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The Producer’s Guide To Singapore Filming Permits: Key Points For Navigating Permits, Costs, And Expertise

Do I need a permit to shoot in Singapore?

Singapore presents a dual perspective. On the positive side, Singapore offers the advantage of relatively lenient regulations for shooting without permits in various locations. Typically, when entering the country for work purposes, a Visa isn’t necessary; visitors can simply enter as normal tourists. The government maintains a relaxed stance on permits, especially for shooting. When working on a client’s property, permits are not required if the client is the owner. If the client is leasing a space, acquiring permits from the building management is a straightforward process, although it’s important to communicate this to clients in advance. Obtaining these permits might take a few weeks.

Regarding general street filming in Singapore, small single-camera crews usually encounter no issues. However, it’s wise to be aware of specific areas that should be avoided due to potential permit requirements. Certain places, like Yes, Bernard, have strict rules about filming on their premises, even if they aren’t being featured directly in the shoot. In these cases, a permit is mandatory. While theoretically, most locations in Singapore require a permit, practical experience has shown that small crews can often film without one, particularly around Marina Bay.
Nevertheless, if a permit is indeed needed, the process is relatively straightforward, especially for larger crews. Typically, a two-week timeframe is sufficient to complete the paperwork, and the application process involves filling out forms. Ultimately, acquiring permits for filming in Singapore is generally a manageable procedure and doesn’t pose significant challenges.

Would it be true that these permits are delivered by the city government?

Various governing bodies oversee different areas. For instance, certain locations are privately owned, requiring permits issued by the property owner. Stepping back a bit, if you’re looking to film in Singapore, a government permit is typically not necessary, unless it’s a large-scale production like a major Hollywood movie. Generally, what’s needed is a permit specific to each filming location.
When it comes to obtaining these permits, it involves researching and identifying the responsible authority for that area. For example, if you’re considering filming at Gardens by the Bay, a popular spot, you would directly contact them. They might quote a fee of around one and a half thousand dollars simply for access to their premises. Similarly, if your shoot is at Marina Bay Sands, you’d need to communicate directly with them, as they hold jurisdiction over that area. In cases where the location is within national parks, such as the central catchment area, you would need to liaise with the National Parks Board.

Navigating the permitting process isn’t always straightforward. It’s advisable to seek guidance from a local expert, as it can be quite complex due to the absence of a unified permitting system in Singapore. Costs for permits can vary depending on the location, and it usually requires a lead time of at least a couple of weeks for processing. In most instances, there won’t be a charge for the location itself, but there might be some pre-production expenses. However, there are exceptions, like Gardens by the Bay, which charges fees for any filming activity.

Furthermore, addressing some recurring queries, the format of this information might change as we refine our understanding. We’re relatively new to this process, having only done it a couple of times so far.

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