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Korean Rhapsody

South Korea’s second-largest city after Seoul, Busan, is a combination of a high-tech industrial city and a warm-hearted city of the ‘70s and ‘80s. In Busan, luxurious skyscrapers in Haeundae harmonise with the nostalgic Jagalchi Fish Market. This port city, where past and future, mountain and river, and Korean and international cultures coexist, is attracting more and more filmmakers with its diverse and complex images.

Busan sits roughly 450 km south-east of Seoul and 150 km north-west of Japan’s main islands. It is known for its beaches, hot springs, nature reserves and events such as the city’s renowned international film festival held each fall. Located at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, Busan’s important port gives the city an international flair, with sailors from around the world trooping through and a growing number of tourists visiting it each year.

The city’s natural scenic beauty and rich history have resulted in Busan’s increasing reputation as a world class destination for tourism and culture. It is also becoming renowned as an international convention destination. This port city is a captivating filming location for filmmakers all over the world, with its combination of past and future, stunning mountains, seas, rivers and unique local and global styles.

Located on the southeastern-most tip of the Korean peninsula, Busan has a sub-tropical climate with a hot and humid summer and autumn along with a mild winter. It seldom experiences snow. However, winter minimums vary historically from -11°C (inland) to typically about -8°C during a Siberian outflow. May to July, late springs and early summers are usually cooler than inland regions because of the ocean effect. Late summer and early autumn, August and September, are generally hot and humid and generally rainy.

Incentive

A maximum 30 per cent incentive (up to US$ 100,000) on expenditures for shooting in Busan is offered to international producers. The Busan Film Commission also provides production teams of feature, TV drama or documentary shooting in Busan, with 50 per cent of the accommodation cost in Busan.

Production

Support for liaison, permission and cooperation of government offices and film-related agencies during shooting

Provide traffic control services, handle and prevent civil complaints and get permission for special-effects scenes such as explosion and fire-fighting

Issue parking pass for temporary parking and stopping (only for shooting location)

Provide information on accommodation and discount rates

Offer rental service of safety equipment (light stick, standing signboard, safety vest, traffic cones, etc.)

Korea’s Corporate Law

There are a total four ways that foreign film producers may shoot films:

(1) Establishment of Liaison Office

The establishment of a liaison office means that a foreign company who wants to shoot a film in Korea is registered in Korea as a foreign company and serves as its legal representative.

(2) Establishment of Corporation in Korea

A foreigner or foreign corporation may establish a corporation in Korea. A corporation, established independently and newly in accordance with Korean laws, is an affiliated company of the overseas parent company which holds ownership as a majority stockholder and carrying legal binding force on its business activities.

(3) Co-production With Korean Production Company

There are various forms of co-productions 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 as well as effective and efficient management of the production.

(4) 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 freelance producer in Korea.

Location Highlights

  • Gwangan Bridge, a landmark of the city and a spectacular sight standing over the sea
  • The Yachting Centre, with a breathtaking view of newly built skyscrapers
  • Busan Port, with container piers and exotic attractions particular to the port city
  • Jagalchi Seafood Market and Nampo-dong, a famous attraction for international visitors at the Busan Film Festival
  • Subway stations and public facilities are well organised and accessible for shooting as they are backed by a highly supportive administration
  • A variety of local scenes and bystreets with nostalgic landscapes
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