Taiwan’s diversity of locations, sub-tropical climate and first-world infrastructure make it an enticing alternative to mainland China.
Filming in Taiwan
Taiwan offers a diversity of locations in close proximity to each other. The country is home to vibrant cities, modern industrial parks, a mix of Chinese and Japanese architecture, Buddhist temples, sports stadiums, night markets, luscious green mountains, rugged gorges, bamboo forests, rice paddies, tea plantations, lakes/waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and offshore islands.
Taiwan offers a good alternative to filming in mainland China. As well as Chinese-looking locations and talent, and a first-world infrastructure, visiting productions can count on being protected by a system of stable and predictable laws.
Taiwan is still quite new to foreign production but with some projects that have recently shot here, its popularity as a filming location is starting to catch on. The Government has production incentives, but like any country they have an extensive checklist that you will have to adhere to. Therefore, it might be cheaper to just do it on your own or with a local production company.
Getting around the island is also very easy. There is a high-speed train (THSR) that goes from Nangang, Taipei to the southernmost city of Kaohsiung. It takes roughly one hour and 40 minutes and is only USD55 per-person each way. If you pre-book through a site called KK Day and have a foreign passport, you can get unlimited three day passes for USD 75. Both Kaohsiung and Taipei have a subway system that is easy to use and figure out. Taxis operate in every city and start at roughly USD2.50 USD, and UBER is in most cities as well, which is easier if you don’t speak Chinese.
Taiwan is warm all year round with a sub-tropical climate in the north and tropical climate in the south. Taipei is a subtropical city that is mostly warm and humid throughout the year. May and June are the Monsoon season whereas typhoons tend to happen between July and September. December through March is much rainier and colder around the Taipei region. The temperature peaks between June and August at about 35℃ and rarely drops below 13℃ in the winter.
The spring season lasts from March to May and sees many flowers blooming in the mountains. The rainy season runs from April to May. Summers, from June to September, are usually hot and humid. Typhoons only reach the island occasionally.
During the autumn between October and November the weather is calm and cool. Short, mild winters last from December to February and see scattered snowfall on the peaks.
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Tax Breaks & Incentives
Motion Pictures have a maximum funding of NT30 million (USD1 million), for TV Dramas the maximum is NT20 million. If productions receive additional funding support from other public sectors in Taiwan funding will not exceed 50% of total local expenses. Feature films and TV series should be directed by internationally recognised directors.
In addition to the up-to-30% cash rebate provided by central government, in 2018 Taipei Film Commission launched Taipei Film Fund, the first governmental funding scheme in Taiwan to target international co-production or co-financed film and TV projects. In 2021, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) launched Taiwan International Co-Funding Program (TICP). Together with the location and marketing services provided by Taipei Film Commission, shooting in Taipei City has never been so easy.
TICP supports up to 30% of film production budget, or up to 30% of global marketing budget. Projects must have 70% of self-funding secured, international distribution contracts and international co-production / co-funding contracts.
GMC, Amazon, Park Hyatt, Canal+, AIA, HTC, McLaren, Nescafe, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Pizza Hut, Singapore Petroleum.
[They are] an amazing one-stop shop – worked with them on a feature documentary I was filming in Taiwan. Great shooting, sound, location scouting, drone, fixers, etc. Super professional yet fun to be with on the road. Highly recommend!!
Director/Producer, Toronto Canada
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