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Old June 3rd, 2005, 12:10 AM   #1
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Want to film in South-East Asia: permits?

I'm interested in filming in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and possibly Bali this summer - I want to film children and the elderly singing traditional songs. I will be using a Canon Gl2 and bringing extra equipment like tripods, tapes, microphones, audio equipment, etc. - therefore I'm worried that I won't be perceived as just some tourist with an expensive looking CAM. I don't have alot of cash and am reluctant to officially register with governmental organizations - Does anyone have any experience filming low budget documentaries in these countries and have any sense as to whether permits are required. Or I should say - I know permits are required for film-work - I'm wondering if its possible to skirt these requirements if the filming will be done pretty inconspicuously and the crew consists of one person - i.e. me!.
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 01:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Frederick
I'm interested in filming in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and possibly Bali this summer - I want to film children and the elderly singing traditional songs. I will be using a Canon Gl2 and bringing extra equipment like tripods, tapes, microphones, audio equipment, etc. - therefore I'm worried that I won't be perceived as just some tourist with an expensive looking CAM. I don't have alot of cash and am reluctant to officially register with governmental organizations - Does anyone have any experience filming low budget documentaries in these countries and have any sense as to whether permits are required. Or I should say - I know permits are required for film-work - I'm wondering if its possible to skirt these requirements if the filming will be done pretty inconspicuously and the crew consists of one person - i.e. me!.
In the Asia-Pacific region, disregarding Australia, you can mostly get away with filming without a "permit" if you're a one-man-band, however, you do need to ask permission to film from the people you are filming as some of them may have had the experience of being filmed previously and the experience may prove either negative or positive to them, you'll find out soon enough when you ask. To expound on this ... some remote villages in S.E. Asia know the "value" of being filmed by a "foreigner" and may not cooperate or allow you to film them. You need, if you don't speak the local language, to be with someone who does speak the language and can communicate properly on your behalf - and not tell the villagers on the side that they can ask you for $$$ because your "low budget" would be "major budget" to them.

With the kind of equipment you'll be lugging around with you, I'd advise caution, especially if you're travelling alone. And you should try to register at least with your embassy when you get there, informing them of what you're doing just to be on the safe side.

Just my 2 baht of say :) hope it helps ...
--maxcap
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Old July 25th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #3
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Alan:

You do not need any permit to film in Vietnam. You might need a permit if you want to stay in people home overnight to film since children and elderly singing traditional songs are usually at sun set around an open fire at small villages like where I came from Quang Tri. To get a permit just show up at the local police station (Sở Công An) and ask for one. It won’t cost you a dime.

Here is a tip while traveling in Vietnam. Everything around you are cheap, I mean really cheap but that doesn’t mean you have to pay whatever the vendor tell you. Take whatever the price they offer and divided in half or 3 times and that is what you should pay for.

Allan Phan
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Old July 25th, 2005, 09:20 AM   #4
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While travelling in Thailand 2 years ago I noticed some signs at some of the Major sites (Grand Palace for example) that was a picture of a Cannon XL1 type camera with a red slash thru it. They never said a word to people with smaller cameras, so you may get away with a GL2. Try ask at this site,
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/ca...s.cfm?catid=51
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/ca...s.cfm?catid=24
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/ca...s.cfm?catid=55
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Old July 25th, 2005, 10:33 AM   #5
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I have a friend who was born in Cambodia and fled to the U.S. with his mother following the civil war in the 70's. He has since done several documentaries in the area and won several awards. He would definitely know about this subject, since his documentaries show many people and landmarks. If you want to ask him, his name is Brandon Eang and his email address is beang@westford.mec.edu.
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