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Student Filmmakers

The City of Santa Clarita is very supportive of the student filming community and the Film Office is here to help students get their projects completed successfully.  If you are a student that is interested in filming in Santa Clarita, please follow these guidelines to help ensure your project’s success.


Determine Your Project’s Permit Needs and Contact the Film Office

If you’re going to be making a student film in Santa Clarita, you should give us a call to discuss your plans at least one week in advance of filming.  We can guide you in the steps you need to take so that when it’s time for you to apply for a permit, there are no unwelcome surprises.


Request Information from Your School

As a student filmmaker, you may receive subsidization of certain permit fees.  In order to qualify for these, you must first supply us with valid proof of your enrollment in an accredited film education program.

Before we can accept a student film permit application, we require that you furnish us a letter from your school on official school letterhead.  The letter must state your name, class number or program of study, and also include a statement certifying that your project is strictly for non-commercial educational purposes.  The letter must be signed by a school official and dated within 30 days of your first proposed film activity.

In addition to the letter requirement, you must also furnish us with proof of general liability insurance and endorsement from your school meeting all of our requirements.


Obtain Property Owner Permission

You must obtain permission from the property owner of the location(s) you are planning on filming at.  If you are interested in filming on City-owned or other public properties, you need to contact the Film Office at least one week prior to filming.


Submit Application

To apply for a film permit, download the Permit Application.

As you fill out your application, you will need to disclose, in detail, exactly what you wish to film.  This includes contact information, the size of your cast and crew, the equipment that you plan to use along with specific information on each location(s) you wish to film at including the date(s) and time(s) you wish to film, a detailed description of the scene(s) and any activity taking place as part of the filming.

The application and all required paperwork should be submitted at least one week prior to filming.


Permit Application Review

Once your film permit application has been accepted we will contact you to go over your application.

Because all film permit situations are unique, we may ask you to fulfill other requirements as a condition of permit release.  These requirements could include, but are not limited to:

  • Notifying nearby residents and businesses of your filming plans
  • Performing a filming survey
  • Meeting with concerned community members
  • Applying for additional permits (special effects, etc.)
  • Organizing walk-throughs for public safety personnel
  • Paying activity-based use, personnel and inspection fees
  • Utilizing a film monitor on City-owned properties and/or in sensitive areas

Please be advised that it may be necessary for you to adjust your proposed activities in order to address community concerns or avoid excessive fees.  We will advise you of any developments during coordination that could affect the final cost of your permit.


Fees and Payments

Certain film permit fees will be subsidized for students that furnish the Film Office with the required paperwork.

Depending on your production’s needs, some non-subsidized permit fees may apply such as City property usage and personnel fees.  Your permit will include a detailed breakdown of the fees we have discussed that will be subsidized along with those that will not.

Payment for any fees due are required prior to permit approval.  Payment is accepted in the form of cash, personal checks and credit cards.


Distribute Neighborhood Notifications of Filming

Film crews working on-location are guests in our community and while most neighborhoods welcome or tolerate filming, poor conduct by film crews can sour local residents and businesses on the idea of on-location production.

The only way to ensure a warm welcome for your production is to show respect for the neighborhood in which you film.  In our experience, one of the most effective ways to show respect is to provide residents and businesses with as much advance notice of your plans as possible.

As a condition of permit release, you will be asked to distribute door-hanger notifications to the area that you will be filming.  The notification provides details about when you will be filming, the activities to be filmed and whom community members can call to share their concerns.  The Film Office will prepare and provide you with the notifications along with a map detailing the area that is to be notified.  The notifications must be distributed at least two business days ahead of your first day of production.

If you are unable to distribute the notifications, the Film Office will handle the distribution.  If this happens, you will be warned of and expected to pay for the cost to provide this service.


Permit Approval

Once we have received all the necessary paperwork from you, the Fire Department has reviewed and approved your filming request, notifications of filming have been distributed, any necessary payment has been received, and any other special circumstances have been met, your permit will be approved.  The approved permit will be emailed to you or you can pick it up from our office.

You must adhere to all conditions of the permit and abide by the General Filming Rules in additional to all Local, County and State rules, regulations and laws regarding filming.


Keep Permit Available

You are required to keep at least one copy of the approved permit with you on-location at all times and it should be made available for review to any City staff or public safety personnel.  Copies of the permit should also be provided to all public safety officers and security personnel present at the location.  The permit should also be shown to any community member that asks to see it.

While filming is ongoing, you are also expected to be available to assist us in responding to any community concerns that arise.

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