Filming in our Communities
Production activity in BC communities continues to play an important role in BC’s motion picture industry, creating opportunities throughout the province. As one of the largest centres for motion picture production in North America, BC is home to a busy and vibrant industry that has become an important part of the economic mix in our province.
Today, British Columbia’s motion picture industry comprises state-of-the-art studios and infrastructure, a sophisticated visual effects and post production sector, and thousands of skilled, creative industry professionals who are internationally recognized for their talent. Still, British Columbia’s diverse and spectacular locations – the original inspiration for production here – remain one of our most valuable industry resources.
Policies, guidelines and permits come from a variety of agencies. In addition to processing location permits on behalf of local governments and other agencies, film coordinators assist in communications between location managers and host communities to ensure the best possible outcome for all concerned.
If you have a question or concern regarding filming in your community, you can contact the film coordinator in your area:
Congratulations. Your home or property has been selected as a motion picture location.
Not only are you earning a little money, but you have a great story to tell your friends and you’re helping support BC’s motion picture production industry.
Once your property is accepted as a location, you can expect to hear from the Location Manager in advance of any location work and s/he will be the primary point of contact for the duration of filming should any questions or concerns arise.
Filming activity in a neighborhood can create parking, noise, and traffic congestion that can cause substantial strain for other residents and businesses. Therefore, a production company is required to gain permission from the municipality (or applicable authority) prior to filming. Please be aware that issuance of a permit is not guaranteed.
The Location Manager should provide you with a proposed Locations Schedule detailing dates and time the producers plan to use your property, and a draft location agreement.
The following is a check list for you to follow while in discussion with the location manager:
- Use of your personal property in filming, safe storage of items not being used, and details for packing and moving personal property. It’s usually up to the producer to cover any of these costs.
- Cast and crew use of washrooms, water, electricity, laundry machines and kitchens; smoking restrictions; trash removal; and, protective floor coverings.
- The use of special effects such as smoke, snow, fire, gunshots, or simulated explosions.
- Any areas off-limits to cast and crew.
- Any alterations the production requires (painting, construction, gardening).
- Positioning and parking of heavy equipment and vehicles.
- Alternate accommodations and basic living expenses for you and your family during the shoot.
- Obtain a damage deposit
- Clean up and remediation requirements (again, usually the responsibility of the producer).
- The agreement should also hold the production company responsible for all the activities on your property during the shoot, and release you of liability.
The producers should also give you a copy of their relevant insurance papers before shooting begins.
If you have any questions regarding on-location motion picture production on your property or in your community, an alternate point of contact is the local film coordinator at your municipal hall.
- While there are obvious benefits to having a production shot in our communities, merchants are often concerned about the effect the work might have on their businesses. The BC motion picture community supports compensation for those businesses that have been negatively impacted during a location shoot. If a business believes that a location shoot has resulted in lost business, and there is no separate deal with the producer, a loss of business claim should be submitted to the film production company's Location Manager.
A claim should include proof of loss of net profits in comparison with past days of equal activity over the previous year. Other factors, such as weather and time of year, may have resulted in losses as well, and should be taken into account when assessing the production company’s impact. Download the Loss of Business form (pdf).
Production companies often buy products or services for the value of the claimed gross losses to compensate for business loss. Each production is different and the impact varies a great deal. Don’t expect that all productions working in your area will compensate at the same rate. Meanwhile, some businesses, particularly those that take appointments like hair salons and dentists’ offices, should not shut down when there is a location shoot nearby. Working with the location manager will ensure customers have access to the shop and they can address the unique needs and work to find a mutually beneficial solution. Alternative parking arrangements or valet service for customers may be options. The name of the location manager will be on the Notification Letter, or try contacting:
or Creative BC (604) 736-7997
The best strategy for dealing with a location shoot in a commercial area is to consider it as an opportunity for both parties. Production cast and crew are generally a captive audience and require the same type of services and products that any visiting business people or local residents might need. Lots of local businesses have done well by establishing relationships with location managers and production companies who come back and use those services again and again.
For additional resources and support for business owners, please see the merchant toolkit (pdf).
Creative BC works proactively with the filming community, residential and business owners and government agencies to ensure that BC remains a supportive and film friendly production centre. Creative BC understands the challenges and rewards of location filming and plays an active role in the industry by managing location issues and troubleshooting concerns that may arise on location.
When filming anywhere the general public may be affected by production activities, proper notification is to be provided to those directly affected.
- All productions are expected to have and abide by their employer’s COVID-19 safety plan and protocols.
- Producers, cast and crew will follow the provisions of their motion picture production permit, a copy of which must be on location at all times.
- Filming only takes place during the times listed on the permit unless extensions are granted.
- Pedestrians should always be treated with courtesy and not be obstructed at any time unless stipulated in the permit.
- All cables and similar items are to be channeled neatly and safely.
- Producers must notify the public in writing whenever production activities may directly affect or disrupt their daily lives. The notice must include the name of the company, working title of the project, production type (e.g. feature, MOW, TV series) and a brief description of the activity. It also must include a clear account of the date and time of disruption.
- All catering, construction, strike and personal trash must be removed from the location.
- Locations must be left in original condition.
- Removing or cutting signs or plants from any public or private location is not allowed.
- Production vehicles must not arrive before the time stipulated on the permit, should arrive one at a time, and should turn their engines off as soon as possible.
- Cast and crew vehicles are not covered by the location-filming permit and must use designated parking areas only.
- Production vehicles shall not block driveways or gated access without permission.
- Vehicles shall not display signs, posters or pictures that the public may find offensive or objectionable (i.e. material containing vulgar language or sexual content).
- Crew cannot move a private vehicle to accommodate filming or parking, without permission of the owner. If a vehicle is parked in a restricted area, the appropriate authority will remove it.
CAST AND CREW
- Cannot trespass on private property. They must remain within the boundaries of the property that has been permitted for filming.
- Cannot drink alcohol on public property.
- Must be served their meals, and eat, in the designated areas.
- Must follow smoking restrictions and always leave cigarettes butts in the appropriate containers.
- Shall keep noise as low as possible at all times and refrain from using lewd or improper language.
- Shall wear appropriate clothing – for example, T-shirts with offensive slogans are not acceptable – and comply with appropriate employee safety regulations.
- Will wear a production pass, as required.
- Will not bring guests or pets to the location, without advance permission.
- Failure to comply can result in disciplinary action by the government authority, production company, union, guild or association.
Thank you for honouring this Code of Conduct.