Shanghai is a bustling city with a rich history and modern infrastructure, making it an ideal filming destination. In this filming in Shanghai guide, we will cover various aspects of production, from location scouting to post-production resources, to help make your filming experience seamless and productive.

filming in shanghai experience

Production Resources in Shanghai

Overall, production resources in Shanghai are quite rich. Camera crews and talents are abundant, and you can find professional directors, cameramen/videographers, producers, makeup/hair artists, location managers, soundmen, fixers, assistant directors, video crews, cinematographers/DOPs, photographers, prop specialists, and pet trainers in the city.

Typical work hours for film crews in Shanghai are 10 hours, excluding meal breaks. Film crew and production insurance coverage are available upon request.


When coming to Shanghai 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 Shanghai 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 Shanghai.

Equipment Rental Houses

Shanghai offers numerous equipment rental options. Check prices and availability to determine whether it is more convenient to rent equipment than bring your own.


Post-production resources in Shanghai are rich. Online/offline editing, color correction, and sound post-production are possible, but it’s wise to research your options before making a decision.


Shanghai has many photo and film studios available for use.

Location Conditions and Permit Requirements

To apply for location access in Shanghai, 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 Shanghai

Some famous locations in Shanghai include The Bund, Yu Garden, and the Shanghai Tower.

Equipment Rental

Shanghai offers high-end camera equipment like Arri and Red, and lenses from Angenieux, Cooke, Arri, and Zeiss. Grip and lighting equipment are also readily available.

Seasons, Weather, and Air Pollution

Shanghai experiences four distinct seasons, with hot, humid summers and cold, damp winters. Rain is common during the plum rain season, which occurs in June and July. Air pollution can be a concern, so check the air quality index before filming.

Drone Usage

Flying a drone within Shanghai’s city center is prohibited, and certain areas require a pilot’s license to operate. Height limits also apply.


In Shanghai, 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.

Filming in Shanghai Tips, What To Do With Transportation?

Shanghai has two major airports: Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. The city also has several train stations, including Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao 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.

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