Filming in Shenzhen: A Guide for Filmmakers

Need to do filming in Shenzhen? We put together this filming guide for filmmakers so you can get an idea of the local practice and resources.

Filming in Shenzhen: A Guide for Filmmakers

Production Resources in Shenzhen:

Overall: Poor

Crew Availability:

  • Camera Crews: Limited options available.
  • Talents: Limited options available.
  • Typical Work Hours: 10 hours, excluding meal breaks.

Available Crew Members:

  • Director
  • Cameraman/Videographer
  • Producer
  • Makeup/Hair
  • Location Manager

Additional Crew (Available if resources are richer):

  • Soundman/Sound
  • Fixer
  • Assistant Director
  • Video Crew
  • Cinematographers/DOP
  • Photographer
  • Props


  • Consider bringing in crews from nearby cities like Shanghai, Beijing, or Hong Kong if you require more specialized personnel.
  • Film crew/production insurance coverage is available upon request.


  • Business or work visa is recommended for film projects, as you will be technically working.
  • Tourist visas are not ideal for work purposes.

Carnet/ATA Carnet:

  • Bringing equipment/camera/lens gear into Shenzhen is possible via Carnet/ATA Carnet, but customs checks are still a possibility.
  • Always check regulations before arrival.

Equipment Rental Houses:

  • Limited options available.
  • Compare prices and consider bringing equipment instead of renting.

Post Production:

Overall: Poor

Available Services:

  • Online/offline editing
  • Color correction
  • Sound post production


  • Limited resources available.
  • Thorough research is crucial before making decisions.


  • Many photo studios and film studios are available throughout Shenzhen.

Location Conditions:

  • Obtaining permits is necessary for filming in public areas.
  • Private owner permission is typically easier to acquire, with costs varying based on production time and location.
  • Shooting in public areas without a permit is technically illegal, although vlogging with small cameras is often tolerated.

Famous Locations:

  • Shenzhen Bay
  • Splendid China Folk Culture Village
  • Window of the World
  • Happy Valley Theme Park
  • OCT Harbour
  • Wutong Mountain
  • Dapeng Fortress

Equipment Rental:

  • High-end camera equipment (Arri, RED) and lens options (Angenieux, Cooke, Arri, Zeiss) are available in major cities.
  • Grip and lighting equipment are also readily available.


  • Shenzhen experiences four distinct seasons.
  • Summers are hot and humid, with frequent typhoons.
  • Winters are mild, with occasional frost.
  • Spring and autumn are pleasant, with mild temperatures and occasional rain.

Daylight Hours:

  • Daylight hours vary depending on the season and location.
  • Winter days are shorter, with approximately 9 hours of daylight.
  • Summer days are longer, with approximately 15 hours of daylight.

Drone Usage:

  • China Drone usage is restricted within city center areas and certain other areas.
  • A pilot license and height limit may be required for drone operation in specific locations.
  • Drone flights may be prohibited during festivals and events.


  • Only RMB (Chinese Yuan) is accepted in Shenzhen.
  • Prepare cash in advance.
  • Digital payment options like Alipay and WeChat Pay are widely accepted.

Hotel Cost:

  • Budget: $100 per night
  • Mid-range: $150 per night
  • Luxury: $200+ per night

Meal/Per Diem Cost:

  • Budget: $10 per day
  • Mid-range: $20-$30 per day
  • Luxury: $50+ per day


  • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
  • Shenzhen Railway Station
  • Extensive network of buses and subways
  • Van/lorry rentals are common for production purposes, with costs ranging from $150-$200 per day for a 5-seater car/van with a driver.
  • Ride-hailing apps like Didi and Meituan (the Chinese Uber/Lyft) are also popular and readily available.

Additional Tips:

  • Learn some basic Mandarin phrases.
  • Hire a Fixer /translator/interpreter if needed.
  • Be prepared for cultural differences.
  • Allow ample time for customs and immigration procedures.
  • Research local regulations and obtain necessary permits before filming.
  • Respect local customs and traditions.

Filming in Shenzhen can be a rewarding experience with careful planning and preparation. Despite the limitations of local production resources, the city offers a unique backdrop and vibrant atmosphere for your film project. By following these guidelines and seeking advice from experienced professionals, you can ensure a smooth and successful shoot in Shenzhen.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Network with local filmmakers: They can offer invaluable insights and resources, and potentially connect you with talented crew members.
  • Learn about Chinese film regulations: This will help you avoid any legal issues during your production.
  • Be patient and flexible: Things might not always go according to plan, so be prepared to adapt and overcome challenges.
  • Embrace the experience: Shenzhen is a dynamic city with a rich culture, so take the opportunity to explore and experience its unique offerings.

We hope this guide has been helpful! Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about filming in Shenzhen.