Information for Southwark Residents

Prior to any filming or photography we will engage with the council’s relevant housing team or community association to ensure residents are aware of and happy with any proposals.

For large shoots we will arrange the engagement of filmmakers with the local community so agreements can be made to minimise disruption and inconvenience to its residents, businesses and visitors.    

We also encourage major film and TV production companies to make donations to local associations or charitable causes and when necessary, arrange for them to hold Q&A sessions where residents can meet with filmmakers to discuss the filming.

When appropriate, filmmakers are actively encouraged to offer on set, paid opportunities to local people wanting to gain experience in the industry, in the form of work placements as marshals or runners.  For more details about what we’re doing to create opportunities in the screen industry for local talent please visit our training page  where you’ll also find information about film industry training initiatives and creative community projects. 

FAQ's Southwark Residents

  • Q How much would it cost me to add a location to a location library?
    This is a free service for properties in this borough. However, if you want the Film Office to manage filming in your property, we will take an agreed share of the fee to cover our costs.
  • Q Where can I apply for, or get information about, a filming licence?
  • Q Can a production film me?
    Yes they can, if you are in a public place. - Paparazzi film and photograph people without their consent all the time. However, any respectable film company will generally prefer to obtain consent. Film London provide more guidance in their document "Filming People"
  • Q Can I stop the production from happening? What are the consequences if I try?
    If there are legitimate reasons why the filming should not proceed, then the council and the film company will want to know what these reasons are, and will probably agree and alter their plans. However, the reason must be a legitimate reason, not just because a residents does not want it to happen. A legitimate reason may be because of the frequency of filming taking place.
  • Q Filming activities are blocking my route, or restricting access to my house or business
    Filmmakers may not block access to your house or business without your permission. Neither may they block a pavement or highway while it is in use, although in some cases we may close off an area for them. If we think a planned shoot is likely to cause an obstruction, we make sure that the filmmakers come to an agreement in advance with anyone who might be affected for example through letters and Q&A sessions with local associations of residents or traders. We can include any agreed conditions in the license and can take deposits from the filmmakers. The deposits are usually donated to local causes if the conditions are breached. We also have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us if you are being disturbed without your permission, and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker or their crew does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film.
  • Q Filming activities are causing excessive noise or light
    Some filming activities make noise and bright light. The majority of filming is only licensed between 7am and 11pm to minimise the disturbance this might cause. If we think a planned shoot is likely to cause significant disturbance, we make sure that the filmmakers come to an agreement in advance with people in the neighbourhood for example through letters and Q&A sessions with local associations of residents or traders. We can include any agreed conditions in the license and can take deposits from the filmmakers. The deposits may be donated to local causes if the conditions are breached. We also have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us if you are being disturbed, and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film.
  • Q Filming personnel are being rude or antisocial
    We expect film crews to film and act responsibly, and consider any rude or antisocial behaviour to be unacceptable. Before most shoots filmmakers will give their contact details to local people, so if a member of the film crew is rude or antisocial you can contact the filmmaker directly. If this does not resolve the situation, you can call us on our 24 hour emergency phone number and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker or their crew does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film.
  • Q Filmmakers are filming me without my permission
    There is no specific right under English law to not be filmed in public but you do have legal rights to privacy and data protection which might be violated by filming under certain circumstances. FilmFixer supports Film London's guidance that all filmmakers should have your permission if you appear on film, especially if you feature significantly. However, there are situations when you might be filmed 'incidentally' and it is not reasonably possible for the filmmaker to get your permission (for example if you are one of a large crowd in public). In these cases, we expect filmmakers to make people aware (for example with 'filming in progress' signs). If you have spoken to the filmmaker and you believe that they are not living up to these expectations, we also have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us on and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film. For more details on your legal position, have a look at Film London's guidelines.
  • Q Filmmakers are filming my property without my permission
    Generally speaking you have no legal right to prevent your property being filmed (there some are exceptions). Nonetheless, we expect filmmakers to behave responsibly and to react positively to reasonable requests from property owners. If you have spoken to the filmmaker and you feel that the film crew are not living up to these expectations, we have a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call us on and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation. If a filmmaker does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film. For more details on your legal position, have a look at Film London's guidelines.
  • Q I have received a letter about filming through my door, what is it?
    Probably it is a letter to notify you about planned filming in your neighbourhood. The letter should include the contact details of the filmmaker who can answer any questions you have about the filming.
  • Q Is there a risk of my neighbourhood becoming overrun by filmmakers?
    Our main priority is to protect the interests of the community during filming, which means making sure this doesn't happen. We monitor the amount of filming throughout the borough, as well as feedback from the community, to see if any neighbourhoods are being over-used. We often use our local knowledge to suggest alternative locations to make sure that filming is as evenly distributed as possible.
  • Q Legally, what grounds does the filming have to go ahead?
    Filming is a legitimate activity, and film makers are allowed to conduct their business in public places. UK law does not prohibit filming (anyone can take a photo or video wherever they like, though the authorities have a right to ask what the filming is for, if they are suspicious, under terrorism prevention laws).
  • Q My business has suffered because of filming in the neighbourhood
