Producer and Coordinator friends, Is there a permit alternative to Film LA? If so, who do you recommend?
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There is not. FilmLA handles all the film permits in LA.
The only other alternative is shooting in another part of LA that has their own permit office, like Glendale or Pasadena, or shooting without a permit, which is "illegal" but possible, depending on what you're trying to do. Make no mistake, you have to have a filming permit to shoot in LA, and there are a lot of good reasons to make sure you get one, but there are also good reasons and strategies for shooting without one. I teach a no-budget filmmaking class in LA called No Budget Film School and I spend about 45 minutes on permits, why you need them, how to shoot without them, etc. My last film, "Pig," was shot all over Southern California and we didn't pull a single permit.
Gorilla filming... Just don't do it in LA... You could burn bridges.
I'm not sure I agree with you, Timothy, based on my personal experience and the experience of friends and successful filmmakers I've had in my class. There are certainly ways to get burned and it's a risk, but I've done it a LOT in LA. It's about knowing how to avoid getting caught and then what the risks and costs are if you do get caught. Not sure what bridges you're burning, though. With FilmLA?
I agree Mark. Plenty of non permit guerrilla shoots happening in Los Angeles all the time.
Thanks everyone! Got our permit, shot, and wrapped. I guess the trick is to talk to someone (@FilmLA) who doesn't have a crappy disposition over there. I've worked some of those non-permit shoots as well. I understand why they happen, but couldn't do it for this specific shoot. This experience has soured me on shooting in LA, as much as I want production to return and stay. If they want to production to return to Hollywood, some major changes need to happen that benefit the studios as well as the indies.