Code of practice and filming guidelines
- Code of practice
The Code of Practice is a voluntary agreement and is designed to work alongside the filming guidelines. Its aim is to outline the general requirements and the protocols expected to ensure that standards and consideration by all parties, to all effected, is a priority.
- Hampshire County Council and Film Hampshire have established contact with all of the district authorities in the county. Some of these authorities have a dedicated Film Liaison Officer (FLO) or equivalent film contact located in their tourism or Economic Development or Communications Departments.
- Hampshire County Council and the district FLOs welcome film makers to Hampshire and regard the county as film friendly. Hampshire County Council’s Economic Development Department, through its project Film Hampshire, is happy to answer enquiries about filming in the county and assist with all reasonable requests associated with filming in Hampshire. The Economic Development Department can also act as a contact between the production company, the district authority FLOs and the locations across the region.
- Hampshire has many unique locations from rural areas such as farmland and the New Forest National Park, to seaside locations and industrial derelict sites. We also have a vast range of beautiful historic buildings, cottages and villages. We will be happy to accommodate your needs where possible and we will always try and help with your filming requirements.
- It is recognised that most production companies act in a responsible and professional manner. However, all film makers are asked to take their surroundings into consideration.
- Productions must be sympathetic to the environment that is to be used.
- The local authority has a duty of care towards residents and businesses and will exercise control if a particular production is causing an unreasonable nuisance or noise.
- Every precaution must be taken to ensure the safety of the general public at all times and a contact number for the production must be made available to the council and the police.
- Clear guidelines of what the script or scene involves and appropriate caution must be taken for filming in sensitive areas or at unsocial times.
- Areas that require any sort of set building, dressing, disguising or are subject to any sort of special effects, will require a guarantee to be completed and returned to a required standard.
This code of practice sets out the standards that we would ask production companies and/or their sub-contractors to follow while filming in Hampshire.
- Filming guidelines
- The descriptions highway, carriageway and footway used in this document are in conjunction with The Highways Act (1980)
- The description Production refers to every type of filming. In particular, feature films, television productions, commercials, pop-promos, corporate and stills.
This document is intended as a guide to the requirements of filming on the streets and other public places in Hampshire. It is not exhaustive and film makers, location managers and production companies are advised to check with individual local authorities as to local charges, policies and practices. Hampshire County Council and the district councils in Hampshire will accept no liability for loss, financial or otherwise, alleged to have incurred as a result of these guidelines.
Hampshire filming guidelines and code of practice updated 22nd May 2014.
Adapted from Film London’s Film-makers Code of Practice April 2000 and Creative England's A-Z of Filming in the English Regions 2014.
When filming with animals, the production shall agree to follow either the RSPCA guidelines for the use of animals in the audio-visual industry or the PAWSI code.
The use and movement of certain species of animal may require the issue of a licence under the provisions of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The appropriate Local Authority should be contacted for further advice and information regarding the intention to use, or move, any relevant species covered by the Act or associated regulation.
Filming or photographing the exterior of a building does not infringe its copyright. The production will not require permission to film a building's exterior and building owners are not entitled to charge a fee. If there are intellectual rights to consider, such as company logos, then the production company will require permission from the building owner.
The Highway Authority (Hampshire County Council) must be consulted if you intend to lay cable on or over a highway that is to remain open to normal traffic.
- All cables must be made safe when they are laid, not at some later time.
- It is preferable to lay cables in the gutter along the highway or in the junction between a wall and footway.
- Cables on steps must be taped down to avoid the risk of tripping.
- Wherever possible cables should be flown at a minimum 17’ (5.2m) above a public carriageway and 8’6” (2.6m) above footways and verges. The council / film office will, wherever possible, seek to make generator parking available which avoids the need to cable across the highway.
- If there is a need to lay cabling across a footway, there may be times when it will be sufficient to lay cables at right angles under a taped rubber mat. Rubber matting should be regarded as essential safety equipment and carried as a matter of course. This matting should be:
(a) a minimum of one metre wide
(b) visible to the public by proper lighting, cones or high-visibility hazard tape
On quieter roads it may be permissible to lay cables using proper cable ramps. If so, then appropriate signage must be used after consultation with the Highway Authority (Hampshire County Council).
Catering and removal of litter
All refuse and street cleaning will be the responsibility of the production and arrangements for its removal must be made by the production company. If this is left to the council the production company will be charged.
