A Phoenix Film and Digital Media Permit (FDM Permit) is required for all commercial projects (moving or still) involving/impacting city owned buildings, parks and public-rights-of-way within the defined boundaries of the City of Phoenix. Commercial projects are considered, but not limited to: feature films, commercials (including web and social media), TV shows, still photo shoots for advertising purposes, music videos, documentaries and industrial/corporate projects.
Personal photography such as, but not limited to, wedding, family, anniversary and senior portraits do not require an FDM Permit so long as the impact is minimal.
The permitting process for the City of Phoenix is a simple three (3) step process.
- INTENT TO FILM/SHOOT APPLICATION - Complete this form which describes your project
- CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE (COI) - Provide a COI for $1 Million with a $2 Million aggregate naming the City of Phoenix as an additional insured with the following wording in the description box: "The City of Phoenix is an Additional Insured with respect to liability arising out of the activities performed by or on behalf of the permittee." If this language does not appear in the description box, your permit application will be rejected!
- $100 PERMIT FEE - A representative from the Phoenix Film Office will email a link for payment by credit card after discussing your project
FDM Permits will ONLY be issued once all three steps have been completed.
Arrangements for filming at all city facilities, hiring city personnel and rental of city equipment are coordinated by the Phoenix Film Office.
The city of Phoenix controls three airports; Sky Harbor International Airport, Deer Valley Airport and Phoenix Goodyear Airport. Filming is coordinated through the Film Office and five (5) working days' notice is required.
The Phoenix Film Office will work with you to obtain written approval from the Director of Aviation Services and/or the Deputy Aviation Director.
Costs: $500 minimum ($125/hr with a four (4) hour minimum)
Each additional staff person, as determined by the Director of Aviation Services and/or Deputy Aviation Director is $125/hr with a four (4) hour minimum.
All payments must be made in advance and provided to the Financial Management Division.
Filming on a ramp or tarmac increases the insurance requirements to $5 million against liability naming the City of Phoenix as additional insured.
Non-Downtown Phoenix Locations
Please contact the Phoenix Film Office to discuss your B-roll filming needs should they fall outside of Downtown Phoenix. Phoenix is over 510 square miles and some areas have filming restrictions.
Permits are usually not required for general B-Roll filming in Downtown Phoenix so long as the following criteria are met (note this does NOT pertain to locations outside Downtown Phoenix):
• You have 5 or less people
• You are not obstructing the sidewalk
• You are not obstructing a lane of traffic
• You are shooting on sticks or handheld only (no dolly tracks, drones, jibs, etc.)
Should your production overstep these guidelines, you may be cited by the Police.
Productions need to ensure that they have the proper permission from a property owner prior to entering upon their property to capture B-Roll. As a general rule in Downtown Phoenix, the property is private from the edge of the building (or overhang) to the sidewalk. The portion from sidewalk to curb/street is City owned property.
Producers employing SAG/AFTRA minors must follow union guidelines regarding the employment of a minor.
Producers employing non-union minors should refer to A.R.S. 23-235 and contact the Industrial Commission of Arizona (LaborAdmin@azica.gov, (602) 542-4515, 800 W Washington St, Phoenix AZ 85007) and provided the requested items.
Phoenix operates 17 library branches.
An intent to film/shooting application must be received a minimum of two (2) weeks in advance for consideration. Applications received inside of two (2) weeks will not be considered.
Filming is only allowed during hours when the library branch is not open to the public. Please visit Locations & Hours page for the Phoenix Public Library to determine if your selection might be available on the day(s) of your shoot.
A minimum fee of $1,500 will be charged for filming at any branch. This fee includes staff time required to accommodate your shoot.
Phoenix Parks are broken into two categories: Desert Parks & Community Parks.
Desert Parks encompass 41,000 acres and spread across multiple locations and are staffed by Park Rangers. Community Parks total 185 and generally have grass surfaces and sports facilities and are staffed by Recreation Coordinators.
South Mountain (Dobbins Lookout, San Juan Road, Buena Vista Lookout, etc.)
Phoenix Mountain Preserve (Piestewa Peak, Dreamy Draw, etc.)
