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FAQs

Information about ABQ Film Office Frequently Asked Questions.

Productions

  • What are the Filming Guidelines & Code of Conduct?
    The Filming Guidelines & Code of Conduct are standards and expectations that productions must adhere to when producing content in Albuquerque city limits. The Filming Guidelines & Code of Conduct help to ensure safety and well-being of the community, our residents and the productions. The Filming Guidelines & Code of Conduct must be read and signed by each production, and returned to the Albuquerque Film Office before filming can begin.
  • Why do I need a permit to film in Albuquerque?
    Permits are required for production on all City property (streets, sidewalks, facilities, lots and structures) and sensitive areas such as historical sites.
  • How do I submit a permit?
    Go to “How to obtain a permit” for step-by-step instructions to film permitting in the City of Albuquerque.
  • My production crew is small. Do I still need a permit?
    Yes.  Filming activity on City property will require a permit, regardless of size or type of production. However, if you are a small crew of six or less and using only a camera and tripod on set, you may be eligible for a Blanket Permit. Call or email the Albuquerque Film Office for more information.
  • Do I need production insurance to get a film permit?
    Yes. Visit “Permits & Insurance” for all information about required insurance for permitting.
  • How many days in advance should I apply for permits?
    Permits are required for production on all City property - streets, sidewalks, lots, facilities, and structures. It is required that a permit and other required documents are submitted 72 business hours, not including holidays or weekends, prior to any filming activities including move-in, move-out of filming location, basecamp, crew parking, equipment set up/removal, crew arrival, filming, and rehearsal. A permit including any kind of closure or intermittent traffic control (ITC) on Central Avenue must be submitted 7 business days in advance, not including holidays or weekends.
  • When do I need to create a neighborhood notification letter?
    Productions are responsible for communicating with businesses and residents in and around the filming, base camp, and crew parking locations. Letters of notification are the primary source of information for businesses and residents and are required for all permitted filming activities in the Albuquerque city limits. The Albuquerque Film Office recommends that letters of notification be distributed to surrounding homes and/or businesses even if a film permit is not required.
  • Are there permits or regulations for drone filming?
    The Albuquerque Film Office does not issue drone permits. All drone activity for filming must be approved by the Federal FAA as there are some very important safety guides in place. For more information, visit www.faa.gov.
  • If I apply for the same time and location as another production, who gets to film there?
    If both productions are willing and able, it is encouraged that they to work together for each to production to work in that location. If an agreement cannot be made, the production whose permit was received first is given priority for the location.
  • What should I do if I have to add a last-minute change to my permit?
    If you need to make a change due to weather, sickness, or another unforeseen event, contact the Albuquerque Film Office as soon as possible. Last minute changes, and specifically those involving road closures or intermittent traffic control (ITC) are not guaranteed.

Community

  • Can a production company film anywhere?
    When filming on City property, production companies must follow the Film Guidelines & Code of Conduct. If filming is on private property, the production is responsible for working out an agreement with the property owner.
  • Can a production company film at any time, night or day?
    Normal hours for filming are between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. If a film production company wishes to film outside of these hours, they must follow special notification guidelines with the neighborhood, and obtain a noise permit from the City of Albuquerque Department of Environmental Health.
  • What is a film permit?
    The City of Albuquerque offers productions a one-stop film permitting process, where representatives from various City departments review and approve film permits. City departments involved include the Albuquerque Film Office, Environmental Health, Police, Fire, Transit, Solid Waste, Municipal Development, and some others depending on the nature of the filming.
  • What vehicles are allowed in the neighborhood?
    Only “working trucks” may park in a neighborhood. “Working trucks” are those defined as vehicles that are vital to the making of the film, such as camera, props, grip and light, semis, and extra-large trailers. Other vehicles are often parked at a nearby base camp.
  • What is "Base Camp"?
    All other vehicles that are not essential to the actual filming are located in a Base Camp. Base camps house crew parking (which can be a significant number of cars), honeywagons (portable bathrooms), star trailers, and a catering tent. Most base camps are in parking lots, keeping a lot of vehicles off neighborhood streets.
  • Is it okay for a truck to block a driveway?
    Not unless it has been agreed upon by the property owner, who will then receive a location or usage fee.
  • Is it okay for a truck to block a fire hydrant?
    Never. Unless it’s a firetruck.
  • Is it okay for crew to stand in my front yard?
    Not unless it has been previously agreed upon by the property owner, who will then receive a location or usage fee.
  • Can I watch the filming?
    Yes. However respect the set, do not take photos or video, be very quiet and keep a respectable distance.
  • I have some questions about what's going on. Who can I talk to?
    The Production Assistant or Security Personnel who are around the parameter of the set.
  • Why is the shoot day so long?
    A lot of crew andequipment are involved in setting up shots. A normal work day is 12 – 14 hours long. It makes economic sense to get as much shot in one day as possible.
  • How do I list my property as a film location?
    You can list your property on the New Mexico State Film Office’s Locations Database at www.nmfilm.com.
  • How much will a production pay to use my property?
    It can depend on a multitude of variables including the property, the production, the degree of alteration, and the quantity of time.
  • What should I expect when a production films on my property?
    You will work with the Locations Department to come to an agreement on all matters of the contract. Sometimes a production will want to make alterations to your property, such as painting or rearranging. It is standard practice for the production to remediate any alterations to your property.
  • How can I tell if a production is legitimate?
    If you are contacted by a production about using your property for filming, and would like to make sure they are a legitimate company, you can contact the Albuquerque Film Office at (505) 768-3289 or the New Mexico Film Office at (505) 476-5600.
  • Do businesses, neighborhoods, and neighborhood associations get notified about filming nearby?
    Productions are responsible for communicating with businesses and residents in and around the filming. Letters of notification are the primary source of information for businesses and residents and are required for all permitted filming activities in the Albuquerque city limits. The Albuquerque Film Office recommends that letters of notification be distributed to surrounding home and/or businesses even if a film permit is not required.The Albuquerque Film Office forwards the affected City Councilors and Neighborhood Associations a copy of the Letter of Notification.
  • How soon is a production required to notify the neighborhood before filming?
    Notification letters must be distributed by the production at least 48 hours in advance of filming.
  • What happens when a production conducts Intermittent Traffic Control (ITC)?
    With the help of a police officer or certified flag, a production may hold traffic for up to 5 minutes at a time.
  • What happens when a production has a road closure?
    Road closures are manned at all times by law enforcement to allow for emergency vehicle access, and access for local residents. There will also be a detour in place for all other vehicles.
  • What do I do if a production is negatively impacting my business?
    Get in touch with the production’s Assistant Location Manager or Location Manager listed on the film notice. Productions are always willing to work with business owners within reason. If the issue is not resolved, you can contact the Albuquerque Film Office at (505) 768-3289.
  • How can I list my business’ services for film/TV productions?
    You can list your business in the New Mexico State Film Office’s Industry Directory at www.nmfilm.com.