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FAQ


Q: What is the San Diego Film Commission?
Q: Is there a list of what's being filmed in San Diego?
Q: Do I need a permit? How do I get a permit to shoot in San Diego?
Q: I'm considering San Diego as a location for my project and I am looking to hire some local crew and equipment rental companies. Do you have a list of people I can contact?
Q: I'm a freelance crewperson that's new to the San Diego area. How can I find out what projects are hiring in town so I can send my resume to them?
Q: I'm working on a project and I would like to get a copy of the San Diego Film and Video Resource Guide. How can I obtain my own copy?
Q: I'm interested in listing in the San Diego Film & Video Resource Guide. What do I need to do to apply?
Q: I'm an actor looking for work. How do I find out which projects are casting in San Diego?
Q: I am interested in becoming an extra.  How do I register?
Q: My child wants to be in the movies. Where do I start?
Q: I would like to put my pet in the movies.  Where do I start?
Q: I have a script and I am looking for someone to produce it. Who do I call?
Q: I own a property that would look great in a movie. How do I make my property available to filmmakers?
Q: I was approached by a location manager about using my property for a film project. What should I expect and how much will they pay me?
Q: I am a resident of San Diego and someone is filming a project near me. Who can I talk to if I have any concerns about this project? Q: Is the San Diego Film Commission hiring? Who do I send my resume to?
Q: Does the San Diego Film Commission provide opportunities for internships?
Q: Does San Diego have any sound stages?
Q. Do I need insurance?
Q. How long in advance must I post "no parking" signs?
Q. What is the Film Commission's Marketing Role?
Q) How are you related to the San Diego Film Festival?
Q) How much does a production permit cost?
Q: How long does it take to get a permit?
Q: Where can I find stock footage and photos of San Diego?
Q: Can the Film Commission help me find a job?
Q: I'm a local independent filmmaker. Can the Film Commission help get my movie made?
Q) My car is a classic/one-of-a-kind. How can I get it in the business?
Q) How can shooting in San Diego save me money?
Q) How can I be sure that I am dealing with a reputable talent agency?
Q) How do I get a script written for my movie idea?
Q) Where is the Film Commission office located?
Q) What are your office hours?
Q) When do I need police assistance on a set?
Q) When is a movie filmed in San Diego going to be televised or released in theaters?
Q) How do I get a celebrity to come to my event?
Q) Who can I talk to for information regarding licensing for screening a film publicly?



Q: What is the San Diego Film Commission?

A: Briefly, the San Diego Film Commission is a nonprofit economic development program, government funded and empowered to attract, facilitate, troubleshoot, and permit filming in the San Diego region since 1976. For more in-depth information about the Film Commission, its history and focus, please click here.

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Q: Is there a list of what's being filmed in San Diego?

A:
In order to protect the privacy of the production crew and maintain control in the community where projects are shooting on location, the San Diego Film Commission is not at liberty to disclose the location of projects filming. If you have questions about a filming in your area please call the Film Commission at 619-234-3456.
For a listing of film projects that have filmed here in the past, please visit the Filmography section of our site.

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Q: Do I need a permit? How do I get a permit to shoot in San Diego?

A: The SDFC offers a streamlined permit process for City, County and Port District properties. Contact a specialized SDFC staff person to complete the basic requirements of insurance, a signed film registration, and attendance at a Roundtable Meeting (to be determined by staff based on the length and complexity of your project). There are no permit fees to film in San Diego and while most public properties are "free" locations, there can be cost recovery fees required. For instance, you can shoot on a city beach for no fees but you will pay for a lifeguard or ranger services if deemed necessary. Also, SDFC is the first point of contact for all the county's unincorporated areas, such as Fallbrook, Julian or Jacumba. In addition, SDFC is the liaison for the other 17 incorporated cities throughout the county. These cities all have their own permit requirements and the SDFC is your best source for information and contacts from Chula Vista to Oceanside.

Permits and liability insurance protect you and your company.  If someone is hurt or something gets broken, you need that protection in order to be reimbursed. For more detailed information on the permit process for the entire San Diego region, please click here.

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Q: I'm considering San Diego as a location for my project and I am looking to hire some local crew and equipment rental companies. Do you have a list of people I can contact?

