I. INTRODUCTION

A. Pursuant to Gardena Municipal Code Chapters 5.04 and 5.36, all film production companies must obtain a business license and a film permit PRIOR to commencement of any filming activity. Applications for a business license and permit are processed by the Permits and Licenses Office located in City Hall, 1700 West 162nd Street Room 101, Gardena, California. Staff is available to provide assistance from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Friday and may be reached at (310) 217-9518 for information and application forms.

B. As a general rule, it is recommended the film production company prepare to submit the film permit application to the Permits and Licenses Office IN PERSON no less than ten (10) calendar days in advance of the proposed shooting date. If the production activity involves any “special filming circumstances” identified in Section III, such as: street closures, excessive noise, special effects, evening shoots and/or multiple locations, allow an additional five (5) calendar days to complete the application process. If the entire production activity will be held on private property and does not impact parking, require traffic or crowd control or any other services provided by City staff, the permit may be processed in five (5) business days. Failure to submit the application in a timely or complete manner may result in processing delays or denial of the permit.

II. REQUIREMENTS

A. Business License and Film Permit The business license and film production permit application forms must be filled out and the fees paid in full before the permit application can be circulated to the city departments for review and comments. Any omissions may result in delays and perhaps in additional expense. The film production company shall be responsible for the business license fee, plus penalties, if any service provider (e.g. catering services, auxiliary power providers, vehicle rental services) fails to obtain a City of Gardena Business License. Arrow

B. Proof of Insurance and Bond At the time of application, a certificate of liability insurance containing an original signature shall be submitted along with the film permit application.The insurance policy shall be issued by an insurer admitted to do business in the State of California with a Best rating of not less than A-:VII, unless otherwise approved by the City.The insurance policies shall name “The City, its appointed and elected officers, employees,agents,and volunteers as additional insured”. Said insurance shall apply as primary insurance and no other insurance maintained by the additional insured will be called upon to contribute with insurance provided by this policy.

  1. Commercial General Liability Insurance.  A policy for general liability coverage is required for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage, including all coverages provided by and to the extent afforded by Insurance Services Office form CG 2010 ed. 10/93 or 11/85, with no special limitations affecting the City. The limit for all coverages under the policy shall be no less than one million ($1,000,000) per occurrence.
  2. Commercial Auto Liability Insurance. A policy for auto liability including all coverages provided by and to the extent afforded by Insurance Services Office form CA 0001, ed. 12/93, including Symbol I (any auto) with no special limitations affecting the City. The limit for bodily injury and property damage liability shall be no less than one million ($1,000,000) per accident.
  3. Worker’s Compensation Insurance. The policy shall conform to all applicable Federal and State requirements for Worker’s Compensation Insurance for all persons operating under the permit, including any off-duty City employee e.g., off-duty police officer, who is directly employed by the film production.
  4. Hold Harmless Agreement. The applicant shall execute a hold harmless agreement as provided by the City of Gardena prior to issuance of a permit. This agreement is incorporated into the permit application.
  5. Faithful Performance Bond. At the discretion of the City, the applicant may be required to post a refundable faithful performance bond to ensure the site is cleaned up and restored to original condition. The amount of the bond, if any, will be determined during the application review process. Upon completion of filming and inspection of the site by the City, the bond may be returned to the applicant.

C. Proof of Permit for Use of City-Owned Property. Use of City facilities, parks, streets or other public areas for filming activities is subject to a separate permit fee and application process. Proof of a use permit shall be required at the time of application.

D. Proof of a film permit from the Los Angeles County Fire Department shall be required at the time of application. The County of Los Angeles Fire Department Film Coordinator is located at 1320 N. Eastern Avenue, Los Angeles. Contact (323) 881-2416 for additional information.

E. City Personnel. The film company must reimburse any and all costs incurred by the City. Typical costs may include personnel services rendered by the Police, Fire and/or Public Works Departments. In most cases, such costs will be estimated prior to the shoot and are due and payable prior to issuance of the film permit. When City personnel are required to assist the applicant in any activities conducted under the permit, the City shall charge the applicant for such employee labor at the fully burdened hourly rate based on the City’s current salary schedule, labor group agreements and the City’s personnel rules.

Police personnel must be present during any filming activity conducted on public property. A supplemental employment proposal is completed by the Gardena Police Department during the application review process, which sets forth the labor rates and hours of compensation to be paid by the applicant. Fire personnel may be required to be present according to the terms of the County Fire Code.

F. Laws. All Federal, State, County and local laws must be obeyed by the cast and crew of the film production company and by any independent contractor(s) retained by the applicant. Fire and Police personnel have the authority to enforce all public safety regulations and state and local laws. Where an unsafe situation is observed, public safety personnel have the authority to immediately stop film production until the situation is corrected or to terminate filming should the problem not be appropriately resolved.

G. Parking. All vehicles and equipment associated with filming activities must utilize off-street parking unless temporary on-street parking arrangements have been pre- approved by the City. If equipment, trucks, and/or cars must be parked on a public street, the City must grant permission before the applicant may post temporary “No Parking” signs. Refer to “Requirements for Special Filming Circumstances in Section III for additional parking provisions. All vehicles and equipment associated with the filming activity must park in posted spaces. The applicant must also obtain permission from the City to string cable across sidewalks, or from a generator to a service point.

