Thailand turmoil – some thoughts

Protests in BangkokI’ve just read an article in the hollywood reporter that insiders say the mass street protests in Bangkok have had a limited impact on movie projects, but they worry prolonged conflict or an outbreak of violence could threaten the country’s reputation as the go-to destination in Southeast Asia. – problems in bangkok

My comments regarding this situation are –

  • With a good fixer / local production company, you won’t see the political strife, as us local experts will work hard to avoid it
  • The protests may not have impacted current shoot projects – but what about future ones? I’m sure the Thai Film and Television Office are not exactly working at break-neck speed to get new filming requests approved (for many reasons – including their inability to get to the office to process them)
  • Reputation….Dah…Of course it’s hurting Thailand’s reputation – in some way, shape or form. It affects all industries. At the forefront is tourism – but that will flow into others, including the film industry
  • Let’s hope that the film industry, and those who make decisions on where to shoot their projects, don’t ‘clump’ all SE Asia countries into this political turmoil. Neighbours of Thailand – Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia are all functioning normally.
  • Producers – why not consider other countries in SE Asia as a suitable location/place to shoot? Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia are definitely options for asia based shoots. *If you do decide to come, you may want to ‘cherry-pick’ some talent from Thailand, and get them the appropriate visas/work permits for other locations
  • Isn’t it time that other countries got the opportunity to support large overseas movie projects? It’s not only Thailand and Philippines that have the talent (though they do have a big head-start)
  • Production companies like Beach House Pictures (Singapore) , In Focus Asia and CreaTV (Vietnam) are three production companies in SE Asia that could provide support to large productions.
  • Make sure you higher reputable and trustworthy local consultants, fixers, production coordinators who will keep you up to dated with events and not ‘sugar coat’ the bad news (if and when the shooting starts).

Let’s hope Thailand can sort out all their political dramas, and get back to a safe environment for all.


Terry Gordon
Terry Gordon - The Film Fixer

Born in Sydney, Australia, and growing up in Wellington, New Zealand, Terry learnt how to work with and manage the needs of TV and production crews when he was the public relations coordinator for the Royal Australian Air Force aerobatic team, ‘The Roulettes’. His fourteen years in the Air Force has given him a sound background in people and operations management.

Terry moved to Asia in 2005 and has spent the past 10 years organizing and leading small group journeys through Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China and Japan. When not fixing, Terry takes contract work in remote places – In 2010 Terry spent 6 months in Kabul, Afghanistan as an Operations manager for Supreme Group, and most recently with the Exxon-Mobil LNG project in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Terry is the founder of Asia Film Fixers, a film and tv production support consultancy currently operating in 10 SE Asian countries. Terry has experience managing the needs of small and large unit productions. Terry has worked with Channel Seven Australia’s Sunday Night; Roving Enterprises: Before the game and 7pm Project; Network Ten’s Good morning Australia , Sports Tonight and V8 Supercar productions; Channel Nine’s The AFL Footy Show and Wide World of Sport; The ABC’s ‘Sleek Geeks’ with Adam Spencer and Dr Karl, Cream Productions’ Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan & Modern Television’s (UK) journey to Burma with Griff Rhys Jones; as well as numerous documentary, film, television and sporting personalities – Australian film legend and hollywood star Jack Thompson, Australian Olympic swimmer and TV presenter Nicole Stevenson, Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Alisa Camplin, Formula 1 driver David Coulthard, AFL footballer Jason Akermanis, Supercar racing legends Greg Murphy and Jason Bargwanna, and Australian comedians Col Elliot, the late Lucky Grills, David Hughes and Julian Schiller. Most recently, Terry was the lead fixer for BBC Top Gear Special Myanmar (Burma).

Terry also has extensive experience managing travel and tour operations, specialising in unique and tailor-made itineraries throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
Terry is currently the Director of Operations for Heritage Line, a boutique cruise company that offers luxury 5 star cruises in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.