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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 is 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 offering filmmakers and photographers pristine, tropical looks such as white sand beaches, coral atolls, reefs, lush waterfalls, and dense jungles. Film locations of particular interest include the Rock Islands of Palau, Jellyfish Lake, Blue Holes underwater caves, the world’s first shark sanctuary, WW2 wreck dives, and Palauan bais (traditional meeting houses). Palau is especially popular for aerial and underwater photography. The Palau National Marine Sanctuary is a protected area covering an area twice the size of Mexico.

Palau has twice hosted the US reality TV show Survivor as well as a host of other international productions.

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.

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. 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.

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. 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.