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10 Tips for Shooting Video in Singapore
Singapore, nicknamed the Garden City due to its extensive greening policy covering the whole island, is the third most densely populated country. It is as expensive as London and New York and is a great place to film. Located very close to the equator, Singapore is hot and humid, and is also clean and green. Even though Singapore is often overlooked as a travel destination and is more widely regarded for business, the country great spot for any filming needs. Before you get head over, check out these tips for shooting on location.
10 – As we mentioned before, Singapore is hot. And it’s humid. Not surprise, seeing that it’s situated just one degree above the equator. Stay hydrated! And most importantly, don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen if your shoot is outdoors.
9 – Not only is it hot, but it’s rainy. Andrew Psarianos, one of Crews Control’s represented cameraman in Singapore, says some of his best advice is to have a plan B when shooting during monsoon season, which occurs from December to February. Pamela MacNaughton of travel blog, Savoir Faire Abroad, writes that Singapore has four seasons: hot, hotter, rainy and rainier. Plan ahead to account for heat, humidity, and rain.
8 – If you’re looking to film in one of Singapore’s many beautiful national parks, make sure you submit your application at least two weeks in advance. An application is required for filming at of the parks or nature reserves.
7 – A unique filming location is the Singapore Flyer, a Ferris wheel that was the world’s largest until March 2014 when the High Roller opened in Las Vegas. If you’re interested in filming there you’ll need to submit your request at least five days in advance of filming to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re wondering whether or not your project will be approved, you can read over the application assessment criteria here. Another iconic shot in Singapore is in the Gardens by the Bay, as well as the city skyline. If you want to get really creative when shooting b-roll, the right shot of China Town or Little India can operate as a stand-in shot of the respective country and not Singapore. Any of these b-roll places can usually be captured without the need for a permit.
6 – While we’re on the subject of permits – you may have heard that Singapore has very strict laws—which is true—but they are rather relaxed when it comes to filming permits. The one strict filming law is of any government building—you absolutely need a permit. If you’re not sure if what you’re filming requires a permit, you can email the Ministry of Communications and Information with information about your shoot.
5 – One more type of shot that will require a permit is an aerial shot. Singapore is beautiful from the sky, but aerial shots can be rather complicated to achieve. Videographers must submit their permit request with at least a 10-day lead time to be approved. “We have a number of good drone experts and helicopters [that] can be arranged, but are very, very expensive and come with many restrictions,” says Psarianos.
4 – The best way to travel around the island is by hiring a driver with a van, which is actually cheaper than owning your own vehicle. And anywhere you need to go is a relatively short drive—it only takes about 1.5 hours to travel from one side of the country to the other.
3 – Lunch is very important in Singapore. The country pretty much shuts down between 12:30 and 2 p.m., so don’t forget to factor in this break during your shoot. Psarianos tells us that Hawkers Center is where some of the best food can be found, where there is a wide array of vendors. Don’t miss out on sampling the country’s famous pepper or chili crab.
2 – Don’t worry about needing a translator in Singapore; the country has four official languages, one of which being English, so you should be able to communicate with just about anyone you need to when filming!
1 – Finally, there isn’t much of a requirement for visas. If you’re in the country for less than 60 days, you shouldn’t need one.
Don’t overlook Singapore when thinking about your next location shoot. The country is clean with many beautiful landscapes that would make a great backdrop. If you need a crew in Singapore, Crews Control represents the most talented creative crews in the world. Click here for a free quote. Don’t forget we’re also on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!
Written by Crews Control’s Sara Goodwin
Laurie K Gilbert s.o.c. says
Couple of additional points:
If you are shooting in Asia over the Ramadam month, crew members who are Muslim do not eat or drink between sunrise to sunset so if you have planned an arduous shoot, use Chinese or Indian crew members perhaps who are not fasting.
A 1600cc Toyota Corolla will cost a crew member as much as $200,000 to put on the road so don't make the mistake of thinking that average production costs in Asia relate in any way to US average daily costs.
All Chinese and Hawker Centre food is literally "fast food" – if you are short on time for a meal break, MacDonalds is not an acceptable solution for crew refuelling in Asia.