At the heart of all successful filming is an effective collaboration – not only among the crew, but just as importantly, between the filmmaker and the community: local residents, local councils, local businesses and other Government agencies.

This Code of Conduct aims to reinforce positive relationships between filmmakers and the general community by detailing a ‘best practice’ guide to location filming. It was developed in consultation with key industry guilds and associations to reflect the professional standards of Australian screen practitioners.
The filmmaker’s responsibilities and obligations are further recognised under The Local Government Filming Protocol, which is essential accompanying reading.

Successful location filming depends on constructive relations with affected members of the community. This imposes obligations on all involved in the
production to respect the local community and ensure that despite any inconvenience, their experience is not an unpleasant one.



Obtain relevant approvals for the activity to be conducted. Advise residents and businesses in the area by letter box drop of what is planned, when and where.
Include details and conditions of the filming approval and provide a contact name and number at the production office and the location.
The letters should be delivered in time for people to make further inquiries if they feel the need.
When filming for an extended period or undertaking activities with a high impact on community amenity, allow for community feedback on the proposed arrangements.
When filming on private land, the local council, police and community must be notified of the filming activity, even if specific approvals for filming are not required.
Particular consideration needs to be given to businesses whose trade could be adversely affected by filming activities.

Brief cast and crew on special conditions

The film crew should all be thoroughly briefed on the nature and practical application of the approval given and any conditions or requirements attached to
the filming activity whether by agreement with the owners of the location or other property owners or imposed by the local council or other relevant authority.


Contact the local council early on to organise parking plans for essential vehicles and unit set up and see if there is a need for a traffic management plan.
Consult directly with the community over parking issues where appropriate. This may include arranging alternative parking for residents and assistance in access to vehicles and transport arrangements in some high density residential locations.

Health and Safety and risk assessment

Carry out hazard and risk assessments of any locations or premises to be used for filming or film related activities. A location shoot is a workplace and occupational health and safety requirements must be observed.
Make sure the production has appropriate levels of public liability insurance and all necessary licenses and permits relating to filming activities.



All crew, cast and extras must park in accordance with normal requirements unless special arrangements have been approved by the local council or Police.
Vehicles associated with the production should comply with traffic and parking regulations and not park in disabled parking spots, driveways or restricted zones.
Find nearby parking spaces for non-essential vehicles if you are going to be at a location for a number of days.
Trucks should not be parked in front of active restaurants. Generator trucks should not be parked in front of residential buildings. Make sure that trucks and other vehicles fit under trees to avoid damage to branches.


Keep noise to a minimum, particularly when arriving in a neighbourhood before 7am or during night shoots. Make sure generators are silenced.
Truck engines should not be left idling under residents’ windows. Avoid playing car radios loudly, and be aware of the noise level of walkie-talkies near residences and businesses. Get appropriate permissions for music play back.


Production personnel must co-operate with state agencies and local council to maintain efficient traffic flows and the safety of other road users.
Traffic stopping and traffic diversions must be carried out by properly authorised personnel and in accordance with a traffic management plan agreed by local council and if necessary RTA. Pedestrian traffic should not be obstructed at any time unless stipulated in the permit and all cables are to be channeled neatly and safely.

Shops and Businesses

Do not loiter in front of shops or residences and block the access of the local community.
Do not block buildings or keep equipment in front of buildings that are not working directly with the shoot. Do not stack equipment in front of closed shop fronts when there is an early call – the business owners will need to open on time, and receive deliveries. Crews should be encouraged to patronise local businesses during breaks.

Evidence of permits on site

Copies of local council and other approvals should be available on location at all times. They should be held by the location manager or the unit manager, who should be identifiable by all crew members.
The Production must comply with the provisions of approvals.
Consult with the local council or other approving authority if there are material changes to filming plans, in case an amended approval is required.

Emergency and essential services access

Access to fire exits or utilities (e.g. electricity, water, telephone lines) and emergency vehicle access must not be impeded.

Maintain regular communication

Maintain regular communication with the local council or approving authority’s Film Contact Officer and report any damage to the site as soon as possible.
Be available to verify that the conditions of approval are met.

Removal of litter

Remove all litter before the end of each day’s filming.

Risk management and occupational health and safety

Abide by film industry safety practices, especially in relation to special effects, stunts and the use of firearms and weapons.


Leave the location clean and tidy and in its pre-filming condition.
Only leave fixtures and fittings at the location where this is requested or approved by the local council.

Report any damage

Undertake a site inspection with the council or approving authority’s Film Contact Officer if required.

Thank you for honouring this Code of Conduct. The implications of lack of compliance are significant. This may be in relation to public safety, community support and council cooperation, as well as to future filmmakers who will follow in the location footsteps of other productions. Failure to comply may also result in the revocation of the relevant approvals associated with filming.