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Foreign Film Makers in Thailand

From 2Bangkok.com is an AFP story captioned, “Foreign filmmakers flocking to Thailand,” but Hollywood apparently is staying away. Filmmakers always looking at the bottom line are good at requesting and receiving concessions from countries as a pre-condition to filming on location.

A Hollywood feature film brings a great deal of money into the local economy and this gives the large studios bargaining power and they have no difficulty squeezing out the last possible tax break. From the AFP story it is clear that other countries such as Fiji where Anaconda 2 was shot and Australia where Batman Begins was shot decided against Thailand in order to reap the larger tax concessions offered by these two countries.

The result is fewer large budget feature films and less money is being spent in Thailand. Those who insure film productions have also hiked their premium for films shot in Thailand. The regulatory red tape is another factor that keeps Hollywood away.

So who is coming to Thailand to film? According to AFP, filmmakers from Japan, Europe (they give no breakdown by country), India, South Korea and the United States. If Thailand is going to compete in the film industry, it will need to reconsider the licensing system now in place and the tax incentives offered to filmmakers.

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