By Lauren Kyger
While filming my story on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I had an interesting run-in with the Los Angeles Police Department. I was in the midst of filming a costumed entertainer when a police car pulled over and asked if I had a permit to film on Hollywood Boulevard. In Phoenix, sidewalks are considered public property so I didn’t think twice bringing my camera and tripod to the Walk of Fame.
The officers informed me that I needed a permit from Film L.A. in order to proceed and took down a classmate’s information as well as our professor’s name. The officers told us to stop filming immediately and warned that if they saw us filming on the Walk of Fame again, we would be issued a citation.
When I returned to Phoenix, I researched Film L.A. What I discovered was it is a private, not-for-profit organization created by the City and County of Los Angeles with the motto “filmmakers are our customers, governments are our clients, and local communities are our concern.”
After digging on the website I found a special section “for students only” that involved rights for student filming in Los Angeles. The requirement for a permit includes registering on Film L.A’s website, a labor-intensive seven-step process, proof of insurance and up to $90 in fees.
This mandate for a permit falls under Los Angeles County Code § 22.56.1925 which states, “an application for a temporary use (filming) permit must be filed for on-location filming within all unincorporated county areas, on both public and private property.”
Consider this a lesson learned by a poor journalism student who has never been stopped and scolded for filming on a sidewalk. Yes, things work a little differently in Tinseltown.