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Film Geelong Policy

  • Background
  • Policy Context
  • Broader Strategic Perspective
  • Promotion Of The City Of Greater Geelong's Identity
  • Film Liaison Services
  • Film And Television Industry Development Strategy
  • Scope Of Policy
  • Permits
  • Pricing
  • Bonds
  • Damage To Council Property
  • Sponsorships - Fee Waiver
  • Criteria For Fee Waiver
  • Delegation Of Authority
  • Insurance
  • Risk Management Plan
  • Notifications
  • Damage To Council Property
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Internal Liaison Within The City Of Greater Geelong
  • Fees To Other Departments
  • City Not Liable For External Events
  • Download Printable Policy

The film and television industry has the potential to generate economic and socio-economic benefits to regional communities such as Geelong. The City of Greater Geelong's Film Policy has been developed to assist in realising this potential. The policy provides guidelines for the issuing of permits and coordination of location bookings.

A central contact point (the film and television liaison representative or "Film and Television Officer") has been nominated within the City's Marketing and Administration Department (Events Unit) to facilitate film and television related enquiries.

The Film and Television Officer is the central contact point for film crews, and liaises internally to ensure optimum traffic management, use of public and commercial spaces and Council and community facilities.

G21 is a regional alliance made up of local government partners from the region including the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Golden Plains Shire, Colac Otway Shire and the Borough of Queenscliffe as well as business and community groups. A Geelong Region Strategic Plan has been developed which has as its foundation ten themes. These themes form the 'Pillars' of the strategic plan.

The City's film policy is specifically linked to the Economic Development Pillar and the Arts, Culture and Heritage Pillar. The film policy provides a mechanism which assists in enhancing economic prosperity and creating a community that offers a high quality, vibrant, diverse and innovative arts, cultural and heritage experience.

Filming on location provides a sense of authenticity. Filming in Geelong contributes to the cultural identity of the City. It does this by drawing on and making more visible the sense of place, atmosphere, dynamism, diversity and vibrancy that our community experiences.
The City of Greater Geelong enjoys a rich array of streetscapes, landscapes, seascapes and parklands.

The City's natural heritage is its greatest physical asset. Parklands and open space along the Waterfront precinct together with tourist attractions within the broader region such
as the Bellarine Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road are potential film locations. The City's architectural heritage reflects the history of Geelong as well as the industrial and maritime heritage of the port.

Previous successes within the film and television industry in the Geelong region and surrounding areas have included feature films, music video clips, television series and TV commercials. The most notable successes to date have been the filming of the Sea Change television drama series in Barwon Heads and the partial filming of the feature film Ned Kelly at Earth Sanctuary near Lara.

As a highly visible activity, the use of the City's locations presents as well as builds on the cultural identity and profile of our community. In so doing, this activity further promotes of the City of Greater Geelong as a cultural hub and host for the arts.

The Film and Television Officer is the central contact for film and television enquiries and reports to the Manager, Marketing and Administration. The Film and Television Officer provides the film industry with advice on the City's guidelines and procedures and oversees the processing and evaluation of film location permit applications.

The Film and Television Officer encourages location managers and film producers to provide ongoing information about filming activities and to budget adequately for film location fees. The Film and Television Officer works in close conjunction with the Melbourne Film Office and the Film and Television Office of the Victoria Police in administering this service.

A Film and Television industry Development Strategy has been prepared for the Geelong region following consultation with industry representatives, Film Victoria and other key stakeholders. A copy of the Strategy is available by contacting the film Liaison Officer or the City's Economic Development Unit.

The City's Film Policy and schedule of fees is an important 'enabling document' for achievement of the Strategy's objectives and will reviewed annually to ensure the two documents are aligned.

This document provides guidelines for filming within the City of Greater Geelong including:

Motion picture photography for television
Feature films
Student film projects
Music videos
And commercial stills photography.

Permits will be issued pursuant to any local laws, Local Government Act, Road Safety Act or any other Act, rules or regulations as appropriate. The City will decide on the conditions contained within any permit that may be issued. A minimum five (5) days notice is to be given the Film and Television Officer for all filming and photography applications to be processed.

Permits will not be issued until the City's Film Location Agreement is executed, all insurance requirements are fulfilled, where appropriate, a Credit Application Form completed and all other relevant requests for information have been satisfied.

Filming is usually not permitted between Midnight and 7.00 am. However, in some instances permission may be granted. Refer to Film Geelong's Guidelines for Filming and Stills Photography for details regarding the alteration of curfew hours as well as specific requirements and responsibilities that must be met while filming in the City of Greater Geelong.

The following principles apply to fee structures:

A standard fee is applied for filming in the municipality limited to those areas under the City's jurisdiction. A lower fee applies to commercial stills photography.

