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 can I get involved in filming?
We are committed to making sure that filming is something that can benefit the entire community. We therefore work to facilitate things like set visits, work placements as runners or marshalls, work experience and industry events. If this sounds like something you'd like to be involved with, please do get in touch. Take a look at our Training page for more information.
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 agreements before filming. Often these agreements involve donations to local community spaces like parks and schools, to local charities, or to local associations of residents and traders. Filming in your borough is a source of revenue for the Council and boosts the local economy through use of local services like catering and accomodation providers. We also facilitate opportunities for local individuals through work placements and training.
Q How can I make my voice heard about filming in my neighbourhood?
You are welcome to share any concerns about filming directly with us via our Contact Information listed below. We are all ears to any concerns, complaints or aspirations for the borough that you might have. If you would like to be directly involved in the consultation process on a regular basis, we recommend that you join (or create) your local residents' or traders' association.
Q What can I do if my business has suffered because of filming in the neighbourhood?
Filmmakers are expected to contact business owners in advance of planned shoots through letters and Q&A sessions. This consultation process allows measures to be put in place to minimise or mitigate any impact on your business. If you believe your business is suffering and you did not agree to the filming, please contact us via the Contact Information below (using our 24-hour emergency phone number if necessary).
Q What can I do if filming personnel are being rude or antisocial?
We expect film crews to film and act responsibly, and we consider any rude or antisocial behaviour to be unacceptable. If you were consulted about filming via a resident's letter, you should have the production's contact details to allow you to contact the filmmaker directly. If this does not resolve the situation, you can call us on 0207 620 0391 (or on our 24-hour emergency phone: 07919 002 115) and we will immediately contact or visit the set. If a filmmaker or their crew does not act responsibly, it will count against them in future applications to film.
Q What do I do if filming activity is restricting access or blocking my route?
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. In some cases, we might close off an area of a public street or pavement for filming purposes. This sort of measure is agreed in advance with local residents and buisnesses through letter drops and Q&A sessions. If you have not been informed of planned closures or if filmmakers are blocking your route without permission, please let us know via the Contact Informaiton below and we we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation.
Q What can I do if filming activities are causing excessive noise or 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. We can include any agreed conditions (such a the provision of blackout blinds) in the license and can take deposits from the filmmakers, which may be donated to local causes if the conditions are breached. We also have a 24-hour emergency number listed below. You can call this number if you are being disturbed, and we will immediately contact or visit the set to resolve the situation.
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 being filmed. It might also be necessary to close roads for things like period films so that the aesthetic can be controlled. Road closures for filming have strict lead-in times so that the proper consultation can take place and you will always be given advance warning.
Q Why do you need to suspend parking bays for filming?
Parking is often needed for support and technical vehicles during filming or to keep the road clear for certain shots. We work with productions to make sure that non-essential vehicles are parked off-site and that parking causes as little disruption to the general public as possible. When suspension is essential, you will receive advance notice by way of signage at the affected bays and a residents' letter from the production. We encourage filmmakers to return bays to service as soon as they have finished with them. If you require alternative parking provisions, please get in touch with the production via the details provided on your residents' letter. If you 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 How can I stop filmmakers from using the unrestricted parking on my road?
While there is no legal means to prevent parking on unrestricted roads, we expect filmmakers to be responsible with their number of vehicles and length of stay. If you think your road is attracting an untenable amount of parking, please get in touch via the Contact Information below.
Q Are productions allowed to put cones out to reserve parking?
It is fine for a production to place cones within bays that are already suspended for their purposes. However, if you suspect that coning is happening in bays that have not been officially suspended, please get in touch with us via the Contact Information below.
Q What if I don't want myself or my property to be filmed?
Whilst there is no specific right under English Law to not be filmed in public, FilmFixer supports Film London's guidance that filmmakers should have your permission to use footage that you feature in. We also expect filmmakers to use 'Filming in Progess' signs to alert members of the public to their presence. If you have spoken to the filmmaker and you believe that they are not living up to these expectations, please do let us know via the Contact Information below.
Q What legal grounds does filming have to go ahead?
Filming is a legitimate activity and filmmakers are legally permitted to conduct their business in public places. As the borough's Film Office, we are committed to making sure that it is an activity that benefits the entire comminity and causes as little disruption as possible. 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 it is also good for employment to have filming occuring locally.
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 What can you do to stop my neighbour from using their house as a film location?
We do not have control over what happens on private property but we may be able to use our influence to encourage filmmakers to act responsibly. If you are concerned about the volume of scale of filming, get in touch with us via the Contact Information below. 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 the Council.
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 often share information about training and employment programmes on Twitter so be sure to follow us @FilmFixerUK. You can also click here to find out more about training and career opportunities on the FilmFixer website.
If filming is causing a nuisance, please contact us via the contact details below with your name, contact details, and the details of the problem including the date and place of any particular incidents. We will liaise with the production on your behalf to make sure that any issues are properly resolved.