Taiwan has been able to continue local production throughout the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to its low infection rates. Crime series Trinity Of Shadows, a collaboration between WarnerMedia, Taiwan’s Catchplay and Hong Kong’s ViuTV, had a smooth filming process between July and October last year.
Apart from a few street shots in Hong Kong, the show was primarily filmed around Taipei including the Tamsui Old Street, Xinyi shopping district and New Taipei City Council. Trinity Of Shadows is produced by Taiwan’s David Tang and directed by Taiwanese filmmaker Hong Bo-Hao (Dad’s Suit).
“Taiwan, with its long history of film and television production, has a good source of creative professions, both in front of and behind the camera,” says Magdalene Ew, WarnerMedia’s head of content, entertainment, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. “The local government has been very supportive of producing local content and its variety and diverse locations, from natural landscapes to modern cityscapes, are ideal backdrops for all kinds of shoots.”
The past few years have seen a surge in high-end series made in Taiwan for international platforms. Since The Teenage Psychic in 2017 — its first series filmed in Taiwan — HBO has followed up with Adventure Of The Ring, Dream Raider and The World Between Us, which was also a collaboration with Catchplay. Netflix is also on the ground, with titles including The Victims’ Game (season two is in the works), Triad Princess and Nowhere Man.
While local productions have mostly been spared by the pandemic, it has created disruptions to incoming shoots mainly because international travel has been difficult due to Taiwan’s quarantine requirements for international arrivals. But according to the Taipei Film Commission, a couple of international co-productions are planning to shoot in Taiwan, including UK thriller Sapphire from Daniel and Matthew Wolfe and For The Country from France-based director Rachid Hami, whose La Melodie premiered out of competition in Venice in 2017.
“It is emotional to make the film in Taiwan as it’s based on a true story about my late brother who came to Taiwan to learn Mandarin in 2010,” says Hami who travelled from France to Taiwan and spent 14 days in quarantine for location scouting in April. He intends to shoot a third of his film in Taiwan, including nightclubs and streets in Taipei and indigenous community in mountainous Wulai.
"While it is not a big place, its natural landscapes span from seaside to mountains, rural villages to modern city, providing very diversified locations,” adds Kam-Engle.
Many productions shoot in the capital city Taipei, which ticks all the boxes for ‘buzzing Asian metropolis’ but is less crowded and easier to navigate than some cities in Asia.
Taiwan’s first specialist medical studio opened in March by Awesomeworks Production with the support of TAICCA. Located in New Taipei City, the facility is equipped with hospital beds, medical equipment, operating tables, waiting rooms and cashier counters, complete with extra space for crew, lighting, hair and makeup.
First people to contact
Taipei Film Commission
Film Development and Production Center, Kaohsiung