COMMERCIAL FILMING – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where is the Office of Special Events located?
The Office of Special Events is located in the Dallas Convention Center located at 650 South Griffin Street. The entrance to the office is located on Akard Street, just across from City Hall. Our office is across from Section 7, 8, 9 in the arena concourse.

What are the office hours?
Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please contact us at 214-939-2701 or visit our website at www.dallasspecialevents.com.

When do I need a Film Permit?
A Film Permit is required when:

  • Filming takes place on real property, building, facility, public space and tangible property.
  • Utilizing city streets or alleyways (i.e., street closure, lane closure, intermittent traffic control or requiring traffic interruption).
  • Filming the Dallas Police Department or Dallas Fire-Rescue Department to include ‘said’ property.
  • Parking on restricted curb lanes and/or streets
  • Filming the official flag, seal, shield, service mark, badge, or other insignia of the city or a department of the city or a facsimile of the flag, seal, shield, service mark, badge, or other insignia of the city or a department of the city.
  • The Office of Special Events determines the need in other filming situations to include BRoll and Student Films.

How do I apply for a Film Permit to film in the City of Dallas?
The applicant is required to submit the following:

  • The Commercial Filming Application must be submitted online a minimum of 3 business days prior to filming. Should your film shoot be extensive and/or involve multiple components to include but not limited to multiple locations, traffic interruption, SPFX, Pyro, Car Chase, please submit 5-7 business days in advance of filming. Information submitted will be reviewed for processing. Incomplete application will not be processed.
  • Certificate of Insurance – The listed insurer on the COI must be the same name listed on the application each document must cross-reference the other.
  • Payment of the Processing Fee.

What information should I include on the application?
The applicant must provide full disclosure of the film activity within the application and directly to the Film Permit Coordinator during the review process. Failure to disclose information may result in the immediate revocation of the Film Permit. Applications submitted without the required information will be considered ‘incomplete’ and denied for processing.

How long will it take to get my Film Permit?
In most cases, applications are reviewed the same day they are received. Each city department affected must review the film request. Issuance of the Film Permit depends on the complexity of the request. The Office of Special Events makes every effort to process your permit as quickly as possible.

Commercial Film Permits are normally issued within 3 business days after having received the complete application. However, should the film project require multiple days, locations (more than 2), street closure(s), lane closure(s) and/or intermittent traffic control or extensive planning, this may take additional time to issue the permit.

Does the City of Dallas issue ‘blanket’ permits?
No. Each location that is city owned and managed must be listed within the Commercial Filming Application to include the exact time frame and date of filming.

Does filming on a sidewalk require a Film Permit?
Filming on the sidewalk does not require a Film Permit if and only if the sidewalk is not ‘closed’ or ‘blocked’ as ingress/egress must be given to daily foot traffic, to surrounding residents and to area businesses at all times.

How do I update a permit I already have or make changes to my original request?
Currently, one application allows entries for multiple locations. If you are requesting additional locations and/or extending the date or time frame after the submission of the application, written communication via email is required to the Office of Special Events and an explanation of the change.

Changes to information on the Commercial Film Application must be submitted in writing, and will ONLY be accepted if provided by either the applicant or the emergency contact listed on the application. A $40 Change Fee will be charged per change. No changes can be made to the application the day of the scheduled film date.

What kind of insurance is required in order to get a permit?
The City of Dallas requires a General Liability policy for $2,000,000 naming the City of Dallas, its officers and employees as additional insured. For more information, please refer to the Insurance Requirements.

When do I need police assistance on a set?
You will need to hire off-duty Dallas Police for assistance if your film shoot involves any interruption of traffic, lane or street closure, intermittent traffic control, stunts, and weapons or if your actors are wearing Dallas Police Department, Dallas Fire Rescue Department, Emergency Medical Technician or other costumes resembling uniformed personnel.

How do I get police assistance?
Contact the Office of Special Events at 214-939-2701 and we will direct you to a Dallas Police Department officer who can further assist you with your shoot. The applicant is responsible for direct payment to the officer at the time of filming.

