Why Thailand is one of the world’s best film locations
The world’s best film locations
If you are a production company and you are looking for a location to film an upcoming movie or video, then perhaps you should take Thailand into consideration. Unlike many countries abroad, Thailand’s fast and efficient government procedures makes approval for filming fast and less hassle.
Approval to film in Thailand is given by the Film Board of Thailand formed by many government agency representatives. Their “one-stop” review is facilitated for filmmakers assuring faster approval given that all required documents and information is intact.
Thailand’s natural beauty is undeniably breathtaking. The beaches, jungles, and mountainous regions, makes Thailand diverse in geographical characteristics. Such diversity allows different scenery changes during film making and most areas are accessible through modern transportation. There are also several historical sites dating back to the Sukhothai and Rattanakosin era for an ancient atmosphere, while the Mekong River Basins synchronizes modern day living with traditional lifestyles. Thailand encompasses both rural and urban environments, making Thailand’s geography multidimensional.
Thailand is leading the entertainment and technology industry in Asia. Due to the competitive nature of the industry, Thailand is leading in film production, equipment, technician, and filming crew, all at a low cost. The low cost of production in Thailand gives you the ability to stay within your production budget while making a high quality film.
Abundant skilled and creative human resources:
Known as “the land of smiles”, Thailand natives and locals are always welcoming to foreign filmmakers and crew. The lack of political strife and religious wars makes Thailand a relaxing country to film in, without the unnecessary worries. Many Thais are highly skilled in technology or have a creative trade, both can make a great addition to your filming project. Communication is easy, as more and more Thais have learned to speak English, and those that don’t will generally have someone to help translate. Most Thais are friendly and happy people, making your stay very welcoming.
Low production costs and living expenses:
Since film production can take months to complete, the crews living expenses should be factored into the budget. You will find that living expenses are low and you can find decent living accommodations, food, along with transportation cost to be very cheap in comparison to the U.S. or Europe. Production cost are very low and an ideal country to film quality movies on a budget. Thailand also signed the Double Taxation Treaties, preventing double taxations on foreigners.
Filmmakers will find Thailand to be accommodating and convenient to all the necessities and luxuries. Thailand offers five star hotels, fine dining restaurants, private transportation, private security, vehicles, boats, and helicopters at very low cost. You don’t have to worry about third world living, because Thailand is a modernized paradise. Filming in Thailand is easier than you will expect. Several companies will handle all the arrangements such as the legal aspects and recruitment of crew, talent, location, and equipment. Less work and less money for producing a top quality film.
more info: about Thailand Bangkok Production House
Cash rebates for larger film productions given by the Thai government:
Starting from 2017, the Thai government will pay up to 20% of production budget back to foreign production companies. That is a massive amount and great incentive to film in Thailand. You can read all about this news here.
Filming Permit Process:
- – Assignment Letter selecting Thailand Film Office Coordinator.
- – Director or producer goes to Thailand for pre-production.
- – Script translations, location selections, crew/cast selections, and documents ready.
- – Film application lodged: allow one week to one month for approval.
- – Application processing: questions answered along with needed script changes.
- – Application approval along with specific dates and schedule.
- – Getting location permits lodged if using historical places or natural parks.
- – Foreign crew arrival, work permits lodged, medical certificate checkup (1-2 days).
- – Start filming.
Foreigners who are filming in Thailand are legally required to hire a coordinator who is registered with the Thailand Film Office, Office of Tourism Development. The coordinator, either a company or private, is then to compile on the necessary documents. Once a permit is granted a Monitoring Officer will be appointed to monitor and to give advice during film production. The Monitoring Officer will apply a signed sticker to show approval. Filming is not allowed without the consent of the Monitoring Officer. Coordinators are paid on an agreed fee, while the Monitoring Officer is paid per diem. The Monitoring Officer will apply a signed sticker to show approval to all tapings. Filming is not allowed without the consent of the Monitoring Officer.
More news: Movies filmed Thailand film locations
Note: According to the Film Act B.E. 2551 (2008), any foreign filmmaker wishing to shoot any film, including documentaries, music videos, commercials, or TV programs in Thailand, has to apply for permission from Thailand Film Office. Failure to seek permission will subject violators to punitive fines and prison terms stated in the Act. Source of this info is The Thailand Film Office.
Photo credit (beach photo): Greg Knapp