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How to get shooting permissions for hidden camera show

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  • How to get shooting permissions for hidden camera show

    Dear Filmmakers, over the past 5 years my friend and I have slowly developed a YouTube channel where we upload hidden camera comedy content. In many occasions we've felt we lack a lot of resources, workforce and permissions to do the big and ambitious video projects that we want to do. Ad revenue is barely $1k per month but finally someone wants to invest in us and inject some money to get things running.

    We now look forward to expanding and we want to put together a small production team that will help us upgrade our workflow and get the quality of our content to the next level with those big projects.

    The team would consist of:

    -2 camera crew
    -1 editor
    -1 makeup/costume artist
    -3 actors
    -2 production assistants responsible for getting all the materials and clothing that we need as well as assisting in revealing the hidden camera once the scene is completed so we get people's consent to be in the final video.
    -(here's where I need your help) This role is the most important as it's the one getting permissions for us to shoot in different stores, shopping malls, supermarkets, universities, waiting rooms, public transportation and even government related facilities. Like some kind of rep.

    Without the permissions our projects simply don't happen. We're just a small YouTube channel with 600k subs run by 2 young clowns so currently our permissions are mostly denied.

    BUT! We totally believe in our content, it's not harmful or disrespectful for anyone and it's totally family friendly. It's pure healthy comedy so it's not like we're 2 hooligans just doing a big mess wherever we go (well, sometimes things get messy but in a funny way).

    Here's my question, how should I call that position that I need to fill in? And how would that person do its task?

    I take for example The Carbonaro Effect,The Impractical jokers or Just for Laughs as they do plenty of videos in different stores and indoor facilities where you need permission to shoot. How do they get those permissions? I know they have a massive company backing them, but still there's got to be a way.

    Hope someone can help, thanks.


  • #2
    That person would generally be the Location Manager. It requires a LOT of leg work. However, it will be close to impossible to get permission without liability insurance. There are lots of companies who offer it, but one of the best known is Film Emporium. I'm not connected to them, but I did use them on my most recent feature. Good luck!
    Screenwriter and script consultant: