Before "Lights, Camera, Action!", you may need to get a permit

Film permits are required for commercial work impacting public property.

When your casual videos or photos at a park turn into a money-making gig, chances are you might need a permit.

Commercial (paid for) filming and photography on public property in Hillsborough County, including the three cities and county- or state-managed property, require a film permit. Public property typically includes parks, beaches, buildings, roads, bridges, sidewalks, transportation hubs, and certain places of interest.

When in doubt, contact Film Tampa Bay for advice on how to proceed. Never assume you won't need a permit.

Permit needed

You ARE REQUIRED to apply for a film permit if you are photographing, videotaping, or filming:

  • Any commercial (paid for) photography and/or any event or scene that is being staged for the sole purpose of recording, including TV commercials, commercial web videos, and portrait sessions
  • Any staged scene from a scripted or unscripted movie, TV, or print production
  • Filming/photographing paid or unpaid models for any of the activities listed above

Or if your shoot meets any of these additional criteria:

  • The camera is being used on a crane, dolly, jib arm, or anything other than a tripod or hand-held
  • Pedestrian or vehicular traffic is impeded
  • You will use any size grip and lighting truck to create artificial lighting set up
  • Stunts, special effects, animals, or real or prop weapons are involved
  • You will be filming before sunrise or after sunset

Permit not required

When a permit is NOT needed:

  • A film permit is not needed when filming newsgathering activities
  • A film permit is not needed when photographing non-paid or incidental photography unless the shoot includes items listed under "additional criteria" above

Film Tampa Bay acts as a central information source for on-location productions, and provides location assistance. In addition, Film Tampa Bay provides a streamlined permitting process for jurisdictions in Hillsborough County, a comprehensive guide with categorized listings of people and companies that provide goods and services to the production industry, police and emergency service coordination, and road closure and right-of-way permitting assistance.

Information provided by Film Tampa Bay

Last Modified: 1/25/2024, 6:18:41 PM

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