Filming in Argentina: The blog of San Telmo Productions

Shooting in Buenos Aires & Río Negro for BBC Documentary


By contributing blogger Benjamín Harguindey

Shooting on a scissor lift in Centenary Park, BA City.

As production fixers, we’ve had the privilege of working with the United Kingdom on several production shoots, the latest of which was on a documentary for the BBC about parrots and their urban habitats. San Telmo Productions was in charge of fixing the filming of the documentary, a 12-day shoot in Buenos Aires City and then southwards in the Río Negro province. The objective: capture the contrast between urban and rural wildlife.

Shooting on a scissor lift.

Filming in Buenos Aires proved to be the most challenging half of the shoot. Parrots make their home in Centenary Park – the largest park in all of BA City. The size of the landscape alone required multiple scouting of the area by our fixers to determine the birds’ habitat and potential shooting locations, as well as a full two weeks of paperwork to clear the tape over the restricted areas.

Filming atop a scissor lift.

We got all the required permits (and also got customs clearance for the equipment that would be brought over from the UK) we rented a scissor lift, which we needed for spying into the treetops to shoot raw wildlife footage. Then we went to Río Negro, which is located in Patagonia, secured more film permits and filmed thousands of parrots nesting for the documentary. Patagonia may be famous for being cold but its beaches are some of the nicest in Argentina, together with the warmest water thanks to sea currents.

The BBC was happy with the footage. Every good shoot is cause for celebration in the end. Once we were done with our Patagonian film shoot, our production fixer Federico treated the whole crew to a beachside asado (i.e. barbecue). Relaxing after the shoot is as important as the shoot itself!

Filming on the beaches of Río Negro.