Singapore is a vibrant city known for its stunning architecture, lush greenery, and multicultural heritage. With its tropical climate and efficient infrastructure, it’s also an ideal location for film and video production. Whether you’re scouting for a documentary, music video, or feature film, Singapore offers countless breathtaking backdrops to bring your creative vision to life. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best locations Singapore has to offer and tips for location scouting for video production.
The Marina Bay area is a top choice for many productions due to its iconic skyline and attractions. The Marina Bay Sands hotel with its iconic infinity pool and the SkyPark offer futuristic vibes perfect for sci-fi films. The ArtScience Museum located here is a work of art itself, with its lotus-inspired design. Its white surfaces and curved structures provide unique modern backdrops. The Esplanade bridge is also popular, allowing sweeping shots of the entire Marina Bay area and business district skyline.
Nearby, Gardens by the Bay offers two cooled conservatories housing over 200,000 plants from around the world. The Supertree Grove, with its tall, tree-like, steel structures, is a favourite spot for filming.
Make sure to scout Marina Bay at different times of day, as the lighting dramatically changes the atmosphere throughout the day. Golden hour just before sunset casts a warm glow over the area. At night, the Supertrees and buildings are illuminated with colourful lights, creating a magical backdrop. Apply for filming permits well in advance, as permits are required to film in Marina Bay due to high tourist traffic. Consider blocking off early morning or late evening times for filming to avoid large crowds.
Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Glam
For a taste of old-school Singapore, check out the historic districts of Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Glam.
Chinatown is filled with colourful shophouses and bustling streets, which come alive on camera. Iconic spots include Telok Ayer Street, lined with shophouses, and Trengganu Street, known for its Peranakan townhouses.
Meanwhile, Little India retains the atmosphere of a bustling Indian neighbourhood with sari shops and spice stalls. Must-see spots here include the ornate Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples.
Just a stone’s throw away is Kampong Glam, meaning “Village of Glam”. In the midst of Haji Lane and Bussorah Street’s conserved shophouses lies the golden-domed Sultan Mosque, a stunning historical landmark.
Be respectful if filming inside property, and consider connecting with the owner to obtain permission. Consider seeking permits from the relevant authorities if filming large scenes that may disrupt traffic or business. Above all, ensure that you are considerate of cultural landmarks and practices.
The Botanic Gardens, covering over 74 hectares in the heart of Singapore, offers a lush oasis amid the bustling city. Its English colonial architecture, like the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, and vibrant displays, like the National Orchid Garden, provide picturesque backdrops. Consider filming here in the early morning before crowds arrive to best capture the garden’s serenity.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and MacRitchie Reservoir Park
For an undisturbed rainforest vibe, venture to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve houses one of Singapore’s primary rainforests and is the highest point on the mainland. Hiking trails wind through dense greenery, granting visitors the chance to spot wildlife like long-tailed macaques and monitor lizards.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park encompasses a huge manmade reservoir surrounded by secondary rainforest. With a vast number of trails and manmade structures, there is no shortage of variety for shots. Filming early in the morning or late afternoon is best to avoid crowds and capture optimal natural lighting. Permits are required for filming in nature areas.
Other areas for consideration
Singapore’s diverse neighbourhoods each have their own unique characters. Tiong Bahru, known for its conservation shophouses that date back to the 1930s, has a retro atmosphere perfect for period dramas. Haw Par Villa’s iconic Tiger Balm Garden, with its hundreds of statues depicting Chinese mythology and philosophy, provides quirky backdrops. Other iconic landmarks worth scouting include Lazarus Island, Jurong Lake Gardens, and Raffles Marina.
When scouting locations, bring your camera and scout at different times of day to see lighting changes throughout golden hour and nighttime. Consider permits, access, and crowds depending on your shoot dates and times. With its diverse architecture, abundant nature, and vibrant culture, Singapore offers endless breathtaking backdrops to bring any creative vision to life. Proper planning and scouting will help you capture the true beauty and magic of filming in this tropical city-state.
Singapore offers world-class production capabilities and support to bring any creative vision or project to life. However, the planning and logistics of filming can still be complex to navigate alone. That’s where SiliconPlus comes in. As a one-stop production house based in Singapore, SiliconPlus handles all aspects of pre-production, production, and post-production. Our experienced team has extensive expertise in location scouting, permits, crew and equipment sourcing, accounting, and more. We make the filming process seamless so you can focus fully on your craft. Our network of local vendors and partners also provides insider access to the best Singapore has to offer for filming. For your next documentary, music video, or feature film, let SiliconPlus take the stress out of production so you can maximise taking advantage of this inspirational destination. Our video production services will help you capture Singapore’s beauty and tell compelling visual stories.