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Palau

Palau 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 Palau? 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 Palau? See below for an introduction to Palau 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.

Palau Film Locations

Geographically, Palau is part of Micronesia. Located to the south-east of the Philippines, Palau is made up of more than 250 islands.

The country comprises of 16 states including Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Hatohobei, Kayangel Islands, Koror, Melekeok, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngaremlengui, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngiwal, and Peleliu.

Palau is best known for its pristine, tropical locations such as white sand beaches, coral atolls, reefs, lush waterfalls, and dense jungles.

Season 10 of Survivor was filmed on Koror Island.

The country is a popular destination for aerial and underwater photography.

Underwater film locations of note include Blue Corner, German Channel, Peleliu Wall, The Big Drop Off, Ulong Channel, and Jellyfish Lake. WW2 wreck dives include the Jake Seaplane, Amatsu Maru, Iro Maru, and Chuyo Maru.

The Rock Islands of Palau are a world famous underwater and aerial filming location.

Other locations of interests to visiting filmmakers and photographers include Koror Island, Malakal Island, Omekang Islands, Ngardmau Waterfalls, Badrulchau Stone Monoliths, Palauan bais (traditional meeting houses), and the town of Koror which is the country’s main commercial centre.

The Palau National Marine Sanctuary is a protected area covering an area twice the size of Mexico. The country is home to the world’s first shark sanctuary, with all commercial shark fishing banned in its territorial waters.

Palau Film Location Permits

Palau is made up of 16 different administrative regions so permission to film often needs to be negotiated on the local level. Locations of cultural significance require permission from local clans. Locking off public locations and filming on streets requires permission from local authorities and police. Larger-footprint projects and shoots that involve filming in protected sites may require several levels of permitting. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Palau offers long shoot days all year round. The climate is hot and humid, with a wet Typhoon season running from July to October. Palau is located outside of the typhoon zone. The dry season runs from September to June with March to April the driest months. December through to April are generally the best time for underwater filming conditions. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Palau celebrates several major American holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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

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. Palau trades in the USD. Crew, talent and location costs are very competitive. Some imported goods can be expensive given Palau’s remote location. Our Palauan fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for feature films or commercials shooting in Palau.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Palau has a very small pool of local directors, videographers (including underwater) and stills photographers. There is also a small but good pool of local crew experienced in servicing international productions including gaffers, grips and camera operators.

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 Palau.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Day rates are very reasonable and negotiated on a personal basis. English is widely spoken. Palauans are a mix of Melanesian, Micronesian and Malayan descent. Palau also has some Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, and Caucasian looks available.

Palau Film Equipment

Equipment. Palau has all the standard equipment available locally including lights (5K lights), grip (28ft crane with remote head), and camera (Sony, RED, underwater housing, camera drones, and helicopters). Gear can also be brought in on an ATA carnet. Guam and Manila are the closest production centres to source gear.

Communication. Internet can be slow and unreliable.

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 is good for local looks only.

Set construction crews are inexpensive, plentiful, experienced and hard working.

Studios. Limited facilities exist.

Post Production. Best to post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Film crews are not required to have work permits. US passport holders can enter Palau without a visa for up to a year. Most other passport holders can get visas on arrival, valid for a period of up to 30 days.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are in a fair condition. The islands cover a relatively small area so most locations can be reached without excessive travel required.

Roman Tmetuchl International Airport is located in Airai, a short drive from the main town of Koror. Direct flights are available from Guam, Taipei, Manila, Seoul and Tokyo.

Accommodation. Palau has a range of film-friendly hotel and live aboard charter boat options.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. You’ve travelled all that way. Take a couple of days to explore Palau’s magnificent underwater locations.

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 Palau, please see below:

Hire Palau Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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