A: The San Diego Film Commission publishes the San Diego Film & Video Resource Guide, which is a 300-page directory of industry-specific people, companies and support services that range from production assistants to equipment rental companies. You can click here to request a copy or call us at 619-234-3456. By calling us, we can put you in touch with a specialized staff person, who can send you a guide, answer any other questions you have about your production and introduce you to our easy no-cost permit process. SDFC is your first point of contact and provides a wide variety of free services in addition to being the regional permit office.

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Q: I'm a freelance crewperson that's new to the San Diego area.
How can I find out what projects are hiring in town so I can send my resume to them?

 
A: San Diego is home to various feature films, TV series, shows, commercials, videos, and print shoots at any given time. While many of these projects are looking to hire local crewmembers, some of the companies may already be fully crewed. There is often a very quick turn around on commercials especially; once the bid is awarded, the company can be shooting in 4 or 5 days.

The best way to guarantee that you are being considered for local work is to make sure you are listed in the San Diego Film & Video Resource Guide and that SDFC has a recent resume on file. The Resource Guide is a yearly publication that lists a variety of film-related services based in San Diego, from directors, production assistants, and Location Managers, to local restaurants, hotels, and equipment rental companies. The Guide goes out early to every phone inquiry and resumes are often faxed or e-mailed from this office. You may also want to try websites such as craigslist.com and mandy.com to see what local productions are hiring crew.
You may apply for a listing in our Resource Guide, or call us at 619-234-3456 for further information. If you would like to submit your resume, you may do so by emailing your resume to resourceguide@sdfilm.com or faxing it to 619-234-4631. Please limit your resume to one page and be sure to include your local address and telephone number.


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Q: I'm working on a project and I would like to get a copy of the San Diego Film and Video Resource Guide. How can I obtain my own copy?


A: The Resource Guide is available to individuals and companies interested in filming their future project in San Diego. Please fill out the Request a Resource Guide form online or call 619-234-3456 to get the latest copy.

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Q: I'm interested in listing in the San Diego Film & Video Resource Guide. What do I need to do to apply?

A: The Film Commission has prepared a separate, detailed FAQ section to answer this question. Please click here.

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Q: I'm an actor looking for work. How do I find out which projects are casting in San Diego?

A: The San Diego Film Commission does not work directly with talent, although the local talent pool is an important incentive and attractive element for anyone shooting in San Diego. Whether you are an incoming producer or a local production company, San Diego-based people and services save you money and directly affect your budget. San Diego features many talent agents and casting directors that list in the SD Film & Video Resource Guide. Local representation will keep you most in tune with what's happening locally.

If you are an actor and would like to submit your headshot for $50.00 to the Film & Video Resource Guide, Please click here.

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Q: I am interested in becoming an extra.  How do I register?

A: You may contact the local casting directors and ask them to include you on their "extras casting" list.  For a list of local casting directors please find them in our Film & Video Resource Guide, or call us at 619-234-3456 and request a list of casting directors.

You may also register to become an extra for Background San Diego.  Background San Diego is an affiliate of Stu Segall Productions, a local studio here in San Diego.  You may register on their website http://stusegall.com/ or by calling 858-974-8970.

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Q: My child wants to be in the movies. Where do I start?

A: Begin by contacting a franchised talent agent, who can help guide you and your child through the required steps of becoming an actor. The Screen Actor's Guild has a list of reputable, franchised talent agents, as well as some informative advice on what to avoid if you are new to the world of acting. The SAG website is www.sag.org. SDFC also suggests your child begins to get training in the arts whether in school or outside classes such as SD Junior Theater in Balboa Park. (619) 239-1311

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Q: I would like to put my pet in the movies.  Where do I start?

A: Begin by contacting an animal talent agent, who can help guide you and your pet through the required steps of becoming an animal actor. You can find a list of local animal talent agencies in your San Diego Film & Video Resource Guide, or by calling (619) 234-3456 and requesting a list of animal talent agencies.

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Q: I have a script and I am looking for someone to produce it.
Who do I call?


A: The San Diego Film Commission is not involved in the development phase of the entertainment business. SDFC advises that you secure a literary agent, who can assist you with more information. You can find a list of literary agents in your local "Yellow Pages."

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Q: I own a property that would look great in a movie. How do I
make my property available to filmmakers?


