Application Process


Step One - File No Fee Permit

Complete the Online Film Application or download the Film Application in PDF format and return it to the Southfield Film Office to get your production started right away. Call the Southfield Film Office at (248) 796-4161 or e-mail with any questions.


All Permits require a certificate of liability insurance with the city of Southfield listed as additionally insured. In special cases this can be waived. Documentation must be provided to the film office 48 hours prior to the scheduled shoot.

Limits of Liability:
General: $1,000,000 per occurrence; $500,000 per person 

Workman's Compensation:
Should be in line with company's other certificates

Fire Code Requirements

All sets must adhere to the Filming & Performance Regulations & Guidelines as established by the City of Southfield  and Film Industry.

Step Two (before the shoot)

  • Notify the Southfield Film Office (248/796-4161) and area residents and businesses of the production at least 48 hours in advance of the shoot.
  • Send letters to notify area residents and businesses of the dates, times and parking plans. Outline how filming may affect their normal routine. Include production office contact names and phone numbers. These letters should be delivered to area residents and businesses at least 48 hours prior to shooting. Sample letter
  • Assure businesses that you will allow customer access and truck deliveries.
  • Provide blackout material to residents' windows for night exterior shoots (if applicable).

Step Three (during the Shoot) 

The city of Southfield will make every effort to assist your production in running smoothly and efficiently. Production companies should also make every effort to accomodate residents and businesses in the area that they are shooting. Do not interfere with private property without advance permission and notice. Care should also be given to areas such as handicapped parking, driveways, hydrants or fire lanes. 

  • Do not block buildings or keep equipment in front of buildings without advance permission and notice.
  • Ensure safe pedestrian passage through and around your set. Cover cables with mats, keep equipment against buildings or in curb lanes, don't allow crew members to congregate in pedestrian passageways. 
  • Ensure there is at least 13.5 feet for a fire lane on all streets involved.
  • Do not hold or block traffic without a police officer or traffic agent. 
  • Make certain that trucks and campers fit under trees to avoid damage to branches. 
  • Find nearby lots to park campers and other non-essential vehicles if you are going to be at a location for multiple days.
  • Do not park generator trucks in front of residential buildings. Do not leave truck engines idling under residents' windows. 
  • Do not allow crew or extras to park on set. 
  • Any free standing generators must be baffled with fireproof/non-flammable material.
  • Have copies of the Vehicular Tow Unit (VTU) relocation list on set. 
  • Keep noise to a minimum when arriving in a neighborhood before 7 a.m. or filming past 7 p.m.
  • Remind crews to speak courteously to the public. Your set may be someone's home, so do your best to ensure that future productions are welcomed back.
  • Patronize local businesses during breaks. 
  • Have copies of all permits issued on set for general public viewing.

Step Four (after the Shoot) 

Clean up after your shoot. Make a clean sweep of the area to ensure that nothing is left behind, including equipment and garbage.