10 Budget-Friendly Filming Locations

Published on August 09, 2023

Create impactful business videos on a budget. Explore budget-friendly locations for commercial video production.

When it comes to producing commercial videos — it can be a costly endeavor, especially when working within a tight budget. In more developed countries like the USA, Canada, or Western Europe, those costs can be substantial. That’s why we want to talk about budget-friendly filming locations.

video production services belgrade

For a better understanding, let’s start with a personal experience — we recently had to hire a local videographer in Denver, Colorado. His daily rate (which was somewhere around 6-8 hours of work) was no less than $1200.

And that’s in Colorado.

What if we had to find a videographer in Los Angeles, or New York? $1,500.00, $2,000.00, or even more?

On the other hand, we had to find a local videographer for the same company, but in the 2nd most populated town in Serbia. His daily rate was $250.

Let’s say you own an agency in Orlando, Florida, and you want to shoot a commercial video for a client.

The video can be shot anywhere in the world (meaning it isn’t location depended, you can have local actors that look the part, and you have a voice-over so you don’t have to worry about the accent of the actors).

In most cases, you’d want at least your DOP to be present while filming. And let’s say he needs his assistant there, too.

Two two-way tickets are around $1,800.00. Bed-and-breakfast in a 5-star hotel (Hyatt) for 5 nights is $1,000.00.

Even then it’s way cheaper. And we didn’t even calculate all the equipment that you would need – lights, sounds, etc. The prices are 3-4 times bigger in the US.

And if you find a good video production company in one of those countries — you won’t even have to travel there in the future. Get you a good director and a quality crew, and your margins will be HUGE.

Don’t worry about the gear. Every country in this article has at least a few productions with the latest equipment.

However, clever marketers and video producers have discovered a range of international locations that offer both captivating backdrops and cost-saving benefits for commercial productions.

Based on our experience from various countries around the world, we present to you the top ten cost-efficient filming destinations abroad, where businesses can create engaging and impactful videos without breaking the bank.

Let’s begin:

video production belgrade, serbia
Belgrade, Serbia

1. Beautiful Budget-Friendly Balkans — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

From picturesque coastlines to ancient fortresses, filmmakers can find a myriad of versatile settings to suit various narratives.

The Balkans region, comprising countries like Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro, provides breathtaking scenery and historical charm at a fraction of the cost of Western Europe or North America.

We loved working here so much that we opened our own office with 90% of the local crew. Making us budget-friendly filming locations for commercial video production


  • Scenic Diversity on a Budget: The Balkans boast a remarkable diversity of landscapes within relatively short distances.

    From the azure Adriatic coastline to the dramatic mountain ranges, lush forests, and ancient cities, you can find a wide array of filming backdrops that suit various commercial themes.
  • Historical Charm: The region’s historical legacy has left behind a plethora of stunning architecture and towns.

    These charming settings can lend a unique and authentic feel to your commercial narratives.
  • Affordable Production Costs: The cost of living and production expenses in the Balkans are notably lower than in Western European countries.

    This cost advantage extends to equipment rental, accommodations, and crew rates, making it a cost-efficient destination for commercial shoots.
  • Experienced Crews: Many Balkan countries have a burgeoning film industry with skilled and experienced crews.

    You can easily find professionals who are familiar with international production standards, ensuring a smooth filming process.
  • Film-Friendly Policies: Several Balkan countries offer film-friendly policies, making it easier to obtain permits and access shooting locations.

    Local authorities often extend their support to foreign filmmakers, simplifying the bureaucratic process.
  • Language Barriers: In urban areas, English is spoken with high proficiency, but you might face communication challenges in rural locations.

    Hiring crew members who speak English can help.
  • Quaint and Authentic Locations: The Balkans is dotted with small towns and villages that retain their authentic charm.

    These locations can add an element of relatability and realism to your commercial narratives.


  • Limited Infrastructure: While the larger cities in the region have adequate production infrastructure, you might encounter limitations in remote or less developed areas.

    This means that if you need heavy production equipment — you’ll need to transport it from bigger cities.
  • Weather Variability: The Balkans experience diverse weather patterns, which might impact outdoor shoots.

    Sudden changes in weather could require flexibility in your shooting schedules.

While the situation has improved in recent years, it’s essential to stay informed about the geopolitical climate of the specific country you choose for filming.

In conclusion, the Balkans present a cost-effective and visually stunning option for a budget-friendly location for commercial video production.

With its diverse landscapes, historical richness, and affordable production costs, this region offers ample opportunities to create compelling and impactful commercial content.

By carefully planning your shoot, collaborating with local experts, and taking advantage of the region’s strengths, you can produce high-quality videos that resonate with your audience while staying within your budget constraints.

Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco

2. Mesmerizing Morocco — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

Morocco’s video productions can introduce you to enchanting landscapes, vibrant cities, and unique architecture and offer a visually rich and budget-friendly canvas for commercial filmmakers looking to create captivating content without exceeding their financial limits.


  • Exotic Settings: From bustling markets to majestic deserts, Morocco provides a range of distinctive settings that can infuse your commercial with a touch of exotic allure.
  • Cost-Effective Production: Morocco’s lower production costs, including permits and location fees, make it an attractive option for budget-conscious filmmakers.
  • Visual Diversity: The country’s diverse landscapes and architectures can cater to a wide range of commercial themes, adding depth and uniqueness.
  • Cultural Authenticity: Morocco’s rich cultural heritage can lend an authentic and immersive feel to your commercial narratives.


  • Language Barriers: While Arabic and Berber are the primary languages, English might not be widely spoken in some areas, necessitating translation services.
  • Logistical Challenges: Importing equipment and navigating customs might present logistical hurdles, requiring careful planning.
  • Weather Considerations: Morocco’s climate variations could impact shooting schedules, necessitating flexibility and contingency plans.
  • Bureaucracy: Certain regions might have bureaucratic challenges, particularly when it comes to permits. Local assistance can be beneficial.

Mumbai, India

3. Incredible India — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

India, with its rich cultural tapestry and diverse landscapes, offers an enchanting blend of possibilities for budget-conscious commercial filmmakers.

From bustling cities to serene natural beauty, India’s cost-efficient production environment coupled with its vibrant visuals can elevate your commercial video to new heights.


  • Visual Diversity: India’s varied landscapes include bustling urban centers, historical monuments, lush greenery, serene beaches, and beautiful countryside. This diversity enables you to tailor your commercial to a wide range of themes.
  • Abundant Talent: The Indian film industry is one of the largest in the world, providing access to a vast pool of talented actors, crew members, and production professionals.
  • Low Production Costs: India’s cost of living is significantly lower than that of Western countries.

    This translates into lower expenses for accommodations, equipment rentals, and skilled crew, allowing you to stretch your production budget.
  • Cultural Richness: India’s vibrant culture and traditions can lend an authentic and engaging touch to your commercial, capturing the attention of your audience.
  • Stunning Architecture: The country’s historical and architectural wonders, such as palaces, forts, and temples, can serve as visually captivating backdrops for your commercial.
  • Supportive Local Authorities: Certain Indian states and regions actively support filmmaking by offering incentives, simplifying permit procedures, and providing logistical assistance.


  • Bureaucratic Challenges: Navigating India’s bureaucracy and obtaining necessary permits can be time-consuming and complex. It’s advisable to work with local production companies familiar with the process.
  • Crowd Management: India’s bustling cities and popular attractions can be crowded, requiring careful planning to manage crowds during shooting.
  • Cultural Nuances: Cultural differences and language barriers may require sensitivity and local expertise to ensure accurate representation and communication.
  • Infrastructure Variances: While major cities have modern infrastructure, rural areas might lack certain production amenities and specialized equipment.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4. Charming Southeast Asia — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

Southeast Asia, with its stunning natural beauty, bustling urban scenes, and unique cultural experiences, offers a diverse playground for budget-savvy commercial filmmakers.

This region’s cost-effectiveness, combined with its visually captivating settings, makes it an enticing option for creating dynamic and impactful commercial videos.


  • Natural Beauty: From pristine beaches to lush jungles, Southeast Asia’s natural landscapes provide a backdrop of unparalleled beauty for a wide range of commercial themes.
  • Cultural Richness: The region’s diverse cultures and traditions can add depth and authenticity to your commercial narratives, resonating with global audiences.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Production costs, including accommodations, equipment rental, and skilled crew, are significantly lower compared to Western countries, making Southeast Asia a budget-friendly destination.
  • Experienced Crews: Several Southeast Asian countries have burgeoning film industries with experienced professionals who can provide high-quality production support.
  • Unique Architecture: Ancient temples, traditional villages, and modern cityscapes offer a plethora of unique architectural backdrops to enhance your commercial’s visual appeal.


  • Language Barriers: Communication can be challenging due to the linguistic diversity in the region.

    Hiring local crew members or translators can help overcome this obstacle.
  • Weather Considerations: Monsoon seasons and weather fluctuations might impact your shooting schedules. Planning for potential weather disruptions is essential.
  • Permit Challenges: Some countries in Southeast Asia have stricter regulations for foreign media production, necessitating careful research and local assistance to obtain necessary permits.
  • Logistical Considerations: Remote areas might lack advanced infrastructure and specialized equipment, potentially requiring additional planning.

Cape Town, South Africa

5. Magnificent South Africa — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

South Africa’s captivating landscapes and diverse settings make it an appealing destination for budget-conscious commercial filmmakers.

With its unique blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty, this country offers a plethora of opportunities to create visually striking and impactful commercial videos.


  • Scenic Diversity: South Africa boasts a wide range of landscapes, from stunning coastlines and lush winelands to expansive wildlife reserves.

    This diversity allows for versatile storytelling across different commercial themes.
  • Experienced Professionals: The country’s well-established film industry provides access to experienced crew members, skilled talent, and reliable production services.
  • Favorable Exchange Rates: Beneficial exchange rates can significantly stretch your production budget, enabling you to maximize resources without compromising quality.
  • Cultural Richness: South Africa’s cultural tapestry and history can add depth to your commercial, resonating with audiences on a global scale.
  • Film-Friendly Policies: Government support and incentives for international productions contribute to a streamlined permit process and production-friendly environment.


  • Safety Considerations: Certain areas in South Africa might have safety concerns, necessitating careful location selection and additional security measures.
  • Budget Allocation: While production costs are generally lower than in Western countries, unexpected expenses might arise due to variations in equipment availability and logistical challenges.
  • Lack of Incentives: Despite some government support, South Africa’s incentives might be less substantial compared to other locations, impacting potential cost savings.
  • Logistical Challenges: Remote shooting locations might present logistical hurdles, requiring extra planning for equipment transport and crew accommodations.


6. Captivating Central America — Cost-effective Filming Locations

Central America’s lush landscapes, rich biodiversity, and unique cultural tapestry offer a budget-friendly paradise for commercial filmmakers seeking visually captivating backdrops.

With its affordable production costs and diverse settings, this region is ripe for creating dynamic and engaging commercial videos. Some of the countries worth mentioning are — Cuba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama… but the rest of the region share the same benefits as well.


  • Natural Beauty: Central America’s rainforests, pristine beaches, and ancient ruins provide an array of visually stunning settings to enhance your commercial’s appeal.
  • Low Production Costs: The cost of living and production expenses in Central America are generally lower compared to many other regions, allowing you to optimize your production budget.
  • Cultural Experiences: The region’s indigenous cultures and historical sites can add authenticity and depth to your commercial narratives.
  • Accessible Permits: Several Central American countries offer accessible permit processes, making it easier to secure necessary permissions for filming.


  • Language Barriers: Language diversity might require hiring local translators or bilingual crew members to ensure effective communication.
  • Safety Considerations: While safety has improved in recent years, certain areas might still have safety concerns. Careful research and local advice are essential.
  • Limited Infrastructure: While larger cities have adequate production facilities, remote areas might lack specialized equipment and modern amenities.
  • Political Instability: Some countries in Central America have faced political instability in the past. It’s crucial to stay informed about the current political climate.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

7. Alluring Argentina — Affordable Locations for Video Production

Argentina’s diverse landscapes, from the majestic Andes mountains to bustling cities, offer a range of possibilities for budget-friendly commercial filmmaking.

With its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, this South American gem can bring a touch of magic to your commercial projects.


  • Visual Diversity: Argentina’s landscapes encompass dramatic mountains, expansive plains, and cosmopolitan urban scenes, providing a rich palette of settings for your commercial.
  • Affordable Production Costs: Lower cost of living and production expenses enable you to allocate more resources to your creative vision while maintaining quality.
  • Cultural Depth: Argentina’s rich history and vibrant culture can add authenticity and depth to your commercial’s storytelling.
  • Favorable Exchange Rates: Beneficial exchange rates can enhance your budget’s impact, enabling you to achieve high production value without exceeding your financial limits.


  • Bureaucratic Processes: Navigating Argentina’s bureaucratic landscape and obtaining necessary permits might require assistance from local fixers familiar with the process.
  • Seasonal Weather Variations: Argentina’s climate variations might impact your shooting schedule. Plan for potential weather-related disruptions.
  • Cultural Nuances: Cultural differences might necessitate a nuanced approach to communication and representation in your commercial.
  • Location Challenges: While larger cities have adequate infrastructure, more remote areas might lack certain production amenities and specialized equipment.

