The perfect bed at the end of a long day, a suitable working environment for getting the job done, the necessary tools for seamless communications, reliable transport to keep the schedule running like clockwork and tailored catering to keep the unit moving on its stomach, this is the complicated art of logistics in the Mekong region. Hanuman Films can cover all logistical requirements for your production, including booking hotels, renting an office, leasing vehicles and arranging catering.
Hanuman Films enjoys an excellent relationship with hotels in Southeast Asia. Through our sister company Hanuman Travel, we put thousands of foreign visitors through regional hotels each year. With a healthy room allocation at many of the leading hotels, we enjoy highly competitive rates in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, and can obtain exclusive film and television rates at many properties.
Rates vary with the tourist season, so it is generally easier to arrange deals or discounted rooms from May through October than during peak season from November to April. However, for larger crews and long stays we are always able to negotiate a sizeable reduction in rates during any season thanks to our close relationship with the hotel management. As well as arranging room allocations at leading regional properties such as Raffles and Accor, we are also able to assist lower-budget productions in dealing with local hotels or renting houses or villas. Finally we have our own Safari Tents, modelled on the luxury bush tents of Africa. These are an excellent option for remote scouts and are an additional accommodation option if shooting in remote areas.
If you have already made online enquiries regarding hotel pricing and availability, we will be happy to work with the relevant hotels to obtain a preferred rate due to our long relationships with hoteliers in this region.
The right production office makes a huge difference to the karma of making a film in Southeast Asia. If the production team is happy with the working environment, it makes the shoot that much smoother and we are able to find the best deals on monthly office rental.
Most major hotels have office suites, but the charges at these places are prohibitively high. Short-term rents are harder to secure than long-term rents in general, but we have trusted contacts that can find us the right place at the right price. In major cities, it is relatively easy to find well-equipped offices, while in in the provinces our preferred plan is to rent a small house or villa to serve as a production office. Whatever the budget of your production, finding the right office with Hanuman Films is one less thing to worry about.
Mobiles are the way to go in Southeast Asia, supplemented by walkie talkies on set and landlines for fixed line calls and high-speed internet. There are lots of mobile operators in the region and all offer very competitive rates on local calls and internet-based overseas calls. We always recommend local phones and local sim cards for visiting crews, as roaming charges are prohibitively high.
When it comes to communications for the production office, we can arrange anything from a sophisticated ‘hunting’ system for big productions to a ready-to-use mobile phone for small productions. Inexpensive walkie talkies are widely available in the region, as with poor communications infrastructure, they are a popular form of communication for police, military and local authorities. Once we have cleared an operating bandwidth with the relevant authorities, we are free to use walkie talkies on set.
Internet access is widespread in Southeast Asia these days and prices have dropped rapidly. Broadband service accounts are available through leading local providers, offering unlimited access via ADSL or wireless network respectively. Hanuman Films can advise you on which Internet package will best serve the needs of the production, based on a long relationship with local service providers in the region. We can provide internet dongles so you can access the internet on the way to the next location and keep up to date with email, which is popular with production managers and producers for saving time and keeping on top of the production. Stay one step ahead of the game with Hanuman Films.
There are still some remote spots in Southeast Asia where internet access will not be available, but we can advise on these when discussing a scouting or shooting itinerary.
Transport is an essential element of a successful shoot and Hanuman Films has a wealth of experience in coordinating vehicles for major productions. As well as owning a fleet of cars, 4WDs and buses, we enjoy an excellent relationship with local transport suppliers throughout Southeast Asia. A range of vehicles are available for a variety of needs from basic saloon cars such as Toyota Camrys for the smooth streets of the cities to rugged Toyota Landcruisers for the rougher roads.
Here at Hanuman Films, we know the right vehicle for the right roads right across the region. Cars are fine for a first scout involving just one or two personnel, but for remote roads in the region a Landcruiser is the sensible, not to mention comfortable, option. For larger groups, such as extras and crew during the shoot, we have comfortable minibuses and small coaches, ranging from 12-seats to 50-seats. There is also a small selection of VIP vehicles for principal actors or crew and we can arrange a Mercedes, a BMW or a Lexus.
Moving away from the transportation of people to the transportation of equipment, there are a range of trucks in the region. Pick-up trucks are popular for moving light props and equipment around, while small 1-tonne trucks are suitable for bigger items. There are also plenty of large flat-bed trucks for transporting over-sized items and container shipments. Grab-mounted trucks are also available which is very useful for getting heavy items on and off the trucks.
Cherry-pickers are available in major cities, but elsewhere it takes time to transport them to the location. Water trucks, or in certain cases fire trucks courtesy of the local fire department, are available for wet-downs and watering jungle dressing.
If you have the need for aerial shots or rapid access to remote locations, helicopters are available across the region. Models available include the Aerospatial Squirrel helicopter and the Eurocopter, both of which can take up to five passengers and carry a load of around 750kg. However, for filming purposes, it is more realistic to limit the numbers to three crew plus the pilot.
Helicopters in this region use the single NATO plug for the headsets. Regional helicopter companies can issue an insurance certificate listing individual productions as additionally insured, which helps to put the health and safety team at ease. Larger government-owned Mi-17s are also available carrying more than 20 passengers, but it is essential to arrange an independent safety assessment of these helicopters before chartering. It is also hard to guarantee departures as they are sometimes diverted by government ministers or top military brass.
When it comes to aeroplanes, small planes are available for charter within the region, but with a limited number of airstrips, they offer less flexibility than helicopters. For big crews, we can arrange full charters with leading regional airlines such as Bangkok Airways or Vietnam Airlines. For Tomb Raider, we chartered a Bangkok Airways Boeing to bring the main unit into Siem Reap from Bangkok. When it comes to choosing a regional airline, we are on hand to help and advise in terms of comfort and flexibility with regard to excess baggage.
Like an army on the move, a film crew marches on its stomach. Hanuman Films works with teams of caterers that can prepare Asian or Western food as required. Large productions often use two mobile kitchens, one providing a mix of Asian and Western food for overseas personnel, the other providing traditional local food for extras, humpers and labourers. Our mobile caterers move with the unit and anywhere the crew can access, our caterers will be there first, providing breakfast, a morning snack, a large lunch and afternoon tea. For small productions, we can arrange a small kitchen to move with the crew. On scouts, we usually eat at restaurants in towns or food stalls in remote areas, but can arrange picnics for those who are cautious about their diet.
We provide cold water throughout on shoots and can also arrange a selection of tailored snacks and soft drinks. We understand that well-fed crew is a happy crew and strive to ensure your team has what they want on the ground.
We can also cater to specific dietary requirements and allergies with advance notice