Filming in Everest

ARTICLE BY NEPAL FILM PRODUCTION TEAM

Filming in Mount Everest gives an opportunity for foreign filmmakers to capture the pristine view of the Himalayas including Mt. Everest; cultural diversity and lifestyle of Sherpa people.

Movies like Everest, and The Climb, have not only exposed the beauty and lifestyle of the region but also making it popular destinations for filming.

Everest – Official Movie Trailer

If you haven’t watched the movie or don’t have any idea why filming in Everest is getting popular. It is because,

  • Home of Mt. Everest, other famous Himalayan like Mt. Makalu, Ama Dablam, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse, Cho yo and so on.
  • Cascading Rivers, waterfalls, glacier lakes- a paradisaical view that surely gives astonishing cinematographic shots that will surely take your audience’s breath away
  • Khumbu Icefall
  • Sherpa People and highly influenced ancient Tibetan culture, religion, and lifestyle
  • A spiritually enriched region summoned by Buddhism, filled with Monastries and Gompas
  • Sagarmatha National Park, a homeland for various species of plants and animals
  • Yeti, Everest Region is believed to be the playground of Yeti
  • Breathtaking landscapes, nature, terrace farming and not to forget popular suspensions bridges
  • Herds of Yaks and Donkey for Transportation

Filming in Everest

filming in everest

Filming in Everest has always been one of the biggest to do’s for film-makers on a global level considering the risks and attention to details needed in terms of planning a filming trip to Mount Everest.

It has been done by a mega-production known as “Everest” and till now the movie has been the attraction for multiple television commercials and documentaries as well by famous companies such as BBC. The movie was a big shot reaching a box office collection of $203.4 million worldwide. Even though the movie scenes were also taken in Italy or in-studio, the presentation of the Everest Region was stunning and mind-blowing. We think, still, it’s hard for the audience to forget the beauty of the Everest region, which was captured in the movie. Briefly saying, both movie and filming in the Everest region were successful.

Challenges in Filming in Everest

film at mt everest

Film in the Everest region is not a child’s play. 

There are certain factors the one should know about before starting production.

There is no transportation available.

As soon as you land Lukla Airport, you will trek to Namchebazar for the resident. Wherever you go, you need to walk. You don’t have any other options.

Similarly, the more you trek to a higher altitude, it will be very hard for the body to cooperate with that altitude. So, acclimatization is necessary or else,  it wouldn’t take a second to be suffered by altitude sickness.

It is very physically demanding to shoot at that altitude.

At the same time, the weather of the Everest Region is unpredictable and out of your hands. The temperature of the Everest Region is minimum -18 degrees C, whereas the maximum will be 25 Degrees C. ( Go Down below to see in detail).

Now imagine how tough it will be to shoot in this area, around 4-5 feet of snow!!

The most dangerous of all, the unexpected avalanches.

Avalanches are normal in mountainous regions, especially occurs in winter and spring seasons. But sometimes, it is dangerous if it crossed the path of the trekkers.

On 18 April 2014, ice avalanche occurred on the southern side of Mount Everest killing sixteen climbing Sherpas.

Though the movie Everest is splendid, the backend story of the movie was challenging; quite similar to what they have shown in the movie.

Around 44 member crew, unexpected avalanche, freezing temperature, altitude sickness and so on.

It’s very physical, working at higher altitudes and not having time to climatize your body. You get out of breath and dehydrated very quickly.”

The cinematographer of the movie Everest

He further added

“There were times when you were moving from one area to another and you had to clip off one rope and clip on to another. I could climb that cliff because there was a great shot there. I’d climb with the camera and get the shot. The actors did the same thing. That was hard, but it was fun.”

Likewise, while the second unit crew of the movie was filming in Camp II, an avalanche occurred, Killing 16 Sherpas. Luckily no film members were affected.

Generally saying, the filming around the Mt. Everest region is very challenging, but once you accomplished it, it will be worth spending your time money and dedication over there.

We recommended you ask your health consultant and doctor about your voyage to Everest. They will give you the best prescriptions for your body to cope with that altitude.

If you need oxygen or medical emergency, there are doctors available in Everest Region and in need, an air ambulance is provided for an emergency evacuation.

