Car / Van
There is no production van in Vietnam yet, (the type of vehicle that has a few seat in the front for crew, and an open/empty space at the back for gear and luggage). Sometimes Clients asked us to have the chairs folded or removed, and sometimes we can do that, sometimes we can’t. So film production and photography here currently get by by using different types of cars:
4 or 7-seater
This is suitable for a very small crew with small and simple equipment, almost like Youtuber. Or several cars of this size can be used for a bigger crew if the road isn’t big enough.
Extra large 7-seater
Want something more comfy and spacious than a regular 7-seater and not as big as a mini bus 16-seater? This is the one most suitable for you. (We don’t have 9-seater yet in Vietnam).
Mini bus 16-seater
This is quite commonly used for filming here. Sometimes getting 2 16-seaters is better than getting 1 bigger one. There are 3 seats inside the front door of the car, which 1 seat is driver seat, and 13 seats at the back door.
29 or 32 or 45-seater
Some filming crews are big (like 20 people or more) and you would like to have a truck to carry all luggage and equipment, rather than put them in a van. However, due to traffic law in Vietnam, all of these are usually not possible. Because in big cities, trucks can only enter the city at night, from around 9pm to 6am the next day. The best solution in that case is to rent a small car with chairs removed to put equipment.
Film production van
Film fixer will also try to arrange driver(s) with experiences working with filming crews, since working with filming crew is different with working with tourist groups, however, we can’t promise anything. Film fixer usually doesn’t own cars nor drivers for filming. We would sign contract with car service company to provide car(s) with driver(s), and they arrange for us drivers who are available.
Drivers are usually experienced working with tourist groups more than filming crews. With tourist groups, there is usually fixed schedule for pick up and drop off. With filming crew, it’s not like that, filming time can be estimated, but doesn’t really happen exactly as schedule.
A driver with experience working with filming crew would be much easier to work with. Sometime car would be an object for filming, or filming would happen inside the car or through car window, and driver need to adjust with that. For example, when we filmed langurs, we told the driver to drive slowly and silent in the forest. When we detect langurs, we told the driver to stop and turned off the engine, everyone kept silent and only the cameraman and camera assistant approach closer to the langurs to film.
Boat / Speed boat
Transportation is normally car, but sometime also boat (for example, if you want to film a boat tour on Ha Long bay).
There are different size of speed boat that can carry different amount of people. Due to for filming, photography, crew usually have more gear/luggage than tourist so you should book a bigger size boat.