The San Diego Film Office’s film registration process is quick and simple. There are no fees to register your film/still photography production – whether it is a feature film or print photography shoot – on City public property and our hands-on, dedicated staff will assist you along the way.
To start the process, thoroughly review the Filming Production Guide. Then, submit your application via the Filming Authorization Application System at least three business days in advance of your shoot (two weeks if your shoot involves any water contact, vehicles on the beach, smoke effects, pyrotechnics/open flame, or other effects; one week if filming involves sidewalk, lane, alley, or street closures or intermittent traffic control (ITC), gunfire or weapons, simulated confrontation or fight scenes, “cloned”/faux military or law enforcement personnel/vehicles, recreation of a crime, the use of UAS, or other elements that may pose public safety risks).
Due to the popularity of our locations, we strongly advise you to reach out to our office as soon as possible to ensure your requested filming location(s) is available. Call the San Diego Film Office at 619-685-1340 to discuss the details of your shoot in advance, including locations, timeline, and other details about your shoot.
ADVISORY ALERT: As a result of recent guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health (CPDH) regarding the return to usual operations for most activities, film and still photography productions in the City of San Diego are currently permitted and must be submitted along with the required documentation outlined in the City of San Diego’s production guidelines at least three (3) full business days prior to the first date of the production (at least two weeks if the filming activity involves any water contact or smoke effects/pyrotechnics/SFX; one week if filming activity involves sidewalk, lane, or street closures, intermittent traffic control (ITC), gunfire or weapons, simulated confrontation or fight scenes, “cloned”/faux military or law enforcement personnel/vehicles, recreation of a crime, or other elements that may pose public safety risks).
COVID-19 guidelines listed below will be in effect until June 15, 2021. At that time, please refer to guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health (CPDH) regarding the return to usual operations for most activities.
To learn more about the City of San Diego's latest guidelines and resources, visit:
Supplemental Guidelines and FAQs for Film/Still Photography Production and COVID-19 Prevention
As with all guidance that relates to COVID-19 response, authorities will revisit this guidance on a regular basis to evaluate the continued public health need for it and to evaluate if any elements need to be changed. To stay informed, continue to monitor this link: CA Department of Public Health COVID-19 Guidance
The San Diego Film Office recognizes that student filmmakers’ contributions today have the potential to shape the architecture of the film industry in the future. Our filming authorization process is fee-free, making it simple and affordable to host your production on City public property, while working with our hands-on staff to ensure your production is meeting, if not exceeding, the needs of the surrounding community and public safety.
Contact the San Diego Film Office to start the process at (619) 685-1340 or Film@SanDiego.gov.
The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, commonly referred to as drones) for commercial filming in the City of San Diego is reviewed on a case by case basis. In order for a production to be considered for filming authorization involving a drone, please submit the necessary documentation outlined on the UAS Filming on City Property Checklist to Film@SanDiego.gov.