A Boutique Atlanta Firm Committed To Creative Solutions.

When do short-film makers need a filming permit?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Entertainment Law |

Whether you’re a seasoned filmmaker or a beginner, creating a short film is always exhilarating. Each project presents its own unique challenges, ensuring the journey is never dull. However, you might overlook a crucial detail: the need for a filming permit. Certain circumstances may require such, especially if you plan on filming in public spaces.

This action not only upholds the law but also protects your creative process. If you ignore this step, it could disrupt the magic of your filmmaking.

Where is a permit necessary?

As a filmmaker, planning to shoot on public lands like national parks, city streets or historical monuments usually necessitates a permit. This is especially true if your activities involve elements such as the following:

  • Motion picture capture
  • Videotaping
  • Sound recording
  • Involvement of actors and models
  • Building of sets
  • Use of props

The need for a permit is particularly significant if your activities might also disturb public lands, their resources or existing structures or if they coincide with land closures. It keeps you informed about these closures, letting you plan your filming schedule to avoid disruptions.

When is a permit not required?

While a permit is often necessary, there are situations where one isn’t. For instance, filming on private property with the owner’s consent typically doesn’t require a permit. Still, it’s wise to check local regulations as some municipalities require permits for commercial filming on private property.

On public lands or spaces, casual filming for personal use not involving professional models, sets or props generally doesn’t require a permit.

Staying compliant and informed

Even with a permit, certain situations, such as potential resource damage, public health risks or unreasonable general disruption, may complicate filming. Each filming situation is unique and regulations vary by location. So, if you’re unsure about certain aspects of filming in specific areas, it may be best to consult with your local film office or the governing body of the land you plan to film on to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations.