Behind the Scenes

The City of Long Beach has over 50 square miles of film friendly areas. However, there may be areas in the City that are more popular than others and as a result may have filming limitations. Please call the office for any questions regarding these locations.

The following process should be observed when pulling a film permit in Long Beach:

  • Check with the Special Events & Film Office for approval of all locations.
  • A determination will be made regarding the need for a walk through, signature surveys and/or notices to the film area depending on the scope and impact of the production.
  • In filing your application, please note our office requires at least three (3) full business days in advance of film date. More time may be needed depending upon the impact to an area. We would appreciate as much lead-time as possible.
  • Insurance (COI and endorsement form) must be submitted, our office requires at least three (3) business days to process. See insurance requirements below.
  • Permit fees shall be paid via cash, check, wire transfer or ACH, prior to the issuance of the permit.
  • At the conclusion of the shoot, the City shall issue a bill(s) for any services. Per City of Long Beach Municipal Code, all/any bill(s) are due within 30 days of the invoice date. For any questions regarding billing contact the Special Events & Film Office Phone: (562) 570-5333.


The City of Long Beach requires all production companies to provide evidence of insurance accompanied by the City Endorsement form or an equivalent to our form. Make sure your insurance is either on file with our office or email evidence of your insurance to us so we may begin processing it with our Risk Management office at least three (3) business days prior to film date.

The typical coverage amount is $1,000,000 in Commercial Liability but this may vary based on activity and location. 

+View the Insurance Guidelines
+View the City Endorsement Form on the Applications and Forms page

Surveys & Notification

The City of Long Beach requires surveys for residential and merchant areas for hours, closures, and/or no parking signs posted. Productions shall fill out our Signature Survey Form and send it to the Special Events and Film Office for approval and radius prior to obtaining signatures.

Obtaining signatures in residential areas shall begin no earlier than 7:00 AM and shall be completed by 7:00 PM.  A minimum of three (3) attemps at different times/dates are required to obtain signatures.

Sixty-six percent (66%) approval is needed to film in residential areas between the hours of 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM and eighty percent (80%) approval is needed for times starting before 7:00 AM or ending after 10:00 PM. When filming in a merchant area, eighty percent (80%) approval will always be needed. We encourage film companies and their crews to patronize local businesses where possible.

+View the Signature Survey Form on the Applications and Forms page

After obtaining the necessary signatures prior to filming, a notification shall be sent out to the residential or merchant area(s) through our office and billed to the production company.

Arrested Development

City Staffing

The Special Events & Film Office works directly with Police, Fire, Public Works, and City contractors that may need to be notified or staffed for your shoot. City agencies will not provide any services until they have a confirmation from our office.  Productions shall not contact other departments directly for staffing.

Student Filming

After filing a permit request, students must provide our office with the proper Insurance, City Endorsement Form or an equivalent to our form, and a letter from their school stating that they are a currently enrolled student using the production for student purposes only and a copy of their current student ID matching the letter. Students are required to pay for their permit prior to filming with cash or wire transfer/ACH. 

Compliance with Laws

Production Companies must agree to comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulations and ordinances. Production Companies must also agree to obtain, and keep in effect, all permits and licenses required to conduct the permitted activities.

Authority to Stop/Cancel

If permit terms are violated, the City of Long Beach may revoke the permit. City reserves the right to summarily revoke the permit at any time upon written notice to Permittee from the City Manager, or his designee, for reasons of disaster, emergency, or other change of circumstances which in the sole discretion of the City Manager necessitates a revocation of the permit.

Malibu Rescue - Fire Safety Officer Monitoring Explosion

Special Effects Permit

For Special Effects application requests, please contact Brian Fisk, LBFD Film Unit at Brian.Fisk@longbeach.gov.

Animal Care Services Permit

Any production company using animal(s) shall obtain a permit through Long Beach Animal Care Services. To obtain a permit please contact (562) 570-7387
+ Animal Care Services Permits

Port of Long Beach Permit

The Port permits filming occurring on the Port of Long Beach property. Please contact TSOAdmin@polb.com. Our office permits filming within the Port that is completely on private property (including parking).

Drone Use

For the use of drone while filming, the Long Beach Fire Department requires a submission for permit to authorize the use of Drones. As the FAA updaes their requirements and information, this permit is subject to be updated and/or modified. Additional information may be requested depending on the parameters of the desired permit. The following documents are also required:

  • Copy of Remote Pilot Certificate
  • Copy of Part 47 or Part 48 Registration Certificate for each UAS listed above
  • Description of planned flight operations
  • Certificate of Insurance and Endorsement (amount not less than $5,000,000 combined single limit per occurance)
  • Copy of POA (including diagrams, charts, and maps as applicable)
  • FAA Authorization (PDF copy or screenshot) via the Low Altitude & Notification Capability (LAANC) App.