5 mins read

#TECH: Film locations just a click away

April 12, 2023
New Straits Times
5 mins read

HAVE you ever wondered how film-makers and content creators get all the interesting or suitable locations to film their movies?

While it may seem not as important as directing the movie, finding and selecting a suitable film location can be a cause of "headache" to many film-makers.

Some films may need just one location, but others may need many.

For example, films like Everything, Everywhere, All At Once was filmed in 10 locations in California, the United States, and Crazy Rich Asians was shot in at least 16 locations, spanning three states in Malaysia and seven buildings in Singapore.

Demand growth

With more content producers (including YouTubers and TikTokers) filling the market, video production and film-making is quickly becoming mainstream, and this has led to increasing demand for properties and locations that can be used for this purpose.

This spells a huge door of opportunity for Malaysian home, building, land, retail and commercial property owners to list and potentially earn a "fast and furious" income stream from leasing their sites.

Platform for film places

One person who was quick to seize this opportunity is Lincoln Lin. The Singapore-based entrepreneur knew from experience the constraints film-makers faced when it came to selecting film locations.

He set up a company called Filmplace in 2019 to solve the common problems faced by the industry.

"Filmplace was established in March 2019, but we officially launched the public beta in June 2019," said Lin, who is also a filmmaker, having produced films such as Long Long Time Ago, Ah Boys to Men 4 and Luck Boy.

Like Bookings.com and Agoda for hotel bookings, he said Filmplace was a platform for the creative industry to look for and book film locations.

"So far, the response from the film community has been very encouraging. Actually, we are solving a very big part of the film-making process."

Lin explained that Filmplace (https://www.filmplace.co/en) would make it easy for small film-makers on a budget to look for film locations.

"It's all under one roof, and you can compare prices.

"Meanwhile, for bigger film-makers, Filmplace has become a source for locations as we have thousands of listed locations across many countries. They can look for exactly what they want in a short period of time."


As for the marketplace, Lin said he always had to get both sides of the market — the supply and demand.

"The supply would be the venues and the demand would be the film-makers or content creators," he said.

Filmplace is also one of five start-up companies identified and qualified for support by the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation under its MyStartupHub programme.

Lin said, Filmplace has secured more than 2,700 property listings on its site across 40 countries.

"These are mainly properties and locations in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan, with more than 3,000 booking requests in the past six months."

Among the types of property it listed are bungalows, condominiums, old houses, villas, apartments, terrace houses and landed houses.

"It's almost impossible for you to go to Google and look for a residence space/property for film-making. Production companies need residential property almost all the time."

Besides residential places, he said Filmplace also offered public spaces.

"This is where we collaborate with governments for the use of public places for film-making.

"For example, we have signed a contract with the South Korean government for the use of Jeju Island.

"Right now, the whole of Jeju Island is exclusively listed for Filmplace. If you want to film at a beach in Jeju, the government may ask you to visit Filmplace. This makes Filmplace really unique."

Among the major production houses that have used Filmplace are TikTok, SecretLab, Microsoft, Media Corp and Korean production SBS TV.

Talent feature

Lin said Filmplace would soon introduce the talent feature as another problem film-makers faced was finding talent.

"This will allow talents (casts, creators, crew, influencers, writers and editors) to list their profiles on the platform and in their preferred language.

"Our system will translate them into 20 languages. And the best part is that we have a contract localisation where you can be hired with a contract in your own language and the filmmakers get theirs in their local language as well."

Up Next