Thailand today still remains a popular place to film movies. The main reason being that a lot of story lines involve Thailand and the Thai people-indeed a lot of story lines involve Thailand simply because she is one of the few countries in the world that hasn't been spoilt by colonization, globalization-a country that still holds a certain mystique and spiritual treasure.
Shooting in Thailand started almost a century ago when the first movie called Chang was filmed. From then on the likes of Bruce Lee in Big Boss, James Bond (Roger Moore) in Man with the Golden Gun to mention a few have graced the Thai shores.
Getting "extra" work on some of these movies was not so difficult either. Back in the 90s when Michael J.fox and Sean Penn were filming Casualties of War, a good friend of mine managed to get the job as Michael's stand-in. He spoke English and was short enough which was all that was required.
The gossip here was that all three spent a lot of time off the set or in the hotel drinking and smoking some of the locally brewed vegetation! Watch the movie again sometime and see if you can spot the highs! For this job food and accommodation was laid on at the Idyllic havens of Patong beach and other regions of Phuket.
Rambo III was another story-a backpacker in the hotel I stayed in at the time was refused extra work on this set just because he was taller and better looking than Rambo, not too difficult perhaps. Meanwhile Hugh Grant in a Bridget Jones sequel was said to have been chased back to his hotel by bar girls-this is entirely untrue. He was the one who did the chasing... DiCaprio's Beach on the other hand drew some controversy for another reason.
Apparently Fox Studios had decided in their infinite wisdom to re-design the beach at Phi Phi to their own natural Thai image. Environmentalists ran amok- as indeed they were entitled to-and tried to have production suspended. Compensation was paid, the movie went ahead and restoration of the area was conducted. It may be interesting to note that according to the Lonely Planets' guide to the area, the beach was much improved by effects of the 2004 tsunami.
Of course plenty of Thai movies are also being shot all over Thailand and some require western extras to help out. If interested, you may want to ask some staff at the accommodation you are staying at-they would be able to inform you of which and where the latest movie is being shot.
You may want to watch the shooting or even earn a little extra cash by taking part! Patong Beach in Phuket has been the scene of many and various movie sets. Accommodation is plentiful in the area and the natural beauty of its palm fringed beaches and its hidden coves would add to the enhancement of any movie.
When thinking of accommodation in the Patong area. Horizon Patong Beach Resort and Spa comes to mind. This idyllic haven nestled near to the beautiful Patong west-beach offers a choice of 160 rooms, two swimming pools and a fitness club. Tropical botanical gardens that surround the hotel offer a taste of paradise and tranquillity. Surely a fitting movie set where the guests are the stars and the staff are surely the extras.
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