Top 5 reasons to film in Thailand
With over 500 foreign film projects shot there each year, Thailand is becoming a popular choice for producers. But what makes the country such an ideal location for filming? Sharing some views from speakers at this year’s Thailand International Destination Film Festival as well as presenting us with their own, Benetone Films gave us their top five reasons as to why the country is so attractive to filmmakers.
Hard working and experienced crew
At the Thailand International Destination Film Festival, producer Daniel Zirilli recounted an incident from one of his earliest shoots in Thailand, when heavy equipment was urgently required for a shoot on top of a hill. Faced with the difficulty of transporting the equipment, one of the crew members offered to help by carrying the equipment himself.
This is just one of the many examples of the hardworking attitude of the locals who are not afraid of tackling problems head on. Additionally, with the growing number of film production services in the country, more and more crew are gaining valuable experience and thus becoming what one of the guests at the festival described as “the most attractive workforce for film production in the region”.
When the Chinese government suddenly revoked the permit for a week’s filming prior to shooting, The Weinstein Company’s ambitious project Shanghai (2010) ran into trouble. They had to walk away from an expensive set and find a new one all in a very short space of time. Luckily they found that Thailand has locations that can double up for other countries - including historical sites of China - and at a lower cost.
Thailand has in fact been a favourite for many Bollywood filmmakers who are increasingly using it to double up for places such as New York and the Bahamas, to name a few.
The country (including its capital, Bangkok) was chosen over Rio to be featured heavily in big-budget sequel The Hangover Part II (2011). Another well-known film that used Thai locations was The Beach (2000), partially filmed on Maya Beach on Phi Phi island.
Low cost of production
The production services in Thailand are reasonably priced, and logistical services and accommodation are among the cheapest in the region. Moreover, set construction, which is of a good quantity, is also competitively priced.
Thailand’s infrastructure is one of the most efficient, with easy delivery of equipment and quick transportation links available for crew. As a result, shoots requiring different locations have often wrapped in a single day.
It’s clear to see why Thailand is known as the land of smiles, with filmmakers returning to the country again and again, enjoying the hospitality and joy of working with the locals. Moreover, Thai people are gracious and go out of their way to make sure visitors feel welcome.
During Thai political protests in 2010 for example, a shoot close the demonstrations was completed without any trouble. In fact, the protesters even gave out water and refreshments to the crew.
KFTV would like to thank Benetone Films for their industry insight. To find out more about their work, please visit their profile on KFTV website.
For further information about filming in Thailand, why not check out our country guide? Including details on filming permits and tax incentives.