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  • gianlucaardiani


Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Vietnam is a real paradise for filmmakers (read HERE our article about the top 5 location for filming in Vietnam), but coming from the other side of the world, and from an environment with a different culture and working approach, can lead to some misunderstanding. Here are 5 useful tips to note before coming to Vietnam for your filming project.

1. Yes, there are drone regulations

Closeup of DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone set up on a boat

In the past it was very easy to fly a drone over the Vietnam’s sky. More recently, also due to some accidents happening with foreigners using drones over forbidden areas, the government issued a strict regulation on drone usage.

If you want to fly without permission, better to know that you are doing it at your own risk!

2. Learn how to communicate with client

Film director talking with crew and client before a shooting on set

Vietnamese clients, and people in general, tend not to go straight to the point during a discussion, so if you are a practical person who doesn’t like to talk around a specific subject, be prepared to adjust your attitude when working in Vietnam.

During your meetings with potential clients or working partners, expect to start the conversation in a chilled and relaxed way, sharing the traditional tea and not talking directly about work, but more getting to know each other better before closing the deal.

Also, especially during the round of feedback on post-production, it’s better to ask the client to be as clear as possible with the feedback, maybe giving them already some form or guideline to do so. That will help both to save time and make the process smoother.

3. Connections are important!

Film crew shooting on set outdoor under the sun

Establishing connections with Vietnamese filmmakers even before going to Vietnam ( see our article on HOW TO FIND RELIABLE VIDEOGRAPHER IN VIETNAM) is the best way to start a project successfully, in a country where personal relations are still very important and often more reliable than a curriculum on paper.

Moreover, having a local connection who can speak the language and already knows how the local industry works, it’s a big advantage when you arrive in Vietnam for the first time.

4. Find a reliable renting house

Closeup of Cinematographer holding a Canon C300 camera on a gimbal

Sometimes renting quality standards can be lower than expected compared to the westerner world, that means more affordable prices, but also, in some cases, an equipment with no state of art condition.

This is why it’s important to know in advance a reliable renting house to avoid any surprises on your next project.

5. Adjust to the local timetable

Videographer checking footage on camera, with sun in the background

No, we are not talking about the different time zones; Albert Einstein made famous the notion that time is relative. This is true especially when talking about different cultures, and different ways of viewing and treating time.

While for Americans time is money, Vietnamese people tend to have a more flexible and relaxed attitude when it comes to time management.

So, if you set an appointment at a certain time, be prepared to wait an additional 20-30 minutes and, overall, to a slower-paced schedule.

Developing strong relationships between people over time, here is considered more important than reaching a business decision or agreement quickly, even in video production industry.

Out of the list, but still a very important one, is to always keep a proactive and respectful attitude: Vietnamese people will love the fact that you are coming from a westerner work industry, bringing expertise and westerner mindset, and they are ready to put you on a pedestal: in some case someone would want to take advantage of that, keeping a haughty attitude, which of course would lead to misunderstanding and issues during the project.

Keeping a humble attitude and learning to embrace each other’s differences is the key to a successful collaboration!

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