A: The San Diego Film Commission hosts over 30,000 location photos in its location library that are used to "sell" the San Diego Region to interested production companies as a filming destination. SDFC welcomes photos of your business or home for submission into our location library. For step-by-step guidelines on how to photograph your property for the library, please refer to our brochure, "How to Shoot Your Property" or call us at 619-234-3456.
The San Diego Film Commission is in the process of updating the location library and turning it to digital.  During this process, we ask that you please send a disc containing your digital pictures to our office.  If you only have access to actual photos, you may send those instead.  Please send them to the San Diego Film Commission address.

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Q: I was approached by a location manager about using my
property for a film project. What should I expect and how much will they pay me?


A: There are several issues that you need to be aware of if you are considering making your property available for filming projects. First, verify with the location manager if he/she is in contact with the San Diego Film Commission on the project. This will ensure that all permits and requirements are being handled. Second, ask the location manager what kind of film project it is. The impact of filming on your property varies according to the complexity of projects, the length of time involved, whether it is a small print shoot or a larger scale feature film requiring foot chases and fight scenes. Work with the location manager so that you are comfortable with the impact of filming on your property.

The location manager will offer you a fee for the use of your property depending on the project's budget. There is a wide range of budgets so most importantly, this should be something you want to do for the fun and interest of seeing behind the scenes. Don't hesitate to ask the location manager what they have in the budget. To help determine if the fee is fair, you should consider the following: If your property is a home, consider how much you would charge if someone were to rent your home for a month and divide that amount by 30 for an approximate daily rate. If your property is a business, consider how much revenue you would make in a day. You might also consider the level of disruption to you and your property in determining a fair price for your cooperation.

For more detailed information on guidelines and what to expect when your property is being used as a filming location, please click here. You can also call us at 619-234-3456.

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Q: I am a resident of San Diego and someone is filming a
project near me. Who can I talk to if I have any concerns about this project?


A: Please call the San Diego Film Commission at 619-234-3456. Be prepared to give the receptionist an accurate address as to where the filming is taking place, so that we may track down the production and put you in touch with the appropriate staff person that can help address your concerns more quickly.

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Q: Is the San Diego Film Commission hiring? Who do I send my
resume to?


A: In the event a position becomes available at the Film Commission, a job description may be posted on this site. Please note that the Film Commission has a small staff and there is very little turnover. In the meantime, please feel free to send your resume and cover letter to info@sdfilm.com or fax 619-234-4631.

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Q: Does the San Diego Film Commission provide opportunities for
internships?


A: Due to recent budget cuts, the San Diego Film Commission is not offering internships at this time.

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Q: Does San Diego have any sound stages?

A: San Diego has sound stages that are listed in our Film & Video Resource Guide.  For more information please call The San Diego Film Commission at (619) 234-3456.

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Q. Do I need insurance?

A: Yes, an original certificate of insurance must be submitted with the Filming Registration.
It must name, as additionally insured, "the City, County, and Port of San Diego.  It must also include the San Diego Film Commission.  It must be in the amount of at least one million dollars and include automobile liability, workers compensation, and employer's liability. To view a sample insurance form please click here.

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Q. How long in advance must I post "no parking" signs?

A: Permission to post "no parking" signs is granted by the special events coordinator for the San Diego Police Department. Posting must be registered with Police Department Traffic Survey 72 hours before call time. No parking signs must be posted between 24 hours and 72 hours, before call time, depending on the location. Please check with Film Office for specific location information.

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Q. What is the Film Commission's Marketing Role?

A) The San Diego Film Commission markets San Diego to the production community so that clients will bring their on-location filming to our region. The community benefits economically from on-location spending, as well as the residual benefit when locations featured in film and TV projects become visitors' destinations, leaving a lasting economic impact. The Film Commission also acts as a liaison between the production community and the local community, addressing any community concerns.

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Q) How are you related to the San Diego Film Festival?

A) The San Diego Film Commission is a separate organization from the San Diego Film Festival. We operate year round to promote and permit the actual filming of projects within the San Diego region.  For more information on the San Diego Film Festival please visit http://www.sdff.org/ or call (619) 582-2368.

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Q) How much does a production permit cost?

