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The Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission assists in permitting by acting as a liaison between production companies and city, county and state departments, free of charge! In addition to processing your permit, the Film Commission 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, county or state service.
Please be aware that each city’s and county’s ordinance may vary. The Film Commission can provide details about restrictions and guidelines.
While the Film Commission processes all permit applications, it is the local city/county government offices that give final approval to authorize the permit. Therefore, you should allow a minimum of five (5) business days to process all permits, being mindful of national holidays when most government agencies are closed.
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, parks, 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. Check with the Film Commission for verification.
- Still photography shoots may also require a permit. Check with the Film Commission for verification.
YOU DO NOT NEED A PERMIT IF:
- You are producing a news segment or news feature.
- Your production is taking place at a production studio.
- You are using a handheld camera and no other production equipment, with a total combined cast and crew of 3 or less, and are not impacting city/county/state property.
**Please check with the Film Commission for verification as exceptions do apply.
When completing permitting forms, please be sure to include the following:
- Filming location(s).
- Dates, times, and contingency 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 the activity taking place.
- 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 3 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.
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 Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission of your plans early in the pre-production process. A minimum 5-day notice is required by most jurisdictions. 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.