5th Annual Sri Lanka Tourism Awards
Film-friendly Thailand a hub of foreign production shoots in Asia
BANGKOK, Thailand - Often times Thailand has been accused of over using the term "hub" in describing positioning of its burgeoning industrial growth. But now, thanks to pro-active marketing on the part of the Department of Tourism, Thailand Film Office (Thailand's Film Commission) the Kingdom is in the midst of a foreign production boom.
With the lure of high-production values, skilled crew, beautiful locations, and low costs, Bangkok is blossoming into an outsourcing hub for foreign filmmakers - it has become the center of foreign movie production in Southeast Asia.
For 2011, 606 foreign productions where produced from 46 different countries generating US$39.2 million. Countries as diverse as Chile (a documentary), Germany (8 documentaries, 4 ads, and 6 TV programs), and Nepal (1 feature), all used locations in various parts of the country.
Documentaries, feature films, TV dramas, and music videos are not the only productions shot in Thailand. As a matter of fact, so far in 2012, as in the preceding 4 years, commercial and advertising shoots reign supreme. For 2011 (the only year financial breakdown by production category has been released by the Department of Tourism, Thailand Film Office), there were 296 advertising shoots raking in approx $21.3 million. As one would imagine, feature films were in second place with $8.4 million from 35 productions, and 86 TV productions in third place with $7.2 million.
"Thailand is fortunate to have a diverse array of locations and a skilled multicultural/multilingual crew, which all add up to excellent value for money - this is what productions are looking for nowadays," said Ubolwan Sucharitakul, Acting Director of the Thailand Film Office.
To no one's surprise, productions from other parts of Asia – India, Japan, and Korea lead the production roster in Thailand, with Europe not far behind.