Film Being Shot in Luang Prabang


By Alex Robb-Millar, White Elephant Adventures

As the sun was rising on a cool winter’s morning in the misty mountainous city of Luang Prabang, an unusual sight was developing before the eyes of local people eating their morning street-side bowl of steaming khao piek khao (rice congee).

It’s not often roads are closed off by the police, a practice usually reserved for visiting dignitaries or particular national festivals. However, this was no ordinary day for the sleepy laid back city…tracks for a camera dolly were being laid out across the road, huge floodlights getting positioned, and hundreds of meters of various cables running back and forth from numerous utility vehicles to the director’s tent.

The movie, Charm Lao (Beast) stars Mason Lee, son of acclaimed film director Ang Lee (The Life of Pii, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.), and Thailand’s popular Pavarit “Bank” Mongkolpisit (ปวริศร์ มงคลพิสิฐ / แบงค์). He was flown in from Bangkok, along with eight-year-old Pluem Supakorn, a future star who is also taking a lead role. The film is due to be released, mostly in the Chinese market, in 2020.

The production manager and director approached me to assist with location services, fixing, and talent scouting, as I trained in stunt work years ago and have experience with film sets and production. They also knew I had over 15 years of experience in Laos, with the last five being the owner of White Elephant Adventures, a long-standing eco-adventure tour agency. 

After speaking with them, I knew exactly what they were after in terms of scene. I knew where to find specific props, as well as the several local people who were capable of minor roles, especially for some of the action sequences.

Only a handful of films have been shot in Laos to date, with most older films that have Laos as a location in the story were actually filmed in Thailand. However, increased exposure from tourism, coupled with beautiful landscapes and historic architecture in places like Luang Prabang, is putting Laos on the film industry map, and a couple more Chinese film crews are expected to arrive this year as well.

For anyone in need of film location, fixing, or private security services, contact White Elephant Adventures for further information.