Terms and Conditions
Filming Permit Terms and Conditions and Operational Guidelines
1. The initial application process and subsequent follow-up will be handled through the Film Liaison, located at Economic Development Office, 100 North Garfield Avenue, 4 th Floor, Pasadena, California 91109. Telephone 626-744-3964. Filming includes videotaping and still photography.
2. Please fill out the Application Form completely and attach the following documents on the forms provided, as applicable: a) Scaled Plan – required for all filming activities which require parking or occupancy of any vehicle, equipment, or person associated with the filming activity on the public right-of-way. b) Permission to Use Property Form – required for all filming activities on privately owned property. Signed form provided must accompany film permit. c) Signature Form – signatures are required from residents in residential areas and may be required in commercial areas. d) Notification Letter – all residents and merchants within a half-block (300 feet) of the film location must receive notice of filming. The letter must be typed on film company letterhead per the attached instructions. e) Student and Non-Profit – letter from the school or proof of non-profit organization must accompany the film permit. f) Certificate of Insurance Form – must be on file with the City prior to filming activity. Requirements are: $1,000,000 General Liability & additional insured endorsement; $100,000 Auto Coverage, and statutory limits for Worker’s Compensation. NOTE: Complete application and applicable attachments must be submitted three (3) working days prior to filming. If there is a request or need for a street closure, application and attachments must be submitted five (5) working days prior to filming. Permits may be expedited in less than three or five days time with the signatures of approval from all affected property owners/tenants as stated in the City’s filming guidelines.
3. For filming on City-owned property, the Film Liaison will coordinate the necessary arrangements (excluding: the Rose Bowl and Conference Center sites). The use of the Rose Bowl must be cleared by the Rose Bowl Coordinator, and the use of the Conference Center requires approval of the Conference Center Manager.
4. Pasadena Municipal Code (P.M.C.), Section 5.16.250, regarding fees must be complied with (see attached schedule). Although application fees are waived for student projects, non-profit projects, director’s reels and public service filming, all other regulations will be enforced and a permit is still required.
5. For protection and safety reasons, and to protect the integrity of the City’s residential neighborhoods, the following regulations have been established. a) Written permission will be required from the property owner(s) and tenant(s) of each location to be used. There is a 300 feet notification requirement (linear distance in each direction from the front property lines on both sides of the street) as well as any additional properties affected including properties abutting alleys used for transportation. For filming occurring in backyards, the Film Office will request notification of property owners behind the film location. The Film Liaison also has the right to require signatures from these additionally impacted neighbors. In residential areas, written permission is required from the property owners or tenants affected by filming (i.e. noise, lights, parking, or filming in front of their property). All overnight filming, including set up and strike down (before 7:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m.) in a residential area will require 75% signatures on a Friday or Saturday, and all other days of the week will require 90% signatures to film overnight in a residential area. However, the following neighborhoods that have been continually in high demand by the filmmakers or would be high demand without special protections will remain at 100% including: Madison from California to Glenarm; Oakland from California to Glenarm; Fillmore from Los Robles to El Molino; Alpine from Los Robles to El Molino; Miles from Los Robles to Oakland; Prospect Blvd. From Orange Grove to Lincoln; Prospect Square from Prospect Blvd. to Rosemont; Prospect Crescent – the entirety; Prospect Terrace from Prospect Blvd. to Rosemont; Armada from Westgate to Prospect Blvd.; Palmetto from Grand to Orange Grove; La Mesa between Armada and Prospect Blvd.; Grand Avenue from Locke Haven to California; South San Rafael from Colorado Blvd. to La Loma including San Rafael Lane. Street closures in residential or commercial areas will require 100% signatures at any given time. At condos or apartment complexes, the Film Company may obtain either the signature of the designated representative or those tenants within 100 feet of the parking or filming activity. Commercial properties: Although past administrative practice has required signatures from all merchants or property owners if filming or parking occurs in front of their commercial properties, this is more closely defined as follows: In commercial areas, signatures are required from property owners or tenants who fall within the impacted area. The impacted area is defined from the first to the last truck, camera placement, and personnel or equipment set up on the side of the street where the activity is occurring. Definition clarification: “Residential” means residential, public, semi-public and open space districts and “commercial” means all other zoning districts, mirroring the long-standing distinction made for quarterly filming allocations in 17.16.080 in the Zoning Code. b) Permittee agrees to defend and indemnify the City of Pasadena, its Council Members, Officers, and employees from any and all loss, liability or damage arising out of, as the result of, or in connection with the exercise of this film permit, the use of the facility or premise, equipment or services of the City, its officers or employees, including the costs of defending (including reasonable attorney’s fees) any claim or lawsuit arising as a result thereof.
