Hillsborough County – Before lights, cameras, action, you may need to get a permit

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sent October 19, 2021 | 2:55 pm

Film permits are required for commercial work that affects public property

If your occasional video or photo turns into a money-making gig in a park, chances are you’ll need a permit. Commercial (paid) filming and photography on public property in Hillsborough County, including the three cities and the county or state, requires a film permit. Public property typically includes parks, beaches, buildings, roads, bridges, walkways, transportation hubs, and certain landmarks. Contact if in doubt Movie tampa bay for advice on how to proceed. Never assume that you don’t need a permit.

You MUST apply for a film permit when taking photos, filming, or filming:

  • Any commercial (paid) photography and / or event or scene staged for the sole purpose of recording, including television commercials, commercial web videos, and portrait sessions.
  • Any staged scene from a scripted or unscripted film, television or print production.
  • Filming / photographing paid or unpaid models for any of the activities listed above.

Or if your shoot meets one of these additional criteria:

  • The camera is used on a crane, dolly, boom, or anything other than a tripod or handheld device.
  • Pedestrian or vehicle traffic is obstructed.
  • They use handles and lighting carts of all sizes to create artificial lighting fixtures.
  • Stunts, special effects, animals, or real or prop weapons are involved.
  • They film before sunrise or after sunset.

If approval is not required:

  • Film permits are not required when filming news broadcasts.
  • Filming permission is not required to take photographs of unpaid or incidental photographs, unless the photograph includes the items listed under “Additional Criteria” above.

Film Tampa Bay acts as a central information source for on-location productions and offers location assistance. In addition, Film Tampa Bay offers Streamlined Hillsborough County Jurisdiction Approval Process, a comprehensive guide with categorized lists of people and businesses providing goods and services for the manufacturing industry, police and emergency services coordination, and road closures and rights-way that which enables assistance.

* Information from Film Tampa Bay


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