You will surely have fun as well, and seeing Everest in reality, is a lifetime experience for sure. 

All Details of Everest Regions Elevations and Altitudes

Here are the detailed altitudes of the Everest Regions, along with the places that you likely to encounter while filming in mount Everest region.

  1. Lukla/Phakding- 2800 meters / 2610 meters
  2. Namche Bazar- 3441 meters
  3. Tengboche- 3680 meters
  4. Phortse Thanga- 3680 meters
  5. Khumjung Village- 3780 meters
  6. Thame- 3800 meters
  7. Dole- 4200 meters
  8. Machherma- 4470 meters
  9. Thank- 4500 meters
  10. Chhukung- 4710 meter
  11. Gokyo- 4790 meters
  12. Lobuche- 4910 meters
  13. Nangkartshang Peak- 5083 meters
  14. Island Peak Base Camp- 5240 meters
  15. Gokyo Ri- 5483 meters
  16. Cho La Pass / Dzongla- 5300 / 4710 meters
  17. Everest Base Camp- 5365 meters/ 5555 meters
  18. Khumbu Icefall- 5486 meters
  19. Kala Pathar/ Pheriche- 5555 meters/ 4200 meters
  20. Island Peak- 6187 meters
  21. Camp I- 6065 meters
  22. Base Camp II, Advanced Base Camp (ABC)- 6,400 meters
  23. Camp III- 7,200 meters to 7,400 meters to 7,920 meters
  24. Camp IV- “The Balcony” at 8,400 meters-8,750 meters
  25. Hillary Step- 8,760 meters
  26. Mt.Everes Peak- 8848 meters

Best Season to Flim in Everest

As already mentioned above, the weather of the Everest region is unpredictable.

If you are not fully prepared for such conditions, you might end up in a very unpleasant and uncomfortable situation.

So, it will be better if you have some knowledge of the weather conditions of that region if you are coming to the Himalayan territory of Nepal for filming.

March to June- Spring Season

The highly preferable season of filming in the Everest Region. Mostly, the average temperature is 17 degrees C with a maximum of 25 degrees C on sunny days.  Whereas the minimum temperature is 15 degrees C in the morning and at night (4000m).

Monsoon Season- July to  Mid-September
Not a preferable season to travel or film in this region.

This time the Everest region will be less crowded and it is the best chance to see the cascading rivers and waterfalls.

However, it is not sure, whether you will see the Everest and its neighboring mountains.

Similarly, due to high rainfall, the paths will become slippery, and it’s hard for the filming crew to handle filming equipment and also hard for the donkeys or Sherpas/porters to carry equipment.

This time, the maximum temperature is 18 degrees C and 25 degrees C  during days. And in the morning and night temperature is 15 degrees C (4000m).

End of September to  November- Autumn
The peak season for the travelers and the filmmakers to start their journey to the Everest Region.

Clear blue sky and a stunning view of mountains from every angle, one can really stop themselves to capture the beauty in the camera and reflect on the movie. 

The maximum temp of 20 degrees C especially sunny days and a minimum of -10 degrees C in the morning and at night (4000 m).

December to February

It’s quite impossible to go the Everest Season at this time of year, but with proper equipment and gear, it is the best time to shoot film over there.

Recently, in February 2020, Nepal created history by organizing a fashion show in Kala Patthar (5,340 meters).

Similarly, ice hockey and ice skating were introduced in Gokyo Lake, Solukhumbu Region, giving potential to initiate different winter sports and adventures.

The day time temperature will be around 4-degree c whereas the minimum temperature is -14 degrees C at night.

Permits for Filming in Everest

Before you proceed, Know Details About Acquiring Film Permits in Nepal

Filming in Everest requires a lot of permits and an excellent team that has full ideas about all logistical matters considering all legal matters and also even to the point of oxygen supply and filming equipment weights.

So, you would be able to imagine the attention to the details that would be necessary.

Since the Everest region falls under Sagarmatha National Park, you need a special permit from the national park as well. This requires a separate filming permit, with charges levied for the location. This requires authority from the Ministry of Information & communication and from authorities of National Park as well.

