Why location is so important: A Crazy Rich Asian’s Case Study on Location

why location is so important: a crazy rich asian's case study on location infographic with singapore mansion as backround

The 2018 film “Crazy Rich Asians,” directed by Jon M. Chu, primarily takes place in Singapore. However, the movie was actually mostly filmed in neighbouring country Malaysia. 

We want to examine why this is and what it can tell us about the importance of planning, finding and booking the right location.

The Role of Singapore and Malaysia in “Crazy Rich Asians”

Singapore was used for many of the film’s key locations, including the iconic Marina Bay Sands resort, Changi Airport, and the Raffles Hotel. Scenes were also shot in various local neighbourhoods and markets to capture the city’s vibrant culture. 

However, likely due to budget constraints and other logistical considerations, some Singapore-set scenes were actually filmed in Malaysia. Well, actually, most of it was filmed in Malaysia! For instance, the Tyersall Park mansion, the home of Nick Young’s grandmother, was filmed at two mansions in Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown, and the beach scenes were all filmed in Langkawi, including at the Four Seasons Resort. Malaysia was used for its similar architecture, cultural backdrop, and proximity to Singapore—a masterstroke of film location scouting that’s worth exploring to understand better how a tool like Filmplace can help achieve similar goals for your next project.

The choice of filming locations aimed to offer viewers an authentic taste of modern Asia, specifically Singapore’s unique blend of cultures, traditions, and ultra-modern lifestyle. However, it was key for the crew and the location scouts to find adaptable, cheaper and easier-to-access locations outside of Singapore for filming. Highlighting the importance of being able to find the right location quickly. Filmplace would have been a great tool for them to quickly find all the locations they needed and book them within a matter of hours rather than spending months on location recess. 

The decision to use Malaysia as a filming location for “Crazy Rich Asians” was likely influenced by several factors. All these factors are the key areas where Filmplace can help location scouts and film crews save time, money and effort in finding the perfect location for their next project.

Key Considerations in Film Location Scouting

6 key areas where filmplace saves time money and effort for location scouting and film crews. Infographic.

Cost-Effectiveness

Filming in Singapore can be more expensive due to the high cost of living and other logistical expenses. Malaysia offers similar architectural styles and settings at a more affordable cost. Filmplace can help you narrow down your search globally by budget.

Availability of Locations

Malaysia offered certain types of locations, like sprawling mansions and estates, that were crucial for some of the settings described in the original book. These were easier to find or recreate affordably in Malaysia. Filmplace’s availability tool lets you quickly check if a location is available on the dates you need to film.

Versatility

Malaysia has a diverse range of settings—from modern cityscapes to rural landscapes—that can be used to replicate other places, including Singapore. This versatility made it easier for the filmmakers to find suitable locations for various scenes. With a global database of locations, Filmplace may offer up some ‘hidden gems’ that are much cheaper in a different region. You can search globally from the comfort of your office.

Film Industry Infrastructure

Malaysia has a well-established film industry with experienced crews and facilities. This would have made setting up shoots easier, finding local talent for smaller roles, and handling post-production activities. With the launch of Filmplace Talent soon, you will be able to book Locations and find local Talent to assist with your film and photoshoot projects, from crew to actors. Filmplace will be the one-stop shop for all your filming needs.

Logistical Convenience

Given the proximity of Malaysia to Singapore, it would be relatively straightforward to move the cast and crew between the two locations as needed. With Filmpalce, you can specify the time and the number of crew that will need access to the Location and on which dates, making your logistics planning simple and effective.

Incentives and Subsidies

Countries often offer tax incentives and subsidies to attract international film productions, which can significantly reduce the overall cost of making a movie. Malaysia has been active in this regard, seeking to attract international filmmakers. We might not be able to help with getting local subsidies, but with Filmplace’s Creator’s Release and Waiver feature and built-in dispute resolution, you can be sure you’re covered and protected for all your filming needs by default. No more having to spend weeks on paperwork!

Upcoming Talent Portal

Alongside this, many of the cast, including leading actors Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, and Ronny Chieng, are also Malaysian and a large swath of the extras. You’ll be interested to know that Filmplace is developing our Talent portal, so stay tuned for more updates about this! 

The Advantage of Using Filmplace for Film Location Scouting

In conclusion, if you want to replicate the success of Crazy Rich Asians’s approach to film location planning and scouting, Filmplace is the ideal portal to address all of the problems you may come up against.