The general public knows little about this remote, uncommon, even exotic country. But this is better than any reason why you and your crew should visit and film in Taiwan. When it comes to documentary production in Taiwan, there’s a lot that’s still unexplored, both from the natural wonders and the cultural heritage domains.

A guide to documentary production in Taiwan

Documentary production in Taiwan starts with a good plan. You want to know exactly where to go, what to film, who to interview, and what type of documentary you’re going to publish by the end of it all. If you know all of these from before your trip, you are 50% there. The rest is just like with any other country, the constant hustle and bustle between locations, shooting days that seem to go forever, and all of the rest of the drama and impossible situations that will come up. Luckily the people of Taiwan are very friendly and ready to help most of the time.

When you decide on doing documentary production in Taiwan, make sure you know what the local norms ask for when filming in the different parts of the country. Things like filming permits might be required, and you don’t want to risk a hefty fine because you haven’t paid them beforehand. This is rare, but nevertheless, it can happen. Another important aspect is the logistical part of the production. Starting with equipment, which can mostly be rented on the go. You don’t want to carry heavy, expensive equipment in Taiwan, as that would make the budget go crazy. You will find everything you need once in the country.

The second logistical aspect has to do with travel, mainly transportation and accommodation. Taiwan is a very affordable place, so you will not break the bank with this part of the production. Moderation is key.

What you should know about Taiwan before you travel there

If you’re set on doing documentary production in Taiwan, but still not sure what about, here are a few facts about this country that might be good enough to be turned into a film. Although just 3% of the people of Taiwan are natives, this country that’s the size of Belgium hosts no less than 23 million people. Belgium only has 11 million, not even half of the population of Taiwan. Close, small places are common in Asian countries, with apartments the size of a regular closet in European countries being the norm.

As with most Asian countries, Taiwan is notorious for providing some interesting, yet not appetizing foods for the European and American taste buds. For example, the national dish of Taiwan, or one of the more popular ones, is stinky tofu. And stinky it is! When you lift the lid of your pot of stinky tofu, the experience is… let’s just say it’s worth writing home about it. Besides the tofu, Taiwan is famous for being the first Asian country to allow gay marriage, back in 2019.