6. Exceptions to the restrictions may be granted in extreme circumstances upon review by the Film Liaison and/or Police Department. Any deviation to conditions imposed by the Film Liaison on a filming use permit can only be granted by the Film Liaison or Zoning Administrator.
7. No gunfire or blank fire, bull horns, siren or public address systems shall be used in violation of the Pasadena Noise Ordinance. Such requests shall be reviewed by the police and fire departments.
8. Helicopter landings, or filming from the air will not be permitted without explicit written permission from the City Manager or their designee. A safety meeting is required with the Film Liaison, the film company pilot and a flight safety expert from the Pasadena Police Heliport. The Film Liaison will not recommend approval of any air filming without a safety walk through in advance of the air filming. Helicopter filming is banned in residential areas. Helicopter filming is allowed in a non-residential area with signatures obtained from every affected property owner/tenant within a 2000’ radius of the location.
9. Any requests from the City Manager’s Office will be processed by the Film Liaison.
10. Street parking in residential areas is not permitted, except a limited number of equipment vehicles used to produce the film may be parked at the site in accordance with a parking plan drawn to scale on the City form and approved by the Police Department. No film permits will be issued without the approval of the parking plan. Vehicles involved with film production (including crew cars and catering trucks) may park in private driveways or at zoned parking lots.
11. Guidelines for permits to conduct filming activity and exceptions will be strictly enforced. In the event a violation occurs, the following procedure will be followed: a) A complaint is received by the Film Liaison or the police officer at the location. b) They investigate the validity of the complaint and determine if any city guidelines, ordinances or permit restrictions are being violated. c) If any violations are identified, they ask to speak with the location manager. They identify the violations for the location manager, discuss appropriate remedies and establish a timeline to rectify the problem. (i.e. Police officer states to location manager: “That truck is parked in front of a home that did not sign their approval for this activity. Please have it moved in the next 20 minutes.”) d) Then it is incumbent upon the Film Company to take the directed action within the established timeline. e) If the action isn’t taken within the established timeline, the Film Liaison or police officer will consult with the location manager and find out why it wasn’t remedied. If the company is unable to comply, the Film Liaison or police officer needs to determine if there are valid safety or logistical reasons for the violation. Valid logistical is defined as any change to the permit which will expedite the filming, minimize impact to the neighborhood, and has the verbal approvals of the affected neighbors as witnessed by the on site police officer or monitor. If there are valid reasons (for the protection of the public or crew) that the permit is being violated, the Film Liaison or police officer may issue a change to the original permit conditions. If there is no valid reason for the violation and if the violation actually threatens public safety or peace, the Film Liaison or police officer will stop the production until the situation is rectified. If the company refuses to rectify the situation, the Film Liaison and police officer will shut down the production for the day. f) The next step involves sending a letter of complaint from the Film Liaison to a responsible production executive at the studio. The Film Liaison will inform the executive that a civil penalty of $910.81 dollars per violation has been accessed. If the Production Company does not pay their civil penalty by the deadline established by the Film Office, they will not be issued any additional film permits until all penalties are paid. A Company audit of on-location safety practices and procedures will be requested by the Film Office. The Film Liaison will request to review the results of this audit. In the letter of complaint, the Film Liaison will also inform the executive that the company will be banned from the City for a specified period of time if any violations occur on future productions after the audit is completed. g) Regarding repeated violations at a particular location, the following guideline will apply: In the case of repeated violations, documented by the on-site officer or film office, and resulting complaints at a particular location, based on the recommendation of the Film Liaison, which is concurred by the Planning Commission, permits for short term filming and long term filming will not be granted for a period of up to a year.
