Guide to Filming in Hong Kong

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LOCATION FILMING

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world. As such, a balance has to be struck between meeting the needs of film crews and avoiding inconvenience to the public.

Over the years, the HKSAR Government has established various effective mechanisms to deal with filming requests, and reviewed these mechanisms from time to time, to streamline the procedures and fees charged regarding application for location filming.

Filmmakers conducting location filming in Hong Kong should comply with the laws of Hong Kong as well as the related regulations enforced by the relevant government departments. Also, private companies or property owners have their own requirements when considering location filming requests.

Contact the FSO if you plan to film in Hong Kong. The FSO is a designated government office to render assistance for location filming including coordinating the processing of filming applications and giving suggestions of location venues for filming. It also provides one-stop services for filming of a complicated nature, including coordination of various government departments to process lane closure applications.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Location filming in public places does not generally require permission from the Government, except when:

  • filming in places under Government control, including Government property and land, Hong Kong waters, country parks, marine parks, public housing estates, reservoirs, and venues or facilities operated by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), such as parks and gardens, swimming pools, bathing beaches and sports facilities;

  • replica uniforms and accoutrements of Government forces, modified firearms, blank ammunition, pyrotechnics or special effects materials, lane closure or special parking arrangements are involved (see Government Regulations).

Filming on private premises or private property requires permission from the property owners or residents’ association/owners’ corporations.

Film crews are encouraged to inform the TV and Films Liaison Section, Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB) of their intention to carry out location filming in public areas (such as public pavements and street markets), providing information on the place, date, time and scenes to be shot, especially for scenes involving fighting, chases and use of fake guns or knives. This information is passed to the district concerned to enable appropriate arrangements to be made to facilitate filming.

Generally, the police will facilitate, as far as possible, filming in public areas, provided that the activities are compatible with maintaining law and order.

Film crews should observe the laws of Hong Kong, particularly in regard to the following:

  • Obstruction of public places
    Location filming in any public place must not obstruct, cause inconvenience to or endanger members of the public and/or their vehicles.

  • Road traffic and parking
    All filming vehicles used on public roads must conform to the Road Traffic Regulations.

  • Noise control
    It is an offence to make any noise that causes nuisance in a public place or on domestic premises between 11pm and 7am, or at any time on public holidays.

  • Littering
    Film crews must not litter by discarding props, rubbish or such materials in public places.

  • Damage to property
    Film crews should report and compensate any damage to the property of others.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s safest cities and film crews will normally not be affected by undesirable elements. However, on rare occasions, criminal elements may approach film crews for payment to allow filming. If you encounter such situation:

  • Do not pay;

  • Report the matter to the police immediately;

  • Try to remember as many details as possible regarding the person(s) who demanded payment and record details of witnesses present when payment was demanded; and

  • Be prepared to testify in court if the police make an arrest.

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