There is an initial charge for the first day of filming for any one project. A daily rate applies for any subsequent days. The phrase 'any one project' relates to one feature film, one television commercial, or one season of a television serial. Location fees are subject to an annual review and may alter accordingly.

  • Film and film-related activity $200 for the first day // $100 for each subsequent day
  • Commercial Stills Photography $100 for the first day // $50 for each subsequent day

This fee schedule is subject to an annual review and may alter accordingly.

The City may choose to impose a "Bond" for the use of Council property during any filming activity. The bond is a refundable security deposit paid to the City subject to the terms and conditions of the permit. A bond may be applied based on an assessment of risk to, or adverse impact on Council property, and to ensure that the Production Company follows the terms and conditions in the Guidelines for Filming and Stills Photography and the Location Agreement. The bond may be negotiated before the commencement of filming and will be returned at the conclusion, subject to any claim for damages.

All costs associated with clearing litter and other waste generated by their activities, and for any damage to parks, irrigation, roads and other Council property will be borne by the Production Company.

The Producer shall restore the location to its pre-existing condition by the conclusion of filming to the satisfaction of the City. If such restoration works are not undertaken to the standard required by the City, Council may at the cost of the Producer in all respects undertake or have undertaken by independent contractors restoration works. The Producer will pay the cost of such restoration works to the City within seven days of a request in writing by the City. The City may, if it so determines, apply the amount of the Bond (if applicable) paid by the Producer in payment or part payment as the case may be of such works.

Emerging film-makers, students and projects of demonstrable community benefit are eligible for a fee waiver. The City of Greater Geelong treats this support as a sponsorship. The film-maker is required to acknowledge the City in the end credits. Sponsorship must be requested in writing and the Manager, Marketing and Administration is delegated with the authority to approve sponsorship. The location acknowledgment will read 'Filmed in the City of Greater Geelong' or 'Thanks to the City of Greater Geelong'.

Fee waivers may apply to:

Projects of demonstrable community benefit
Projects related to charitable activities
Documentaries which are specific to the cultural heritage of the City of Greater Geelong, and
Emerging producers and/or directors who have made no more than two films.
Fee waivers will generally only be available once. Fees will not be waived retrospectively. Permit fees are not charged for wedding photography, news and current affairs purposes.

The delegation of authority for issuing permits, entering into agreements and fee charges rests with the Manager, Marketing and Administration, who reports to the General Manager, Corporate Services. In the event of a dispute or difference arising in the interpretation of this policy, the decision of the General Manager, Corporate Services shall be final and conclusive.

All applications for a filming approval permit are required to provide evidence of appropriate public liability insurance (a minimum of $10,000,000 is to be taken out by the applicant) through presentation of a Certificate of Currency prior to a permit being issued.

Film applications using the services of student performers are required to provide evidence of appropriate specialised risk insurance or workcover. All filming activity must comply with common law.

For further details on risk, liability, indemnity and insurance, refer to the City's Guidelines for Filming and Stills Photography or contact the City's Film and Television Officer.

A Risk Management Plan shall be prepared by the applicant in accordance with relevant Australian Standards, identifying any potential hazards and actions to mitigate those risks associated with on-location filming activity. For further details on risk, liability, indemnity and insurance see the City's Guidelines for Filming and Stills Photography.

If required by the City, all residents and businesses within the vicinity of the filming location are to be notified in writing by the Producer at least three (3) days before filming begins. This notification must include the name of a contact person on site to handle complaints, details of the filming including whether firearms, stunts or explosives are to be used, start and finish times for set up and filming. The Producer shall be solely responsible for the liaison with and negotiation of compensation with any affected businesses and residents if required.

All costs associated with clearing litter and other waste generated by their activities, and for any damage to parks, irrigation, roads and other Council property will be borne by the Production Company.

The Film and Television Officer will evaluate the performance of the applicant during the permit application process and during filming for future reference.

Filming activity impacts on many Council business units. Liaison is often required with the following business units: Events, Marketing, Local Laws and Traffic, Economic Development, Geelong Otway Tourism, Arts and Culture, Building Services, Traffic Engineering, Statutory Planning, Geelong Waterfront, Central Geelong Management, Risk Management, Finance and Administration, Parks, Community Development and Open Spaces Planning and Development.

Collaboration and effective communication are essential factors in providing a good service to the film industry. Internal liaison between all of these business units to support filming activity is essential in the provision of an efficient, effective service which develops and maintains excellent relationships between the film industry, the City and its residents, businesses and visitors.

In the majority of applications the location fee charged covers the full service provided by the City. A user pays system applies where additional City services are required.

The City will not be held responsible as to any interference to the necessary works arising from a location exterior to the location(s) used and not caused or controlled by the City.

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