Other than a stunning variety of shoot locales, Taiwan is also known for its professional local crew to facilitate the filmmaking process
An island nation, Taiwan is located off the coast, southwest of Okinawa, Japan, and north of the Philippines. Taiwan is known for steep mountains and lush forests. Beautiful beaches and coastal views can be found in Kenting National Park, the Penghu archipelago, and Orchid Island and Green Island. It is also home to lush mountains, the snow-capped Jade Mountain, Taroko Gorge, bamboo forests, rice paddies, tea plantations, lakes, volcanoes, and the Shifen waterfall.
Outshone by Japan and Hong Kong for a long time, Taiwan, with its vivid scenery and skyscrapers, is fast becoming a hot location for filmmakers. The country also offers traditional Japanese and Chinese architecture, from Buddhist temples to chaotic markets and quiet alleys. Its cities offer everything from bustling streets to contemporary design, making Taiwan a good alternative to Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea as the costs are much lower. The country’s culture offers a rich social and cultural variety, which is the result of the blending of cultures. Of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers is the capital, Taipei.
Taiwan lies on the Tropic of Cancer, and its general climate is marine tropical with average temperatures higher in the south and cooler in the north. The rainy season runs from January to March. Spring runs from April to May and is the best time to film cherry blossoms. The hot, humid season stretches from June to September. The winter season, from October to December, can get quite cold, particularly in the mountain areas.
Production Subsidies In Taiwan
Central Government Subsidies: The Ministry of Culture subsidies in amounts up to USD 1 million per production for international film crews coming to Taiwan for filmmaking.
The subsidised categories include:
Manpower: Subsidising 30 per cent of costs incurred on locally hired cast and staff
Production: Subsidising 25 per cent of costs incurred on pre-production (planning, R&D, fund raising), post-production (sound recording, editing, special effects, sound effects, light adjustments, printing) and computer animation
Insurance: Subsidising 15 per cent of costs incurred on liability insurance and accidental insurance premiums for the period produced in Taiwan
Production subsidies in Taipei city: Taipei City Government offers subsidies for local and international production groups, who are encouraged to capture the beauty of Taipei with their imagination. Subsidy for international groups is up to USD 2 million per year.
The Taipei Film Commission provides location scouting, accommodation and marketing assistance described below for foreign production groups that confirm filming in Taipei.
Complimentary scouting assistance: Free location scouting service including airport pick-up and location scouting in Taipei city for up to three days
Complimentary accommodation: Free accommodation for two production crews for up to two nights
Professional consulting: Gathering information on filming locations, planning the scouting tour, coordinating uses of filming locations
Providing a match-making platform that finds the right financiers and talents from filming, acting, and technical to post-production
Supports to international promotions such as local showing, marketing subsidies, film award entries, press conferences (local and abroad) advertisements and media relations
Taiwan Film Location Permits
Location permits largely depend on the locations and degree of control required. Most permits take no longer than a couple of days. More complicated projects can take up to five days. Minor road blocks are possible but locking major city streets can be done as long as you are not creating major disruptions. Landmarks such as the Taipei 101 building or national parks require special permission. Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs.
Unlike in many countries, Taiwanese crews are very open to different cultures and much more communicative and easy-going. In Taipei, they are very professional, flexible, versatile, and you can benefit from the low cost of services.
Taiwan has a mature film industry and its close proximity to China, Hong Kong and Japan allows easy access to those crews if needed. There are no night, holiday or weekend extra rates. Crew members charge a day rate for the first eight hours worked, then add that same day rate for the next six hours, then add again for the next four hours and so on.