This article from nofilmschool.com gives a wonderful overview of what it's like to really shoot in Cuba from the perspective of the filmmaker. Author Alex Mallis offers very good insight on getting permission from the Cuban government and on how the general process of filming there feels. So basically, don't just take our word for it; check out what other filmmakers have to say.
There are now over 80 hotspots all over Cuba, this is great news both for Cubans and for people planning to visit Cuba. Though the wifi hotspots are not free, they are easily accessible when you buy an ETECSA (Cuba’s telecom company) wifi card. The card typically will give you 1 hour of internet for $2 or 2CUC. Havana currently has the most dense wifi coverage in the country, though you can get wifi in other major cities at certain hotels and resorts. There are now 200,000 internet users in Cuba, this is up from 150,000 in 2015. On Pres. Obama’s recent visit to Cuba he announced that Google will offer internet services in Cuba soon.The link below is a map of Havana’s wifi hotspots and directions for how to use an ETECSA wifi card.
Although Cuba's travel restrictions have lessened significantly, there are still certain regulations to keep in mind. Before traveling to Cuba you should 1) plan the trip and have dates, flights and lodging in mind, 2) contact the Cuban Embassy for Consulary Services for Foreigners, 3) get the right type of Visa (most likely a travel or event Visa), 4) get your passport up to date 5) set up non-U.S. medical insurance before entering Cuba (you can get this through the InsightCuba or through Starr Companies) and 6) make sure you are updated on your vaccinations. Pre-pro for travel to location is every bit as important as pre-pro for your project!
Here is a list of business that can operate in Cuba! The business' most helpful to your production are listed at the top. Enjoy, fellow filmmakers.
Lodging: Airbnb, Marriot, Starwood
Currency/Banking: Western Union, Stonegate Bank, Stripe
Repair/Hardware: General Electric
Transportation: Wheels Up, Various Airlines
Communication/Tech: Verizon, Cisco
Research/Public Relations:Weber Shandwick
Personal Care: Colgate-Palmolive
Machinery/Construction: Caterpillar, CleBer
Shoot Cuba's Ed Rivero talked with KCRW about the exciting and fast-growing relationship between Cuba and Hollywood. Ed talks about bringing an infrastructure to Cuba to create projects at a higher level. Cuba's shift from art films to commerce broadcast will begin at the ground level by creating crews that are not only bilingual but that also understand commercial filmmaking. Shoot Cuba is already on the ground in Cuba with years of experience shooting abroad in both the theatrical and commerical genres. We've laid the ground work, now it's up to U.S. filmmakers to be part of production history by shooting in Cuba.