City of Savannah – Permits & Guidelines

Thank you for choosing the City of Savannah for your film location needs! The City of Savannah boasts a wealth of locations including the nation’s largest historic district. Being the first planned city in the United States, Savannah has retained its original layout with 22 public squares, quaint brick streets, and an architectural timeline which dates back to 1733. Period locations abound that easily double 19th century U.S. or European cities.

For full details on how to obtain a permit, please click the links below:

Professional Film Permitting Booklet (2017)
Student Film Permitting Booklet (2017)

For more on permitting, please contact:
Susan Broker
Director, Office of Special Events, Film & Tourism
SBroker@Savannahga.Gov
(912) 351-3837

Nikki Palucci
Film Permitting Coordinator
npalucci@savannahga.gov
(912) 351-3837

For more on City of Savannah’s Cemeteries, please contact:

Event Coordinator
Ph: (912) 651-6843

330 Bonaventure Rd.
Savannah, GA 31404
Website

Please note, fees may apply.

Permit Requirements

The City of Savannah Special Events, Film & Tourism is responsible for issuing permits in the City of Savannah. A permit is required for any production activity which will have an impact on public property in the City of Savannah. Requests for any City of Savannah services needed for filming (police, parking meter removal, dumpster placement, etc..) must apply for a permit. Additional permits may be required from other government agencies such as the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).

The Savannah Area Film Office and Special Events, Film & Tourism require a pre-production meeting between a production’s Location Manager or another production representative. A listing of all anticipated locations with tentative dates should be reviewed as soon as possible, as the Special Events, Film & Tourism may know of possible conflicts with City services, local events and festivals, or other filming activities. Additional meetings may be required with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, Traffic Engineering, or other City departments.

After registering with the Savannah Area Film Office through their Project Registration Form, each City-owned location should be submitted to the Special Events, Film & Tourism via the City of Savannah Location Permit Application.

Please submit all forms a minimum of five working days before any filming activity is to take place. Earlier application is recommended and may be required, as all permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, and the logistical complexity of the project may affect time needed for approval. Please note, submitting an application does not qualify as an issued permit. 

Failure of the production company to comply with the Savannah Area Film Office guidelines and conditions set forth in each permit, or the use of any location not specified in the permit, shall give the Special Events, Film & Tourism grounds to revoke the permit or take other restrictive actions as necessary.

Fees

The City of Savannah charges fees for film permitting to offset the administrative costs associated with the issuance of permits.  Please note, that Permit Fees are for each location, not each application.  Below is a breakdown of fees:

  1. Student Permit – $25 per permit – Any production associated with a class grade.
  2. Professional Permit – $200 per permit – Any professional production requiring a permit to film.
  3. Blanket Permit – $100 – Any production that does not need to set up at a specific location.
  4. Rush Fee – $300 – Any professional production that requires a permit less than 48 hours from the time an application is received. Submission of a Rush Application does not guarantee approval. 

Please note that the $300 Rush Fee is a TOTAL – not in addition to the $200 (Professional fee) or $100 (blanket fee) for a permit.

All fees are non-refundable except in extraordinary circumstances.

Fees are due prior to the issuance of permits.  Payment can be made with check or money order made payable to the City of Savannah.  “Film Permit Fee” should be identified on the “notes” line of the check or money order.  For more information call 912.351.3837 or visit the office:

Special Events, Film & Tourism
One Waring Street – Daffin Park
Savannah, Georgia 31404

Additional fees are as follows:

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department:

  • Police Officers: $32.00/hour (4-hour minimum)
  • Police Supervisor: $47.00/hour (4-hour minimum)

City of Savannah Police Officers, Police Vehicles, Police K9, Mounted Patrol and Police Buildings are not available to use in films and photo shoots.

City of Savannah Cost Recovery Fees:

  • Uniformed Officer: $1.00/hour
  • City Vehicle: $6.00/hour

Savannah Fire & Emergency Services:

  • Fire Marshal: $30/hour (4-hour minimum)

If a production needs to cancel a scheduled officer, you must do so 24 hours prior to the officer’s scheduled time.  If you need to cancel or reschedule due to weather, you must cancel 4 hours prior to the officer’s scheduled time.

If there are any questions regarding the City of Savannah’s permitting, please contact the Special Events, Film & Tourism at (912) 351-3837.

Insurance

Type of Insurance Required: Commercial General Liability

Minimum Limits (per occurrence): $1,000,000

Insurance Certificate addressed as follows:

The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah
C/O Nikki Palucci
P.O. Box 1027
Savannah, GA 31402

Evidence of Insurance must be submitted before a permit can be effective.

Please have your insurance agent or broker submit your insurance electronically via email to npalucci@savannahga.gov.

Notification of Affected Businesses and Residents

The production company is responsible for notifying all businesses and residents affected by the filming activity as per the Savannah Area Film Office guidelines. Notification shall take place following the City’s review of the application and no less than two business days prior to the planned activity.

For an example of a notification letter, please click HERE.

All notification letters must be uploaded using THIS FORM in order to obtain the requested permit.

Special Events, Film & Tourism reserves the right to deny or revoke permits where insufficient time has been allowed for proper notification, or when the notification process has been improperly applied.

 

Student Filming

Student filmmakers must abide by the City of Savannah’s guidelines for permitting but must fill out a Student Filming Permit Application no later than 5 business days before filming. Any student production with a cast and crew size larger than 10 people, must obtain a permit in order to gather on city-owned property.

Student films must obtain a permit for the following to occur on city-owned property regardless of cast and crew size:
• Special Effects – Explosions, Fire, Smoke, Haze/Fog, or Pyrotechnics
• Stunts
• Weapons or Firearms (real or fake)
• Animals
• Street, or sidewalk closures
• Parking for Equipment Vehicles
• Intermittent Traffic Control

The City of Savannah charges fees for film permitting to offset the administrative costs associated with the issuance of permits.  Below is a breakdown of fees for 2017:

Student Permit – $25 per permit – Any production associated with a class grade.

NOTE: All fees are non-refundable except in extraordinary circumstances.

Fees are due prior to the issuance of permits.  Payment can be made with check or money order made payable to the City of Savannah.  “Film Permit Fee” should be identified on the “notes” line of the check or money order.  For more information call 912.351.3837 or visit the office:

Special Events, Film & Tourism

Special Events, Film and Tourism
1 Waring Drive  **inside of Daffin Park**
Savannah, Georgia 31404

To hire an officer, please click here for rates.  Additional fees may apply.

For student filming permits, please contact:

Nikki Palucci
Film Permitting Coordinator
npalucci@savannahga.gov
(912) 351-3837

Meetings with the Film Permitting Coordinator are by appointment only. No walk-ins accepted.