Amador County Filming Regulations

1. Advance Notice for Approval: An applicant will be required to submit a permit request at least one working day prior to the date on which such person desires to conduct an activity for which a permit is required. If such activity interferes with traffic or involves potential public safety hazards, an application may be required at last two working days in advance.

2. Clean Up: The permitee shall conduct operations in an orderly fashion with continuous attention to the storage of equipment not in use and the cleanup of trash and debris. The area used shall be cleaned of trash and debris upon completion of shooting at the scene and restored to the original condition before leaving the site.

3. Filming On Private Property: An applicant is required to obtain the property owner's permission, consent, and/or lease for use of property not owned or controlled by the city or county.

4. Flood Control: When filming in a flood control channel, an applicant must vacate channel when permit indicates because of water releases. Please note that when filming in or on flood control properties, the agency must be named as an additional insured.

5. Public Works Department (Roads and Streets): If the applicant must park equipment, trucks, and/or cars in zones what will not permit it, temporary "No Parking" signs must be posted by the city/county. The application must also obtain permission to string cable across sidewalks, or from generator to service point.

6. Traffic Control: a. An applicant shall furnish and install advance warning signs and any other traffic control devices in conformance with the Manual of Traffic Controls, State of California Department of Transportation. All appropriate safety precautions must be taken. b. Traffic may be restricted to one 12-foot lane of traffic and/or stopped intermittently. The period of time that traffic may be restricted will be determined by the city/county/state law enforcement assigned. c. Unless authorized by the law enforcement officer assigned, traffic shall not be detoured across a double line, camera cars must be driven in the direction of traffic and everyone must observe all traffic laws. d. Any emergency road work or construction by city/county/state crews or private contractors, under permit or contract to the appropriate department, shall have priority over filming activities.

7. Campfires: When a scene requires a fire or campfire, a gas jet must be used. No fires other than gas jets will be allowed unless the area is equipped with fire rings and burning is permitted.

8. Parking Lots: When parking in a parking lot, applicants may be billed at the current rate schedule established by the city/county. In order to assure the safety of citizens in the surrounding community, access roads which serve as emergency service roads, must never be blocked.

5.16.010 Definitions. "Amador County film commission" shall mean the Amador County film commission which shall be composed of a maximum of ten residents of Amador County appointed by resolution of the board of supervisors. The term of each commission member shall be for one year expiring on June 30th of each year.

"Amador County film commissioner" or "film commissioner" shall be the chairman of the Amador County film commission and shall administer this chapter subject to supervision and review as deemed necessary by the board of supervisors. The term of the film commissioner shall be for one year expiring on June 30th of each year.

"Charitable films" shall mean commercials, motion pictures, television, video tapes, or still photography produced by a nonprofit organization, which qualifies under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a charitable organization. No person, directly or indirectly, shall receive a profit from the marketing and production of the film or from showing the films, tapes or photos.

"Motion picture, television, still photography" shall mean and include all activity attendants to staging or shooting commercial motion pictures, television shows or programs, videos, and commercials.

"News media" shall mean the filming or videotaping for the purpose of television news broadcast by reporters, photographers or camera personnel. (Ord. 1415 §1(part), 1996).

5.16.020 Permits and Exemptions.

A. Permit Required. No person shall use any public or private property, facility or residence for the purpose of taking commercial motion pictures or television pictures of commercial still photography without first applying for and receiving a permit from the film commissioner designated by the Amador County.

