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Bodyguard movie claims first Thai filming incentive


Bodyguard movie Close, from British filmmaker Vicky Jewson, has become the first international production to secure support from Thailand’s formal filming incentive.

The movie is set in the clandestine world of close protection and is based on the true story of a female bodyguard who finds herself forced to break the law to protect her heiress client.

Production begins in Thailand next month.

Thailand launched its first formal filming incentive in January this year, offering a rebate of up to 20% for productions spending the equivalent of at least $1.4m locally.

“I was aware of a number of productions that have shot in Thailand, but I truly wasn't aware of the depth of film experience and the sophistication of the infrastructure,” said Jewson of the country. 

“Often the sort of clients who require protection are the super-rich and so we wanted to find an environment which can cater to the millionaire lifestyle, but we also wanted to contrast that with a vibrant, colourful, street-level atmosphere. 

“Bangkok has so much texture and so many layers. Our scout surpassed my expectations.”

Thailand has been a popular South-East Asian filming location for many years as a result of its locations and lower production costs, but shoots have generally been low-budget. 

The incentive could help attract larger films and TV shows with extended shooting schedules, although the support programme is currently capped at just over a million US dollars per production.

For more on filming in Thailand see our production guide.