    If FilmFixer thinks that a proposed shoot might disrupt nearby businesses, we expect the filmmaker to contact the owners in advance of the shoot to reach an agreement for example through letters and Q&A sessions with associations of residents and traders. If you believe your business is suffering and you did not agree to the filming, then please contact us (using our 24 hour emergency phone number if necessary).
  • Q My child has been cast in a film or photo shoot, do they need a special licence?
    Yes, the production company must get a child performance licence for each child which they cast. These are issued by your council.
  • Q My neighbour has filming booked in, what can you do to stop it happening?
    We cannot stop it happening because it is on private property. However, we are usually able to use our influence to encourage filmmakers to act responsibly even when on private property, so do contact us (using out 24 hour emergency number if necessary) if you are concerned about this and we will do what we can. Of course, the usual rules about unreasonable noise or nuisance still apply (for example if a neighbour is having a loud party), so if you think they are breaking these rules then you can contact your Council.
  • Q Parking has been suspended for film reasons
    Parking is often needed for support and technical vehicles during filming. We proactively explore with the council ways to minimise the impact of suspending bays. Resident and Business Permits do not guarantee the holder a parking space, and the council has the right to suspend bays. When this is necessary for filming, we always give advance notice at the affected bays.
  • Q The production have suspended bays which are now sitting empty, what can be done?
    The production may need the bays to be empty, because they cannot have cars in shot, or because the unit is about to arrive. We encourage film makers to allow bays to return to service when they have finished with them.
  • Q There is unrestricted parking on my road which film makers use to park constantly. How can I stop this from happening?
    While there is no legal means to prevent parking on unrestricted roads, we will always try to find alternative parking that works for everyone.
  • Q What about if, for example, I want to make a personal video using my phone - are you saying I need a licence?
    No, this sort of filming would probably not need a licence. As a general rule, if your video involves less than five people, is not for commercial purposes and does not cause an obstruction or nuisance on public or council property, you do not need a licence.
  • Q What do I get out of letting people film on my property?
    You can charge the filmmakers a fee, which can be whatever you agree. If you ask us or a location agency to manage filming in the property for you, you will need to agree the fees with us or them in advance. To give you an idea, have a look at our fees and charges for filming on council or public property.
  • Q What if a parking bay is suspended while I'm parked there and nobody tells me, or I'm on holiday?
    If you can prove that you were unaware that the bay was going to be suspended, you will not have to pay a penalty. The matter will be dealt with by council's parking appeals process. The council follow the same procedure if parking is suspended for any other reason, such as utility works. If you do receive a parking charge notice as a result of being unaware of a suspension, please contact us and we will endeavour to get it cancelled
  • Q What if I don't want to be filmed, or my property to be filmed?
    FilmFixer expects responsible behaviour from filmmakers when they are filming people or private property, so please contact us if you are concerned about this. We enforce high standards in our client boroughs but you have no right under English law to prevent yourself or your property being filmed if the camera is on public property, although your legal rights to privacy and data protection might be violated by filming in certain circumstances. Please see our complaints section to find out more about this.
  • Q What is the best way for me to make my voice heard about filming in my neighbourhood?
    FilmFixer and filmmakers regularly consult with local resident associations and trader associations. These include but are not limited to formal Tenant and Resident Associations. The best way to be involved in these discussions is to join or create a local association like this and contact us if necessary so that we know about it. You are welcome to share any concerns about filming directly with FilmFixer via this website.
  • Q What's in it for me if there's filming in my neighbourhood?
    We encourage filmmakers to speak with the local community to reach agreement before filming. Often this agreement involves donations to local community spaces like parks or schools, or to local charities or local associations of residents or traders. Sometimes it can also involve opportunities for locals to be involved in the filming. Filming in your borough and London is also a source of revenue for the council and the government.
  • Q When are production companies required to use release forms?
    Production companies prefer to obtain written permission so that they can use any one's image without restriction in any context.
  • Q Why do you need to close roads for filming?
    Closing roads is sometimes unavoidable for health and safety reasons - for example if there are dangerous stunts - or if it is necessary for certain scenes for example in period films.
  • Q Why do you sometimes need to suspend parking bays for filming?
    Suspending parking is sometimes unavoidable to make sure there is space for essential technical vehicles, or to keep roads clear for certain shots like period shots. Technical vehicles often need to be parked right next to the location for health and safety reasons, for example reducing the amount of electrical cables around the set.
  • Q Why is my borough permitting this?
    Councils support the film industry, and are signatories to the Film London partnership agreement. Filming boosts the international profile of London as a dynamic and fascinating city. Many people make their living in the film industry so its good for employment. In general, film makers very welcome to work in the borough as long as the film makers abide by the Film London code of conduct.

Get Involved

Landing jobs in the screen industries often requires personal connections and doing unpaid internships which can put vital work experience beyond the reach of many talented individuals. At FilmFixer we want to help change this.

We’re convinced that London’s screen industries can benefit enormously from employing people who are able to contribute a wide range of stories, outlooks and expertise.

Click here to find out more about training and carreer opportunities on the FilmFixer website

Complaints Procedure

If filming is causing a nuisance, please contact us with your name, contact details, and the details of the problem including the date and place of any particular incidents.

If the complaint is urgent, please contact us on our emergency phone number which is 07919 002115.

Contact Information

Southwark Film Office representatives:

Andrew Pavord
Chairman, Film Officer

Charlie Scott
Assistant Film Officer

info@southwarkfilmoffice.co.uk
020 7620 0391

24hr emergency phone: 07919 002 115
Please only use this emergency contact number if you have concerns about filming taking place at the moment. If you need to apply for a film licence please go to FilmApp.