'Hangover Part II' may bring more activity

Thailand’s capable crews, post-production facilities and eye-popping locations have made it a venue of choice over the years for filmmakers as diverse as Oliver Stone, Werner Herzog and, most recently, Todd Phillips, who shot the ribald “The Hangover Part II” here.

The R-rated comedy was the first major Hollywood production in several years to shoot in Thailand, but the Thailand Film Office is confident more U.S. projects are headed its way.

“Now we have solid recognition to use as support, and we can expand that,” says Wanasiri Morakul, director of the Thailand Film Office.

“Foreign filmmakers have been coming here for 50 years,” she adds. “People from India, Laos and Bhutan come here because they want Thailand to provide them with knowhow and training. It’s the center for development and production in Southeast Asia.”

Regionally, Thailand is also a center for the production of costume dramas and other shows by South Korean, Hong Kong and Indian shingles. The French are also fond of Thailand; last year the sequel to actioner “Largo Winch” was shot here.

To make sure that people get the message, Thailand launched a campaign at Cannes called Unleash Your Imagination, which pushed Thailand’s locations and production services.

Nicholas Simon, a producer at Indochina Productions, believes that as the biz becomes more and more globalized, Thailand will grow as a regional center.

“They have a government film board that actively promotes Thailand as a destination, first-class production support and local equipment companies, and post companies that continue to invest in equipment and crew,” Simon says.

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