Film Permits

Before you start filming in public spaces, you’ll need to notify or get permissions from somebody. Failing to inform relevant authorities could result in unnecessary police resources being deployed.

What Are Film Permits?

According to Wikipedia – ‘Filming permits are permits issued by governments to allow the filming of motion pictures. Every city and state has some sort of council or office that handles filming permits. Permits are issued prior to the shooting with details about location, date, time, equipment, personnel, special effects, actions and stunts’.

Do You Really Need Permits To Film?

If you are a small crew of 5-6 people using handheld camera and your filming will not cause an obstruction then there is no need to apply for Film Permits. Don’t ask, get the camera out and start filming. The chances are that nobody will challenge you, and by the time that they do you’ll probably have finished shooting the scene anyway.

But, if you are a large crew of several people likely to cause an obstruction, than you probably need to apply for a permit via the appropriate Local Authority. The process of applying for filming permits may include fees, and often requires production insurance. This process can often make it difficult for independent and amateur filmmakers. An article by Virtual Studio will help you learn more about Film Permits.

Filming In Private Locations

To film in a private locations such as residential properties, you will need to apply directly to the owner of the property. Though there are some exceptions when you don’t require permissions such as filming the exterior of a building as it does not infringe its copyright.

Notice Requirements 

To process of filming application, you require number of notices that depends on number of factors:

  • The size of your production
  • Type of shoot
  • A minimum of 3 days for small crews
  • A minimum of 10 days for large crews and complex shoots

Plan your shoots in advance so that you get ample of days to prepare your filming application and submit it with Local Authorities for further processing.


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