H. Notice. The applicant must deliver “Notice” of intent to film to all affected residents and businesses within a 200-foot radius of every filming site not less than 72 hours prior to the arrival of the production company equipment. Advance notice to apartment/condominium or business managers shall be deemed sufficient. At the discretion of the Administrative Services Director or designee, the advance notice requirement can be reduced to 24 hours for small, one day shoots (e.g. commercial advertising) providing no special filming circumstances are proposed by the film production company. The notice of intent to film must contain the name of the production company and the production manager’s and/or location manager’s phone number and the inclusive hours and dates such activity will transpire. Proof of satisfying the notice requirement shall be submitted to the Permits and Licenses Office in a format supplied by the permit holder before the permit will be released. Refer to “Requirements for Special Filming Circumstances in Section III for additional notice provisions.

I. Clean-Up. The permittee shall conduct operations in an orderly fashion with continuous attention to the storage of equipment not in use and the cleanup of trash and debris. The area used shall be cleaned of trash and debris upon completion of shooting at the scene and restored to the original condition before leaving the site.

J. Changes. Upon request of the applicant and a showing of good cause, the Administrative Services Director or designee shall have the discretion to change the date for which the permit has been issued, provided established film regulations are complied with in respect to time and location. Any changes to the location, time or character of scenes after the permit is approved, will require at least three (3) business days to complete the re-review and approval process. The applicant shall be responsible for re-noticing any businesses or residents affected by a date change, payment of a new permit fee and reimbursement of any additional costs incurred by the City to accommodate the change. Failure to advise the City of such material changes may result in revocation of the permit.

 

III. REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIAL FILMING CIRCUMSTANCES

If the filming activity involves any of the following circumstances, such as: on-street parking, street closures, traffic impediments, excessive noise, special effects, evening shoots and/or multiple locations, the City reserves the right to withhold or stipulate conditions for permit approval. The applicant is required to allow fifteen (15) calendar days prior to the proposed shooting date for city departments to review an application that contains any of the following:

A. Evening Shoot Conditions. Filming outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday is considered to be an “evening shoot”. The hours for filming in residential locations may be extended with signatures of approval from residents within a 200 foot radius of all affected film sites as follows: 51% of said residents to extend filming hours by one (1) hour; 90% of said residents to extend filming hours to 6:00 a.m. and/or Midnight; 100% of said residents to film before 6:00 a.m. or after Midnight. The film production company must submit completed signature forms to the City as proof of residents’ approval before the permit will be released for the filming activity to proceed.

B. On-Street Parking or Street Closure Conditions. Signatures of approval are required from all business owners and residents “in front” of whose property equipment or vehicles will be parked. “No Parking” signs must be posted 48 hours prior to the arrival of production company equipment. Signatures are required from 75% of residents and businesses impacted by a street closure. The film production company must submit completed signature forms to the City as proof of the businesses/residents approval before the permit will be released for the filming activity to proceed. Street closure postings shall be carried out by the City 48 hours prior to the arrival of production company equipment and shall be paid for by the film production company. Any emergency roadwork or construction by City crews and/or private contractors that impacts any public right of way shall have priority over filming activities.

C. Traffic Impediment Conditions. For filming that would impair or obstruct traffic flow, as determined by the City, the applicant must use Gardena law enforcement personnel and comply with all traffic control requirements deemed necessary, subject to the following minimum conditions:

  1.  The applicant shall furnish and install advance warning signs and any other traffic control devices in conformance with the Manual of Traffic Controls, State of California Department of Transportation. All appropriate safety precautions must be taken.
  2. Traffic may be restricted to one 12-foot lane of traffic and/or stopped intermittently. The City of Gardena Police Department will determine, based on location, the period of time that traffic may be restricted.
  3. Traffic shall not be detoured across a double line without prior approval of the Police Department.
  4. Unless authorized by the Police Department, the camera cars must be driven in the direction of traffic and must observe all traffic laws.

IV. EXCEPTIONS and EXEMPTIONS

A. The Administrative Services Director or designee may, at his or her discretion, grant a permit when an application has been filed less than ten (10) calendar days before the activity is to commence. However, a surcharge may be added to the fee to compensate the City for the additional expense of expediting the application review process.

B. Any person engaging in film production as a part of bona fide educational curriculum may obtain a Student Film Permit, which shall exempt the applicant from payment of the permit application fee. An applicant for a Student Film Permit shall attach to the application a letter written on the official letterhead of the educational institution sponsoring the production. Applicants seeking a Student Film Permit exemption are not exempt from obtaining a Business License, complying with all film production provisions of the Gardena Municipal Code and reimbursing the City for any costs of city services or damages as a result of the film production activity.

C. Non-profit organizations may request an exemption for payment of the permit application fee upon submitting proof of IRC registration as a 501 (c)(3) to the City. Applicants seeking a Charitable Organization Film Permit exemption are not exempt from obtaining a Business License, complying with all film production provisions of the Gardena Municipal Code and reimbursing the City for any costs of city services or damages as a result of the film production activity.