Filming around the Mt. Everest region is mostly completed around march until the end of May which is the prime time to film in Everest and a lot of special permits are required, such film permit required to film in Everest are listed below:

  • Sagarmatha National Park
  • TIMS (Tourist Information Management System)
  • NMA (Approval from Nepal Mountaineering Association)
  • General Travel Permits
  • Summit Permits

Documents For Filming Permits

Before you proceed, know detail about documents required for acquiring film permits in Nepal.

  • Application for Shooting to Audio-Visual Section, Ministry of Information and Communications of the purpose of applying for the shooting permit. This task is done by the local coordinator or professional fixer in Nepal 
  • An assignment letter- mentioning the local coordinator. It is to be done by  the foreign filmmaker 
  • An application form
  • Supporting documents needed for permit consideration
  • A concept in the form of storyboard, presentations, etc. 
  • Theme (concept) and Lyrics for music videos
  • Present the objectives of the program and detail of the content
  • A complete itinerary of filming in Nepal including dates, locations, time, and Space details
  • Name-list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of all foreign film crews.
  • Equipment Details Letters (values of custom clearance as well)

The film crew must contain a strong production partner who not only has production knowledge or understanding but also travel experience and complete knowledge of higher altitudes where filming will take place.

Visa Process

As a leading film production company in Nepal, we Nepal Film Production will handle all the services that are needed for filming in Nepal.

Explore: Everything About Filming in Nepal

Tell us all the necessary services you want from us, and give us a couple of days to understand and act on your requirements. We will complete them and fix the date.

Once, we know about the project you want to work in Everest, we will scout to find the best locations of Everest Regions.

Know More: Detailed Information About Location Scouting in Nepal.

Then only, we process your visa and handle the immigration process, along with the customs for special equipment.

Similarly, we can help you acquire licenses and permits from the Ministry of Information & Communication and authorities from Sagarmatha National Park to film/produce at different locations of the Everest Region.

Things You Need to Know Before You Come to Nepal for Filming in Everest

Local Co-ordinator and Fixer In Nepal

Before you come to Nepal for filming, you need to contact Professional Fixer in Nepal. Then only, your dream about filming in the Everest Region will come true. They are the one who handles all the papers, documents, customs clearance, visa process, location scouting in Nepal and so on. Or else, it will be very strenuous and some times the proposal might be rejected to come here for filming, independently. 

From the past few years, Nepal Film Production (NFP) has been providing satisfactory services for location scouting, fixing, production management, travel & accommodation, custom clearance, airport clearance, filming permits, location permits, national park permits, casting, talent management, drone permits and more.

For further ease, we have been handling all the logistics and filming preparation beforehand.

Complete Schedule

It is better to know the complete schedule of your time duration for filming in Nepal.

Select the film particular film location and the time you want to spend here for shooting.

If possible, research a little bit about the location, its attraction before selecting the place, to have a clear conversation between you and the fixer or local coordinator. This will also help the fixer to pick out the perfect time and season for filming.

Film Permits

You can film here in Nepal unless you get the permits from the authorities.

For this, you need to present details of your project, then only it goes for further process.

Fixer, concerned authorities and you must know what types of permit to need to have to film in Nepal. 

For instance, if you are planning to film around Durbar Square or other heritage sites, then to need to have a special permit from National heritage sites along with the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Please, go to the types of permits in Nepal for further information.

Film Equipment Rental services in Nepal

Better to know the type of equipment that you will be using while filming.

If don’t have any idea, let me remind you, we have all sorts of the latest equipment for renting in Nepal at a reasonable rate.

Explore Detail Information Regarding Film Equipment Rental in Nepal

Why taking the unnecessary hassle of customs clearance of the equipment while you can get here easily.

Things that Nepal Film Production (NFP) Help You Out While Filming in Everest / Nepal

There are a lot of fixers or production houses available in Nepal.

However, not all of them live up to your expectations or their claims.

Fluent English, Proper Communication and Sound knowledge of filming and production is the basic requirement you need to look for.

Only a limited number of fixers in Nepal have real-time filming expertise which increases the friction in the production and filming process.

Amongst them, Nepal Film Production a reliable, dedicated and experienced fixer in Nepal.

