Filming in Thailand - Essential Information
Filming in Thailand - Essential Information
Read our Terms & Conditions here
Q: I want to film in Thailand and use Bangkok Video Productions as our filming-coordinator and maybe other services. how should I proceed?
Following a standard procedure helps to ensure that correct budgets can be made and maintained and that schedules can be kept and all resources bought to bear into a project as planned without any problems. We therefore promote to our prospective clients to follow the procedure below:
Decide what type of locations you want to use for filming. We can send sample photos and estimates of prices, terms and conditions. But availability, prices, terms and conditions for locations change and to finalize locations you should engage us as a location-scout. If we have information easily to hand this can be just one days work for several locations. If the information requires site visits and new negotiations then it could take 2 or more days. Only once locations are agreed upon in every detail should you take the next step.
Engage us as your film coordinator for Thailand and we can then work with you to create a precise budget for every aspect of the film from crewing, casting, equipment hire, set design, wardrobes and props etc. Only with individual attention to each clients specific requirements can we create an accurate budget. If we are not formally engaged to do this for you then best estimates are the best we can do as these tasks takes a lot of time and we negotiate the very best prices for our clients on every part of the budget.
Once we have created an exact budget and schedules with you, can we move to the next step. Obtaining film permits and work permits.
Please note that small productions that have one or two city or private-land, or business locations and no sophisticated props, set design etc and therefore are easy to quote, we can usually process these steps very quickly.
Q: What currency do you work in and has precedence in all agreements.
All film industry suppliers in Thailand cost their services in Thai baht as a starting point. Conversions to foreign currencies of course can be provided but the exchange rate will be set to allow for slight adjustments in foreign currency exchange rates. Should there be a significant change in the currency exchange rate between the time of quote to payment, then the suppliers have the right to make corrections in the price in a foreign currency. Always understand that the overriding currency used for the purpose of quotations is calculated in Thai Baht and is subject to the exchange rate available at that time. Please always verify exchange rates.
Q: Do I need to get a permission before shooting in Thailand?
Yes, you do. Shooting without a permit is violation of the law..Punishment can include a large fine and jail time. You also need a working permit.
Clients coming from countries that can obtain a visa on arrival can receive their tourist-visa upon arrival & this will be converted into a working visa by the Department of Labour. Clients from countries that cannot obtain a visa upon arrival must first obtain the film permit BEFORE arriving in Thailand. The film office will issue a letter to the client country's Thailand embassy requesting a NON-B Visa (working visa) for the client.
Q: How long does it take to obtain a permit?
5-14 Working days depending upon the type of production. TV Commercials, music videos and interview style Documentaries usually take 3-5 days. TV Shows & TV Series, docudramas, & feature films take 10-14 working days.
NOTE : Depending on the requirements of the script i.e. those that may involve national parks, temples and so on: The period for approval may take slightly longer as the Film Office has to arrange for other government departments concerned to view the script as well.
Q: What is the process of obtaining a filming permit?
Bangkok Video Productions is a licensed Film Office Coordinator & we will obtain the filming & work permits for you.
Q: How do we obtain filming locations & what are the location-costs?
Locations must be selected and stated within the Film Permit application, therefore you need to select locations prior to applying for the film permit. Bangkok Video Production provides location scouting services for this purpose. Note: Locations can be changed after the permit is granted, however this will require an additional application being processed by the film office. This is usually processed within a couple of working days.
Location costs are entirely up to the owner of the specific location and are varied from free to expensive. We have the experience to negotiate the best rates and we also have an extensive database of locations on hand.
Q: Where do I get filming equipment (camera, lighting, audio etc)?
Bangkok Video Productions has our own equipment and we also have agreements with all the major film equipment hire firms in Thailand. We can obtain any equipment at the very best rates for you.
Q:How do I find local Cast and Crew?
Bangkok Video Productions has a subsidiary dedicated to providing the most comprehensive database of talent in Thailand. Visit our website here "Bangkok Talent Agency".
Actors | Extras | Production Executives | Production Crews | Post Production Editing | Musicians | Circus Performers & More.
