Living, Working and Filming in Ibiza.
Most of the below advice can be applied to any location esepcially near-by European locations such as Magaluf, Aya Napa and Malia.
NIE (for UK Citizens)
To legally work in Ibiza, you will need an NIE. This is a Tax Identification Number – so if you receive money from Spanish companies in Spain, you need this. If you are merely there taking photos and videos for your own usage, or to sell as stock photos / videos then you don’t need one. The local Police are more concerned with the Lookie Lookie men and drink sellers than you taking pictures of hot models on the beach! You can stay in Spain for upto 3 months. Any longer then 3 months then you will need to apply for Residence.
You can get an NIE from the local Police Stating in Ibiza Town when you arrive, but i’ve heard this can take a while and is a huge hassle. It’s probably worth spending around €100 on a service that takes the hassle out of getting your NIE.
To get decent, secure accommodation away from the central West End lager-lout areas is from late April to Mid May, any later than that and its more pot-luck.
The tricky part is staying somewhere thats secure for your expensive camera gear – there are several factors in choosing a place:
- Location – i’ve heard a story of two lookie lookie men climbing up to a first floor flat and entering a apartment via the unlocked balcony doors. How accessible is it to thieves?
- Door / Balcony Locks – how secure are these? I discovered one night that my workers apartment key also opened another apartment in the same block! I was a little typsy hence why I was opening another door. I told the landlord the next day who subsequently changed the locks and told me he would test the keys / locks when the season ends. Always keep your balcony doors locked and lock the door when you exit.
- Flatmates – how well do you know them? Are they pizza-faced 18 year olds likely to run out of money (and potentially steal from your) or are they mid – late twenties with some work ethos behind them? This is tricky because you dont want a party-flat with random people coming around nor flatmates that may just up and leave the next morning on a flight to unknown.
In a nutshell, your equipment is the priority here, pick an apartment based on this. Also, single lockable rooms are hard to come by in Ibiza – it might just be worth paying double for a room to yourself – so expect to pay around €700 per month for a room to yourself.
Ibiza is hot, dam hot, hotter than a snakes ass! Expect your heat-absorbing black coloured gear to get extremly hot, so its worth taking a white coloured bag out with you to store your equipment in. Also make use of air-con beach-bars and restaurants by taking your gear out of the warm bag to let it cool off a little. If your filming all day on the beach then you can also use power points to charge batteries – just buy a drink for the privilege.
The heat was a big issue for me – the LCDVF that I used on a Canon 7D literally melted off the camera body – the metal frame that glues itself around the viewfinder fell off somewhere. I also managed to fall over whilst walking along San Antonio Beach with the Canon 7D and Rode Video Mic Pro in hand, luckily I just damaged the hot shoe on the Rode Video Mic which wasn’t surprising considering the cheap, plastic build quality of this Mic. So always look where your walking on the beach! There can be some divots and all sorts of objects ready to catch you out and this coupled with a more relaxing mentality can result in a expensive repair or replacement.
Working with Models
Planning shoots in Ibiza is very tough. If like me you were using semi-pro models, sometimes they can put sleeping in and nursing a hangover more important than shooting. It’s understandable due to ‘Ibiza Time’ so try to have a backup plan, ie, you might film some landscape shots if the model doesn’t show.
How do you find models? Well, apart from popular online forums such as that on Ibiza Spotlight, you can post written messages on noticeboards such as the Ship Inn in San Antonio. Few exist in Playa D’en Bossa but if your foreign language skills are lacking, you’re better off in San Antonio anyway.
Generally, you can find girls that have never modelled before – workers that are looking to fund their high-rolling VIP Party working-holiday lifestyle. Expect no-shows and more effort on getting good quality images from them though.
You will probably use UK equipment in Ibiza which has a totally different plug socket so you will need a plug adapter – I did notice my MacBook Pro power brick getting quite warm to the touch. Also, whilst video editing a aftermoview for renight.com I noticed the fans kick up hard. They also tend to kick up more than when using it in the cold and wet of the UK – probably down to the shear humidity of Ibiza, especially in late July to mid August.
I would opt for a decent plug adapter like this one. You could also get a rack of plugs as sometimes, you may only have use of one plugsocket which is a nightmare when you are backing up and editing on the go. See the toilet edit suite below – flush after each render!
— Steve Mullins (@stvemulls) June 19, 2014