Q: What is the Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission?
A: Briefly, the Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission (Film Tampa Bay) is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership division of Visit Tampa Bay (VTB) empowered to attract, facilitate, troubleshoot and permit filming in the Hillsborough County region. For more information about VTB, click here.
Q: What services does the Tampa Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission provide?
A: The Film Commission acts as a central information source for on-location productions and provides the following services:Location Assistance: our on-site location library
One-Stop Permitting: a streamlined permitting process for jurisdictions in Hillsborough County.
Hillsborough County Production Guide: a comprehensive guide for all your production needs with categorized listings of people and companies that provide goods and services to the industry.
Police and Emergency Service Coordination.
Road Closure and Right of Way permitting assistance.
Q: What incentives are available to productions?
A. The State of Florida offers an up-front sales tax exemption for qualified productions. For more information, visit www.filminflorida.com.
Hillsborough County offers a 10% rebate on qualifying productions with local spends of at least $100k. Subject to availability of funds.
Q: Do I need a permit to shoot in Hillsborough County?
A. Permits are required for most types of production projects. The Film Commission offers a streamlined permit process for all city and county jurisdictions in the Hillsborough County region. These cities and counties all have their own permit requirements and the Film Commission is your best source for information. Visit our Permitting page to find out more.
Q: How much does a production permit cost?
A. The Film Commission does not charge for their permitting services. However, there may be other services needed from government agencies that require a fee, such as off-duty officers. Visit our Permitting page to find out more.
Q: How long does it take to get a permit?
A. Most jurisdictions require a minimum of five days to process a permit, which is stated in their motion photography production ordinance. Remember that a number of sign-offs from different departments are required which takes time. Visit our Permitting page to find out more.
Q: Does Hillsborough County have a large enough crew-base to support my project?
A. Hillsborough County has an extremely sophisticated and talented crew base that is large enough to crew numerous production projects simultaneously.
Q: What’s the weather like in Hillsborough County?
A. Hillsborough’s moderate climate offers the ability for year-round production and has the unique advantage of remaining green all year with lush foliage including oaks, magnolias, pine and azaleas.
Q: How do I know how to prepare when there is a hurricane warning/watch?
A. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. For more information visit the Florida and local hurricane preparedness websites.
Q: Can the Film Commission help me find a job?
A. The Film Commission is not an employment agency. However, at the request of specific projects, we do post any employment opportunities on our website and various social media outlets.
Q: How do I find out what productions are currently shooting in Hillsborough County?
A. Hillsborough County is home to various production projects at any given time. Some projects have a quick turn-around, especially commercials. Unfortunately, information can only be shared after the company gives us permission, which most are reluctant to do. While some of the projects may already be fully crewed, many are looking to hire local crew members.
Q: I’m a local independent filmmaker. Can the Film Commission help get my movie made?
A. While the Film Commission is not involved in the actual production, financing or distribution of films, we can provide assistance with location scouting, permitting, production resources and contact information to help your project get underway. Once your project is complete, we can also assist in public relations opportunities. A good resource is the website for Independent Feature Project: The Source for Independent Filmmakers at www.ifp.org.
Q: I’ve written a great screenplay. Can you help me get it to a literary agent or producer?
A. The Film Commission does not market scripts to agents or producers. We recommend that you secure a literary agent who can assist you with more information. Visit the website for the Writers Guild of America at www.wga.org for more information.
Q: How do I get started in the production industry?
A. Establish contacts and network! There are several networking opportunities within the Tampa Bay production community – take advantage of them! Internships are always a good idea. Internships with professors, local TV stations, or local production companies can certainly lead to a career in the industry. Working for school credit will provide you with the kind of information that is not available in the classroom.
Q: Does the Film Commission provide opportunities for internships?
A: YES! The Film Commission offers unpaid internships to college students seeking academic credit. Student internships may be available on a quarterly basis year-round, coinciding with your school’s semester or quarter. Please e-mail us directly for more information.
Q: I am an actor looking for work. How do I find out which projects are casting in Hillsborough County?
A. The Film Commission does not work directly with talent, although the local talent pool is an important incentive and attractive element for anyone shooting in Hillsborough County.
Q: How can I become an extra?
A: The Film Commission posts any extra/talent opportunities for current productions on our social media pages whenever the production company makes that information available.
Q: My child is beautiful and talented. How can I get him/her in the business?
A: Begin by contacting a talent agent who can help guide you and your child through the required steps of becoming an actor.