Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Hong Kong
For an introduction to shooting in Hong Kong 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.
Hong Kong Film Locations
Hong Kong is one of the world’s largest financial centres, a major shipping port, and the gateway to China. One of the world’s most populous cities, it is famous for modern skyscrapers, a busy harbour, Chinese street markets, and British colonial architecture.
Cinematic icons such as Jackie Chan and Wong Kar Wai are synonymous with Hong Kong’s rich history of film making. Visiting productions of note include Ghost in the Shell (2017), Doctor Strange (2016), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Contagion (2011), The Dark Knight (2008), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Bloodsport (1988), and Enter the Dragon (1973).
Districts that make up this Special Administrative Region of China include Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories.
Film locations can be divided into the following:
Hong Kong Island
The southern island is famous for its harbour and city skyline. Victoria Peak offers the iconic shot of the jungle, city and Victoria harbour backdrop. The Peak can be reached by tram. From the water, Victoria Harbour has city skyline views with Chinese junk boats sailing in the foreground.
The Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world and an interesting location to film a scene.
Happy Valley Horse Racecourse is a legendary horse-racing venue.
Jumbo Kingdom is one of the largest floating restaurants in the world.
Man Mo Temple is one of the oldest temples.
The terraced cemetery of Pok Fu Lam is an interesting location.
Repulse Bay Beach is a beautiful location.
Markets of note include PMQ Night Market, Stanley Market and Wan Chai Market.
The Observation Wheel is a 60-metre tall Ferris wheel located at the Central Harbourfront.
Montane Mansion is a colourful concrete residential building in Quarry Bay that featured in Ghost in the Shell (2017).
Ocean Park is an amusement park in this area.
Occupying the mainland area north of Victoria Harbour, Kowloon is the shopping, arts and entertainment district.
Street markets of note include Temple Street Night Market, Mong Kok’s Ladies’ Market, Jade Market, Goldfish Market, and Cat Street.
Museums of note include M+, Museum of Art, Museum of History, and Space Museum.
The pastel hues and palm trees of Choi Hung Estate are a popular location for photography shoots.
The Chungking Mansions which featured in Chungking Express (1994) are infamous for their seedy underground activities.
The Whampoa is a cruise ship mall located in the middle of the city.
Wong Tai Sin Temple is another location of note.
By far the largest region in terms of land mass, the New Territories include the areas north of Kowloon as well as Lantau Island and over 200 other islands.
Tsuen Wan Cemetery offers an interesting contrast of new and traditional China.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is an interesting location.
Lantau Island is the largest island. It is known for its green mountainous interior and beautiful beaches such as Cheung Sha beach and Shek O´s Big Wave Bay. Po Lin Monastery is the site of the bronze Tian Tan Buddha. Tai O Fishing Village is an interesting film location known for its stilt houses. Hong Kong Disneyland is also located on Lantau Island.
The HK-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects HK, Macau and mainland China.
Golf courses of note include Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau (North) and Clearwater Bay.
Hong Kong Film Location Permits
Hong Kong is a busy business centre and one of the most densely populated areas in the world. As a result it can be quite restrictive to film in. Permission to film is determined on a case by case basis. For a standard shoot involving a junk sailing in front of the Victoria Harbour backdrop allow around 7 days for permits. For a basic street corner shot that does not restrict traffic allow around 3 days for permits. It is also possible to close some city streets as long as they are not major streets. Closing a street can take up to 3 weeks to permit as it needs to be cleared with the police and transport department. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Hong Kong’s climate is sub-tropical. November to December are the best months for filming with plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. January to February are colder and more cloudy. March to April becomes more humid with occasional fog affecting visibility. May to October experience monsoon rains with hot, humid weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Colourful Hong Kong events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• A Symphony of Lights is a daily light and sound show.
• Chinese New Year in January / February.
• Spring Lantern Festival in February.
• Tin Hau Festival in April.
• Buddha Bathing Festival in April
• Dragon Boat Festival in June / July.
• Hungry Ghost Festival in August / September.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates.
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.
Hong Kong Costs & Tax Incentives For Filming
Costs. Hong Kong is generally a little more expensive than Shanghai or Beijing. Many local productions choose to film in Guangzhou, China’s third largest production centre. Our Hong Kong based 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 Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Film Crew & Talent
Crews. Hong Kong has a good pool of Chinese and expat directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. There is a good depth of professional experienced crews that speak English.
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 Hong Kong.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Hong Kong offers a great depth of Asian and Eurasian looking talent. There is also a considerable pool of international models and actors who live and work there for extended periods of time.
Hong Kong Film Equipment
Equipment. Hong Kong has a range of standard and specialized camera, lighting and grip equipment available locally.
For productions looking to bring in film equipment Hong Kong is an ATA carnet country.
Communications. One of the fastest internet speeds in the world.
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.
Hong Kong Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction are of a high standard but are expensive relative to most of the rest of Asia.
Studios and backlots. Shaw Moviecity and the Clarence Film Studio are the largest and best equipped studio facilities.
Post Production. All of the standard facilities.
Hong Kong Visas & Work Permits For Filming
Hong Kong maintains a different immigration policy to the Chinese mainland. Clients and agency personnel can enter on a holiday visa. Those travelling on western passports can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 or 180 days (depending on the passport you are travelling on). Filming crews are required to have a business visa to film in Hong Kong. Please check with the HKSAR Immigration Department for more information.
Hong Kong Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are up to international standards. Roads are busy and parking is limited, so if you are doing a very small shoot and need to get around quickly, it is usually more efficient to use taxis (and even the subway) than to hire a driver.
Accommodation. Hong Kong has many film friendly hotels. Contact us for recommendations. For productions looking to stay longer we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. Hong Kong is a very safe and reliable filming centre. See here for up to date travel advice.
Final Notes. The vibrant nightlife and great variety of delicious cuisine help make the filming experience an all-round great visit.
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 Hong Kong, please see below:
Hire Hong Kong Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Hong Kong, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Greece, 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.
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