South Korea 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 South Korea? 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 South Korea? See below for an introduction to South Korea 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.
South Korea Film Locations
The capital Seoul is a bustling megacity known for its modern skyline, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namdaemun Gate, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Myeongdong district, Lotte World Tower, Seoul Skygarden and Cheonggyecheon Stream. Locations of interest outside of Seoul include Haeinsa Temple, Bulguksa Temple, Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), Jeungdo Salt Farm, Uleung Island Seaside Road, Damyang bamboo forest, Boseong Green Tea Field, Hamyang rice fields, Bukhansan National Park, Seoraksan National Park, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Hyeopjae beach in Jeju Island, Manjanggul Lava Tube Cave in Jeju Island, Silk waterfall in Jiri Mountain, Yongpyong ski resort, and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic venues.
South Korea has hosted films such as Black Panther, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Okja, Star Trek Beyond, and the Wachowski’s sci-fi Netflix series Sense8.
South Korea Film Location Permits
Generally speaking filming b-roll in Seoul does not require permits. It’s not really possible to completely control city traffic so the best approach is to film on less busy side streets during the weekend. Skygarden and Cheonggyecheon design creek are best filmed on week days as tourists crowds gather for weekends. Same goes for Namdaemun Gate. Filming in the subway is possible but takes about 2 weeks to permit. Drone filming in Seoul is also possible and takes about 3 weeks to permit. Please contact us for more location specific information.
When To Shoot?
South Korea has a moderate four-season climate. The hottest part of the year is during the rainy season between July and August, and the coldest is December to February with snowfall common. Spring and autumn are mild and mainly dry and are generally considered the best times to shoot for weather. Spring sees cherry blossoms and autumn has colourful leaves. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
South Korean festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival in January.
• Sancheoneo Ice Festival in January / February.
• Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival in March / April.
• Jindo Miracle Sea Parting Festival in April on Modo Island.
• Haeundae Sand Festival in June in Busan.
• Taebaek Sunflower Festival in July / August in the village of Guwau.
• Boryeong Mud Festival in July on Daecheon Beach.
• The Busan International Film Festival in October.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in South Korea.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. South Korea is a relatively expensive place to shoot, certainly compared to the rest of Asia. South Korea has a similar price point to Japan, USA and Western Europe. To avoid overages, it’s wise to cap and lock in the budget before shooting starts. Our Seoul based fixer / service producer will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Tax Incentives. South Korea offers a cash rebate of up to 25%. To be eligible for the full support, productions need to spend at least USD 2 million and shoot in the city for ten days. The lower end of the scale is a 20% rebate in exchange for production spending of at least USD 500,000 over three days. This can be combined with other cash incentives and in-kind support from regional film commissions.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. South Korea has a good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. South Korean crews are non-union and have a reputation for being very hard working. Although there is a good depth of professional, experienced crews, unfortunately most do not speak fluent English, so additional translators may be required.
Contact us if you are looking for a Seoul based 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 in South Korea.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Most citizens are of Korean descent. South Korea also has a small pool of international models who live and work in South Korea for extended periods of time during the peak summer season. Non-Korean models tend to be on the expensive side. There is also a large number of westerners teaching English in South Korea available for non-featured work.
Korea Film Equipment
Equipment. South Korea has a range of standard and specialized camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally including tracking vehicles, Jimmy Jibs, Technocrane and some heli-mounts. Russian arm needs to be brought in from abroad. For productions looking to bring in film equipment South Korea is an ATA carnet country.
Communication. South Korea has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department is of the highest standard. South Korean set construction crews work quickly and to a high standard.
Studios. South Korea has purpose built sound studios and a range of smaller studio facilities.
Post Production. South Korea has some of the most impressive sound, editing and VFX facilities in the world.
Visas & Work Permits
Visiting crews are generally not required to have work permits. Western passport holders can enter and film in South Korea visa-free for a period of up to 90 days.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Main roads are up to international standards. South Korea is very well serviced by domestic flights and high-speed trains. Several international airlines service flights to South Korea.
Accommodation. Spring is the busy season for hotels in South Korea. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Seoul and other parts of South Korea. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include the Westin Chosun Seoul.
Safety. South Korea is a very safe and reliable a filming centre. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Explore Seoul and end the day with Korean BBQ, Bibimbap, and Soju.
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 South Korea, please see below:
Hire South Korea Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in South Korea, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in South Korea, 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.