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The producer’s guide to London filming permits : 7 key points for Navigating Permits, Costs, and Expertise

1-Do I need a permit to shoot in London?

Whether or not you require it hinges on the specific region you’re considering. London is segmented into various counties, each with distinct boroughs. Consequently, the regulations and procedures can vary significantly. Some boroughs have their independent systems overseen by their respective Councils, while others are managed by overarching private entities responsible for processing applications. This structure is compartmentalized according to the unique characteristics of each borough. Hence, the necessity for permits depends on the precise filming location and the duration of your project. The intricacy of the required permit hinges on the complexity of the intended filming activities.

2 -How does one get a shooting permit in London?

Certainly, employing the appropriate production personnel who are part of the team here at ACrew4U ensures access to an extensive network comprising some of the finest professionals in the country. With the inclusion of a skilled location manager, we possess the capability to secure the necessary permits. Given our considerable experience, we have cultivated strong partnerships over an extended period, particularly with various boroughs. As a result, the process of obtaining permits is notably streamlined and less challenging, contributing to a smoother overall progression.

3 -How much does it cost to get the filming permit?

The cost of obtaining a permit can vary significantly, ranging from £150 to as high as £15,000. The precise amount hinges on a variety of factors, including the nature of your project and the scale of your production. For instance, if your crew consists of fewer than five individuals, the fee typically starts at £150. However, should your crew exceed this number or require additional equipment, the cost will increase accordingly. Moreover, certain activities such as staging a murder scene or a car crash, especially in prominent locations like Tower Bridge, entail higher expenses due to the involvement of law enforcement, necessary staff escorts, and the need for advance notices. Consequently, these types of endeavors command the upper end of the cost spectrum.
In essence, permit costs begin at £150 and can escalate based on the complexity and scope of your project, with the potential to reach upwards of £15,000.

4- How long does it take to get a film permit in London?

Typically, a minimum of three weeks is required, although this timeline can vary based on specific circumstances. In cases where we have established positive relationships with certain boroughs—owing to a history of responsible conduct and successful collaborations—it’s possible to expedite the process due to their familiarity and trust. However, as a rule, a three-week timeframe is standard.
For more intricate scenarios, such as organizing a car crash or car chase, a more extended period of around three months is necessary. This is due to the involvement of various additional departments, including health and safety evaluations overseen by Councils, boroughs, and the police. The intricacies associated with such activities demand more time for comprehensive review and processing of the application.

5 -How long would my permit last?

The duration of the permit aligns with the period for which you have applied. You can obtain a permit for a single day or opt for three to four-day permits, tailored to your specific needs. This grants you permission to film within the timeframe specified in your application. However, if your filming hours extend beyond those stated in the permit, a new permit must be secured.

6 – Why should you consider employing the assistance of a local expert to manage your film permits in London?

While we’ve touched on this topic previously, let me provide a few key insights. Engaging local production professionals proves invaluable due to their intricate knowledge of the filming locations. This encompasses not only the immediate shooting site but also the surrounding areas—essential aspects like vehicle parking, unloading zones, proximity to unit bases, and convenient parking facilities. Additionally, they address crucial factors such as catering arrangements, availability of electrical resources, and more. These are intricate details that cannot be adequately grasped through mere phone calls or visual assessments from location directories. Such directories often overlook these practical considerations as they prioritize showcasing the property.

The expertise of location managers and production personnel ensures two significant benefits. Firstly, they ensure your full compliance with local regulations and guidelines. Secondly, they relieve you of unnecessary headaches by leveraging their profound familiarity with the locations, anticipating potential challenges, and providing effective solutions. Their comprehensive understanding of the areas and their associated challenges ensures a smoother filming experience.

7 – Are there any other tips or suggestions that one should bear in mind if they come to shoot in London and get permits in London?

I highly recommend allocating ample time and meticulous planning, as it not only enhances cost-effectiveness for the production but also allows for a more productive shoot overall. A well-thought-out approach translates to increased possibilities and achievements during your filming endeavor in London.

Thorough planning is paramount, aligning with the fact that local Councils and boroughs appreciate having well-prepared arrangements. This, in turn, fosters a positive rapport and can grant you broader access and opportunities. Undoubtedly, effective preparation is a fundamental factor.


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ACrew4U services in London

ACrew4U can help you with video camera crew worldwide, photographers worldwide, event filming and photo as well as production services for TV and photo and contract staff and services for business. We work as an extension of your team, to back your project like it’s our own and our team has over 20 years experience.

How ACrew4U works

1. Give us the low-down

It’ll only take you a couple of minutes to fill us in on everything we need to know about your project. Once that bit’s out of the way, we’ll sort the rest.

2. We’ll do the matchmaking

We find the best people and work with you to plan and execute the shoot well, and the raw footage is delivered in time

3. We’re there for the whole shebang

Say buh-bye to pre-shoot pickles, mid-shoot mishaps and post-shoot predicaments. We’ll be on standby before, during and after your shoot to make sure every little thing goes exactly to plan.

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