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Emerging Markets in the Global Film Industry

1. Thailand

Thai cinema has a long history and has gained international recognition in recent years, particularly in the horror genre. The Thai film industry has also been influenced by the country’s cultural and political context, leading to the emergence of unique genres such as “sabaidee” films, which explore everyday life in Thailand. Additionally, Thailand has become a popular location for international film productions due to its relatively low costs and attractive shooting locations. Recent foreign film productions shot on location in Thailand include:

 No Time to Die (2021) – The latest James Bond film was partly shot on location in Thailand, specifically in the southern province of Phang Nga. The film features several scenes set in a stunning island location that was actually filmed at Phang Nga Bay.

Only God Forgives (2013) – This Nicolas Winding Refn film, starring Ryan Gosling, was set and filmed in Bangkok. The film features several iconic locations in the Thai capital, including the neon-lit streets of the city’s red-light district.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022) – Directed and co-written by Peter Farrelly, the film is based on the true story of John “Chickie” Donohue, a young veteran who sneaks into the Vietnam War in the 1960s to deliver beer to his friends who are serving their duty. Starring Zac Efron as Donohue and Russell Crowe in a supporting role, much of the film was shot on location in Thailand.

Overall, Thailand’s film industry is an interesting and important player in the global film market. Foreign companies that want to shoot in Thailand should be aware of several important considerations. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Permits and Regulations:  Foreign companies must obtain the necessary permits and licenses to shoot in Thailand. This includes a film permit from the Thailand Film office as well as other permits from the Ministry of Commerce and the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. Companies should also be aware of the various regulations around filming in Thailand, such as restrictions on drones and other equipment.

Local Knowledge: It is important for foreign companies to work with local production companies or fixers who have knowledge of the local culture, language, and regulations. This can help to ensure a smooth and successful shoot.

Weather:  Thailand’s tropical climate can be challenging for outdoor shoots, with high temperatures, humidity, and the occasional tropical storm. Companies should be prepared to work around the weather and have contingency plans in case of rain or other adverse conditions. 

2. South Korea

South Korean cinema has gained international acclaim in recent years, thanks to the success of films like “Parasite” and “Minari”. South Korean films often combine elements of genre cinema with social commentary, and have attracted a devoted fan base around the world. The country’s mix of modern and traditional architecture, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cities have made it a popular destination for filmmakers from around the world. Recent foreign films shot in Korea include:

Black Panther (2018) – Although the majority of the film was shot in Atlanta, Georgia, the opening scene of “Black Panther” was filmed in Busan, South Korea. The scene features a thrilling car chase through the city streets.

The Bourne Legacy (2012) – This action thriller, starring Jeremy Renner, features several scenes set in Seoul, South Korea. The city’s modern architecture and bustling streets provide a stunning backdrop for the film’s high-speed chases and fight scenes.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – The climactic battle scene in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” takes place in Seoul, with the city’s iconic Namsan Tower featured prominently in the background.

There are several special considerations that foreign companies filming in South Korea should keep in mind. Here are a few key points to consider:

Permits and Regulations: Foreign companies must obtain the necessary permits and licenses to shoot in South Korea. This includes permits from the Korean Film Council, as well as any other relevant government agencies or local authorities. Companies should also be aware of the various regulations around filming in South Korea, such as restrictions on drones and other equipment.

Respect for Local Culture: South Korea is a deeply religious and culturally sensitive country, and foreign companies should be respectful of local customs and traditions. This includes dressing appropriately, avoiding sensitive political or social issues, and showing respect for sacred sites and symbols.

3. Mexico

Mexican cinema has a long history of producing influential and internationally recognized films, from the works of Luis Buñuel to recent hits like “Roma”. The Mexican film industry has faced challenges in recent years, but is currently undergoing a resurgence. 

Here are a few examples of recent foreign film productions filmed in Mexico:

Spectre (2015) – This James Bond film features several scenes set in Mexico City, including a thrilling opening sequence shot during the Day of the Dead celebrations.

The Irishman (2019) – Martin Scorsese’s epic crime drama was partly shot in Mexico, including scenes set in Acapulco.

The Two Popes (2019) – This Netflix film, directed by Fernando Meirelles, was shot in several locations in Mexico, including Mexico City and Teotihuacán.

Foreign filmmakers planning to shoot in Mexico should keep in mind the following considerations:

Legal Requirements:  Filmmakers should research the legal requirements for shooting in Mexico. They may need permits, visas, or other legal documents to enter the country, film, and exit.

Safety: Filmmakers should take the necessary safety precautions, particularly when filming in areas that have high levels of crime or political unrest. They should also make sure to have proper insurance coverage for their equipment and crew.

Labor Laws: Mexico has labor laws that must be followed when employing local crew members. It is essential to familiarize yourself with these laws to avoid any legal issues.

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