These are the results of the November, 2012 survey of independent filmmakers about their film permitting/approval experiences with state and local governments.
Summary of Responses
- Interaction with government agencies is often manual or requires physical visits
- Many times, multiple community departments must be identified and contacted to obtain approvals, requiring multiple attempts to obtain the information
- About half the time, the application process went well and was complete; half the time, it was not
- Permitting/Approvals typically take 3-7 days to secure approvals
- There is a high interest in improving the current process of information gathering, applying for filming, knowing policies and who to contact, and having better feedback about the application during evaluation by the community
- All the respondents said they would use an automated approach to film permitting/approvals if it was available
- All the respondents said ease of working with the community is an important factor in selecting communities in which to film
Seems like the pattern is clear to communities: There's a lot of good going on but room for improvement to attract filmmaking to the communities!
Survey of Independent Filmmakers, November, 2012
1. What methods do you currently use to coordinate film permitting/approval requests in local communities?
A) Phone call to designated community film coordinator or film commission contact 0.0%
B) Physical visit to community government departments to obtain permits/approvals 50.0%
C) Emails to community film contacts 0.0%
E) Other (please provide details) 50.0%
2. When you contact the community film contact for information or applying for permits/approvals, how often is that request successful?
A) Most often, FIRST contact attempt provides the information I need 50.0%
B) MANY times, I have to make multiple attempts to get the information I need 0.0%
C) MOST times, I have to make multiple attempts to get the information I need 50.0%
3. How do you obtain approvals from multiple community departments (health, law enforcement, fire, public works, parks/recreation, federal agencies, etc.) to coordinate filming approvals or permits?
A) Community Film Coordinator collects all department approvals for us most of the time 0.0%
B) Community Film Coordinator provides SOME approval assistance; we have to identify
and contact other departments ourselves to identify and obtain approvals 0.0%
C) Most times, I have to identify and contact multiple departments ourselves 100.0%
4. How often is your initial permitting/approval process with local governments accurate, complete, convenient and free from production-affecting issues?
A) 25% of the time, our applications/experiences were accurate, complete,
convenient and production went well 0.0%
B) 50% of the time, our applications/approval experiences were accurate,
complete, convenient and production went well 50.0%
C) 75% of the time, our applications/approval experiences were accurate, complete,
convenient and production went well 0.0%
D) 100% of the time, our applications/approval experiences were accurate, complete, convenient and production went well 50.0%
5. What is the average permitting approval time (average) for film/TV/Video productions (simple to moderate production – no pyrotechnics, stunts, etc.)?
A) 1-3 days 0.0%
B) 3-7 days 100.0%
C) 7-14 days 0.0%
D) More than 14 days 0.0%
6. What would you like to see changed in the film approval/permitting process for communities where you film? (check all that apply)
A) Improved access to community filming policies so I can understand
what is required for the community's approval 50.0%
B) Better, easier access to filming policies to plan the application and filming 50.0%
C) Faster approval processes 50.0%
D) Understanding of estimated fees to film in the community 100.0%
E) Better way to identify other departments who need to approve filming requests 50.0%
F) Better navigation between communities 50.0%
G) Understand status of the filming application during evaluation by community
(confirm it was accepted, questions from community,
status of approval/disapproval, etc.) 50.0%
8. If there were film approval/permitting tools (such as web based systems) that didn’t require a lot of effort on your part would you consider using them as part of your film approval/permitting requests to local communities?
A) Yes 100.0%
B) No 0.0%
C) Maybe 0.0%
9. Does the ability to successfully/easily obtain filming approvals/permits affect your decision about which communities will be used for your filming? (Assume all other factors are equal between the communities in consideration and there are no special community features needed for the scene)
A) Yes, ease of doing business affects the decision to select a community 100.0%
B) No, we select communities based only on other factors more important than ease of permitting/approvals 0.0%