FILM LA permit / LAPD checks/ HELP URGENT

Dear Community,
Since last week end of June I’m being harassed by some FILM LA guy threatening to dispatch LAPD at anytime to my House and check on valid film permit of production crews.
My house is popular and booked often for any size of productions.
For the past days I’m receiving now almost daily calls from a guy called Jason Gonet @ FilmLA telling that he has a regular unit patrolling my street , taken photos of location and parked cars in order to find out if an illegal filming activity is taking place without a valid film permit.
He threatened to red flag the address and banned location from all online platforms, additional fines and violations.
Anybody in this forum going through this recently?
How do you handle yourself the FilmLA permit situation with your guests?
How serious should I take this ?
Please need urgent solid common sense advice from the forum community.
Thanks very much.
Alexander

P. S. That was only a short version of what’s happening to me right now because of this FilmLA permit issue. I was forced to cancel 3 booked productions this week and lost now my host status and instant booking on PeerSpace

He’s harassing and threatening you for permits inside of a private residence? That can’t be right.

  • it’s the production crews’ responsibility to get the permit. What exactly is he expecting a homeowner to do? He should be contacting the production, not you.
  • Productions inside of a private residence with zero impact to the surrounding area, neighbors and neighborhoods don’t require a permit. Are they filming or staging outside perhaps?
  • Why haven’t you blocked his number? Make him contact you via other written means so you have something to give the police as evidence…
  • Following up on my last point, get a restraining order, because that is harassment. They’re very easy to apply for. Likewise, go above his head and then also file a lawsuit. This guy has a job to do and I’m pretty sure his job duties do not include calling up random people and harassing them. On that same note, they have neither the manpower, the time, nor the inclination to send regular ‘patrols’ to your home and if they did, the point would be to catch you in the act, which is decidedly more difficult to do if they tell you in advance.
2 Likes

Hello! I’m in DC, but I looked up your issue in LA and here’s a site that seems to explain why you’re having so many issues:


From filming for commercial purposes all the way to parking. So if you’re having film crews park on the street, you’re red flagging the operation before you start. I wish you luck with this and I hope you can find some middle ground with the area, residents, and this group. Sounds like the guy from FilmLA could have just talked to you first and explained why their organization was helpful before he called the cops. I had to deal with a pushy member from ASCAP once. They reached out with all sorts of threats before explaining what they did and why they were important. Take care!

-Kyle

Hi Deacon,
Thanks for your comments and reply.
Yes he’s calling first thing in the morning and telling LAPD is already dispatched to my address.
I’m really intimidated.
I was under the exact assumption like you about the film permit situation.
First time I spoke with this FilmLA guy was after he left his business card glued on my door, with a note asking me to call him asap.
Then he went on to explain harshly that any kind of cinematographic activity in public areas or inside private areas or residences that is not for personal use Requires a film permit by law/ city ordinance in Los Angeles.
Furthermore he said that he is monitoring my location for the past 12 months and that several complaints are recorded.
It is the responsibility from the owner to check Film permits and to be sure they’re not false by calling FilmLA and double check the permit number with FilmLA office
They FilmLA don’t contact productions. Productions have to apply for permits. They issue permits.
I was told that they The impact in private residences is substantial because of parking, noise & light pollution. Furthermore there’s high liability and safety risks.
I did some research online and with a friend who’s a Lawyer in the industry and he’s telling me not to fight at all with the city administrators. They’re right. Everything what goes on camera, film , print, web for public promotional or commercial purposes requires a film permit in LOS ANGELES.
Again I thought exactly like you said but it seems that we’re both totally wrong.
I reached out to PeerSpace support, still waiting for their reply.
Would love to gather exact information about responsibilities about Film permit regulations.
Eventually I offer PeerSpace to organize an Event to discuss this exact Film permit issue in private residences. We could invite this very same guy from FilmLA to give owners their interpretation of the new ordinance and regulations.
It sounds absurd but I’m freaked out that the city administrators can be that intrusive and invade the privacy of my own with this pretense.

Thanks Kyle.
I have seen this article. It actually corroborates what this FilmLA guy is telling.
It just blows my mind that they can invade the privacy of whoever I let into and whatever Ido inside my home.
Spoke with someone else and I was told that they hire students to patrol neighborhoods and look out for filming crews or what seems to be a film production, take pictures and report back to LAPD to check if there’s a film permit on place.

From working over thirty years in this city in filming on locations you ALWAYS need a permit for commercial purposes, from what I understand. That you’ve gotten away with it this long, is probably why the FilmLA person is contacting you, in such an urgent matter. As a part of my rules on my listing, I require any one filming at our beach house (including stills as that is also required on our Ventura County permit) to send me a copy of the permit before filming. Permits take days and if there is impact with parking you add LADOT and it’s over five working days. This is how professional crews work and every location scout knows this…smaller productions may not. I’m sorry this is so stressful for you, but talk to Jason and let him help resolve your issue so you can successfully welcome filming at house. Your suggestion is excellent to have an evening with FilmLA as they want to educate as much as possible.

