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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:15 PM   #16
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I am in Burbank, CA. A few years ago I was videotaping with a Betacam inside my house. There was the smallest size grip truck parked on the street. There were no people to be seen.

The Burbank Police came knocking at the door, came in and stopped me, waiting until the grip truck was gone.

I had to get a permit to videotape inside my own house for a video of me for my own use. The giveaway was the small ($150 a day) grip truck on the street.

Because of my use, my house, etc., the permit did not cost very much, but I needed a permit. I haven't checked lately what is required.

There are cities that are film friendly and film unfriendly.

A number of years ago I got all the location permits for a low budget film -- SAG actors, non-union crew.

The company was doing things like driving rental cars off cliffs, but all the permits were gotten. I remember one occasion where I was rushing to the CalTrans office while the whole cast and crew sat.

It is necessary to check what the laws and regulations are in the area you will shoot. And rules can change from one side of the street to another depending on city and county lines.

"Stealing Shots" or even whole movies have made it into film lore. Ms. Coppola did a hotel sequence this way in Lost in Translation.

I remember not long ago an actor on Charlie Rose talk about a shot they did in London outside one of the bit government buildings very early in the morning with no permits, since they couldn't get permits for what they wanted. This was a very high profile movie, but I don't recall the name.

News people have special rules. I don't know if or how documentaries may fall into a special situation.

The practical rule is probably if you make yourself obvious, you'll have trouble without following all the rules. And nothing should be assumed, because there are stiff penalties in some cases.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #17
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Hey guys,

When I was in preproduction for my senior project in college, I went through all the motions to do it "right". I found a section of road on Calaveras Road in Sunol, Ca. and off to the side was a little drop off with a landing to the left and a section of dirt to the right where we can shoot and use as staging. I found out that the road was owned by Alameda county, and was told the dirt was owned by the San Francisco Water Dept.

I was always planning on getting production insurance, and I'm glad I did. Both Alameda and SFWD required proof of insurance. SFWD wanted something like 1mil in liability and 500k in auto in case one of our cars touched the metal road barricades.

Oh they also required a CHP officer to drive down from the nearest satellite station to be there. $60hr three hour minimum plus travel. We were there from 7am to about 2:30pm.

So round and round we went with SFWD being a tad bit of a pain. I was in class fielding phone calls to them then running home to fax forms back and forth etc.

So now I've got everything in order and it come down to the day of the shoot. The officer pulled up and parked in our staging area. He asked if we needed him to stop traffic, we said no. We then asked if he could park around the corner out of the shots which he did. Officer sat in his cruiser the whole time. Looking back I should have just had him hang out with us, probably would have been more fun for both of us.

We're into our fourth take when a SFWD truck rolls up and right out of the blue asks for out permit, PA runs over shows permit. Guy scowls and leaves.

All in all it was a good experience and quite painless. The insurance company cool with all of SFWD's constant demands etc.

Oh yeah because I was a student, Alameda threw out the fee which saved me $500, so did SFWD and the insurance only cost me $120 for the five days.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #18
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Yep,

Todd's right. I've run across this myself. Some jurisdictions require permits regardless of public or private property.

If you're not shooting in the legal boundaries of Phoenix then a Phoenix permit won't do anything for you.

If you're in a distant suburb, small town etc you're going to get a lot of "I'm not really sure who you ask..." Just keep making calls.

In my town Fredericksburg Va, it's actually handled by the tourism office (there is a lot of colonial and civil war stuff shot here). I had to fill out a form and send them the script. They look it over and figure out how many resources are required (police etc) and let you know the cost. The cost of filing for the permit was either free or not much money, and we didn't need any additional resouces. And this was a permit to shoot on a business' property (parking lot) and one side street.

We did have to provide an insurance cert, the going rate seems to be one million. That ran about $100 a day and you can print your own certs out on line.

We only pulled the permit for the one day though we shot inside other business for other days.

When they saw the size of our production, they didn't really care. There is a university in town and it always helps to have students around. If anyone complains, point to one of the kids and say its his project for school.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #19
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Awesome, James! I always love seeing behind-the-scenes photos with the crew and gear in action with the cast and location. Very cool and congrats.

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Old December 27th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #20
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Man, as far as White Plains/Greensburgh goes, I'd just film away and to heck with the permit. I can't believe anybody is going to be checking up on that, as long as you were only shooting interiors. I'd consider it peaceful resistance. Burbank seems like a different story though. I'll bet what they're really trying to keep tabs on is adult.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #21
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Hey thanks Heath. I posted a teaser and some more BTS photos in another post.


http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=109603
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Old January 1st, 2008, 11:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
Man, as far as White Plains/Greensburgh goes, I'd just film away and to heck with the permit. I can't believe anybody is going to be checking up on that, as long as you were only shooting interiors. .
Yeah, that's what I did. Strange enough it seemed after I made that initial call inquiring about permits I noticed many 'pass by's' by the police. Like they tracked my phone down and was checking up. Maybe I got paranoid. :) I shot anyway.

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Old January 1st, 2008, 05:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Todd Giglio View Post
Yeah, that's what I did. Strange enough it seemed after I made that initial call inquiring about permits I noticed many 'pass by's' by the police. Like they tracked my phone down and was checking up.
America, the leader of the free world? I am not sure whether to find all this more interesting (looking into the legal rationale of requiring film permits on your own property) or disturbing - a bit of both, I guess...

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Old January 31st, 2008, 08:31 PM   #24
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Much like "consenting adults in their own home kinda stuff", I sincerely doubt that the imposition of a fee to create film in one's own house passes muster.... but that no one has had the $$ to challenge it.

As for controlling adult, it has been shot in cars, so does the government charging a fee to film in a car across the board justify the concern over "adult" being shot there? ... and DO we have a first amendment? Seriously overbroad in my estimation.

Now, of course, in a residential area, businesses can be prohibited based on zoning requirements... and THAT is a valid point - but charging a fee to allow "filming" as a commercial activity does not satisfy zoning requirements if otherwise prohibited as a commercial activity in a residential area to my mind.

I bet if someone took this case up to a higher court the entire house of cards that allows it to stand would collapse... (speaking as an attorney but one who does not specialize in constitutional law.)
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Old February 10th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #25
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Yeah, the issue of film permits have always made me wonder. I mean, if you're a photographer, there is no law that restricts you from taking a photo of anything you want, where ever you want as long as you are on what is deemed "public property" (roads, sidewalks, parks, etc). Photographers have faced the same scrutiny, "you can't take a photo of this building, or that building etc). But the law is, if you can see a building from public property, you can legally take a photo. No restrictions.

So, I was wondering where film permits come into play. Film, and video for that matter, are simply pictures. So, I guess the issue lays more in the "PHYSICAL" production. Cast and crew. Similar to a parade, a public speech or exhibition, or whatever. They're more concerned with where vehicles are going to be parked, if the production is going to obstruct everyday activity, and if residents are going to be "bothered" by a production, etc etc etc. That's my best guess.
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