Welcome to FilmApp DeKalb

The DeKalb Entertainment Commission is the official film office for Unincorporated DeKalb County, GA.

To support DeKalb County’s rapidly expanding film industry, the DeKalb Entertainment Commission has streamlined the permitting process for film productions with the launch of our new online application software FilmApp DeKalb. In addition to streamlining the permitting process for film productions in Unincorporated DeKalb County, the DeKalb Entertainment Commission will also be responsible for the following:

  • Coordinating the issuance of permits to productions filming in Unincorporated DeKalb County
  • Facilitating communication between producers and county agencies
  • Minimizing potential inconveniences to local residents and businesses affected by film production
  • Partnering with the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office and other partners to market DeKalb County as a leading center for film, culture, and entertainment
  • Managing and promoting the initiatives of the DeKalb Entertainment Commission

NOTE: A film permit is NOT required for filming on public property for newsgathering purposes. This exemption includes the following: current news productions, including reporters, photographers or cameramen in the employment of a newspaper, news service, broadcasting station or similar entity engaged in the broadcasting of news events; productions conducted by the DeKalb School System or other government organizations; filming associated with any rallies, protests, and demonstrations taking place on public property without obtaining a filming permit. Please see the filming ordinance to your right for more information.

The process and fees are different for student filmmakers. Please download the fee schedule to your right for more information. Students will need to provide proof of current enrollment to receive the student rates.

Before you get started, review the checklist below for necessary guidelines and helpful information to have a successful film shoot in Unincorporated DeKalb County.  All of the supplementary forms you will need can be found to your right.

We know you have a choice to film anywhere, and we thank you for choosing DeKalb County as the location for your creative vision.

Best Wishes for a great shoot!

The DeKalb Entertainment Commission Office Hours:
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM EST
Monday - Friday

A film permit shall be submitted three (3) days or 72 hours in advance of the proposed shoot date.  A rush fee shall be assessed to permits submitted with less than three days processing time.  Applications or documents submitted after the close of business (5:30 PM EST) on any given day will not be counted as RECEIVED until the next business day. Ex. A traffic control plan submitted with an application on a Tuesday at 6:15 PM EST will be counted as received on Wednesday.  A complete fee schedule is available for download from the menu on the right. 
The online credit card payment gateway accepts VISA, MASTER CARD and DISCOVER.



PRODUCTION ELEMENTS CHECKLIST

A FILM PERMIT APPLICATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL FILM ACTIVITY OCCURRING IN UNINCORPORATED DEKALB COUNTY

Additionally, filming activity that occurs containing any of the following elements will require a permit:

  • Filming outdoors between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM within a 300-foot radius of a dwelling unit, residence, place of worship, or business
  • Filming on public property and/or in buildings that are owned by the county and not leased to a third party, or in a building of which the county is a lessee
  • Filming requiring setup of barricades, street closure, lane closure, or sidewalk closure
  • Occupation of the right-of-way
  • Use of Pyrotechnics or other explosives
  • Smoke effects, water effects, or flame effects
  • Use of any equipment that can be potentially dangerous
  • Display or use of real or artificial firearms, grenades, or other weaponry
  • Vehicle chases and/or crashes
  • Dangerous stunts that have a reasonable likelihood of causing substantial personal injury
  • Use of equipment that has a reasonable likelihood of causing damage to public property
  • Filming that includes sound as defined and regulated by the DeKalb County Noise Ordinance
  • Use or presence of any animal which is naturally inclined to do harm or capable of inflicting serious harm upon human beings, or any animal whose possession or sale is prohibited by federal, state, or local law
  • Use of temporary structures (tents) or generators
  • Use of intellectual property belonging to DeKalb County
  • Use of public property that is owned or maintained by the Department of Watershed Management
  • Filming in a park, school or building maintained by DeKalb County, Georgia. 
 
