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Macau 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 Macau? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Macau

For an introduction to shooting in Macau 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.

Macau Film Locations

Macau is an autonomous region on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. It is known for its casinos, Portuguese colonial architecture, churches, historical houses, street markets, Chinese gardens and temples, and the harbour area.

Apparel exports and gambling-related tourism are mainstays of the economy.

Macau is very small, so location moves require little travel. Hong Kong is the closest major production centre, a 1 hour drive away.

Productions that have filmed in Macau include Silence (2016), Now You See Me 2 (2016), In the Mood for Love (2000), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).

Asia’s Las Vegas. Macau is famous for its mega-casinos and hotels including the likes of MGM, Mandarin Oriental, Wynn, Casino Lisboa, Banyan Tree, and the Venetian. Macau Palace is a floating casino.

Portuguese colonial looks include cobblestone streets, baroque churches, and stone fortresses. Of note are the ruins of St Paul’s, St Dominic’s Church, St Laurence Church, Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, Our Lady of Penha Chapel, St Lazarus’ Church, Senado Square, Holy House of Mercy, Monte Fort, Guia Lighthouse, Dom Pedro V Theatre, and Taipa Houses.

Chinese temples and gardens include A-Ma Temple, Na Tcha Temple, Lin Fung Temple, and Lou Lim Ieoc Garden.

Historical houses include Mandarin’s House, Lou Kau Mansion, and Dr Sun Yat Sen Memorial House.

Macau Fisherman’s Wharf has a replica of the colosseum.

The Macau Tower offers great shots of the city.

Macao Science Center is a unique structure.

The Macao Giant Panda Pavilion is a zoo in Seac Pai Van Park.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. 

Macau Film Location Permits

Macau is a busy, compact city that can be restrictive to film in. Permission to film is determined on a case by case basis. Permission to film or photography certain locations, such as casinos, is strictly enforced. Allow plenty of lead time for permits to be approved. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Macau’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 and hot, humid weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Chinese New Year celebrations take place in January or February. It’s best to avoid shooting in Macau at this time as hotels fill up and suppliers / crews go home to celebrate with family.
• Dragon Boat Festival in May.
• Feast of Hungry Ghosts in August.
• International Music Festival in August / September.
• International Fireworks Display Contest in September.
• Food Festival in November.
• F3 Grand Prix in November.
• Light Festival in December.

Macau is predominately Buddhist, so those holidays are observed.

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

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. Macau is generally a little more expensive than Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Our Macau 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 feature films shooting in Macau.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Macau has a very small pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Most film crew needs to come from Hong Kong which has a good depth of experienced English speaking crews.

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 Macau.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable.

Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages.

Han Chinese are the majority ethnic group. All other looks are best cast abroad. Hong Kong is the closest major centre for casting talent looks. 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 in Hong Kong for extended periods of time.

Macau Film Equipment

Equipment. Some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment exists locally. Nearby Hong Kong has a good range of standard and specialized equipment available locally that can be brought in easily. Customs clearances for small kits are quick and easy but bringing in large amounts of equipment from Hong Kong can be expensive and requires more lead time. Macau is an ATA carnet country.

Communications. 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 are of a high standard but are expensive compared to other parts of Asia. Most people do not come to Macau for set builds.

Studios and backlots. No established options exist. Closest studios are in Hong Kong.

Post Production. Best to post abroad. Hong Kong is the closest service centre with a lab and post facilities.

Visas & Work Permits

Macau maintains a different immigration policy to that of the Chinese mainland. Visitors travelling on Western passports can enter visa-free. For large-scale productions, visiting crews are required to have special work visas. For more information about visas contact the Macau Immigration Services of Public Security Police Force or the Chinese Embassy.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Macau has well maintained roads and plenty of transport options. Several international airlines service flights to Macau. The drive over the bridge or boat trip from Hong Kong take about 1 hour. Travel by helicopter takes about 15 minutes and offers some great shots of the area.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Macau include:

MGM Grand

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. Macau is a very safe place for foreign productions to visit. See here for up to date travel advice.

Final Notes. The romance of old world Portugal meets China, plus the vibrant casino nightlife offering plenty of entertainment options and world class cuisine helps make Macau a great film location. Macanese dishes combine Portuguese and Chinese flavours – try some.

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 Macau, please see below:

Hire Macau Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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