Filming in Shenzhen: Guidelines, Locations, Tips, and Experiences

Embark on a cinematic journey through Shenzhen, where the fusion of tradition and innovation sets the stage for unforgettable filming experiences.

Political Landscape and Public Conduct: Shenzhen’s political climate leans towards openness, offering a conducive environment for filmmakers. However, exercising discretion in public behavior is advisable to avoid unnecessary attention. Embrace the city’s diverse cultural fabric while respecting local sensitivities.

Filming in Shenzhen

Production Resources: In Shenzhen, production resources are moderate, catering to a wide range of filming needs. Camera crews and talent are abundant, ensuring smooth production processes. Work hours typically span 10 hours, excluding meal breaks. Professional crews, including directors, cameramen, producers, makeup artists, and location managers, are readily available. For additional resources, nearby cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, or Guangzhou can be tapped into.

Filming in Shenzhen

Weather Conditions: Shenzhen experiences distinct seasons, with mild winters and hot, humid summers. Rainfall is frequent, particularly during the wet season. Air pollution levels vary but generally remain moderate. Daylight hours fluctuate across seasons, offering ample filming opportunities.

Visas and Documentation: When filming in Shenzhen, it’s advisable to apply for a business or work visa to comply with local regulations. Tourist visas are acceptable but may not be ideal for filming purposes. Note that China has a unilateral visa-free policy for passport holders from select countries until November 30, 2024.

Carnet/ATA Carnet: Bringing filming equipment to Shenzhen via carnet/ATA Carnet is feasible but may encounter customs checks. Prior verification is recommended to ensure smooth entry.

Filming in Shenzhen

Equipment Rental: While options for equipment rental exist in Shenzhen, they may be limited compared to larger cities. Prospective filmmakers should weigh rental costs against transporting equipment. Researching rental prices beforehand is advisable.

Post Production Facilities: Shenzhen boasts numerous photo and film studios, facilitating post-production processes. Online/offline editing, color correction, and sound post-production services are available, ensuring comprehensive support for filmmakers.

Location Conditions: Securing location access in Shenzhen requires navigating ownership distinctions between government and private entities. Private locations often offer easier access, albeit at varying costs. Availability of studios with diverse setups makes Shenzhen conducive to commercial productions.

Permit Requirements: Filming in public areas necessitates permits to comply with local regulations. Unauthorized filming is prohibited, highlighting the importance of obtaining necessary permits beforehand.

Famous Locations: Shenzhen boasts several iconic filming locations, including cultural landmarks, modern architectural marvels, and scenic coastal spots. Popular sites include the Window of the World, OCT Loft Creative Culture Park, and Dapeng Fortress.

Filming in Shenzhen

Drone Usage: Drone usage in Shenzhen is subject to regulations, with restrictions on flying within city center areas and certain height limits. Licensing requirements and event-related restrictions may apply, necessitating thorough pre-flight checks.

shenzhen drone pilot

Currency and Digital Payments: Transactions in Shenzhen primarily use the Chinese Renminbi (RMB). Cash payments are common, although digital payment methods such as Alipay and WeChat Pay are widely accepted.

Accommodation and Meal Costs: Hotel costs in Shenzhen vary depending on location and amenities, with options ranging from budget to luxury accommodations. Meal costs likewise vary, with diverse culinary offerings to suit different budgets and preferences.

Transportation: Shenzhen boasts well-connected transportation networks, including airports and train stations. Van/lorry hire is common for productions, with daily rates ranging from 150 to 200 USD. Alternatively, rideshare services like Didi and Meituan offer convenient transportation options.

This comprehensive guide provides invaluable insights for filmmakers navigating the dynamic landscape of Shenzhen, ensuring seamless production experiences amidst the city’s vibrant backdrop.