Hampshire County Council encourages film makers to use local food suppliers whilst they are filming in the county. We would be happy to help you source these suppliers and more information can be found from Hampshire Fare.
Celebrities and look-alikes
Police should be informed of any celebrity presence or any celebrity look-alikes which are to be used.
The following services may incur charges at cost:
- provision of vehicles to wet down the street
- refuse collection
- removal of street furniture
- removal of unit signs that have not been removed by the production company
- suspension of parking meters and any other parking provisions
- any additional refuse collection or street cleaning required
- council employee time in making the above, or any other arrangements relating to a specific production
Any damage caused by a production company to the carriageway, footway or street furniture will be charged for.
The employment of child actors is governed by licensing regulations made in 1933, 1963, 1968 and amended in 1988.
Child performers under the age of 17 are likely to require a Child Performance Licence. These licences are issued by the local authority in which the child resides, unless the child is at boarding school. 21 days is required to process an application. The NNCEE can provide more information.
Producers must make adequate provision for the education and health needs of all children employed when filming. Where the child is not from the UK, they will remain subject to UK requirements. Any filming involving the employment of children (whether paid or unpaid) must be cleared through the local authority’s Education Welfare service.
Cones have no legal force to secure parking and their use must be agreed with the local council, with the exception of East Hampshire or Gosport where agreement must be sought from the police.
Successful filming relies upon the local residents and businesses receiving adequate notice where appropriate. Letters should be sent to local residents and businesses outlining fully, the intended filming. It should include:
- date, time and exact location of filming
- date of letter
- location manager and the local authority contact numbers
- number of crew or production personnel expected on location
- clear details of any stunts or dressing planned
- clear details of lighting plans
- clear details of parking proposal
- emergency arrangements and contact details
Cranes, camera cranes and aerial platforms
When planning to use cherry-pickers or cranes on the public highway, the Highway Authority (HCC) must be consulted. An inspection may be required.
The location manager or crane hire company must also discuss the specific weight and the exact positioning of such equipment with relevant authority and the conditions of any permission granted should be adhered to at all times.
Any obstruction on the highway must be appropriately signed and guarded.
Rigging or de-rigging must be carried out at times that will not cause an unreasonable noise or nuisance.
Particular attention should be given to assessing the proximity of any existing overhead cables before erecting platforms or cranes.
Camera cranes, jib arms and cherry pickers must be tested, have proof of documentation and shall be operated by certified qualified technicians.
It is advised that all genres of production must implement all current UK legislation that informs and guides the employment of all workers. The production must also observe their legal responsibilities and obligations with regard to the National Minimum Wage and the Working Time Regulations.
Firearms, weapons and representation of criminal activity
- The use of firearms of any kind must be discussed in advance with the local authority, the police and/or the appropriate emergency service.
- Where a live firing weapon is being used, the production must have a licence holder for that weapon present (or a registered firearms dealer RFD, or a servant of the RFD). Where the weapon is blank, it is still recommended to have the above present.
Health, safety and risk assessment
- Full consideration of Health & Safety issues for all employees must be taken and proven by the producer.
- LOLER (lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations) and PUWER (provision and use of work equipment regulations) should be considered. These cover lighting / sound gantries, staging and the like which are likely to feature on film sets.
- The producer must provide proof that a risk assessment has been done by a competent person appointed as the Health & Safety representative (with a minimum of NVQ Level 3)
- A full risk assessment of the location must be carried out in accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health & Safety at Work regulation (1992).
- Activities must be carried out in accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health & Safety at Work regulations(1992).
- Types of Risk Assessment that may be required for filming activities include stunts, the use of flammable or toxic materials, construction work, working at heights and the use of cranes and cherry pickers. This is in addition to a comprehensive risk assessment of the location.
- The council must give an indication of the time required for risk assessments to be carried out and approved.
- Failure to follow appropriate Health and Safety procedures may invalidate any insurance.
- The production is bound by law to take reasonable care and measures to ensure that a healthy and safe working environment is created.
- High-visibility clothing
- Crew members and production personnel working on the highway must wear high-visibility clothing to standard EN471.
- Failure to wear appropriate high-visibility clothing invalidates any insurance provision for the entire shoot.
Highways and traffic management
There are specific guidelines around filming on highways depending on what you propose to do. Check the full guidance on filming on Hampshire's highways.
Historic buildings and conservation areas
- Special attention and care must be taken when a production is planning to use any historic buildings, heritage sites or conservation areas.
