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Filming outdoor in London
  • Hello, I need an advice from people from London: I need to shoot in London, outdoor, in the streets and underground, basically following an actor walking around. We will be 4 people crew, no lighting, one camera, documentary style. Do you think it will be possible without a permit (not enough time to do it)? Underground in particular, how difficult do you think it is and how much do we have to try to not be seen? There are surveillance cameras there: should be really worried about those? Thank you!

  • 7 Replies sorted by
  • Its possible without a permit - I've filmed in central London a few times, once with an actor and a steadicam operator around Westminster, we were moved on a couple of times by private security at certain locations but didn't hit any serious problems, be discreet and you should be ok.

  • It's legal to to be on public property in london streets as long as you are not causing an obstruction. Tripods can be considered an obstruction by officious police but they are sometimes cool. To 'use' the footage however i.e. To include it In public facing film which may have commercial value you do need a permit.

    Permits in most boroughs aren't that expensive - but some are more pedantic about where and what you are shooting

    If you are private property then you've got to get permission from the owner obviously

    Shooting on the underground does need a permit - TFL charge about 500£. Or you could just guerilla it if you aren't planning to put the film out anywhere

  • Thanks for the replies, guys! The video will be shown only internally at an event, so no problem about that. The underground is what worries me the most. If anyone has London underground shooting experiences to share, I'll be grateful. Thanks!

  • It is fun to see how private property makes trouble for everyone :-)

  • I've shot on the platforms and on tubes - all handheld, never had a problem

  • @tubefingers that's great news! Thanks

  • Like @nobbystylus said, just get in touch with Transport for London and they will get you a permit for a small fee. If you are a student the fee can be reduced significantly.

    Make sure you get production insurance, especially if you are going to shoot near housing estates, I've heard of more than one crew that got robbed.