Tanzania Fixers | Filming & Production
Tanzania fixers: Say you’re filming a reality television show and need 300 University students for a scene. Tomorrow. Or you’re a documentary maker and want a sit-down with one Business Man in the country where the shit just hit the fan. Or you’re headed to film a movie in Tanzania and need everything in order. Where do you start?
You need a fixer.
Is television, film, or journalism abroad even possible without one?
“If you speak the local language you could do the job,” says Ebby, a producer who works as a BBC freelancer. “It might take twice, three times as long. It might be a hell of a lot more difficult both before and on the ground. If it’s a fairly simple project, it’s possible. But I’d never recommend that unless there’s literally no budget. They just make your life so much easier. They know the people to contact, they have good working relationships with them. They speak the local language.”
Behind almost everything filmed overseas, there’s a fixer paving the way. It’s a small word for someone who does so much. “I hate this word fixer because it consists of only five letters,” says Ebby , a fixer in Tanzania. “The job we are doing, the title should consist of at least 100 letters.”
A fixer is a one-man or one-woman orchestra producer, magician, ambassador, and procurer of permits for even the most impossible-to-access places—it may take weeks or even months to get a Tanzania Shooting permit, William says. He or she is also a translator, a guide, a travel coordinator, a diplomat between the producers and local officials, and money watcher, keeping the crew on budget.