How to Get Permission to Film at a Location
Locations Direct is one of the fastest-growing UK location agencies, providing a great catalogue of UK TV and photoshoot locations across London. We can guide you through how to find filming locations, from the initial search right through to the final booking. Although we can assist you with the entire process, you may still be wondering what filming at a location entails.
Find Your Location
First of all, you need to find your location. With Locations Direct, selecting your filming location could not be easier! We offer a location search tool that allows you to refine your search, filtering your results to suit your interest. You can search via categories, keywords, or image tags; this is ideal when searching for a specific location or in a particular area.
Furthermore, you will not be short of choice when exploring our location types, as we offer all manner of filming spaces. We offer an assortment of residential spaces, halls, studios, venues, derelict and wasteland, public buildings, parks, housing estates, streets, paths, alleys, and sport and recreation grounds.
The process of attaining permission for each of these spaces will be exclusive to the location type. The most important thing to remember is that you will not want to proceed without a physical form of consent which is detailed below.
Need more info on what to consider when choosing your next location?
Obtain Written Permission
An important part of hiring UK filming locations is obtaining written permission from the property owner. When booking through Locations Direct, we will provide the Hire Agreement for you. Things are slightly different when filming in public spaces, though. If you need a public space, you will need to acquire the necessary permits and paperwork from the local council’s Film Office.
Contact Your Local Council
Productions should always notify the local Film Office of their intentions, even when filming in privately owned locations. This is so they can check your shoot does not clash with any other filming or planned works in that area. It also gives the film office a point of contact if there are any complaints or issues on the day. You will also need a filming permit from the local council to film in any council-run public space; this includes streets (public highways), parks, and housing estates.
As part of your permissions to film in a specific area, you will be obligated to notify any nearby residents or businesses that might be directly or indirectly affected by the filming. This could just be due to the increased number of vehicles that will need to park close to your locations to facilitate the shoot. Your local Film Office will want to review and approve the letter before it is distributed.
Bring Your Written Permission, Permit, or Agreement to Set
Whatever physical form of permission you have obtained, it will save you a lot of hassle to bring it with you. This way, you will be able to present your permission if you run into any complications.
To hire a filming location in the UK you will need to have adequate insurance. This comes in the form of Public Liability Insurance and usually needs to be between 5-10mil. This will be needed for both council and privately owned Locations.
To facilitate most kinds of filming or photography shoots, you will need to park several facilities vehicles, tech vehicles, and crew cars close to the location. Depending on where you are filming and how many vehicles you have, there will be different options to consider. For many crew cars and facilities vehicles, you will most likely need a Unit Base. Then, depending on the number of tech vehicles and the parking restrictions for that area, you will need to work out a parking plan and submit the appropriate applications. There will be varying costs and lead-in times for this; the most common options would be parking permits, parking suspension, or single yellow line waivers.
Different Kinds of Permits
When filming on council-run locations you may need to consider the different kinds of permits you will potentially need. For example, if you want to have a large light you may need to apply for a temporary structure license. Additionally, if you are planning on filming on or close to a road, you may need to have a traffic management team on board, apply for a road closure, or temporary folds with stop-start signs. You will need to apply for this well in advance of your shoot date, along with submitting the correct paperwork. Another instance could be filming with the use of a drone. Many rules apply to this, too, that you might not know about or have considered. You will need to ensure you abide by these and, again, have the appropriate permits and paperwork to ensure your shoot goes smoothly.
Scouting and Research
When navigating filming locations through Locations Direct, we vow to handle this hard work for you. We can scout out any location and photograph the space to give you a better idea of the area. All you need to do is email our team regarding availability and rates; the rest will be dealt with for you!
Additionally, you might not be able to find exactly what you are looking for on our website. If this is the case, do not fret! We can assist you in finding any location, whether it is on our website or not. All we need from you is a brief and then we can begin to work our magic. You can contact our team to find out more about availability and rates.
Click to Buy
Obtaining written permissions and permits can be a lengthy process, so if you are keen to get started right away, you might consider our “Click to Buy” service. This allows you instant access to the addresses, contact details, and rate cards of any council-run locations on our site. We will simply charge you a small fee and you will be able to seamlessly book with the film office.
Booking UK Film Locations Could Not Be Easier
With any production, putting the plan into action can be extremely lengthy and intricate. Locations Direct is here to help guide you through the process.
Finding the right filming location and obtaining the necessary permission could not be easier with the help of our knowledgeable team.
Whether you are a novice filmmaker or just want a hassle-free filming experience, contact us about your next filming location.