12. Required Public Safety Employees (Police and Fire) a) Off-duty police and/or fire personnel requirements shall be determined by the Police and Fire Departments, and any personnel required at the location(s) shall be at the permittees’ expense (see attached Fee Schedule). b) Payment for personnel must be made upon receipt of permit, and any additional hours of work will be billed by the Accounts Receivable Department of the City. c) A minimum of six (6) hours is to be paid for each public safety employee required by the permit, or requested by the permittee. Additional public safety personnel may be requested by the permittee at the time the application is filed. Note: For shoots which are 12 hours or longer, 2 shifts of officers may be assigned and minimums due on each shift. d) The responsibilities of the public safety personnel encompass the interest of the citizens of Pasadena as well as the Movie Company. These officers are employees of the City, not the Movie Company, and they will enforce all City regulations and the provisions of the film permit. e) On-site supervision by public safety personnel are in the public interest, however, the requirement for both a firefighter and police office may be modified at the discretion of those departments.
13. Frequency of Filming: Filming frequency at a single site is restricted to six (6) days per quarter for a maximum of 24 days per year in a residential area, and 15 days per quarter, 60 days maximum in a commercial area. Property owners and/or film companies wishing to exceed this limit may apply with the Current Planning Section for a Temporary Filming Conditional Use Permit (TFCUP). Still photography, student filming, and non-profit projects are exempt from this regulation.
14. Still Photography: The following guidelines will apply for still photography for commercial clients: All personal vehicles and motorhomes must be legally parked at all times. In metered areas, still photographers are required to pay meter fees for all production and personal vehicles. Any large vehicles such as motorhomes can only be parked on the street in front of a residence or business with the written or verbal approval of the property owner. Private parking of large vehicles is encouraged. Still photographers and their equipment may not block sidewalk and alleyway access. Pedestrian access must be maintained at all times. Signatures are not required from property owners or tenants for still photos taken on city property; however, photographers are required to introduce themselves to any property owner or tenant affected by still photography in the public right-of-way in front of their property. They are to receive verbal consent to conduct activity in the public right-of-way from these individuals. If the property owner or tenants object, still photographers must relocate their activities to another location. Any still photography activity on city streets may require the assistance of the Pasadena Police Department. The Film Liaison may waive any hour restrictions or any other restrictions upon determination that the activity will pose no impact to the surrounding neighborhood.
15. City Parking Lot Rentals: If you are renting a City Parking lot for the purposes of production vehicle parking or any related filming activity, the following terms and conditions apply: a) Permittee will return the property to a condition no worse than it was at the commencement of this encroachment agreement. Any equipment, debris, or trash brought in or generated shall be removed prior to the termination of this encroachment agreement; permittee agrees to pay City for any expense City incurs in returning the City’s property to its existing condition. b) Permittee agrees to defend and indemnify the City of Pasadena, its Council Members, Officers, and employees from any and all loss, liability or damage arising out of, as the result of, or in connection with the use of the facility or premises, equipment or services of the City, its officers or employees, including the costs of defending (including reasonable attorney’s fees) any claim or lawsuit arising as a result thereof. c) Permittee shall carry liability insurance to cover any prospective loss. Proof of such insurance will be required before the issuance of the permit. d) Permittee shall carry or cause to be carried workers’ compensation insurance for any employee coming on the premises subject to the State of California Worker’s Compensation Laws. e) Permittee agrees to pay City for any damage to the real property or fixtures on the City’s property during the time this encroachment agreement is in effect if damaged by operations of Permittee. f) City takes no responsibility for security or safety of vehicles or equipment left on city property. g) Permittee shall abide by all federal state and local laws.
Standard Film Permit Conditions
1. Location Manager or Production Manager should check in with your police officer(s) or film monitor. Officers and monitors must be present for the duration of the filming, and should remain until all film vehicles are loaded and have left the location.
2. Your police officer(s) or filming monitor is a liaison between the City and the Film Company. He/she should make every attempt possible to assist the Film Company to accomplish your filming; however, their primary responsibility is to see that all film production is done safely with a minimum amount of disruption to the citizens of Pasadena. Remember that they are employees or contractors of the City of Pasadena and not the Film Company. However, they are expected to make themselves readily available and to assist the Film Company in every way possible within the guidelines of the permit.
3. The Film Company must have a copy of the film permit in their possession. Review the permit, parking plan, and signature sheet. Film companies must obtain signatures from residents/merchants for any film company vehicles parked on the street in front of the residences/businesses.
4. Dispersing of crew cars is not allowed during the filming. Additional vehicles (i.e. production or crew cars) other than what is listed on the permit are not allowed without clearance from the Film Office. Any unauthorized vehicles will have 20 minutes to move from the neighborhood or the Police Officer or film monitor will cite the company for a $910.81 civil penalty.
5. Check walking surfaces. There are to be no obstructions or tripping hazards. Cables laid across pedestrian walkways shall have cable protection that provides an accessible pathway as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The pathway will be at least 36 inches wide with edge protection on each side that is at least 2 inches high. The slope of the pathway will be no greater than 1 to 15, and the surface will be firm, stable and slip-resistant. Cables across exits, paths to exits, or sidewalks are to be protected in such a way (rubber matting) as to not constitute a tripping hazard, and are not to be raised overhead. There must be a 3 to 4 feet minimum walkway for pedestrian traffic.
6. Trucks, generators, and other equipment must be kept clear of fire lanes and exits. Vehicles are not permitted to park less than 15 feet from any fire hydrant and not park at bus stops without permission from Metro and other transit authorities.
7. Parking in red zones is generally prohibited, and prior approval must be obtained. Use of red zones may not interfere directly with the safety of vehicular or pedestrian traffic flow. Vehicles allowed to park in red zones must be properly marked off with cones and/or have a police officer present. Alley parking must be approved by Public Works.
8. There are to be no obstructions at driveways and intersections from the trucks. Maintain adequate clearance at driveways and intersections.
9. Film Company cannot use driveways or unimproved lots for parking in residential areas, unless you have permission from property owner(s).
10. Catering truck parking and food service shall occur on private property unless otherwise authorized by the Film Office. Craft service tables may not be set up in the public right-of-way or sidewalks.
11. Chase scenes will not be permitted in residential areas unless signatures are obtained from each resident within a specified radius to be determined by the Film Liaison, and approved by the Police Department.
12. The stopping of traffic is not permitted on any street for filming at any time unless approved by the Police Department, and it is noted on your film permit.
13. A street closure or lane closure is not permitted on any street for filming at any time unless you have a street closure permit and/or lane occupancy permit from DOT and Public Works, in addition to it being noted on your film permit. The company must post temporary no parking signs. This needs to be done 24 hours in advance in order to be enforced.
14. If a film company wants to do something that is not covered on the permit, the film company must contact the City Film Liaison for permission.
15. Police officers assigned to film locations will be off-duty personnel, and will be provided by the City of Pasadena. The City will charge per hour per individual for a minimum of 6 hours when providing uniformed police personnel.
16. Your police officer or film monitor has the authority to enforce all safety regulations, state laws, and city ordinances. If he/she observes an unsafe situation, he/she is authorized to stop the film production until the situation is corrected.
17. A Pasadena fire safety officer must be present, if there are explosives or open flames, during smoke scenes in commercial buildings with fire alarms connected to the Fire Department and also during smoke scenes in residential homes when vision is obstructed.
18. The Police Officer or film monitor will enforce the ending time listed on your permit. They are not authorized to extend it. The ending time means “taillights with last truck leaving.” If a time extension is requested, the Police Officer or monitor will need to seek approval by contacting the Film Office staff who are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week by cell phone.
19. Officer(s) or monitors cannot get involved in any disputes over money matters between the Film Company and owners of businesses or residential property in the City.
