Frequently Asked Questions
Information about California’s $330 million Film & Television Tax Credit Program is available from the California Film Commission, which manages this program. More information can be found on the California Film Commission website.
Hosting productions at your home or place of business can be a fun and rewarding experience. The California Film Commission publishes "how to" guides for those looking to become film hosts. In L.A., there are several companies (generally known as “Location Services”) prepared to help you promote your properties for filming, for a fee. A list of Location Services can be found on the CFC's website.
Generally speaking, FilmLA does not promote private properties for filming purposes.
For filming at Los Angeles City Hall or other City properties that are managed by the General Services Department, please contact FilmLA’s Solution Services. You can also find some additional information on the LocoScout listing.
A permit is generally limited to a maximum of ten filming locations. Your application may include other related Location Authorizations for parking and base camps, etc. These do not count against your filming location limit.
A permit generally has a maximum timespan of two consecutive weeks.
In order to deliver a high level of service to all customers, FilmLA is unable to accept late applications for filming. Late applications will be rejected, and the FilmLA Application Fee will not be refunded.
Please be sure prior to submitting an permit application that you meet the minimum time required for application processing. Minimum permit processing time varies by jurisdiction and requested film activities can be researched in the Area Requirements section of this website.
Contact Solution Services at 213.977.8600 if you are unclear about the timelines that apply in your situation.
We understand that it is sometimes necessary for customers to cancel a location or reschedule an upcoming shoot. Our ability to help in these circumstances depends on the status of your permit application at the time you notify us of the need for changes.
Generally speaking, the earlier you notify FilmLA of necessary changes, the greater our ability to assist and potentially help recover your investment in City/County film permits. Please note that FilmLA’s application fee is due when an application is submitted and is always nonrefundable.
If you need to cancel or reschedule any or all locations PRIOR to final permit distribution, FilmLA may be able to help you reschedule your shoot without the need to pay an additional application fee or rider fee.
For all permit cancellations, customers must request to reschedule within a specific time. The first film date for any rescheduled location may not occur more than 30 days from the first film date included on your initial permit application, and all rescheduled shoots must be completed within 14 days of your new first filming date.
For example: A permit with two locations is applied for on 12/15, with permit distribution scheduled for 12/18. The first filming date among the two locations is 1/1. Due to unforeseen circumstances, all of the locations on the permit must be cancelled and FilmLA is informed of this on 12/17 and prior to permit distribution. Because the permit has not been distributed, the application will be kept open, and FilmLA will extend the application window to allow first film dates no later than 2/1. All work on this permit must then be complete by 2/14. Provided the rescheduled shoot can be accomplished within these new dates, FilmLA will not charge the customer a second application fee.
If you need to cancel or reschedule any or all locations AFTER final permit distribution, please contact your Production Coordinator to discuss your situation and we will help you to the best of our ability. Your Production Coordinator will work with you to determine if we can potentially accommodate rescheduling new dates via a rider.
All rescheduled shoot dates must be completed within 14 days from the first film date included on your initial permit application. Any new dates beyond the 14-day window of the original first film date will require a new permit application to be submitted, and a new application fee will apply.
FilmLA is unable to make any commitments concerning refunds of fees in the event of a cancellation. If a permitted activity is cancelled and adequate notice is given, FilmLA will work with you and affected government agencies to retrieve fees that have been paid on your behalf. Please contact your permit coordinator for assistance. Please note that the final decision about the refund of fees for a permit that was cancelled will be made by the respective government agency.
A rider is required any time a change is made to a permit after it has been finalized. FilmLA charges an additional fee for rider processing.
Payments and Refunds
When you request a film permit from FilmLA, you agree to pay all FilmLA required fees and charges, including, but not limited to: permit application fees, notification fees and monitoring fees. Total fees applied to your permit will vary depending on the location(s) used, type of production, and the impact and duration of your proposed filming activity. For example, a complex still photo shoot with a large impact, street closures, significant amount of posting, special effects, or a cast / crew larger than 15 people, can greatly exceed the standard application fee.
Government-required fees must also be paid when you retrieve your permit. Please note that FilmLA does not set or control the filming-related fees charged by its government partners. Filming at City parks, for example, will generate use fees. Use of City or County personnel to protect public safety or property during filming will generate personnel fees.
Application Fees and Process
One application fee allows up to 10 production locations within 14 consecutive days. Exceptions are made for Reality
After submitting your first location and paying the application fee, you will be able to enter your other locations without
an additional application fee charge, as long as the locations fit within the following constraints:
- Once your first location under an application fee is released, you will no longer be able to add new Production
Locations. Any new Production Locations will incur a new application fee.