- The use of lights and any tracking in historic properties must be assessed by the custodian and, where relevant, chemical or a heat analysis must be provided.
- The use of effects such as smoke, naked flames or candles may be prohibited or will require special permission.
- Filming in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty ( AONB ) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest SSSI will have restricted use and will require assessment.
- Details of the production's requirements must be discussed and put in writing with the film representative.
- Some historic properties are required by law to remain open to the public at all times and filming must work around this.
- Some of these properties are delicate and the possessions unique. Extra insurance or a specific licence may be required.
- Particular care must be taken when dressing or lighting historic buildings.
Indemnity and insurance
The production company will be expected to indemnify the local authority, its officers and employees against any claims or proceedings arising directly from any injury to persons or damage to property, as a result of the activities of the production company or its agents.
Any filming undertaken is the responsibility of the producer. Public liability insurance for £5 million must be evidenced in writing prior to filming. Risk assessment may require an increase in this limit and exclusions to certain activities may apply.
Lighting, lighting towers, scaffolding and generators
A special licence may be required for any lighting, lighting towers, scaffolding and generators. Check with the local authority.
The construction and positioning of lighting towers and scaffolding must be discussed with the relevant authority well in advance of the shoot. Any scaffolding constructed must be certified by the local authority. A licence may also be required from the Highway Authority where the scaffolding is erected on the highway.
When placing lighting stands on the highway, the Highway Authority should be consulted.
The following considerations should be taken to prevent any risk to the public or production company employees:
Any generator used should comply with the specific requirements of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) and be positioned as far away as possible from all residential properties.
- all lights above ground level and lighting stands are properly secured
- lighting stands placed on a footway must be attended at all times
- lights do not dazzle motorists
- lights are not shone directly towards residential properties at any time without specific permission
Fees for the use of locations are dependent on ownership and will vary across the different private and council-owned sites. A reasonable fee should be paid for all local authority or privately owned properties used by the production, in accordance with the scale and scope of the planned activity. Fees can vary dramatically from location to location and project to project.
Military and MOD site filming
Some restrictions apply on filming in those parts of Hampshire with military connections. In these cases film-makers should liaise with both the civilian police and the military police. Please contact the MOD film office for more information on filming at military sites, including training establishments.
Filming at Hampshire museums can only take place with the consent of the Curator or Manager. Who will have the final say over:
- what can be done
- when it can be done
- under what circumstances and/or conditions it can be done
When discussing the costs for “hire” purposes, the Curator or Manager may need to be in attendance. Any/all fees charged by the Curator or Manager for his attendance will be reflected within that cost.
The Museums and Archives Service will retain control over and use of access to all its resources, premises, staff, collections etc while any filming takes place.
Any project negotiated and/or managed by themselves will include Hampshire County Council on the film credits.
Night shoots in residential areas are naturally sensitive and it is essential to consider and consult with local residents and businesses in the planning process. (Refer to Noise and Nuisance Section below).
Any activity, including filming, is subject to the Environmental Protection Act (1990) regarding noise and nuisance.
A legitimate complaint about noise or nuisance from a resident to the local authority, can result in the termination of the shoot and the confiscation of equipment. Therefore, it is advisable to shoot all scenes requiring noise above conversational level, before 22.00hrs. Walkie-talkies should be turned down to a minimum and earpieces used.
There may be cases when equipment or heavy vehicles that cannot be removed silently at the end of filming, must be left ‘in situ’ and attended by overnight security. This must be cleared by the relevant authority prior to filming.
Noise and nuisance
Local authorities have the right to take action under the Environment Protection Act (1990) as a result of any unreasonable noise.
Police need to be informed of any nudity during filming.
- Location Managers should discuss all parking requests with the Film Office or local council representative preferably with two weeks notice in advance of filming.
- In particular for on street parking requirements, other on street equipment requirements and bays to be kept empty for continuity.
- The council must ensure that no road works or street maintenance has been booked during that time.
- Film vehicles will not be allowed to park in such a way that access is restricted or denied unless prior agreement has been secured.
Planning permission may be required for some temporary structures such as:
- the building of a set which will be up for more than 21 days from construction to strike
- the prolonged use of a building as a set/temporary studio
Prop or mock emergency service
The relevant authority and emergency service in question must be informed if the below applies:
- crime re-enactments
- if actors are to be dressed in a specific uniform (police, ambulance or fire brigade)
Uniforms and any vehicles resembling the emergency services must be covered whenever possible and in particular between takes. Any markings on vehicles must be taped over when not being used for filming or being driven on a carriageway.
