Film, Video and Photo Permits

(updated 03/24/2021)

Film and photo permits with a cast and crew of no more than 50 persons are being considered on a case-by-case basis. Please allow a minimum of 10 business days for review and processing. 

Productions must adhere to current San Francisco Health Orders; see directives for Outdoor Film and Media Productions in Appendix C-1. This includes the requirement for a Social Distancing Protocol and Health Plan, and related attachments. San Francisco Recreation and Parks also requires a Health and Safety Compliance certification letter, more information will be provided once your application is received. 

 Partial Summary of Health Directive requirements:

  • The cast, crew, and other Personnel on location is limited to the fewest number of Personnel needed (up to a maximum of 50 people in one location).
  • All cast and crew members must remain six (6) feet apart for the duration of the shoot. 
  • Only cast members are permitted to remove masks and MUST maintain six (6) feet distance from all other cast, crew, personnel and the public. 
  • Crew members must wear face masks for the duration of the production. 
  • All cast/crew must wear masks if they come within thirty (30) feet of the public.
  • Singing and/or playing of wind or brass instruments is not allowed unless 
    1. the individual is at least six feet away from crew, cast, and other Personnel, and public and uses a Face Covering for singing or a mask or other fabric over the wind instrument’s bells or openings where air/sound exit, or 
    2. the individuals is at least 12 feet from all crew, cast, and other Personnel, and the public

Additional requirements or restrictions may apply and will be addressed once your application has been received. 

Many popular films have been shot in San Francisco park locations. Some of the most popular include: Bicentennial Man, Dirty Harry, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Princess Diaries, The Rock, The Wedding Planner and many others. Television shows, advertisements and other photo shoots choose our parks. We are dedicated to helping to make it happen. All film, video or photo production on Recreation and Park Department property requires a Film Permit if the production could be sold or the photographer or crew is paid. This includes non-profit productions.

Park in San Francisco
  1. Application Procedures
  2. Rules
  3. Fees

All commercial film, video or photo production (Film) on Recreation and Park Department property requires a Film Permit. Commercial film, production is defined as any activity that results in a film, video or photograph being sold, or any activity involving filming or photography for which crew and/or talent is paid. This includes "non-profit" productions. This also includes wedding pictures if the photographer is paid. It does not include photography or video for personal use, however tripods even for personal use are restricted in certain areas.

All Film Permits require the coordination of the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department’s Film Permit Office (415) 831-5500 x 4, with a minimum of seven working days notice prior to date of the shoot.

Online Application Form

The Recreation and Park Department issues its own permits for interior work and work in revenue producing facilities (e.g. Kezar, Coit Tower etc.).

Filming is not encouraged on weekends, as this is the busiest time for parks, and staff supervision is limited. Filming is generally prohibited in Golden Gate Park on weekends and on the first Tuesday of each month, as this is Free Day at museums and tends to be very busy.