The Dallas Police Department supervisor will enforce the Noise Ordinance, reserves the right to add staffing when applicable and/or cancel the film shoot due to safety hazards and/or violation of the noise ordinance.

Do I need to notify businesses or neighborhoods when filming in the area?
Yes. Three (3) days prior to the film date; deliver written notice on Production Company Letterhead, to all owners or occupants of real property abutting the filming area. Please refer to Commercial Film Notification Requirements for more information.

What guidelines are required when closing a city lane(s) and/or street(s)? Your Film Permit Coordinator will provide you with information in advance after the public safety review has been completed.

What are the guidelines for the use of Special Effects (pyrotechnics and/or explosions) or ‘blank’ gunfire?
SPFX: 
All special effects must be indicated on the film application. Any filming activity that requires the use of flammable materials, explosive devices or open flames is considered a special effect. The Film Permit Coordinator will coordinate with the Dallas Fire Marshal to review the types of special effects being requested before a Film Permit is issued. The Fire Marshal may assign fire department staff to be on location to monitor pyrotechnic activity. All special effects permits require a licensed special effects pyrotechnics operator.

Blank gunfire/firearms:
Gunfire or the brandishing of firearms must be identified in detail within the Commercial Film Application. The Film Permit Coordinator will coordinate with the Dallas Police Department & Dallas Fire Rescue of this activity to determine the requirements needed.

Do I need a Film Permit to film the Dallas Police or Fire Department?
Yes, provided that the request is clearly outlined and submitted via the Commercial Film Application within the required time frame for permitting.  Without the Film Permit and prior approval, it is a violation of city ordinance to film/photograph the official seal, shield, service mark, badge or other insignia of the City or any facsimile thereof without the permission of the City Managers Office.

Do I need a Film Permit to shoot a Student Film?
Yes, if your film shoot is on public property. The student (applicant) is to submit the following:

Commercial Filming Application – 2-3 business days prior to the film shoot, 5-7 business days if the project requires extensive planning, or multiple locations.

Waiver Release Form – Each student (including talent) is to complete a waiver form. The applicant is then to submit the signed waiver forms to the Film Permit Coordinator prior to filming.

Letter from the school/university – Obtain and submit a letter from the teacher on school letterhead outlining the following:

Name of the student
Name of the class
Confirmation that the student is currently enrolled at the school/university and is in good standing
Confirmation that the film project is for school credit

Processing Fee – generally $50.00 however, it is waived for students filming a ‘one day’ project. Should filming involve multiple days, locations (more than 2) and/or extensive planning, the fee is required.

Certificate of Insurance is not required however; the student(s) are required to sign a Waiver Release Form from the City of Dallas Office of Special Events.

I am interested in doing a photo shoot / filming at a few locations, how would I know if these locations require a Film Permit?
Public properties merit a Film Permit from the Office of Special Events, if you are unsure if the location is public or private, contact the Office of Special Events at 214-939-2701 to provide you with the appropriate information.

Do I need a tent and/or canopy permit?
Obtain applicable permits from the City of Dallas Fire Marshal by calling (214) 670-4319 for all of the following:

  • tents larger than 399 square feet or canopies larger than 700 square feet
  • liquid propane gas use
  • generators using combustible fuel (in excess of 60-gallon diesel and/or 10-gallon gasoline
  • pyrotechnics display

What is required if my film project involves animals?
The applicant must include all participating animals on the event application and/or in writing prior to the film shoot. All animals must have up-to-date vaccinations, be in good medical health and the ability to cope with crowds and other animals.  Animals must be on a leash and/or under a handler’s control at all times.  The applicant must assign a ‘waste pick-up team’ to follow close behind each unit of animals to ensure all animal waste is properly cleaned up, disposed of, and not allowed to contaminate the storm drainage system.

Equine: The applicant is required to submit a current proof of a negative Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test within the last 12 months.

Note: additional animal insurance coverage may be required.

How do I find out about the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program?
By visiting the Texas Film Commission web site.

Who can I contact to assist in securing film locations of privately owned businesses?
Contact the Dallas Film Commission at 214-571-1050.

Chapter 42A