Haeundae, Busan

Busan Film Commission

Designated as Asia’s first Creative City of Film by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 2014, Busan is a metropolitan city with 3.5 million people. This port city contains both modernity and tradition; the skyscrapers in Haeundae display the splendidness of 21st century, while Jagalchi fish market and back-alleys preserve the city’s decades-old memories. Embracing past and future, mountains and water, heritage and globalisation; Busan has been able to establish itself as the city of film and attract professionals with its versatility.

As a city of film, Busan has a world-class film production support system. Founded in 1999, Busan Film Commission is the first Korean organisation that specialise in supporting film and video productions. By providing administrative assistance in acquiring shooting-related permit and database, Busan Film Commission became a role model to other film commissions in Korea and different Asian regions. Its socalled ‘Location Support System’, which assigns a location manager exclusively in charge of providing one-stop service for a single project, has contributed to the completion of 420 feature films (as of October, 2015), transforming Busan into a ‘shooting-friendly’ city. With the full support from its cinephile citizens and city institutions such as police and fire department, Busan Film Commission has been the driving force to develop the Busan film industry in a relatively short amount of time.

Busan Film Commission has also strived to improve the infrastructure of the local film industry by introducing Busan Cinema Studios (November, 2001), Busan Cinema Venture Center (July, 2002), Busan Post-Production Facility (February, 2009), and Visual Industry Center (April, 2013). Furthermore, ‘3D Production Center – Digital Bay’, Asia’s first virtual studio, opened in July 2012 in order to cope with the ever-changing environment of digital production. Equipped with state-of-the-art ‘On-set Previsualisation system’, Digital Bay provides an efficient film production environment, unrestricted by a specific location. A number of recent mainstream Korean features has been the beneficiaries of the On-Set Pre-visulisation system, thereby stabilising the process of its commercialisation.

In addition, Busan Film Commission has taken the leading role in developing the Asian film industry by organising Busan International Film Commission & Industry Showcase (BIFCOM) since 2001, and Asian Film Policy Forum since 2008. Celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2016, Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet), headed by Busan Film Commission as the chair organisation, has become Asia’s largest non-profit international film-related organisation with 59 members from 18 countries (as of December, 2015).

Beginning 2012, the commission managed Busan Film Technique Workshop to train about 900 students per year to provide them opportunities for the enhancement of their expertise and for selfimprovement. For the last five years, the commission has been selected by Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to organise ‘ASEANROK Film Leaders Incubator: FLY’, an annual short-filmmaking workshop for the future generation of Asian filmmakers from ASEAN countries and Korea. Based on the network and know-hows acquired from such experience, Busan Film Commission is in charge of managing the Asian Film School in Busan, entrusted by the city government in 2015.

Guidance on Filming Support

Any domestic and/or overseas feature films and motion picture productions such as TV dramas, music videos, commercial films, and short films (except school workshops) which submit the designated location application form to the Busan Film Commission (After a consideration, the beneficiary will be selected).

Pre-Production

A copy of the production company’s introduction letter, production plan (including budget and investment plan), scenario, scene breakdown sheet, filming schedule, and any other detailed information (such as press release, still photograph, continuity, etc).

  • A coordinator will be assigned to each production for specific discussion and support
  • Recommend the filming location and provide photos and video clips of the area
  • Provide overall information on accommodation, transportation and equipment rental services
  • Introduce Busan City and provide basic information on Busan
  • Provide free car rental service for initial use

Pre-Production Scouting Support Programme:

Providing a vehicle for the maximum of 10 days to a feature / TV / documentary production company that plans for scouting activity to shoot in Busan. After the scouting, relevant materials such as pictures will be shared with BFC. Post-Production: Rent a digital editing room, support film preview and other events

Co-operation for the Promotion of the Commission

Officials of the film production are expected to show their co-operation to advertise the supporting activities of the Busan Film Commission to filmmakers and citizens in Busan for better service. Requirements are as follows:

  • Put the phrase of [Filming Support: Busan Film Commission] on ending credit, poster, press releases, and other promotion materials
  • Accept the request for the filming and interview (prior consultation) with the director and leading actor/actress to produce the commission’s promotion materials
  • Open the filming site more than once and accept the request for the interview with the director and leading actor/actress for media in Busan
  • Cooperate to hold the film preview in Busan hosted by the commission before the release of the movie
  • Restoration and Insurance

◊ The film production company should provide the restoration and compensation for the damage to people, animals, plants, buildings, and properties (bodily injury, property damage) occurred during the filming.

◊ It is recommended to insure against unexpected damage during filming prior to the production

  • Termination of Support

◊ When an applicant cancels the application

◊ When an applicant receives two warnings due to the nonfulfillment of the commission’s rules

◊ When it is unavoidable to stop shooting under various circumstances of production companies

Filming Equipment Service

Busan Film Commission possesses high-quality personnel who have completed training courses in digital movie camera and film camera servicing. It also has a rich data on cameras and lens. Based on such resources, the commission is offering the best service.

Korea’s Corporate Law

There are four ways that foreign film producers may shoot in Korea – by means of a liaison office or branch office in Korea, jointly producing with a production company in Korea, or just receiving production services.

Establishment of Liaison Office

The establishment of a liaison office means that a foreign company will be registered in Korea as a foreign company and the office will serve as its legal representative. On practical and legal terms, the liason office belongs to the overseas parent company and all responsibilities and liabilities of the office are attributed to the parent company. Thus, the liaison office is not allowed to undertake any commercial activity such as business contract transaction independently. Only the parent company which established the liaison office can conduct accounting transaction and business contracts.

Establishing a liaison office does not particularly require capital and the registration process is simple. Also, the liaison office is suitable for limited researching and collecting market information, and acting as a communication channel. The legal representative of the liaison office may hire an employee for its operations or directly operate the liaison office. If the legal representative is not of Korean nationality, he or she should obtain a visa prior to entry into Korea.

Co-production with Korean Production Company

There are various forms of coproductions with production companies in Korea and different approaches are possible depending on the terms of the contract. The Korean production partner can take on all the responsibilities for investments in Korea – due formalities, contracts and management of the production. In addition, if specific conditions are met, various financial benefits are given through the support programs offered by the Korean Film Council and regional film commissions. At present, Korea has concluded a coproduction treaty with France and New Zealand.

Cases Involving Receipt of Production Services Only

In cases where the foreign producer only receives production services, he or she may contact the film producer or production service company or a freelance producer in Korea. Once the partners have been arranged through these institutions, the foreign producer may receive all the services related to production support programs including film crew, actors, extras, location, equipment and technical companies and other matters associated with the production. The fee for the production services is estimated at 15% of the total production budget spent in Korea as a general rule and it is subject to change.

Regulations for Filming Support & Film Studio/ Equipment Rentals

The purpose of the regulations stated below is to indicate the points the film production or individual filmmaker must observe in order to obtain the various support and services for filming in Busan from the Busan Film Commission.

Regarding the BFC’s filming support and film studio/equipment rentals, an applicant is to observe the regulations set out below unless the articles of incorporation or provisions are amended.

Any local/foreign film production making a project, such as a feature film, or a short film for theaters or film festivals and any local/foreign TV production making a project, such as a TV series, a TV drama, a commercial, or a documentary are eligible to apply for the shooting location support and film studio/ equipment rentals in Busan. An application form must be filled out and submitted to the BFC along with the necessary documents.

Filming Support/ Rental Applications