Film & photography

Placemaking NSW is committed to supporting and promoting local, national and international film, television and photography industries by creating a film-friendly environment.

A permit is typically needed for:

  • Fashion magazine shoots, TV programs, commercials, B-roll, student film projects and major studio productions.
  • Public land includes outdoor areas such as footpaths, roads, parks and other open spaces.

Placemaking NSW (PMNSW) locations supports the Local Government Filming Protocol for location filming in NSW and is responsible for issuing permits for filming and photography activities across PMNSW owned or managed locations. All requirements of the Protocol must be met before a permit is issued and the activity is approved.

Amateur photographers are not required to pay a fee or gain a permit to photograph unless it involves additional activity such as blocking streets, constructing a set or additional parking. The Protocol provides guidance in processing high impact stills shoots.

How to apply

Low to High shoots are defined as follows:

  • Low impact
    • 11–25 crew, no more than 4 trucks and vans, minimal equipment and lighting, small unit base, usually 1–2 locations.
  • Medium impact
    • 26–50 crew, maximum 10 trucks, some equipment (including dolly, jibs), unit base, maximum 4 locations.
  • High impact
    • More than 50 crew, more than 10 trucks, significant construction, extensive equipment, large unit base.

Read the Things to know before you apply section of this page to ensure you have all the documentation you need prior to filling the form. You will not be able to submit your form if you do not have all of your shoot information available. Applications missing relevant shoot information required for review will be rejected.

Once your application is submitted the associated application fee as stipulated under the local government filming protocol must be paid. The application fee is non-refundable for cancellations or rejected applications.

Additional fees apply for:

  • Any additional permits your shoot requires. E.g. Drones or Road & Temporary Footway Permits
  • Shoots that need to be overseen by PMNSW representatives
  • Street Parking
  • Shoots requiring essential vehicle access
  • Certain Unit Base locations may incur venue hire fees. Depending on the location venue hire fees may apply. Venue hire starts from $1,400.00 Inc. GST per day, per venue. Hire rates vary depending on location and usage.  

Apply for low-high impact permit

Ultra-low impact filming and photography includes a maximum of 1 camera, 1 light, 1 piece of sound equipment and 1 tripod. This activity is purely a piece to camera located in a park, open public space or footpath.

No other equipment is permitted under this type of application.

This application cannot be used where booking of a location is required.

No activities can be approved on any open roadways under any conditions of this application such as laneways or other areas where there is no usable footpath.

The production should not require parking, traffic control or road closures and it should not affect people walking, businesses or residents.

There is no application fee for an ultra-low impact application.

Apply for ultra-low impact permit

Things to know before you apply

All completed applications must be lodged with full and complete details, which are not subject to change. As a minimum, for all shoots the applicant’s public liability insurance certificate of currency must also be included.

Applications with missing or incomplete details will be rejected. This includes applications received inside the lead times specified in the Lead Times section.

Your application must include, but is not limited to:

  • Dates and times including schedule of each shot or scene.
  • Specific location list. Street or park names are required – broad areas cannot be approved.
  • Full shot or scene descriptions (ideally with storyboard) of all different shots or scenes detailing what is being filmed and how, such as the equipment to be used.
  • Specific equipment list, with details of scene specific equipment including but not limited to dolly and track, Steadicam, and 10K light. Stating ‘film equipment’ without further detail will not be accepted. This includes all special equipment including but not limited to cranes, cherry pickers, and tracking vehicles. Set dressing must be complete with what and where is being proposed (including details of removing any existing signs or assets). Pyrotechnics must include full details of what, where and how.
  • Catering or unit locations. Details of where and what is required, including total infrastructure.
  • Complete parking details with associated parking plans that state clearly on the plans:
    • How many parking spaces are requested in each specific street (based on a standard parking space being 6m in length)
    • Vehicle details, size, registration and contact person
    • Times of proposed parking space barricading, including details of the licensed traffic company, which can only be conducted by a licensed ticket holder.
What happens after you apply

Ultra-low impact

  • A Placemaking NSW team member will email you with the conditions to be met. You must have a copy of your email and any conditions outlined with you when filming.

Low to high impact

  • A Placemaking NSW team member will contact you. We may require revisions or changes, but we will work with you throughout the process.
  • You may need to provide further documents, like traffic control plans, pedestrian control plans, roads occupancy licences or NSW Police approvals.
  • If your application is successful, a permit will be issued that lists approved details and conditions. You must have the permit onsite at all times while filming.
  • Any additional permit approvals will be included in your successful application notification.