A Park Ranger is required for all projects filming in a Desert Park ($50/hr with a 4-hour minimum). PLEASE NOTE: Desert Parks will not accommodate any filming requests on Wednesdays due to staffing restrictions. Weekends and holidays may not be available during the year based on the season and the amount of park users. It is always best to plan Desert Parks shoots on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and/or Fridays to ensure availability.
Filming at Camelback Mountain/Echo Canyon is not allowed, and all requests will be denied. Please contact the Phoenix Film Office for alternative locations.
Community Parks are generally available year-round depending on scheduled events. Please check with the Phoenix Film Office to see if your park selection is available on the dates and times you desire and for current Recreation Coordinator staff rates.
Only City of Phoenix employees may operate city vehicles used as picture cars. City vehicles may not indicate the City of Phoenix, or any derivation thereof (words/logos), and must be covered at the filming location (removal may not occur in post).
Projects are staffed by city personnel who are to be paid at the end of each shoot day unless payroll authorization is approved in advance. All staffing is coordinated by the Phoenix Film Office. Cancellations inside of one (1) business day (and a full 24 hours) prior to call time will result in a minimum payment to city personnel.
Following are the rates and equipment charges for Phoenix PD and Park Rangers which are most commonly needed to accommodate projects. Phoenix Police will arrive on set with a motorcycle for which the Production Company will be billed. City vehicles may not be used as picture cars unless permission is granted by the Phoenix Film Office.
Rates for additional equipment and personnel not listed below will be quoted as needed. Rates are subject to change without notice.
Officer - $75.00/hour, 4 hour minimum
Sergeant/Coordinator (supervisory capacity) - $65.00/hour, 4 hour minimum
*required when 3 or more Officers are present
Motorcycle - $5.00/hour, $0.65/mile (barn-to-barn)
Ranger - $50/hour, 3 hour minimum
*no equipment charges
Number of city personnel and required equipment is determined once the Intent to Film/Shoot Application is reviewed by Phoenix Film Office staff and further discussions with the Producer.
Residential Home or Private Property in Phoenix
City of Phoenix city personnel WILL BE required if ANY of the below criteria are met:
o More than 2 Essential Vehicles (1 ton trucks or greater including motor homes) parked in a city right-of-way
o 10 or more personal vehicles (inclusive of any and all including talent, agency and others who may come and go from set) parked in a city right-of-way
o Working guns on set firing blanks
o Prop guns displayed within view of public
o Intermittent Traffic Control (ITC)
o Special Effects are utilized (example: fire)
o Complaints received from neighbors
o After Hours Filming (defined as filming related activities (prep/shoot/wrap) between 11pm to 6am from the first day of May to and including the 30th day of September and between the hours of 11pm to 7am beginning the first day of October to and including the 30th day of April)
If none of the above apply to a production, city personnel will not be required by the Phoenix Film Office and a FDM Permit will not be issued.
The City of Phoenix Film Office or other city department reserves the right to inspect any filming location to ensure compliance with city policy and the project Scope of Work if a permit is issued. A violation will require the Motion Picture Coordinator for the affected department to assign personnel for filming to continue. Rate for the last-minute request will be double the going rate of pay for the personnel and will begin upon the notification of the production company.
Revenue Producing Facilities
Standard use fees and separate contracts may apply at facilities with posted rates such as, but not limited to: the Orpheum Theater, Symphony Hall and Convention Center.
City of Phoenix personnel WILL BE required if the filming impedes or disrupts foot traffic.
Please check with the Film Office regarding your exact location. Locations, dates and times will have an impact of the determination of the need for city personnel.
It is illegal to discharge firearms including blanks within the city limits. A uniformed police officer is required on the set. Weapons must be inspected by the production company's weapons handler and the officer prior to bringing it to set. Dispatch will be notified by the officer prior to and after discharge of blanks.
Special effects operators must have a federal ATF license and meet requirements of the Phoenix Fire Prevention Department to obtain a City of Phoenix special effects license and obtain permits. Permit fees vary. Please note this is an application, review and permit process which requires ample notice.
Filming on major thoroughfares during rush hour traffic (6am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm) is generally not permitted. All street closure requests are subject to Street Transportation's approval. All street barricading and signage placement must be done by a licensed barricade company in accordance with the city of Phoenix Barricade Traffic Control Manual.