I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 28th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #1
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I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Anyone else ever get hassled like this?

So, i get a last minute call to film a soccer tourney - 8 games over 3 days.
Setup a scaffold and the top rack of my roof rack to shoot at elevation on two different fields.
Midway thru the first game shoot - Guy comes over. "You can't film."
(I assumed my contact had permission and working with the organizer of the event)
Blah, blah, blah . . . I end up on the phone with the Secretary of the Main office of the City Parks Dept.
"You need a permit and a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy to film on the city property"
Whah? Really?

They quoted Megan's law - so pervs aren't out there filming little children.
I don't mean to be insensitive . . . but uh . . . we've got way too many laws on the books.

I'm sure that this is one of those laws that never is enforced unless a situation arises and they can pull it out. I get that ...
Sometimes it's better to go un-noticed than to be professional and get the best shot for the customer, i guess. (Cue everyone to say, a pro would verify this that and the other . . . lesson learned.)

Rant over.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Not a surprise at all and absolutely warranted: if a child had climbed up on the scaffold while you were working and not paying attention and fell down and broke their head open, you would be liable. The city wants to ensure that you would be able to deal with liability from your actions. The permit would alert them to the fact that you were erecting a temporary structure that you aren't a pro at erecting that could cause bodily harm or property damage to others.

If the shoe was on the other foot and your child climbed up and got hurt and the offending party was unable to pay your damages and medical bills, you'd be outraged and asking where the city was in all this.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Good Point, i accept that one.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Perhaps I am not understanding your post completely, but it sounds like you are setting up scaffolding in a city park. In the unlikely incident that someone gets injured because the scaffolding falls over, or someone climbs on it and falls and gets hurt, it is entirely likely that person will sue. Should the taxpayers take on that risk or should you? I am not a taxpayer in Florida, but if I was, I wouldn't want to be on the financial hook for that risk. The person causing that risk should be responsible for that risk and an insurance bond insures that risk will be handled without incurring cost to the taxpayers. That seems entirely reasonable to me. I am not a lawyer and I am not happy about frivolous lawsuits, but the reality is, they do happen, and in this case, it doesn't seem that taxpayers should be on the hook for that cost.

On the other hand, if you are a father or grandfather who is just there to privately video your child's game as a spectator with a handheld camcorder (without a scaffold), and they said you couldn't do that, then that would seem unreasonable to me, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.
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Old December 29th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

It's standard operating procedure for any business to have business liability insurance. It's a requirement for cities and here for Polk County, and probably every other county in Florida too.

On the back of my photo ID I carry for my business, I have the following info printed:

City of Lakeland Business tax receipt number
Polk County Business tax receipt number
Business liability insurance policy number
My Insurance Agent's name and phone number.

If the venue needs to be listed as "additionally name" on my policy for a shoot, my agent can fax them that documentation.

All this is handy in case any situations like you encountered arise. I shoot a lot of High School games. I have been asked for credentials several times. It's pretty standard around here. Once you become known in the area, you don't get asked as much.

Some schools are VERY STRICT. Here at Lakeland, you have to be on the approved list in advance, or you are denied permission to shoot. It's imperative to always contact the office of the Athletic Director at any school you wish to do a shoot and obtain permission.

In Polk County, we have a central office that handles permits for filming for all the cities in the county. I always check in with them on the phone to at least see if I need a permit or not for a particular shoot. I'm also on their vendors list.

I'm also registered as a vendor for the city, and the county purchasing department, and am filling out the paperwork for the school board. Many places, like Disney and Universal, want a two million dollar policy to film on their property, which I have. They also want to be listed as additionally named.

Rules are rules. Just because you haven't previously had the hassle of dealing with them is no guarantee that you won't the very next gig. When you are in business, there are quite a few regulations to deal with.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Hi Mark

Essentially anywhere in the world you need permission to film on private property and when it comes down to kids you might even need individual permission nowdays ...sometimes it gets to the stage where the hassle just isn't worth all the running around!!!

However one thing you need regardless of where you film public or private is public liability insurance. Over here we usually have a $5 million policy .... I have never had an incident during work time but it's sure comforting to know you are covered.
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Old January 4th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Bummer! Sorry that happened to you.

Sounds like it's time to get yourself insured. It is a good idea regardless of whether anybody is giving you a hard time about it or not.

In this case, the client should have been a go-between, and you should not have gotten surprised. I have my own insurance, but I expect that my clients have worked out all details with the venues and spaces in which I record. No one should be surprised that I'm there, but occasionally communication breaks down.

Good luck.
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Old January 7th, 2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Another vote in the 'not surprised' department. It sucks that they shut you down but having insurance is just a smart way to do business. Doing video production san francisco work, I registered with San Francisco, have a business license and working with the City I even have a vendor number.

The best part about having insurance is you can go to a job knowing that you have a policy that will cover you if the unthinkable happens. Being around all the kids with scaffolding, they were right to shut you down. A lot of issues could have happened. What if a freak wind storm came in and knocked parts or all of it over ( like the concert the other month).

The client though should have communicated better with you on this one. Chalk it up as a lesson learned. No one was hurt and now you know how to do it right
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Old January 15th, 2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: I Need a Permit & INS Policy to film a Soccer Game?

Hey Mark,

I have run into this and mainly with the sport of soccer. Beyond the liability aspects, some cities want to make a profit off of vendors or just discourage the business activity at the sports complexes. I spoke to one local city complex that wanted $100 per game to shoot soccer along with prior written consent from each coach.

I would assume that the person who asked you to come film had no idea about the regulations. Sorry you had to find out after you were at the event.
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