REMINDER: Permit Operations Policy

FilmLAFor Filmmakers, Production Alerts

Here at FilmLA we strive to serve and support our production clients with a high level of customer service, prompt responsiveness, flexibility, and up-to-the-minute location and neighborhood updates. Ultimately, we are here to provide assistance and guidance toward the common goal of successful on-location production.

We are aware that the nature of production often includes last-minute schedule changes, talent or crew availability, and high-impact filming activity – all of which are factors that can elevate the level of urgency and complexity of the permit process. FilmLA will continue to adapt and respond to such factors in order to serve the needs of our clientele in a manner that is responsible and sustainable. We must also continue to be mindful of our contractual obligations to our various government clients and address the needs of the businesses and residents impacted by production.

With the increase in late/last-minute permit applications and additions, FilmLA would like to take the opportunity to remind the production community of some of our key operational timelines and requirements:

Permit Applications / Add – On Locations

Generally speaking, we must receive an application (or request for an additional location to an existing permit) no later than three business days prior to the first date of filming activity (e.g., application submitted on a Monday for filming on a Thursday). This timeline allows for appropriate internal review and most importantly, provides adequate time to perform timely community notification. Requests including high-impact activity such as aerial shots, gunfire, or special FX, require additional lead time, as additional review and/or expanded notification/community survey requirements then apply. Additionally, some of our public-sector clients (e.g., Santa Monica, LAWA, City of Vernon) have permit requirements that require more lead time to process.

Please feel free to contact our Production Planning Department with any questions or concerns prior to submitting an application and our staff will gladly provide helpful guidance for such requests.

Applications (or requests for additional locations on an existing permit) submitted later than the timeframe noted above will be considered late, and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by an Operations Manager in order to determine the feasibility of the request.

Posting Requests (L.A. City)

Our posting deadlines for “Temporary No Parking” signs, based on processing timeframes established by LADOT, are as follows:

Posting for Saturday, Sunday, or Monday – Submit to FilmLA by Wednesday

Posting for Tuesday – Submit to FilmLA by Thursday

Posting for Wednesday – Submit to FilmLA by Friday

Posting for Thursday – Submit to FilmLA by Monday

Posting for Friday – Submit to FilmLA by Tuesday

If a posting request is submitted to FilmLA after 2pm on the deadline date it is due, it will be considered late and we cannot guarantee that the request will be accommodated.

It should also be noted that holiday schedules will affect these deadlines, please contact our office in advance when applicable. We typically post a note in OPS prior to holidays as well.

Community Surveys

Surveys are a vital tool used to gather feedback from affected residents or businesses when an area has frequency issues, or if after-hours or high-impact film activity is requested. Once the surveys are completed, we require adequate time to review survey responses to assess potential concerns and to establish the full extent of community outreach. The results of the survey may also require additional review with designated permit approvers or other municipal officials prior to completion of the permit.

We encourage all permit applicants to turn surveys in early whenever possible to allow sufficient time for review.

The top portion of the survey form must be thoroughly completed and submitted to the assigned Production Coordinator for review and approval (prior to the survey’s initial distribution). The Coordinator will advise any changes, if needed, and approve the form. Only then may the survey process begin. Completed surveys should be submitted to your Production Coordinator.

Surveys submitted after 2pm on the business day prior to filming will be considered late and we cannot guarantee that the requested filming activity will be accommodated.

Please note this timeline applies to low-complexity permits. Extended survey radii for gunfire, aerial activity or special FX, require additional processing time. In these instances, please be sure to review expected timelines with your coordinator.

Permit Riders

Riders are generated in order to make minor amendments to an existing permit, (e.g., a call time change, increase to cast/crew count, extension of wrap time) or to release locations that were not previously finalized – typically due to pending approvals.

All locations should be included with the initial permit application and information regarding potential changes or additions must be relayed to the Production Coordinator with as much advance notice as possible.
Adding additional locations will require a new permit application.

In the rare instance of a request to add a new location to a permit that has already been finalized and distributed, the request will be treated on a case-by-case basis and will require a reasonable justification for the exception. An accommodation for such a request may be made if a schedule change has occurred, or if the new location is in close proximity to an existing permitted location, if talent issues arise, or if a location is lost altogether. Such requests must also adhere to the same submission timelines detailed above, in section 1.

Thank you in advance for helping FilmLA to increase efficiencies for all involved parties, and for taking the time to review this message. FilmLA understands the need for flexibility on our end, and will continue to work tirelessly to support the vital production industry.

Should you have any questions directly related to this notice, please contact Josh Mingo, Operations Manager at 213-977-8607. For answers to production related questions, please contact FilmLA’s Production Planning Department at 213-977-8600.