Exclusive: “Shooting in China is getting back to normal,” say The Kitchen Film

A 14-day quarantine period still exists for international productions wishing to shoot in HK/China

By Chris Evans 31 Mar 2020

Exclusive: “Shooting in China is getting back to normal,” say The Kitchen Film
Angie Cheung

KFTV talks to Angie Cheung, executive producer, and Vicki Li, producer, from Hong Kong-based outfit The Kitchen Film. They produce and provide production services for high-quality commercials, using directors globally, for the Hong Kong and China market.

Can you explain what the situation is like now in China? With coronavirus more under control, are film, TV and commercial productions starting up again across the country?

China had stopped shooting for a while, but now it’s getting back to normal. We’re allowed to shoot in both Hong Kong and China now, but due to the quarantine policy for different countries, some overseas clients aren’t willing to accept the 14-days quarantine and so would prefer not to come.  

However, recently we’ve been pitching a job shooting in Hong Kong, with an agency from Paris and a director from overseas, and they’re prepared to have the 14-days quarantine, so it doesn’t affect the shoot at all. Hopefully, the epidemic will get better and everything can get back to normal a.s.a.p.

What projects have you worked on recently?

An AXA Critical Illness Campaign in 2019 with videos Indecisive Peggy and Panic Ben. We presented a Spanish director to the PR firm Publicis Conseil in Paris and won the project.  We put the commercial together in Hong Kong. In fact, we have participated in the AXA Critical Illness Campaigns since 2017. At the beginning, we provided production support for the French producers.  But with great satisfaction, we have since had the honour of being invited to present directors and work with the agency for the whole project in the following years.

We are now pitching directors for a big hair brand.

What makes your services stand out from the competition?

We are extremely flexible in service and budget.  We always try our best to meet our client’s needs. 

What is the climate like for shoots?

The climate is quite favourable in Hong Kong, except some rain and thunder in summer, but generally good. And we have around 10 hours of day-light all year round. Hong Kong is packed with all sorts of locations such as cityscapes, countryside, beaches, and Hong Kong has a very unique residential structure with the tall and dense buildings providing a very nice backdrop for filming. 

What makes HK stand-out from other locations?

Hong Kong is an international city and most of our crew are multi-lingual - Cantonese, Mandarin and English mainly. They are fast and flexible, and we co-operate with all departments to allow for a much smoother shoot.

Is it easy to get permission to shoot in China and HK? What is the process for applying and who to?

Yes, it is. Standard application times for most of the locations is two weeks, but sometimes we are able to shorten it with our experience.  Applications are submitted, along with the storyboard, to the government or private management depending on the location.

What facilities are available (studios, sound stages etc)? 

Hong Kong has all sizes of studios and professional sound stages. We also have helicopter services, a full range of equipment (camera, lighting, sound), casting of international models, talents, artist and actors.

How experienced are the local crew and are there enough of them? Can they handle a few major productions shooting in the country at the same time?

The Kitchen has a favourable list of crews for all departments. They are all experienced, flexible and fast. Most of the time, we prefer to focus on one project to give the best service to our client.  But we are also capable to handle different projects at the same time, as we have different teams.

What would international producers need to bear in mind when shooting in your China and HK?

Hong Kong is small but complete.  Just a bit humid… :)

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