Other factors to consider
Catering and craft services
The placement of catering and craft service facilities is a sensitive issue in some areas of Vancouver, especially in neighbourhoods where poverty and homelessness are prevalent.
There are some areas in which preparation and consumption of food must not be visible to the public. As well, cast and crew may be required to cover their food when walking from the catering facilities to an eating area.
Consult with the film coordinator assigned to your project regarding the placement of catering and craft service facilities.
Filming curfew hours
Filming guidelines allow for filming activity to take place in the City of Vancouver during the following hours
- Monday to Thursday: 07:00 to 23:00
- Friday: 07:00 to 24:00
- Saturday: 08:00 to 24:00
- Sunday and statutory holidays:08:00 to 23:00
However, in some neighbourhoods further limitations may be implemented by Film Office staff. All filming related activity, including move-ins, wrap-ups and move-outs must occur between the allowed times.
Exceptions may be made for cases where the scenes to be filmed require more hours of darkness or daylight than the season naturally provides. Permission to work outside of the hours set out above may be granted based on the response of residents and businesses after polling, and the production company's ability to address any concerns that have been raised.
When filming after curfew in a residential area, all crew members must use radios fitted with headsets.
Neighbourhoods (residential and commercial) in which filming will take place should receive notification with at least two full business days to read and provide feedback. For example, if filming on a Friday the notification must be received before the end of business on Tuesday. That notification must be on the City approved template found on the link below and sent to the Film and Special Event Branch for approval prior to distribution.
For higher impact filming activities such as late night work or recurring locations, we require a two stage notification that starts with a poll of the neighbourhood to measure support before the permit and final notification is approved. Read about the City's polling guidelines PDF file (431 KB).
Additionally, it is the production's responsibility to augment the basic notification with more direct communications to those who might be acutely impacted or when special arrangements must be made. For example, when a shop owner could experience business interruption or a home owner has a front yard that you want to store equipment on. This higher level of personal engagement is an industry best practice and helps things go smoother "on the day". Relying on only the basic notification is a sure way to damage relationships and leave the community with a negative impression of the film industry.
Finally, many neighbourhoods have resident or business associations which should be contacted prior to finalizing plans. The Film Office can provide more information on such groups once you select your locations.
Failure to properly engage and notify the communities you film in could result in the permit being revoked and restrictions on your ability to obtain future permission to film in the City of Vancouver.
The Film Office must receive requests to park on the street or to clear an area of street for filming at least three full working days in advance. All requests for reserved street space should be submitted on the street use request form, and accompanied by a film location worksheet.
Please note: each location requires a separate film location worksheet
Only vehicles essential to filming should be parked on the street. Non-essential vehicles should be parked off the street. In some areas, crew and equipment may have to be shuttled from a remote location.
Vehicles parked in contravention to the Street and Traffic Bylaw will be ticketed and may be impounded. Bus zones, consul zones, loading zones, no stopping and no parking, rush hour exemptions are not typically granted to film companies. Special arrangements can be made in certain cases, but only after discussion with the Vancouver Film Office.
Pedestrians may be delayed on a sidewalk for short periods to ensure public safety or continuity of the scene being filmed. Unless approved by the Vancouver Film Office, sidewalks are to remain open for regular pedestrian use. Pedestrians should not be directed to walk on the road.
If a sidewalk closure has been approved, production assistants at both ends of the closed block should direct pedestrians to the opposite sidewalk. All wires, cables, and hoses that cross a sidewalk must be covered with a protective mat or ramp to minimize the risk of tripping. Storing equipment on the sidewalks is discouraged.
Stunts and special effects
Vancouver has been host to many large and elaborate stunts and special effects. With adequate lead-time and good planning almost anything can be achieved. For more detailed information, see the Stunts, special effects, and gunfire page.
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services
The Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services provides service to the film industry through the Fire Prevention Office. Fire Prevention Office approval is needed for all special effects that involve the combustion of materials.
Special effects coordinators should be in touch with the FPO at least two weeks in advance of filming date. For procedures for obtaining approval for special effects, see the Stunts and special effects guidelines.
The Vancouver Fire Department also rents fire trucks and other equipment for use in productions. For further details about services provided to the film industry by the Fire Prevention Office, or visit the Vancouver Fire Department website.
Vancouver Police Department
Vancouver Police will be required on set if there is a need for traffic control, weapons escort, or to otherwise ensure public safety.
Police officers can be booked through the Operational Planning Section of the Vancouver Police Department a minimum of two working days prior to film day. Requests can be made by contacting the Vancouver Police Department, Emergency and Operation Planning Section (EOPS) at 604-717-3081 or visit the Vancouver Police Department website.
All requests must include:
- Number of officers required, if any (subject to police review)
- Date and time (start and end)
- Meeting location
- Description of the exact duties the Police Officers are expected to perform
All production vehicles are required to follow the regulations as set out in
- The British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act
- Vancouver's Street and Traffic bylaw 2849
- City of Vancouver Traffic Management's Traffic Control Requirements
Approval for any work that will impact use of the road must be received from the Vancouver Film Office prior to booking police officers for traffic control. In general, intermittent traffic control of up to 3 minutes per ten minute period is permitted on most streets outside of rush hours and other heavy volume periods.
Pre-approved traffic control will always be up to the discretion of the officers assigned. In cases where public safety may be compromised or traffic volumes are unexpectedly high, filming activities will be curtailed.