GETTING STARTED CHECKLIST:

Completed On-Line Film Permit Application with all signature pages fully executed:
  • Indemnity Page completed and signed
  • Copy of one-page notification letter sent to residents and businesses within a 300-foot radius of the requested closure(s) or filming location (list the time and date of road/lane or sidewalk closures)
  • Sensitive areas require signatures from residents and businesses. You shall be alerted if your desired location is designated as a sensitive area in Unincorporated DeKalb County. If you have further questions, please call Shelbia Jackson at the DeKalb Entertainment Commission.
  • Filming occurring between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am shall require a noise ordinance waiver requiring signatures from residences and businesses within a 100-foot radius of the impacted area.
  • A signed, dated letter from the applicant listing the addresses and date of delivery of notification letter (s). 
  • Traffic control plan and/or detour route (ONLY if application includes request for FULL street, lane, or sidewalk closure)
  • There shall be seven (7) day advance notice of FULL ROAD CLOSURE request and  three (3) day advance notice of lane closure requests
  • Shall include number of lanes to be closed on a street, length of closures (list between streets), detour route for full road closures and necessary signage
  • Shall follow MUTCD (Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices) guidelines; Please use the link: MUTCD; please call the office if further clarification is needed NO HAND-DRAWN PLANS SHALL BE ACCEPTED
  • Certificate of insurance naming DeKalb County, GA,1300 Commerce Dr. Decatur GA 30030 as certificate holder
    • A film permit will not be issued without a certificate of insurance 
    • Minimum Insurance Requirements:  $1M general liability, $1M automotive liability, $1M worker’s compensation & employer’s liability coverage.  
      • An increase in coverage minimum requirements may be necessary if project activity substantially increases liability levels; i.e. usage of helicopters, drones, complicated stunt work.  If an increase in minimum coverage is necessary, applicant/production shall be notified during the project review process
         
DeKalb Fire Marshal Policy:
An FMO Preliminary site inspection is required for ALL film sets and should be coordinated with a minimum 24-hour advance notice to be performed during normal business hours.  The assigned FMO Inspector will verify applicable tent separation, generator, and cooking equipment, as well as other applicable NFPA 140, NFPA 10, and IFC conditions/requirements.  Please assure site set-up is complete upon FMO Site Inspection.  Please provide contact information for the site supervisor upon scheduling and confirm that representation from the production will be available on site during the walk-thru.  If applicable for specific hazardous activities, an FSP shall be provided, in accordance with NFPA 140, by Fire Marshal Office Staff only, or if approved, by the Fire Marshall, DeKalb County Fire Rescue Staff.  To schedule your inspection, contact JoAnne Saunders, Inspection Office Administrator at dekalbFMO@dekalbcountyga.gov or 404.371.6208.
 
DeKalb County Police Policy:
Contact the DeKalb County Police Coordinator to secure police coverage for your film shoot.  Based on the circumstances of the shoot, the applicant shall be required to hire off-duty POST-certified police officers as determined and directed by the DeKalb Entertainment Commission and the DeKalb County Police Department based solely on public safety considerations. These officers shall have the jurisdictional authority to enforce DeKalb County ordinances and State of Georgia law.  The DeKalb County Police Department will not assess a separate "coordination fee" for the use of their off-duty Officers; however, the following is the general pay information for the use of Off-Duty Officers.  The Officer(s) Flat rate fee is a minimum of $40 per hour with a four-hour minimum.  Any event lasting over four hours shall be charged an additional fee of $40 per hour.  For productions requiring multiple Officers, there will be a designated "Lead Officer" who may have a flat rate fee of a minimum of $50 per hour with a four-hour minimum.  Payment shall be made by the production company directly to the officer performing Police Safety Duties.  Payment shall be made immediately after the completion of a work cycle or immediately after completion of “police safety duties” as mutually determined by both parties.  48-hour advance notice is required for all schedule changes. If there is no notice of cancellation within 48 hours, Police Safety Officer (PSO) will be paid based on the minimum time requested $160.  Any requests made within 24-hours of the shoot time will be assessed at a minimum of $50 per hour (Lead Officer at $60 per hour).   Please be advised that 24-hour requests are not guaranteed.  A permit will be denied if proper police coverage is not confirmed. The DeKalb County Police Coordinator is Lieutenant M.C. Harden, Support Services Division – Auxiliary Services, and his email is mcharden@dekalbcountyga.gov should you have any questions about this section.

