Locking in locations for your next feature film, television show, commercial or web series can be a daunting task. Many a production team has scouted a prime location, only to later discover that there are filming restrictions at that site or that another production already has a permit to film in the vicinity. Early access to information can help filmmakers avoid these and other potential pitfalls.
Enter FilmL.A.’s Production Planning Department, which exists to help filmmakers navigate the local filming process. Since 2005, FilmL.A. has offered its customers free production planning services, giving the industry access to everything we know about filming in local neighborhoods. Our four-person Production Planning Department is staffed by some of FilmL.A.’s most experienced personnel. The department responds to approximately 16,000 information requests annually, which breaks down to an average of about 1,400 calls per month, in addition to 40-50 email requests daily.
So what kind of questions can Production Planning help you with?
Here are a few situations you might have faced (or could):
- “I’ve filmed in other cities, but never in Los Angeles. How can I get a walk-through of the film permit process?”
- “I’m in independent film and I don’t have a lot of money for permits. What kind of free or low cost locations are available to me in L.A.?”
- “I want to film a precision driving scene with a helicopter after 10:00 p.m. Is that even going to be possible?”
- “My Production Coordinator said I need a base camp to park crew vehicles. Are there any public lots or vacant properties I can access in the area?”
- “The scene I need to film involves pyrotechnics and smoke. How many City or County personnel will I be assigned, and how much is that going to cost?”
- “Can I close a major intersection and film two blocks away from a large-scale public event?”
“We’re here to answer all questions, from the very simple to the impossibly complex,” shares Director of Production Planning, Jodi Strong. “We are typically the first point of contact a production will have with FilmL.A. prior to pulling their permit. Call us early, and we will pre-clear locations or activities so that by the time you submit an application, you’ll have a good idea about what you’re facing, with no surprises!”
If you would like to speak with a member of our Production Planning team, please call FilmL.A. at 213.977.8600, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I list my house (in the hills of Encino) as a film location rental?
Thank you so much for your question. The California Film Commission can assist you with that. Please visit their website for more information: http://film.ca.gov/locations/list-your-property/