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film locations

You may not film in an interior location unless you have the owner’s permission. You need to secure a Location Agreement wherein the location’s owner gives you written permission to be on the premises.

You may need a permit for exterior locations from the city or state where the location is situated. You may have to do online research to determine whether the location is owned by a state or city. Speak to the film office of the jurisdiction where you intend to film to ascertain the requirements for securing a permit. Keep in mind that location permits are not issued overnight, so start the permit application process as early as possible.

The State of California has the following requirements. There are no permit fees for properties owned by the State of California. Your production must have general liability insurance coverage of $1,000,000 plus $1,000,000 in automobile liability insurance if a vehicle is involved. If you are filming from a plane or helicopter you need $5,000,000 in coverage. In addition, the State of California has to be named as an additional insured and will require proof of insurance. The Fire Marshal must pre-approve filming that requires flammable materials and effects. The state may require that you have present, and pay for, a police officer, California Highway Patrol Officer (if you are filming on a freeway or state highway) and/or fire safety personnel. You must submit permit applications at least (4) business days prior to the first prep/shoot day, but need to give Caltrans at least 12 to 16 days to arrange for freeway and ramp/lane closures.