DeKalb Water Meter Rentals:
Fire hydrant meters can be rented by completing an online application, providing a copy of your film permit at 774 Jordan Lane, Decatur, GA 30033.  After completing the application process and paying the $600.00 deposit, a meter can be picked up and returned at 1580 Roadhaven Dr., Stone Mountain, GA 30083.  Please note that there is a $28 monthly rental charge and a required reporting of usage per month. Any questions concerning the hydrant rental program should submit inquiries to hydrantrental@dekalbcountyga.gov or call (404) 371-2677 or (404) 371-2697.  The fire hydrant meter rental application is available to your right.

Filming on Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Property:
Include a site plan under the Supporting Documents section if your application includes a county park. A screenshot of Google Maps indicating where you would like to film is sufficient. The DeKalb County Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs charges the following fees for filming on park property:
  • Commercial Feature Film, Video or Television Production - $1,200 for eight hours, $100 each hour thereafter
  • Documentary - $100 per hour
  • Public Service Announcement - $50 per hour
  • Student Filming/Photography – Free if not-for-profit, otherwise $50 per hour
  • Commercial Still Photography - $100 per hour
  • For parking services only for base camp, crew or trucks - $500 per day
DeKalb County School System Film Policy:  
In Order to rent space in DeKalb County School Facilities you will need to do the following:
  • Submit your request 14 days prior to the event start date
  • Provide Insurance - Minimum $1,000,000 general liability or public liability for each occurrence/aggregate
  • Submit to a criminal background check by the DeKalb County School District Department of Public Safety at 5861 Memorial Dr., Stone Mountain, GA 30083
  • Obtain written approval from the school principal
  • To gain access to available spaces for rent, please click on the link below and register

Filming at the DeKalb County Superior Courthouse:
Filming at the DeKalb County Superior Courthouse requires the hiring of off-duty Sheriff personnel to provide security for the duration of filming in any Courthouse space.  Filming of any signage, photographs or portraits that might identify the building or courtroom as DeKalb County property and the security equipment or procedures is strictly prohibited.  
For more information please contact:  Cathy W. McCumber, Court Administrator, DeKalb Superior Court, 404-371-4901

Filming at the DeKalb County Jail:
Please direct all inquires regarding filming restrictions at the DeKalb County Jail  to Cynthia Baugh Williams, Public Information Officer, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office - 4415 Memorial Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30032  E: cbwilli@dekalbcountyga.gov  P: 404.298.8144 C: 678.548.3923


Filming in a DeKalb County Owned Facility:
Managed independently by departments and may include a fee.  Please contact the DeKalb Entertainment Commission Office for location information.

GDOT Film Policy:
A permit is required for use of the right-of-way on all Georgia State Routes for film purposes. Permits are issued by the various District Traffic Operations Offices. If locations requested are in multiple Districts, a separate Permit must be issued for each District.  Please follow the link for more information.  http://www.dot.ga.gov/PS/Permits 
GDOT Contact:  Michelle Meeks, Metro Atlanta District 7 Traffic Specialist, 770-216-3894 
Email: mmeeks@dot.ga.gov


MARTA Film Policy & Application:
Be sure that all sidewalk, lane and road closures do not impede MARTA bus routes, bus stops or transit stations.  Visit http://www.itsmarta.com/Default.aspx for access to MARTA Transit maps and schedules. A signed license agreement is required to film any commercial photography, television shows, short features or any other film projects on MARTA Property. MARTA will approve or reject the filmmaker's request based on how the project will affect the normal transit service schedule.  Be aware that all film requests must be submitted at least 30 days before filming begins. Please follow the link for more information.  http://www.itsmarta.com/photography-and-film.aspx 
MARTA Contact:  Stephany Fisher, Communications Manager, 404-848-5157 
Email: sfisher@marta.com


Contact the DeKalb Entertainment Commission for more information at
 404.793.1368 or via email at production@dekalbentertainment.com