Filming Permits

The City of Sierra Madre has for over 100 years been the setting for numerous productions, motion and still photography. This picturesque town has appealed to all genres from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) to the hit television series Glee (2010). Filming in Sierra Madre provides future generations a glimpse of Sierra Madre today and affords student filmmakers the opportunity to shoot school projects at a lesser cost.

Every Film Permit Application is reviewed by the City's Film Monitor, Police Captain, and Fire Cheif to ensure the integrity of the City as well as to address any and all conditions specified. After a Film Permit is issued the Film Monitor will be on site monitoring each companies conduct. An FSO (Fire Safety Officer) and police officer will also be on location if the reviewers deem it necessary. Together with the residents let's continue to have the City captured in film!

Film Permit Application
Permission to use Property for Filming
Filming Fees
Business License Application

Filming FAQ's

How is permission granted to production companies?
The production company must submit a Film Application to the Film Monitor no later than 5 business days of any activity. The application is reviewed by the Police, Fire and Planning & Community Preservation departments. Upon department approval residential approval within 250 ft. of the proposed filming site determines if the application will be granted or denied.

How will I know if filming will occur?
A Notice of Intent to Film will be delivered to residents within 250 ft. of the proposed film site within 72 hours for productions of 50 cast and crew or less. The Film Monitor or production company Location Scout will canvas the proposed film site within 250 ft. to secure resident approval for productions larger than 50 or film activity involving any special effects, stunts or after hour requests. All notices will be on City letterhead, drafted by the Film Monitor with his/her contact information.

What is a Location Scout and how do I know they are legitimate?
A Location Scout is a person sent by production companies to find the perfect location for a film shoot. Location Scouts will approach a home owner or tenant of the potential property for approval and ask to take photos of the property, interior and exterior depending on the need or look. One can verify the legitimacy of the Location Scout by asking a few questions:

  1. Ask to see ID with the production company name, phone, email and production title.

  2. Call the Studio they are scouting for and ask for verification.

  3. Call the City of Sierra Madre Film Monitor for further assistance.

What questions should I ask? Always ask the name of the Production Company, the number of total days to be on the proposed film location, the total number of people, description of activity, hours of activity and if there will be special effects, stunts or pyrotechnics.

Can filming occur without a City permit? No. If a permit is granted the Film Monitor will ask for a Property Permission Form with the owner's information and stated approval which will be attached to permit. The Film Monitor or City Official will be on site for the duration of a motion picture shoot along with an Fire Safety Officer and Police if they are needed. Should any activity occur without a City permit or City representative contact the Sierra Madre Police Department at 626-355-1414.