Dalian is a beautiful and modern city known for its coastal landscape and architectural landmarks. In this filming in Dalian guide, we will cover various aspects of production, from location scouting to post-production resources, to help make your filming experience in Dalian enjoyable and efficient.

Filming in Dalian

Production Resources in Dalian

Overall, production resources in Dalian are poor. Camera crews and talents are quite limited, and typical work hours for film crews are 10 hours, excluding meal breaks. You can find professional directors, cameramen/videographers, and producers in Dalian. Makeup/hair artists and location managers are also available. However, for soundmen, fixers, assistant directors, video crews, cinematographers/DOPs, photographers, prop specialists, and pet trainers, you may need to bring in crews from nearby cities such as Beijing or Shenzhen.

Film crew and production insurance coverage are available upon request.

Visas

If you are coming to Dalian for filming or production, consider applying for a business or work visa, as you are technically working in the city. A tourist visa is acceptable but not ideal.

Carnet/ATA Carnet

Bringing equipment, cameras, and lens gear to Dalian from abroad is possible via Carnet/ATA Carnet. However, there is still a chance you could be stopped by customs, so always check before arriving in Dalian.

Equipment Rental Houses

There are limited options available for equipment rental in Dalian. Check prices and availability to determine whether it is more convenient to rent equipment than bring your own.

Post-Production

The post-production resources in Dalian are poor. If you need to do online/offline editing, color correction, or sound post-production, it’s wise to do some research before making your decision or consider working with resources in nearby cities, such as Beijing or Shenzhen.

Dalian has several photo studios and film studios available for use.

Location Conditions and Permit Requirements

To apply for location access in Dalian, determine whether the site is government-owned or privately owned. Access to privately owned locations is generally easier and often depends on payment. Location charges vary depending on the area and time of production.

Shooting in public areas is technically illegal, but vlogging with phones or small cameras is usually fine. Filming in public areas without a permit is not allowed.

Famous Locations in Dalian

Some famous locations in Dalian include Xinghai Square, Dalian Forest Zoo, and Binhai Road.

Equipment Rental

Dalian offers high-end camera equipment like Arri and Red, as well as high-end lens options such as Angenieux, Cooke, Arri, and Zeiss. Grip and lighting equipment are also available, but options may be limited.

Seasons, Weather, and Air Pollution

Dalian experiences four distinct seasons, with mild summers and cold winters. The city is relatively dry, receiving moderate precipitation throughout the year. Air pollution can be a concern, so check the air quality index before filming.

Drone Usage

You cannot fly a drone within Dalian’s city center area, and certain areas require a pilot’s license to operate, with height limits also in place.

Currency

In Dalian, you must use RMB, as USD or other currencies are not accepted. Digital payments like Alipay and WeChat Pay are widely used.

Hotel and Meal Costs

Hotel costs range from 100 USD to 200 USD per night, while meal costs can be between 10 USD to 50 USD per day, depending on the type of food.

Transportation

Dalian has one major airport, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport. The city also has several train stations, including Dalian Railway Station and Dalian North Railway Station. For production, it’s common to hire vans or lorries, with a 5-seat car/van and driver costing 150 USD to 200 USD per day. Smaller productions can use Didi or Meituan, the Chinese equivalents of Uber and Lyft.