Victoria Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

8. Affordable Africa — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

Beyond South Africa, several African countries offer unique landscapes and cultural experiences for budget-conscious commercial filmmakers. With its diverse settings and cost-effective production opportunities, Africa provides a canvas for compelling and captivating commercial videos.


  • Diverse Settings: African countries like Kenya, Ghana, and Tanzania offer a range of landscapes, from savannas and deserts to bustling markets and vibrant urban centers.
  • Cultural Authenticity: The region’s rich cultural heritage can lend depth and authenticity to your commercial narratives, making them more relatable to global audiences.
  • Affordable Production Costs: Lower production expenses compared to Western countries enable you to optimize your budget while maintaining production quality.
  • Government Support: Many African countries actively support the film industry through incentives and accessible permit processes, simplifying logistical challenges.


  • Equipment Limitations: While major cities might have modern production facilities, remote areas might lack specialized equipment, requiring careful planning.
  • Logistical Hurdles: Transport and accommodation challenges might arise in remote shooting locations, necessitating additional preparation.
  • Language Barriers: Language diversity might require hiring local crew members who are fluent in English or providing translation services.
  • Safety Considerations: Depending on the specific country and region, safety concerns might impact location selection and necessitate additional security measures.

El Nido, Philippines

9. Picturesque Philippines — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

The Philippines, with its pristine beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant cities, offers a budget-friendly haven for commercial filmmakers seeking visually captivating and culturally rich settings.


  • Natural Beauty: The Philippines’ stunning natural landscapes, including turquoise waters and lush greenery, provide an exquisite backdrop for diverse commercial narratives.
  • Affordable Production Costs: The lower cost of living and production expenses allow you to allocate resources effectively while achieving high production value.
  • Skilled English-Speaking Crew: The country’s skilled crew members, many of whom are English-speaking, can help streamline communication and enhance collaboration.
  • Film-Friendly Incentives: The Philippines offers incentives and accessible permits for foreign productions, contributing to a smoother production process.


  • Weather-Related Disruptions: The Philippines’ tropical climate, including typhoon risks, might impact shooting schedules. Flexibility and contingency planning are essential.
  • Limited Equipment Availability: While major cities have production facilities, remote locations might lack certain specialized equipment.
  • Cultural Considerations: Sensitivity to cultural differences and nuances is crucial to ensure respectful representation in your commercial.
  • Remote Location Challenges: Shooting in remote areas might present logistical challenges, requiring extra planning for equipment transport and accommodations.

Peles Castle, Romania

10. Enchanting Eastern Europe — Budget-friendly Filming Locations for Commercial Video Production

Eastern Europe, encompassing countries like Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, offers a blend of history, culture, and stunning landscapes that can add depth and visual appeal to your commercial videos, all while staying within budget.


  • Versatile Settings: From charming villages to historical castles, Eastern Europe offers a range of visually captivating settings that can cater to various commercial themes.
  • Competitive Production Costs: The cost of production, including equipment rental, accommodations, and skilled crew, is notably lower than in Western Europe.
  • Film-Friendly Policies: Many Eastern European countries offer incentives and streamlined permit processes for international filmmakers, making the logistics smoother.
  • Cultural Authenticity: The region’s rich history and distinct cultures can infuse your commercials with an authentic and relatable touch.


  • Language Barriers: While English is spoken in urban areas, you might encounter language barriers in remote or rural locations, requiring translation services.
  • Limited Infrastructure: In more remote areas, you might encounter limitations in terms of specialized equipment and advanced production facilities.
  • Weather Variability: Seasonal weather fluctuations might impact your shooting schedule, necessitating flexibility in your plans.

Summing it up

These ten budget-friendly filming locations abroad offer a goldmine of opportunities for budget-friendly filming locations for commercial video production that balances captivating visuals with prudent financial considerations.

Each destination presents a unique blend of cultural richness, diverse landscapes, and affordability.

While language barriers, weather fluctuations, and logistical challenges may arise, careful planning, local expertise, and strategic resource allocation can overcome these obstacles.

By leveraging the strengths of these locations and addressing potential drawbacks, savvy filmmakers can bring their creative visions to life while maximizing the impact of their budget, producing commercials that resonate and captivate audiences around the world.

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