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Burma (Myanmar)

Burma Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Burma? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Burma

For an introduction to shooting in Burma see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Burma Film Locations

Burma is a beautiful country rich in culture and photogenic landscapes including Buddhist temples, pristine white sand beaches, turquoise seas, coral reefs, rice paddies, rivers, waterfalls, virgin jungle and snow-capped mountains.

The royal city of Mandalay has many beautiful palaces, stupas, temples and pagodas within a drive of the city.

Mandalay is a 4 hour drive from the ancient city of Bagan, home to over 2,000 ancient Buddhist temples, pagodas, and stupas. Of note are Dhammayangyi Temple, Ananda Temple, Shwesandaw Pagoda, Shwezigon Pagoda, Htilominlo, Temple and Sulamani Temple, to name a few.

Other locations of note in the Mandalay area include Mingun Pahtodawgyi, Inwa, Thanboddhay Pagoda, and Mount Popa. Snake Pagoda has large pythons who live happily coiled around the Buddha statue within. Shwenandaw Kyaung Temple is a grand example of 19th century Burmese teak architecture. U Bein Bridge is the world’s oldest teak bridge. Goteik viaduct is an impressive single track trestle bridge over a jungle valley.

The former capital, Yangon (Rangoon) is known for its bustling markets and colonial architecture. Locations of interest in and outside of Yangon include Shwedagon Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Botataung Pagoda, and Shwethalyaung Buddha. Win Sein Taw Ya is the largest reclining Buddha in the world. Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple is another reclining Buddha.

Naypyidaw is the capital of Burma. The city is a strange and unique place. Built by the military junta, the vast and secluded planned city feels like a ghost town. Hotels and homes are unoccupied, 20-lane highways are empty of traffic, and an expansive complex of government buildings sits sterile.

In the west of Burma, Mrauk U is another archaeologically important ancient city.

Inle Lake has picturesque stilt villages, markets and ruined temples.

Hkakabo Razi is said to be southeast Asia’s highest mountain.

Burma also has many coastal paradise locations as can be found at Ngapali Beach and throughout the Mergui Archipelago.

Burma Film Location Permits

Filming in Burma is heavily restricted. Contact us for more information.

When To Shoot?

Burma has three season. The cool, dry season runs from November to February. This is the best time to film for weather. The very hot season runs from March to May. The wet, humid monsoon season runs from June to October. Typhoons occasionally occur between April and October. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Most Burmese are devout Buddhists so there are many colourful Buddhist festivals all year round. The Manaw Festival takes place in January. The Mahamuni Ceremony is held in February. The Water Festival (similar to Songkran in Thailand) takes place in April. October has the Thadingyut Light Festival, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, and Elephant Dance Festival. November has the Hot Air Balloon Festival, Tazaungdaing Fullmoon Festival, and the Bagan Temple Marathon.

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

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Local costs are inexpensive but since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. This can add considerably to the cost of shooting. Our Burmese fixer 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 Burma.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Burma has a small pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew should be brought in from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a 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 Burma.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Burma offers mainly ethnic Tibeto-Burman looks. It is home to 135 different ethnic groups including colourful hill tribes. Burma is predominately Buddhist but it is also home to the Muslim Rohingya minority. All other talent looks need to be brought in from abroad.

Burma Film Equipment

Equipment. Some very basic camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. You will need to bring in most equipment from abroad.

Communications. Some websites are blocked from access.

Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is very basic.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Western passport holders can apply online for eVisas for tourism and business travel. An eVisa is issued within 3 working days, is valid for 90 days from the date of issue and allows a stay for up to 28 days (for tourists) or 70 days (for business travellers). The fee for a business eVisa is US$70, while a tourist eVisa costs US$50. Contact your local Burmese embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads through politically sensitive areas are off-limits to foreigners. Many roads are poorly maintained and become impassable during the rainy season. Avoid road travel by night. Domestic flights are an efficient and relatively cheap way to get around Burma. Several international airlines service flights to Burma.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Burma include:

Yangon (Rangoon):
Chatrium Hotel Yangon
The Strand
The Governor’s Residence

Mandalay Hill Resort
Sedona Hotel Mandalay

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. For those looking to stay with local communities our Burmese fixer also organises hosted accommodation.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time.

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 Burma, please see below:

Hire Burma / Myanmar Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Burma, 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.