How FilmLA Can Help You Get Production Off the Ground
By: Jace Hadfield, Processing Manager of Athos Insurance Services
Published on: 1/4/2022 10:47:00 AM
Doesn’t “film LA” seem a little redundant? When most people think of film, they think of LA, and vice versa!
They think of celebrities in giant Beverly Hills mansions, major studios, and of course, a solid Hollywood sunset. Film is the thing that attracts so many people to LA. (That, and the year round perfect weather, sea breeze, and endless tacos, but, I digress.) If you’re a filmmaker, LA is the place to be. But once you’ve made it here, there are still a number of steps to a successful shoot. Today we’re going to talk about the FilmLA organization, what it does, and how it can help you take those steps.
FilmLA is a not-for-profit film office that promotes information-sharing in the LA film production community. They have plenty of resources for filmmakers, and for anyone planning a shoot in the LA area. They primarily help with coordinating permits, but also can help with production planning, and community relations. Beyond that, they also do research into the effects of filming on LA, and lead efforts to bring production back to LA, after companies have moved to more budget-friendly locations. Their website has plenty of helpful resources to explore, including a location library for scouting public locations. One of the most helpful aspects of FilmLA is that they have advisors that can help production companies navigate the rules and procedures for filming in the various cities and jurisdictions they serve, as well as a variety of pre-permit location issues, such as:
Identifying logistical challenges like parking, lane and street closures, basecamps, etc.
Making reservations for LA city-owned properties
Understanding special filming conditions and other unique neighborhood characteristics
Working with FilmLA is the only way to get permits for filming in the locations they serve, including the city of LA, most of the valley, Diamond Bar, South Gate, La Habra Heights, Palmdale, Santa Monica, Newport Beach, Lancaster, City of Industry, Vernon, Monterey Park, Gardena, Culver City, San Dimas, and Fullerton. A complete list can be found here: https://www.filmla.com/who-we-are/areas-served/. If you’re filming somewhere in the LA area, chances are you’ll be in contact with FilmLA! Filming rules and requirements vary by jurisdiction, and they can help you figure out how that will affect your shoot.
Overall, FilmLA is a huge resource and necessary contact for whatever you may be filming in LA. We know, this is the tedious, logistical stuff that no one got into this business for, but it’s also necessary to get past before you can do what you actually want, which is make cool stuff. FilmLA will help you get past all the boring parts as painlessly as possible. The only thing worse than having to go through the process of filling out paperwork and getting a permit, is getting fined or shut down on the day of the shoot for not having one.
So, you’ll be in touch with FilmLA for your permit, but before you can get it, you’ll have to show them proof of liability insurance. They understand the importance of being insured in this business, when so many things could go wrong on set on any given day. Ironically, the unpredictability of filming is the only thing that’s somewhat predictable. So make sure you have the proper coverage in order to be able to get that permit. Insurance requirements vary depending on what areas you’re planning to film in, and what activities you’ll be doing on set.
Of course, Athos is very familiar with the FilmLA requirements, and can help you find the right policy to satisfy the needs of your production. We can also answer any questions you might have about the process. Feel free to give us a call any time, we have agents ready to help.