Shooting in Tallahassee
FilmTallahassee will assist you with permitting by acting as a liaison between production companies and city, county and some state services. In addition to processing your permit, FilmTallahassee will make arrangements with the appropriate law enforcement agency for traffic or crowd control; the fire department for supervision of pyrotechnic effects; and any other required city or county service.
- YOU NEED A PERMIT IF:
- You are producing a feature/independent film, commercial or series, or any other film/video/digital related project that affects city/county/state property, equipment or facilities, including any public property (i.e., sidewalks, highways, etc.).
- Your production is taking place on private property and involves production vehicles/crew vehicles parking on the street or right-of way; involves the use of a tent or other temporary structure; involves the use of pyrotechnics, explosives or other incendiary devices; involves the display of any firearms or use of gunfire; or involves stunts of any kind.
- YOU DO NOT NEED A PERMIT IF:
- You are producing a news segment or news feature. Still photography shoots also may not require a permit. Check with us for verification.
- Your production is taking place at a production studio.
- You are using a handheld camera and no other production equipment.
Required Written Information
When completing the Permit Application, be sure to include the following:
- Filming location(s).
- Dates, times, and rain dates if needed
- City/County services requested
- A production activity report for each location listed stating: number of personnel (crew and talent), a vehicle list with parking requirements, and a general summary or explanation of all anticipated production activities.
- A map of the location and any pertinent information affecting location logistics including: road closures, intermittent traffic control, production vehicle parking, position of equipment (i.e. dolly track, cranes, generators). Having this in writing ensures clear communication between all parties involved.
- If the location is in a neighborhood or near merchants, a letter to all those affected needs to be distributed at least three days before filming. Attach this letter when submitting the permit. Secure permission from merchants if your location could potentially impact their business. At times, signatures are required in particular areas to verify that those merchants have granted permission.
- Notify surrounding neighborhoods if special effects, street closures, night productions or multiple-day shoots will take place at a single location.
- Have the person who is responsible for the production sign the permit.
Note: The permit must be notarized before it can be processed.
- Attach a certificate of insurance to the permit. Click here for more information.
Note: The insurance must additionally insure the appropriate city, county or the state of Florida.
FilmTallahassee is required by the County to report the tourism and economic impact of photography/filming activities conducted in the area. In general numbers, when completing the permit form, please include the following:
- Arrival Date(s) for all prep, production and wrap activities.
- Departure Date(s) for all prep, production and wrap activities.
- Total # of Anticipated Production Days.
- Total # of Anticipated Room Booked at local hotels/apartments/condos & estimated costs.
- Total # of Anticipated Local Hires (talent, technicians, etc.) & estimated costs.
- Anticipated local production services and vendors utilized & estimated spend.
- Anticipated amount of production budget spent in Tallahassee/Leon County (in US dollars).
Traffic Assistance & Road Closures
Intermittent traffic control and/or road closures require the approval of the Tallahassee Police Department and the completion of the City of Tallahassee Special Event Permit Application. A $25 fee applies. We will assist you with obtaining the necessary approval for traffic assistance and road closures.
To download go to: http://www.talgov.com/tpd/pdf/se-permit-app.pdf
As a general rule, if you are filming a scene on a city, county or state road — or if you need to place cameras, equipment or crew on a road — it is always preferable to avoid rush hours (7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., weekdays) and allow for at least one lane of traffic (in both directions) to be open at all times.
All types of traffic restrictions require enough officer assistance to control and redirect traffic adequately. The appropriate law enforcement agency and traffic engineering will determine this. Most traffic engineering departments favor the closure of major roads during off-peak hours (7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Sunday to Thursday). Roads that incur light traffic are easier to close during daytime hours and for longer periods of time.
Permits for Special Effects and Explosives
FilmTallahassee will do all in its power to streamline your production, but regulations do exist. Special Effects Coordinators who plan to use explosives or fireworks - such as squibs, black powder charges and air mortars - must satisfy several requirements:
- The request to utilize special effects requires a detailed explanation of the explosion and what substances are needed for the effect. This information must be attached to the Film Permit application.
- A Certified Special Effects Technician must oversee all special-effects explosions, whether audible or visible, large or small. A copy of the technician’s certificate must be attached to the film permit application.
- When conducting special-effects explosions, whether audible or visible, large or small, a certificate of insurance naming the city or county additionally insured for $5 million must accompany the permit.
Productions filming on public property must place on file with the Tourism Development Commission Certificate of Insurance with the specific language noted below included.
Productions filming on public property must carry a minimum of $1 million commercial general liability coverage per occurrence and Florida statutory workers compensation (including Federal Acts) and employer liability of not less than $100,000/$500,000/$100,000.
Productions must indemnify both the City of Tallahassee and Leon County during production and be solely and absolutely liable upon any and all claims, suits and judgments against the City of Tallahassee and Leon County and/or the production for personal injuries and property damage arising out of our occurring during the activities of the production, his (its) employees or otherwise.
Please do allow at least five (5) working days after the receipt of your completed paperwork and insurance to obtain a permit if there are no stunts, pyrotechnics, traffic impacts or street closures required by your shoot. Allow a minimum of ten (10) working days if those more complicated elements are involved. We will always try our best to expedite your requests, but generally these are the timeframes you can expect for permits to be issued.
Large-scale or complex production projects may require coordination of several city, county or state departments. To expedite the permitting process, you must notify the us of your plans early in the pre-production process. A meeting involving your Location Manager and representatives of various city, county or state departments may be needed before a motion photography permit is issued.
Some municipalities and counties in the region – Wakulla, Jefferson, Gadsden, Liberty, Taylor, Gulf and Franklin– may require a filming permit for shoots that are conducted on property within their jurisdictions. We are committed to working with our partners in the region to ensure that your filmmaking experience is successful.
Tallahassee Loves Trees
Tallahassee citizens love their trees. It is a long standing love affair that is rooted in the desire to preserve the beautiful canopies of trees on many of our roads and throughout our community. The city of Tallahassee has done everything in its collective political power to preserve its old oak trees and manage its “urban forests.”
Municipal and County Codes have been developed for the purposes of appropriate tree protection and removal, such as a list of protected trees that shall not be removed, impacted or damaged without approval obtained from a environmental management permit, and specific guidelines for each type of protected tree
Protected trees include:
- Any tree having a diameter of 12 inches DBH** or greater.
- Any tree within a canopy road tree protection zone.
- Any tree located in a wetland.
You may find more information regarding tree removal and protection requirements in the Environmental Management Act, Chapter 10, Article VII of the County Code of Laws.