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Vietnam

Vietnam Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Vietnam? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Vietnam? See below for an introduction to Vietnam locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Vietnam Film Locations

Vietnam is vibrant, colorful country known for its bustling cities, Mekong Delta sleepy villages and floating markets, beautiful white sand beaches, coral reefs, mountain rainforests, waterfalls, red and white sand desert looks, pristine countryside, rice paddies, coffee plantations, colorful markets, French colonial architecture and ancient ruins. Of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers is the imperial city of Hué, Halong Bay limestone cliffs and lagoons, Son Doong Cave, Lao Chai Village, paddy fields of Tam Coc, floating villages near Cat Ba Island, and Mai Chau stilt houses. Hanoi is the administrative and artistic capital and Ho Chi Minh City is the business capital. An interesting film location in Hanoi are the trains that run through backyards.

Vietnam has hosted films such as Kong: Skull Island, Heaven & Earth, Indochine and Cyclo.

Vietnam Film Location Permits

A Vietnamese Film Permit is required to shoot in Vietnam. To apply for film permits, our Vietnamese service producer / fixer will require a project synopsis, final list of locations, visiting crew and talent information, complete schedule and script (if applicable). Permits can take up to 10 business days to process. Additional location permits may be required for filming in national parks, historic sites, public infrastructure or with drones. Please contact us for location specific information. Note, the government may assign an on-set Press Officer to your production.

When To Shoot?

The climate in Vietnam varies greatly from north to south. Highland and northern areas tend to have cooler conditions. Tropical monsoon rains occur from October to April in the centre, and from May to September in the north and south of the country.

Given the complexity of the local climate, there is no one particular time that is perfect for filming. December to February are the driest and coolest months if looking to film all of Vietnam. April and May are the hottest months in the south and an ideal time to film on the beaches and in the highlands. June and July are the warmest in the north, making that a good time to film the mountains.

For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Vietnam is home to many interesting festivals and events throughout the year. Most are based on the lunar calendar, so dates change each year. Vietnam shuts down for Tet. It is best to avoid filming for a two week period around this holiday as most crews return home to families and government offices close. Other festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the Lim Festival, Hung Temple Festival, Whale Festival, Tet Trung Thu, and the Oc Om Boc Festival.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Vietnam.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. On the whole Vietnam is a cost efficient place to shoot. Our Vietnamese fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in Vietnam.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Vietnam has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers, with both Vietnamese and expat options available. Supporting crews are hard working and quickly gaining experience in servicing visiting productions. Key crew is best brought in from abroad. Vietnam’s close proximity to Bangkok and Hong Kong allows easy access to those crews should you ever need to look further.

Contact us if you are looking for a Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Vietnam. 

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Most citizens are of Viet origin. Vietnam has 54 recognized ethnic groups, the Chinese being the largest minority group. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Vietnam Film Equipment

Equipment. All the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally including some aerial photography gear. More specialized equipment needs to be brought in from abroad. Vietnam is not an ATA Carnet member country.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing. Some websites are blocked from access. Fast internet is available in the cities.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department beyond traditional Vietnamese looks is very basic. Set construction crews are skilled, hard working and inexpensive.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Some basic facilities exist. Bangkok is the closest production center with a lab and sophisticated post facilities.

Visas & Work Permits

Some Western nationals are required to apply for a visa prior to travel. Others can enter visa-free or via the e-Visa program. Journalists are required to apply for a PV2 visa. For visiting film crews, once the above mentioned Vietnamese Film Permit is approved (see Location Permits section for application information), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will request that the Immigration Department grant visas to each crew member. Our local fixer / service producer will send you a scanned copy of this document which you will need to present upon entry to Vietnam to obtain your visa on arrival. Note, on departing Vietnam, footage may be examined at customs, so make sure to allow extra time for this, just in case.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Road quality varies considerably. Major roads are of a good standard. Most other roads are slower going particularly during the monsoon season. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have heavy traffic congestion. Several international airlines service flights to Vietnam.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Vietnam include:

Hanoi:
InterContinental Hanoi
Oriental Central Hotel
Hanoi Elegance Ruby

Ho Chi Minh City:
Park Hyatt Saigon
InterContinental Saigon
Hotel Nikko Saigon

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Vietnam, please see below:

Hire Vietnam Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Vietnam, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Vietnam, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.