Sirens should not be used at any time on location and flashing lights must be switched off when not in shot and covered when not in use.
Legally there must be a police presence for mock emergency services filming, please contact Hampshire Police for more information.
- Any props used during the shoot will be removed and the area made good.
- Film Hampshire can help supply you with props provided by the Hampshire Museum Service. Please contact us for further details.
The production must seek permission from the relevant contact before filming on public transport.
The production shall provide the location/Film Hampshire with publicity material on release of the project where possible.
- A risk assessment may be required to satisfy the insurance provisions and statutory obligations to employees and anyone who will be affected by their actions, please check with the relevant local authority if this is required.
- Additional assessments may be required depending on the type of filming.
Rivers and waterways
The production must liaise with the landowner and any relevant local authority as early as possible. Specific health and safety measures will apply.
The production must use SIA licensed security for all licensable activity at all times.
Signage and graffiti
- All signs directing crew to specific locations must be approved by the local authority and must be taken down after filming. If the signs are on a public highway then the Highway Authority must be consulted.
- Any graffiti must be planned at least 21 days in advance. The owner of the property must be consulted and their permission must be obtained.
The filming of artists to sound play-back can only be undertaken with the prior agreement from the relevant authority, at any time.
Street furniture and street lighting
The removal of street furniture, including signs, and the adjustment of street lighting is normally carried out by the Highways Authority and charged to the production company.
All arrangements for this work must be made through the Highways Authority.
Minor work by the production company may be permissible with prior permission and any damage or reinstatement costs would have to be met by the production company.
Stunts, special effects and pyrotechnics
- All stunts, special effects (including weather effects and wet downs) and pyrotechnics must be under the direct control of a named qualified stunt co-ordinator or special effects operative and comply with the Environmental Protection Act (1990).
- Any plans must be discussed with the relevant authority and a risk assessment will be carried out by the production prior to filming.
Sustainability whilst filming is encouraged by Hampshire County Council. The Sustainable Business Partnership which also operates from the Economic Development Department can help film-makers to achieve this.
- All matters relating to tracking must be discussed with the relevant authority prior to filming.
- The production company should ensure that pedestrians and in particular wheelchair users are not impeded by filming.
- The area should be fenced off and permission from the local authority should be obtained to do this.
Drones are more formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
- Only hire a Civil Aviation Authority (C.A.A) licensed pilot/company. If they are licensed they should have a valid “Permissions for Aerial Works” certificate. If the pilot is not licensed they will not be insured or have public liability cover and they are not allowed to work or provide commercial services. Unlicensed and uninsured companies may well be cheaper however they should not be used! It is also worth asking a drone pilot for an up to date copy of their insurance.
- Pilot requires permission of the landowners to take off and land the drone on their property
- Pilot cannot fly drone directly over people, roads, buildings which have not been given permission from the person and/or landowner. Drones can fly directly over or near to people who are deemed “under control” – i.e actors, presenters, extras etc. They would need to be safety briefed and aware that they are going to be filmed by a drone.
- Drones can fly up to 400ft (restricted air space starts at 500ft)
- Sub 7k rig drone cannot fly within 50 metres of a property, road, members of the public where the landowner has not given permission for filming. A drone over 7k rig must have at least 150 metres clearance of a property where permission has not been obtained.
- The pilots may be required to contact air traffic control when flying near to an airport of aerodrome, so that the drone can operated safely a certain height on a specified date and time.
- Drones cannot be flown at night (or out of daylight hours) unless the company has special permissions for night time flying.
- Any qualified drone pilot should complete a site assessment before agreeing to undertake a job. They will need to check various factors including if they are in restricted airspace. The responsibility of any flight and its legalities rests with the drone operator however if breaking his/her CAA conditions, may invalidate their insurance policy.
- To find out more visit the C.A.A. website – unmanned aircraft and drones.
- Further guidelines available on the BBC website
Wet downs may only be carried out with the approval of the relevant authority after a proper evaluation of the forthcoming weather conditions and with the proper signage as required.
- Download the full guidance documents
- About these guidelines
Code of Practice & Filming Guidelines supported by:
Film Hampshire and Hampshire County Council in conjunction with the district councils for:
Basingstoke, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Hart, Havant, New Forest, Portsmouth, Rushmoor, Southampton, Test Valley, Winchester and Tourism South East.
- More information
See our contacts list to get more information on filming in specific parts of the county.