- Base Camp and Crew Parking locations will not count toward your 10-location limit, but they must fall within the 14-
- Any location added after your application fee is paid that does not fit within 14 days of your other location(s) will
incur a new application fee.
|Permit Application Fee|
Up to 10 Locations
|Permit Rider Fee||$137.00||Rider|
|Non-Profit Permit Application Fee||$69.00||Adjustment|
|Non-Profit Permit Rider Fee||$34.00||Adjustment|
|FilmLA Monitor Fee|
|Still Photo Application Fee|
Cast/Crew of 16 or more requires Motion rate*
|Still Photo Rider Fee||$28.00||Rider|
|Student Permit Fee|
|Student Permit Fee|
|* Still photo productions with a cast / crew size of 16 or more people will incur the Motion application fee. Any B-roll or motion filming in conjunction with a still photo shoot will also incur the Motion rate. Additionally, for crews of this size or larger, an $85.00 LAFD Spot Check Surcharge will also be assessed.|
We recognize that all filmmakers work within a limited production budget. Reviewing your filming plans with a FilmLA staff member can help you avoid use of locations and/or activities that will increase your total permit cost. Your FilmLA Production Coordinator or Production Planning staff member can assist you in exploring your options.
- Payments can be made with a US or international credit card (additional processing fees apply).
- Your permit application fee is non-refundable. Please be sure prior to moving forward that you meet the minimum
time required for application processing. Minimum permit processing time varies by jurisdiction and requested film
activities can be researched in the Jurisdiction Requirements on our website.
- Application fees will also not be refunded in the event of your elective cancelation.
- Payment must be completed before your application will be submitted for processing.
- Late applications will be rejected, and the application fee will not be refunded. Contact Solution Services at
213.977.8600 if you are unclear about the timelines that apply in your situation.
- For basic permits, we typically need 3-7 business days to process a permit. Processing times vary based on activity
and jurisdiction. More complicated permits (street closures, gunfire, special effects, etc.) and those with locations in
other jurisdictions that we serve may need 5 to 7 business days.
The non-profit rate for permit applications is a courtesy provided by FilmLA and is not a contractual or legislated requirement of our municipal clients. Proof of non-profit status is required. For eligibility requirements, please see our guide for non-profit permit requests:
As a convenience to filmmakers, all fees payable to FilmLA and most estimated city and county fees related to your film permit can be processed within MyFilmLA.
Your permit application fee is due up front in order to begin application processing.
Other estimated fees for FilmLA and government services are paid at the time of permit release. Should changes be made to your permit requiring payment of additional fees for FilmLA or government services (aka “final charges”), a new invoice will be generated reflecting these charges.
Payment options for all transactions include credit card, debit card, or FilmLA business account. Cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, and business checks are not accepted at this time due to the temporary closure of our Hollywood office.
Credit Card / Debit Cards
FilmLA accepts electronic payment via major credit card and debit card. All card transactions are subject to a nonrefundable processing fee, assessed by our payment processor. This fee (typically falling between 3% and 4%) will vary with the total cost of your permit or license.
Use of a credit card issued by a non-US bank will result in an additional 1% transaction fee, billed and collected by FilmLA as a separate final charge.
Electronic payment eliminates the need for office visits to submit payments and pick up documents. If payment is made by credit card outside of regular business hours, documents will be delivered electronically the next business day.
FilmLA Business Account
Established companies may also apply for a business credit account with FilmLA. Acceptance to the “Permits on Account” program is based on creditworthiness and not guaranteed. There are no fees associated with use of this service.
Applying for credit is simple. Complete and e-mail the Business Credit Application and Authorization to Verify Credit (see forms below) to AR@filmla.com. You will receive an email confirming receipt. Our Accounting Department may follow up to request additional information. You should expect to receive a final decision regarding your application by both email and mail within 30 days.
Cash, Cashier's Check, Money Order or Business Check
FilmLA also accepts payment in person via cash, cashier’s check, money order, or business check. Business checks require your company to have long-term insurance coverage on file with our office. Payments are accepted during business hours at 6255 W. Sunset Blvd., Suite 1200, Hollywood CA 90028. We are open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except for holidays.
If your permit or license required a security deposit and you are entitled to a refund of the deposit, FilmLA will return the deposit to you within 30 days of the time we have received all of the final charges from the government agency. There is no need for any additional action on your part.