Getting straight to the point, no other film companies in Nepal will go to extra mile to fulfill all the requirements of their clients.

Let’s see briefly in which are we help out you with.

Understand your Requirements

The first and foremost thing is to understand your requirements by assessing your script or layout. Once we know, we will move to further processes like location, visa permits, and so on.

Location Scouting

If you have a location in mind, the let us know to find the best of the place. If not, then we will carry out the research of the location that needs of your projects. Permits, legal permission to film in the area, local obstruction, transportation facility, and other complications, all these will be handled by us.

Visa Process

All you need is to explain all the detailed information, objective, time and place of your filming project. You don’t have to do anything, we process your visa and handle the immigration process, along with the customs for special equipment.

Filming and Fixing

Once you have decided on the filming location in Nepal, you will have to travel with a team for filming. We can help you navigate the entire production and filming in Nepal as your fixer or local coordinator. 

Film Permits and Licensing

We are skilled in terms of acquiring different filming permits in Nepal, even permits to filming in Everest very easily.  Most significantly prioritize delivering to the best quality. We leave no room for mistakes and in our beyond revel in; we’ve always had satisfied customers and always finished our production initiatives easily.

Explore About Film Licensing in Nepal

Some different film licensing that NFP can help to acquire are:

  • Nepal Filming Permit
  • National Parks Filming Permit
  • Heritage Areas Filming Permit
  • Public Area Filming Permit
  • Private Property Filming Permit
  • Drone and Air Permits

Travel Logistics Management & Accommodation

We have a very good network with various hotels, restaurants, transportation, luxury traveling to backpacking, accommodation services, food, and beverage services, and so on, we got them all. 

So these are the basic information that you should know before planning to film in the Everest region. If there are any special requirements for your filming in Mt. Everest, we ensure you that all things will be managed efficiently.

FAQ Related to Filming in Everest

Do I need to take permit for filming in Everest?

Yes, you need to take permit for ministry and communication. Since Everest lies in the Sagarmatha National Park, you need to have a special permit from National Park as well. Nepal Film Production will handle this.

Do I need to take permit for filming in Everest?

Yes, you need to take permit for ministry and communication. Since Everest lies in the Sagarmatha National Park, you need to have a special permit from National Park as well. Nepal Film Production will handle this.

I want to film in the Everest Region, Whom Shall I contact?

To film in Everest, you need to contact the local ordinator for a fixer in Nepal. Nepal Film Production is a reliable, dedicated and experienced fixer in Nepal. It has been working as an experienced fixer that delivers services for location scouting, fixing, production management, travel & accommodation, custom clearance, airport clearance, filming permits, location permits, national park permits, casting, talent management, drone permits.

What is the best season for filming in Everest?

Spring Season- March to June is the beat time for shooting in Everest. Mostly, the average temperature is 17 degrees C with a maximum of 25 degrees C on sunny days.  Whereas the minimum temperature is 15 degrees C in the morning and at night (4000m).

What are the challenges of filming in Everest?

Unexpected avalanches, freezing temperature, altitude sickness, no transportation, and very physically demanding are the challenges that one face to face while filming in Everest.

Do I get altitude sickness in the Everest region?

Yes, one might actually face altitude sickness in that higher altitudes. But don’t worry, we stay in the lower regions for acclimation before moving to upper altitudes.

Is there a doctor in Everest Regions, in case of a medical emergency?

Yes, there are hospitals in Everest Regions. Cases that are severe and much medical attention is needed, patients will transport to Kathmandu via air ambulance/helicopter.

What about renting filming equipment in Nepal?

You can rent film renting equipment from the Nepal Film Production House. They have all sorts of latest equipment and gear. You can contact them beforehand for an inquiry about renting facilities and other services for filming equipment.

Who will carry equipment while filming in Everest?

For this, NFP has a very good network with the Sherpas from Everest Region. So, they will hire Sherpas for carrying your filming equipment.

I only know Everest but not the other places of the Everest Region, who will help me to find the best location?

NFP will help you to find the locations for your projects. First, they will understand your requirements then they actually go and find the places appropriate for you to film. And also suggest the right kind of cultural background for it.