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Taiwan

Taiwan 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 Taiwan? 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 Taiwan? See below for an introduction to Taiwan locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, fringes and premiums, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Taiwan Film Locations

Taiwan offers a diversity of locations in close proximity to each other. The country is home to vibrant cities, modern industrial parks, a mix of Chinese and Japanese architecture, Buddhist temples, baseball stadiums, night markets, luscious green mountains, rugged gorges, bamboo forests, rice paddies, tea plantations, lakes and waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and offshore islands.

Taiwan offers a good alternative to filming in mainland China. As well as Chinese-looking locations and talent, and a first-world infrastructure, visiting productions can count on being protected by a system of stable and predictable laws.

The food culture is extensive and easily accessible in even the most out of the way places.

Taiwan has hosted films such as Nowhere Man, Silence, Lucy, Life of Pi, and The Crossing.

Film locations can be divided into several regions:

Northern Taiwan

Taipei is the capital and main production centre where most crew and equipment are based. Locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include the Taipei 101 Tower, Shilin Night Market, Raohe Night Market, National Palace Museum, National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Longshan Temple, Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain) views of the Taipei skyline, Huashan 1914 Creative Park, and Taipei Performing Arts Center. Taipei has an extensive metro system that’s also available for filming.

Outside of Taipei, Jiufen is a mountain town known for its narrow alleyways and tea houses. Shifen Old Street is a lively street lined with shops, stalls and restaurants that has a train running through the centre of it. Nearby Shifen Waterfall is one of Taiwan’s most beautiful cascades. Yangmingshan National Park has cherry blossoms in the spring. Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf is an unusual film location in this region of Taiwan. Hsinchu Science Park is Taiwan’s answer to Silicon Valley.

Central Taiwan

Yushan (Jade Mountain) is the highest mountain in Taiwan. Most of Taiwan’s tea plantations are located in the mountainous interior. Sun Moon Lake is the country’s largest lake. Fengjia Night Market is located in Taichung City. The Alishan Forest Railway is a scenic railway. Xinshe Castle is a European-style castle and picturesque grounds located outside of Taichung City.

Southern Taiwan

The coastal city of Kaohsiung is known for the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Liuhe Night Market, Ruifeng Night Market, Chimei Museum, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, and National Stadium.

Beautiful beaches can be found in Kenting National Park and the Penghu archipelago.

Eastern Taiwan

Taroko National Park is known for its gorge carved by the Liwu River. Orchid Island and Green Island are two volcanic islands located off the eastern coast of Taiwan.

Outer Islands

The Taiwanese administered Kinmen archipelago and Matsu Islands are interesting island groups located close to the coast of China.

Taiwan Film Location Permits

Rules depend on the locations and degree of control required. Small footprint projects such as filming b-roll around Taipei streets in most cases do not require permits. Landmarks such as the Taipei 101 building or national parks require special permission. More complicated jobs that need exclusive use of public space require permits from one or more officials. For shoots involving larger setups or control of public space allow at least 2 to 4 weeks to process film location permits. The Taiwanese government is very open to assisting shoots that will help promote Taiwan. Drone filming laws and restrictions apply and are strictly enforced. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Taiwan has a tropical marine climate with temperatures higher in the south and cooler in the north, higher on the coast and cooler in the mountainous interior.

Spring (March to May) is warm and pleasant. Cherry blossoms flower. Summer (June to August) is best avoided as it’s the typhoon season with the weather becoming hot, rainy and very humid. Autumn (September to November) is warm and pleasant. Winter (December to February) is the cooler, dry season. Overall, October to April are the coolest and driest months for filming.

For monthly weather statistics please see here.

It is best to avoid filming during holiday periods such as Chinese New Year. During this time businesses and government offices close, and both locals and mainland Chinese tourists travel the country.

Taiwan is home to many colourful festivals and events. Of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Chinese New Year Lantern Festival in February.
• Buddha Bathing Festival in April.
• Tomb Sweeping Day (Ching Ming Festival) in April.
• Dragon Boat Festival in June.
• Ghost Festival in September.
• Moon Festival in September / October.

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

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Taipei is at a similar price point to major cities in China. The short distances between a rich variety of locations offers considerable savings to travel related expenses. Our Taiwanese fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. Taiwan offers grants for international co-productions. Read more on Taiwanese production subsidies here.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Taiwan has a mature film industry with a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Its close proximity to other major Asian production centres allows easy access to those crews if need be. Local crews are non-union. Taiwan has a fairly good depth of crews. They are known to be experienced, fast working and resourceful. As a regional measure, Taiwanese crews are comparable to Thai crews in terms of the level of experience. Other than production staff most crew do not speak English.

Contact us if you are looking for a Taipei 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 for your shoot in Taiwan.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Chinese looks are easy to find but featured talent for all other looks usually needs to be brought in. Some agencies import East European talent providing a small pool of Caucasian talent. For unique cultures, Taiwan also has a small population of Taiwanese aborigines.

Fringes. No hidden extras.

Premiums. There are no night, holiday or weekend premiums. Crew members charge a day rate for the first 8 hours worked, then add that same day rate for the next 6 hours, then add again for the next 4 hours, then again for the next 4 hours, and every 2 hours hours after that. Some crews have been known to work over 36 hours straight. Although these premiums are the industry standard, they are ultimately just guidelines. Our Taiwanese fixer / producer will package costs based on the specific needs of your shoot.

Taiwan Film Equipment

Taipei and to a lesser extent Kaohsiung are the major production centres for renting film equipment. Most standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally including Steadicam, Red Dragon and a variety of cranes. More specialized equipment can be easily brought in from larger production centres such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, or Tokyo.

For productions looking to bring in their own film equipment Taiwan is an ATA carnet country. One interesting production hack for productions looking to film around Taiwan is to arrive in Kaohsiung and depart from Taipei. Kaohsiung Airport is a smaller international airport, so it’s much easier to clear customs and immigration.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is among the best in Asia. Set construction teams are very experienced, fast working, resourceful and relatively inexpensive.

Studios. Taiwan has good local studio facilities. LAPCC has studio and post facilities. Hong Chen Film Studio has studio facilities and lighting equipment.

Backlots. There is a Qing Dynasty village that is used for TV dramas.

Post Production. Taiwan has professional post production facilities including LAPCC which has both studio and post facilities.

Visas & Work Permits

Visiting crews travelling on passports from Western countries can enter Taiwan visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. Longer stays require visas. Work permits are not required to shoot in Taiwan.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure is all up to known and expected world standards. Taiwan has an extensive network of roads and a high-speed rail link from Taipei to the southern city of Kaohsiung.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Taipei include:

Les Suites Taipei
The Lalu

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. Taiwan is a very safe and reliable filming centre. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Taipei is a fantastic city for everything from street food to fine dining.

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 Taiwan, please see below:

Hire Taiwan Production Support & Shooting Crew

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

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