Q:What documents do I have to provide to Bangkok Video Productions for submission to the Thailand Film Office
Required documents are as follows (Send these to us for processing):
After receiving all documentation from our client we will translate everything into Thai language (e.g. script or treatment) and submit the application and up to 25 copies(Depending upon the type of production) to the Thailand Film Office.
2. An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmaker, showing they have chosen and hired a local coordinator. Sample here.
3. Supporting documents needed for permit consideration :
- Storyboard for TV commercials
- Treatment for documentaries, TV shows and films
- Theme (concept) and lyrics for music videos
- Details of content and objectives of program presentation for TV program.
- Length of video/film production
-Type of production: (Feature/short film, TV drama, TV series, TV program, Theater/TV Commercial, documentary, Others).
4. A schedule of filming in Thailand specifying exact dates and locations.(for all types of productions)
5. Color scanned Copies of Passport photo page showing passport number, Also a passport style photo (heads and shoulders),
6. Positions or all foreign crew members, Their arrival & departure dates
7. Company details including full name, address, contact details. Contact person, website, phone numbers.
8. Names of each person who will come to Thailand and arrival dates and leave dates
9. Budget for filming in Thailand
10. Accommodation in Thailand: Name, address, Tel, Email.
Download the Filming Documents Requirements list here.
Do we earn our fee?
Look at this image that is the Film Permit Application for a simple 6 day filming session in Thailand. (This does not include the location permits or work permits).
But don't worry. We are experts at what we do and we do this on a daily basis.
Q:How do I know if my film will be granted permission to shoot?
Permission will be issued after we have studied your script. If it is not acceptable, the Film Office will inform you of the reasons. Whether you agree to make changes to your script for re-submission is up to each film maker.
Q:Are there any restrictions?
When shooting in Thailand, it is advisable that you do not have anything in the script that offends Thailand’s national institutions, religion, customs and culture. The film must not be deemed as threat to security. Finally, shooting must not cause any significant effect/damage to the environment.
Q:What is the process to film in such places as the National Parks, Historical Parks, Grand Palace, or temples?
You must first obtain permission to film from the Film Office. Then your local coordinator (BVP) can proceed to contact the related locations with filming permission (permit) in hand.
Q:Are there any fees for the filming and work permits ?
Bangkok Video Productions charges a set fee depending upon the number of foreign crew, plus there is a small daily payment during production paid to the Thailand Film Office for a Film Officer to monitor the production. If the production is outside of Bangkok, then the Film Officer must be provided with travel transportation, food and accommodation. For productions with multiple film-units, a Film Officer will be assigned for each Film Unit. For productions working longer than 10 hours per day, 2 Film Officers will be assigned.
Q:What is the duty of Thai Film Board’s representative?
The duty of Thai Film Board’s representative is to make sure that what is actually being shot has followed the script that has been previously approved. Should scenes vary from the script the representative is there to advise as to whether it is possible to shoot those scenes or not. Also, having Film Office official on set helps to handle any problems should they arise.
Q:Do short stay crews need work permits ?
Yes, they need to have them. Both types of crew require work permits.Crews working within 15 days will need a form notifying the Employment Department whereas crews staying over 15 days will need to submit more detailed documents, your local
coordinator can help you with this.
Q:Is there a fee for the work permit?
Yes there is a fee but only for crews working more than 15 days. The fee rate is based on the working period. The minimum fee rate is 750 Baht for working within 3 months. A fee of 1,500 Baht is for a period of 6 months. A fee of 3,000 Baht is valid for over 6 months but not longer than 1 year.
Q:Does the crew have to apply and collect the work permit at the Employment Department themselves?
No, Bangkok Video productions will organize the work permits for the crews.
Q:I have not done an ATA CARNET for equipment. Can I bring in and out equipment without ATA CARNET?
Yes, if you don’t have ATA CARNET you must prepare cash or bank guarantee - Thai Bank guarantees only are accepted to guarantee your equipment. The amount of cash or bank guarantee is based on the value of the equipment.
Updated February 2022