A) There are no permit fees to film in San Diego and while most public properties are "free" locations, there can be cost recovery fees required. For instance, you can shoot on a city beach for no fees but you will pay for a lifeguard or ranger services if deemed necessary. Also, SDFC is the first point of contact for all the county's unincorporated areas, such as Fallbrook, Julian or Jacumba. In addition, SDFC is the liaison for the other 17 incorporated cities throughout the county. These cities all have their own permit requirements and the SDFC is your best source for information and contacts from Chula Vista to Oceanside.
For more detailed information on the permit process for the entire San Diego region, please click here

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Q: How long does it take to get a permit?

A)  Depending on the location, size, and complexity of a project, permits can be issued in just a few hours or within several days.  Again, location, and complexity of a project can affect the time it takes for a permit to be issued.

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Q: Where can I find stock footage and photos of San Diego?

A) The Film Commission does not have stock footage or photos, but the Film & Video Resource Guide lists companies who can help. If you do not have a Film & Video Resource Guide, call the San Diego Film Commission for assistance.

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Q: Can the Film Commission help me find a job?

A. No. The Film Commission is not an employment agency. The best way to guarantee that you are being considered for local work is to make sure you are listed in the San Diego Film Commission Film & Video Resource Guide. For more information regarding listing in the Film & Video Resource Guide, please click here.

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Q: I'm a local independent filmmaker. Can the Film Commission help get my movie made?

A) While the Film Commission is not involved in the actual production, financing or distribution of films, we can provide assistance permitting, production resources and contact information to help your project get underway.  A good resource is the website for Independent Feature Project: The Source for Independent Filmmakers at www.ifp.org.

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Q) My car is a classic/one-of-a-kind. How can I get it in the business?

A) Visit the Picture Cars category of our Film & Video Resource Guide for a complete listing of companies in the San Diego Region. You should contact them directly for further information on representation.

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Q) How can shooting in San Diego save me money?

A) Our free city permits, large and experienced crew base, production resources, vast array of locations already make San Diego a smart economic choice. We also offer a hotel discount program, for more information, please click here.

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Q) How can I be sure that I am dealing with a reputable talent agency?

A) As a government funded agency, this office cannot recommend one over another. We have a number of excellent talent agencies in our area. The lure of celebrity is sometimes overwhelming, however, and people with stars in their eyes can be subject to exploitation. Therefore, you should carefully consider your choices before signing with a talent agency. The Actors Checklist offers helpful information on finding the right talent agent: http://actorschecklist.com/agent.html

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Q) How do I get a script written for my movie idea?

A) There are many books written on screenplay writing.  Most are available through your local library.  Make sure you learn how to write a screenplay and also how to properly format your screenplay. The San Diego Screenwriters Association may also be helpful.  Please visit http://www.sdscreenwriters.org/ or call (858) 442- 3771.

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Q) Where is the Film Commission office located?

A) The San Diego Film Commission (SDFC) recently relocated to 2508 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92106. The Film Commission no longer accepts drop in appointments. You must have an appointment in order to meet with a member of the Film Commission staff.  Please call (619) 234-3456 to schedule an appointment.

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Q) What are your office hours?

A) Our office hours are from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. We are closed on all holidays observed by the City of San Diego, to view the holiday calendar please click the following link: http://www.sandiego.gov/press/051114.shtml

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Q) When do I need police assistance on a set?

A) You will need police assistance if your shoot involves any interruption of traffic, stunts, weapons or if your actors are wearing SDPD, SDFD, EMT or other costumes resembling uniformed services personnel in San Diego.

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Q) When is a movie filmed in San Diego going to be televised or released in theaters?

A)  Release dates may be difficult to determine because feature films can take a year or more from time of shooting to release.  One way is to check the film's release date on the Internet Movie Database at www.imdb.com. Official studio sites may also list the date of release of a film.

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Q) How do I get a celebrity to come to my event?

A)  The San Diego Film Commission works primarily with production as opposed to talent.  However there are two numbers to call for more information though the process is long and often without positive results.  The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) number is 323.954.1600 and another option is Breakdown 310.276.9166.

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Q) Who can I talk to for information regarding licensing for screening a film publicly?

A) In order to screen a film publicly you must work with a licensing agent. The following are website that can help you: www.swank.com, www.criterionpicusa.com


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