Behind the scenes－October, 2016
Behind the scenes－October, 2016 - Taipei Film Commission
Between January and early August this year, as many as 54 international co-productions had scouted for sites and filmed in Taipei City, including sci-fi action Bleeding Steel. Featuring a combination of Chinese and Taiwanese filmmakers and Jackie Chan in the lead, Bleeding Steel is expected to be filmed for one month in Taipei. These international co-productions may vary significantly in size, but Taipei Film Commission(TFC) treats them equally without difference nonetheless.
Apart from Bleeding Steel, production team of UK's Bike Channel, too, has made plans to film in various parts of Taiwan from end of August until end of September. The director, producer, cameraman and show hostess of Bike Channel traveled half way around the globe for a one-month filming assignment here in Taiwan, which naturally made TFC their most convenient contact window for all issues concerning their requests. From filming outside the balcony of Taipei Grand Hotel suite to setting up scenes at CKS Memorial hall and National Theatre & Concert Hall, TFC's ability to communicate and coordinate on an urgent basis was especially vital to the success of the team's assignment. Even when the team left Taipei for filming in southern parts of the nation, they still counted on TFC coordinating across jurisdiction for the benefit of their assignment. Bike Channel is broadcast in UK and Italy, therefore footages of night market, Martyr's Shrine, Taipei 101, CKS Memorial Hall, and Taipei streets will reach their European audience through the show. Over the course of our assistance, the production team told us that Taiwan has long been known as a "cyclist's heaven" among foreigners due to the beauty of its terrain!
There is another ongoing production based on the story of a round-island trip, titled The Travel Diary by female Hong Kong director Doris Wong and producer Wei Te-sheng. According to the director, her motive to film here between October and December this year had originated from a previous round-the-island tour she took in Taiwan. Although the production shoots no scene in Taipei City, the crew approached TFC for help in setting up Wenshan Theater as a place of rehearsal. Meanwhile, one of BBC's children TV shows plans to film at a hand-crafted toy store in Hsinchu, and had approached TFC for information.
Filming in Taipei requires tremendous support from the police services; from road blocks, closed-street filming to taking shots inside police precincts, none of these would be made possible without policemen's help. Lee Chi-yuan's new film- Figo Tango, for example, required footages from within Wanfang Precinct. The precinct was reluctant to cooperate at first due to concerns about how it may affect daily police works, but after hearing a thorough technical explanation of how the filming will progress that day, the precinct agreed to assist with filming. While the filming was progressing, Neighborhood magistrate Chen Hsiou-tzu, walked by and gave the crew a warm welcome. Support from these two parties had been quite motivating for the production crew. In another film - Omens (unofficial), the production crew was fortunate to receive the support of Lanya Precinct for two full days, during which they filmed virtually every corner of the building, including the captain's office. These two cases demonstrate how vital the police department and local neighborhood magistrate have been in the support of filmmaking in Taipei. Meanwhile, another local film titled The Great Buddha by Director Huang Hsin-yao was filmed in Taipei during the month.
One of the challenging cases that TFC had encountered recently was PTS's 90-minute TV film - Mighty Me (unofficial), which requested to film at MRT Ximending Station exit No. 6 and MRT Jiannan Road Station on Neihu Line. Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) was utterly concerned about the request to film at these two locations, because enclosure at Ximending Station exit No. 6 would significantly obstruct the seemingly endless flow of passengers, while filming along Neihu Line was troubled by the crew's request to construct a temporary high rising platform. Fortunately, after many intensive discussions between the production crew, TFC and TRTC, the crew agreed to film with a smaller team and lesser equipment for minimal obstruction of traffic, and use aerial lift instead of temporary platform. These compromises had successfully resolved TRTC's concerns, and in return they cooperated fully with the production crew's filming requests. TFC's production assistants were fully involved in this particular case, and not only did they feel the sincerity between the production crew and the curators in solving problems, they also witnessed the creation of a three-win solution between the filmmaker, TRTC and TFC.