20. If you have any questions, please contact the Film Office, at 626/744-3964. After normal business hours, contact the Police Department Watch Commander, at 626/744-4620, who will call the Film Office staff if deemed necessary.
21. NOTE: Security guards must have a permit from the Department of Consumers Affairs to carry a weapon, while on duty as a security guard.
22. No pyrotechnics, no hazardous materials, no open flame, no vehicles inside a structure without a permit from the Pasadena Fire Department. If special effects smoke is used, Film Company shall provide a dedicated fire/safety watch consisting of personnel with no other assigned duties. The Film Company is expected to follow all federal, state, and local regulations, as well as prudent safety practices.
23. Transport through or parking on private alleys is not allowed without written permission from each property owner who has easement off of the alley.
24. The Police Officer or film monitor shall cite you for a $932.76 per violation civil penalty for permit violations.
Permittee agrees to comply with all applicable laws and to maintain the premises in good condition and to return said premises to the same condition as it was before said use.
Frequently Filmed Guidelines
The purpose of these guidelines is to provide particular scrutiny and more stringent conditions for Film Permits in Frequently Filmed Areas. The Guidelines are based on a three-step process:
- determine the geographical boundaries of the neighborhood most impacted by the proposed filming, the Measuring Neighborhood;
- determine i f the Measuring Neighborhood has been a frequently filmed area during the preceding 90 day period;
- and if so, devote extra scrutiny to the proposed film permit, and impose mandatory condition if it is approved.
For the purposes of these guidelines, the area considered to be affected by the proposed film permit (the “Measuring Neighborhood”) includes all property within one-half block in both direction of the location on both sides of the street.
Determination of Frequently Filmed Area
After defining the Measuring Neighborhood, the recent frequency of filming such a Neighborhood is evaluated as follows:
If one or more film locations have been used int he Measuring Neighborhood, for a told of 6 days in a residential area or 15 days in a commercial area, within a 90-day period preceding the proposed film, the permit is considered to be a Film permit n a Frequently Filmed Area.
Factors for Evaluating Level of Impact
All proposed film permits in Frequently Filmed Areas will receive particular scrutiny with regard to following factors:
- Public disturbance or other problems connected with prior filming in the Measuring Neighborhood within the pas 90 days.
- Frequency of film in the Measuring Neighborhood during the calendar quarter when the filming will occur.
- Number of filming days requested.
- Number of days need for pre-filming and any other film related activity.
- Nature and impact of filming activity.
- Proposed number of vehicles on the street.
- Availability of on-street parking.
- Adequacy of proposed parking plan.
- Width of street proposed for parking.
- Containment of activity on private film location.
Any permit request for film in a Frequently Filmed Area may be approved, conditionally approved, or denied. The following conditions shall apply to any approved film permit in a Frequently Filmed Area, in addition go any other conditions imposed by the Film Liaison. Film companies must understand that obtaining a film permit in a Frequently filmed Areas is not considered routine.
Film in hosts should not assume that film permit requests in their frequently filmed area wil be approved. It is well within the City’s legal right to deny the permit to prevent potential neighborhood fatigue.
- No extension of the regular hours of filming (7:00 am to 7:00 pm) will be authorized before 7:00 am or past 10:00 pm. the Film Liaison, at his/her discretion, may waive this condition if consent is received form 100% of the property owners in the Measuring Neighborhood.
- The location manager, or his or her designated representative, must be present at the filming location until pre-filming activities are completed, and must communicate to the production company the conditions of the permit.
- companies will be required to include information construction and strike-down plans on the notification form. The company must attach additional information of the space on the form is insufficient. For a permit in a Frequently Film ed Area, each day which involves exterior construction or strike-down will be counted towards the maximum number of days for purposes of calculating quarterly filming allocations under section 17.90.20 (1. & 2.) unless all such construction activities occur on the property with no vehicles outside the property, and construction does not violate section 59.36 of the Pasadena Municipal Code.
The city may withdraw a permit and stop the production in the event the permitee does not adhere to all conditions of approval.
The existing instructions and regulation adopted by the City Council will remain applicable except as modified by these Guidelines.