3 Likes

Understand. Thanks for your reply.
Are they really allowed to come into property and request to see a permit. ??

I have a neighbor who is hell-bent on getting me in trouble whenever he can. I will report me to FilmLA whenever he gets the chance. Consequently, I visited FilmLA and spoke to their community outreach person. He was very nice and helpful and explained the laws to me. As others have stated, you do need a permit for whatever you do. Some of the smaller productions have labored under the same misapprehension that you have–that interior shoots do not need to have a permit. As you now know, this is not the case. They have just been lucky.

I have also had to turn down many bookings because they couldn’t or wouldn’t get a permit. I now make sure I slavishly follow all the rules so that there’s nothing this jerk can do to me. Also, you should know that it is illegal to disrupt a permitted film. So if he plays his music loud (which he does only when I am having a shoot) he is the one who can get in trouble. The still photography permit is not very expensive, so in the case of a longer shoot, if I sense reluctance to book on account of the cost, I offer to pay for all or half of it myself.

You might want to visit FilmLA and have a meeting with them. They were really very nice when I went in.

1 Like

Oops. Should have proof-read my previous entry before submitting. Second sentence should read HE will report me . . .

I think it would be wise and kind of ironic to host an industry get together with other peerspace hosts and the LAFilm folks at your residence where you would have the home turf and they can be shown the residence and might turn out to be a good resource later for you as to when you need a permit or ha e issues. I’d also ask to speak with his supervisor when you first go in to get your questions answered and tell them how he has been harassing you. That might be a better way to not cross paths with this film jerk. Sorry and good luck!!

1 Like

Hi Yvonne ,
Very interesting comment and very helpful. It really appears that I’m going to have to request a film permit for every single production.
As for sharing the permit fee that is actually a very smart move on your part and depends on the length of the shoot though.
Thanks very much. I will consider this option.
Alexander

Well can He prove in a court of law that a production occurred in your space? Seeing as it’s a private residence, he cannot.

If a court determines through some confession on the part of the production crew that a production did indeed occur, it’s the producer that would be fined.

If what everyone is saying is true (and let’s be realistic - it’s actually not quite the case, as every commercial photographer would then need a permit every time they did a 300 buck product photography shoot for an eCommerce seller in their own photography studio, or every time they did a headshot for an actor) The best thing you can do is to not publicly post about it!

I’m still unclear of the exact wording of the law and if property owner is complicit of a violation if a producer has not pulled a film permit and owner knowingly letting the illegal filming activity take place on the private property.
Also, who issues the citation, is it FilmLA or is it LAPD. ?
Any information about fines or about blocking property from obtaining further film permits. ?

Usually l there is a policeman who is a dedicated FilmLA person. In my experience, they have been quite reasonable. However, at times, a regular LAPD officer will answer the call. The one I had here as a total a$$ho!e. They actually had the permit but changed the day and my nasty neighbor didn’t get the notice, so he called the police. It was a Sunday, so perhaps the FilmLA police weren’t working. At any rate, he threatened to fine both me and the production and to confiscate the equipment if the production was not shut down. More to the story, but this gives you the idea.

Also, you might consider the possibility that you have a neighbor who has been reporting you.

As to your other question: Any information about fines or about blocking property from obtaining further film permits. ?

As long as you are doing to follow the rules, you should be OK. But if you are taking hundreds of bookings each year and your neighbors can prove that it is somehow impacting them, they may limit the number of shoots you can do. It’s not enough, however, for a neighbor to say they are sick of it. They must show how it impacts them. Of course, I am writing from the point of view of having a difficult neighbor. This may not be the case for you.

Again, I do suggest you go in to FilmLA. They can explain all. When I went in I spoke to Eugene (the community outreach person) who told me that he was glad I reached out to him instead of him having to find me. I now feel like he’s an ally.

1 Like

P.S. If you like, would go with you as there’s someone else there I would like to thank.

1 Like

Yvonne , thanks & very helpful. Would like to take you on that offer and go together to FilmLA.
I was going to schedule an appointment with them next week. Let me know. My contact should show in my profile.

Hi There -

I asked this very question regarding permits recently. I’m new to Peerspace.

What I’ve been told recently by a veteran producer who shot at my commercial building: Technically any and all filming requires a permit in LA. It doesn’t matter if its a private space/home vs. commercial/public space.

He said many productions get around this by having the production company sign a waiver that it is their responsibility to get the proper film permits and insurance to shoot.

For private residences, remember: You have big trucks parking, film crews and gear, other cars for actors, extras, tech reps, plus load in and load out - and numerous people gathering outside, going in and out and making noise in your immediate area.

Of course your neighbors are going to notice. And if you’re in a quiet neighborhood, even more so.

K

Thanks Karen. The waiver might be an option to avoid problems. Definitely if neighbors complain that’s a different issue.

Sent you a message with my pphone number but I don’t know whether you got it.

Yvonne