B. Exemptions. 1. News Media. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to or affect reporter photographers or cameramen in the employ of a newspaper, news service, or similar entity engaged in the on-the-spot broadcasting of news events concerning those persons, scenes or occurrences which are in the news and of general public interest, including sporting events. 2. The filming or video taping of motion pictures solely for private/family use. 3. Charitable Films. Projects which qualify under Section 502 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 4. If the crew does not exceed five persons and there is no extensive use of props, equipment, cast or other participants. The following guidelines apply to this exemption: a. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic cannot be altered. The company must work with the conditions that exist. Intermittent traffic control is not permitted under this exemption. b. If the company is covering a parade, demonstration or other special event the exemption merely allows them to operate on the same basis as a citizen with a camera. The company must obtain all permission that may be required. c. Camera tripods can be used if they do not interfere with pedestrian traffic and do not block doors, passageways, etc. d. This exemption does not allow the use of a cast in the normal sense of the word in the industry. A host(s), moderator(s), or performer(s) may interact with people. An additional person may be used and not be considered part of the five person crew. The key element is that it must not interfere with normal street activities. e. No special parking provisions can be included with this exemption. f. Stunt work is not allowed under this exemption. g. Special effects are not allowed under this exemption. h. Amador County property, other than sidewalks and streets, can be used only with permission of the controlling authority. Park directors, for example, must agree to the activity. i. Private property requires approval by the owner. (Ord. 1415 §2(part), 1996). BACK TO TOP

5.16.030 Rules and Regulations. A. Change of Date. Upon request of the applicant, the issuing authority shall have the power, upon a showing of good cause, to change the date for which the permit has been issued provided established limitations are complied with in respect to time and location.

B. Rules. The designated Amador County film commissioner is authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations, subject to approval by resolution of the council, governing the form, time, and location of any filming activity set forth within the Amador County. He/she shall also provide for the issuance of permits. The rules and regulations shall be based upon the following criteria: 1. The health and safety of all persons; 2. Avoidance of undue disruption of all persons within the affected area; 3. The safety of property within the Amador County, and; 4. Traffic congestion at particular locations within the Amador County.

C. Notification to Affected Property Owners. All property owners will be notified in writing, in person, or by public notice of any activity that would impact their property, business, or person (i.e., road closures - public notice, private property activity - written permission from the property owner. (Ord. 1415 §3(part), 1996).

5.16.040 Applicants and Issuance. A. Issuing Authority. The issuing authority shall be the Amador County film commissioner. B. Applications. The following information shall be included in the application: 1. The applicant’s name, address and telephone number of place of business; 2. A general statement of the character of nature of the proposed filming activity; 3. The inclusive hours and dates such activity will transpire; 4. The specific location of each activity schedules; 5. The type of activity scheduled for that day and time; 6. The exact number of personnel to be involved; 7. Use of any animal or pyrotechnics; 8. The exact amount and type of vehicles and equipment to be involved.

C. Reimbursement for Personnel. The production company shall reimburse the Amador County for any personnel provided to the company (i.e. police, fire traffic control, medical personnel) for the purpose of assisting the production. Any cost shall be negotiated, and approved of, prior to shoot date. A fee for issuance of the permit shall be set by resolution of the board of supervisors. (Ord. 1415 §4(part), 1996).

5.16.050 Liability Provisions. A. Liability Insurance. Before a permit is issued, a certificate of insurance will be required in an amount no less that one million dollars naming the Amador County as coinsured for protection against claims of third persons for personal injuries, wrongful deaths, and property damage. The Amador County film commission, Amador County officers and employees shall be named as additional insured. The certificate shall not be subject to cancellation or modification until after thirty days’ written notice to the Amador County. Prior to issuance of any permit a copy of the certificate of insurance shall be provided to the county risk manager. A copy of the certificate will remain on file. B. Worker’s Compensation Insurance. An applicant shall conform to all applicable federal and state requirements for worker’s compensation insurance for all persons operating under a permit. C. Hold Harmless Agreement. An applicant shall execute a hold harmless agreement as provided by the Amador County and incorporated within the permit issued under this chapter. D. Faithful Performance Bond. To ensure cleanup and restoration of the site, an applicant may be required to post a refundable faithful performance bond (amount to be determined) at the time application is submitted. Upon completion of filming and a satisfactory inspection of the site by Amador County film commissioner, the bond may be returned to the applicant. (Ord. 1415 §5(part), 1996).

5.16.060 Violation. If applicant violates any provision or violates conditions of this chapter or a permit issued pursuant thereto, the Amador County may cancel the permit. Violation of the terms and condition of the film permit is considered a misdemeanor. (Ord. 1415 §6(part), 1996).