A portion of the fees FilmLA collects at the time of permit release are based on various government agencies’ estimates of their fees, based on the information you provide on your film permit application. Once filming is complete, each government agency sends FilmLA their final charges for facility use, personnel, and other charges, based on the actual work the agency performed at your request. If the final charges are less than the estimated charges, you may be entitled to a refund of the difference. If you believe you might be entitled to a refund, provide FilmLA with a completed Refund Request Form within 90 days of the completion of the permitted filming activities. Requests received after 90 days will not be considered.
FilmLA will process the refund request once we have received the final charges from all of the agencies listed on the original permit and associated riders.
Please note that this can take some time; receipt of final charges from government agencies can take up to 60-90 days. Please note that permit application, permit rider and other processing fees assessed by FilmLA are non-refundable.
For your billing convenience, you may need a W-9 form filled out by FilmLA, which is provided below:
Additionally, we can provide a California Form 590 Withholding Exemption Certificate to certify an exemption from nonresident withholding, below:
FilmLA Monitors work to ensure compliance with film permit terms and provide on-set mediation between film production companies, neighbors, and merchants. They’re on site as third-party support, communicating best practices to each involved stakeholder. See more information on this page.
Locations are pre-routed and monitored via GPS tracking during work hours. Field Representatives must have badges on at all times. Our shirts and safety vests are always crested with the FilmLA logo on the front and back. Please call the office for specific notification questions at 213-977-8600
Please send an email to email@example.com with your full name, address, and phone number. You must also include a written request to permanently stop receiving notices. You will then be contacted to verify your request and added to our list. Due to system restrictions, we can’t guarantee your request, but will make every effort to.
A reprint fee applies when FilmLA must reprint Notices of Filming due to last-minute changes to permit applications. Notification Fees are due and payable when assigned for distribution. All revisions submitted two days or less prior to your first activity date will incur a reprint fee, with gunfire or exceptional activity incurring a fee for each section. Also, beginning with the third print of the same location (single or combined) due to revision, the a fee is charged for each required reprint.
There are many insurance brokers that provide entertainment insurance packages. FilmLA has a list of frequently used insurance providers on our website (click here).
FilmLA permits the following beaches: Cabrillo, Dan Blocker/Corral Canyon, Dockweiler, Malibu Surfrider, Manhattan, Marina Del Rey, Mothers, Newport, Nicholas Canyon, Redondo, Royal Palm / White Point, Santa Monica Beach, Westward (Pt Dume), Torrance, Topanga, Venice, Will Rogers, and Zuma.
The following beaches require a dual permit with the City of Malibu: Dan Blocker (Corral Canyon), Malibu Surfrider, Nicholas Canyon, Westward (Point Dume), and Zuma Beach.
The following require a dual permit with their respective city: Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Torrance Beach.
You may fill out a Beach reservation request form on our website (you must specify the tower numbers) and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the only way to put beaches on hold without submitting a permit application. You may put up to 3 beaches on hold for a total of 5 days per beach. If you receive confirmation that we received your reservation and that there are no conflicts you can go ahead and submit your permit application to us. The use fee for filming on County Beaches is $400.00 per day in addition to your regular permit fees. If you are shooting at a beach within another City’s jurisdiction you may need to obtain a dual filming permit with that City as well.
For Santa Monica Beaches, call Community and Cultural Services for availability at 310-458-8300.
Driving shots are not permitted on L.A. County Beaches with the exception of Dockweiler Beach towers 59-60 during the Winter Season and only on a case-by -case basis. Stunt driving or high speed driving in not permitted. To ensure that your plans meet the specific terms, review the specific requirements for driving scenes: Dockweiler Beach Special Conditions.
Visit FilmLA’s web-based location scouting tool, LocoScout (locoscout.com), for a complete listing of school district locations available for filming and parking.
Contact the school directly: either the designated school film liaison, principal or assistant principal can confirm availability for filming dates, times, locations, and parking. Ask our Schools Department for individual school contact information - email us at email@example.com
A LAFD Pre-Approval Questionnaire (available online here) must be submitted to the Fire Department prior to the filming or parking at a school via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, a walk-through inspection may be required for the proposed filming, base-camp, or crew parking at LAUSD properties. If you have any questions, contact the LAFD Film Unit, Schools & Churches at 213-978-3675.
Fees vary by individual school district. They can be viewed on the Area Requirements page, at each corresponding school district.