Film, Television and Media Resources and Partners
These resources are for professionals in the film, television and media industry.
The resources below are to help you navigate city or county jurisdictions.
State permit requirements
No state film permits are required and no city or federal permits are issued out of the state office. Please refer to the resources below.
City or town permit requirements
Permitting is regulated through the planning office for each jurisdiction. Not all cities in Colorado have official film permits. If you cannot find details for a film or photography permit, call the city planning office.
The following metro-area permit applications are available online. The cost of the permit does not cover additional expenses you may incur for closing streets or utilizing additional city or park resources. For further questions, please call the permitting office of each jurisdiction.
City of Denver Office of Special Events
Cost: A damage deposit may be required
Boulder County Film Commission
Cost: Varies by location
Colorado Springs Film Commission
Other permit requirements
You may be required to request permits for uses if your filming will be in state or federal lands such as parks and national forests.
The Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media does not hire or get directly involved in the hiring of crew or any other position for productions. However, we do host a Colorado Film Crew and Support Services Directory that we direct film companies to.
The best way to become an extra is to contact talent agencies such as those listed in our directory. Productions often list cast and crew calls under our casting calls blog, social media, Craigslist, and radio announcements.
To qualify as an in-state resident, you must live in Colorado for at least 90 days prior to getting hired on a production.
Because of confidentiality and client relationships, we cannot give out personal contact information for producers or directors on any projects. You might also consider submitting your resume to a local line producer or unit production manager, as they are in charge of hiring local crew. If you are a film union or guild member, your organization may have additional information on upcoming productions.
Other resources include:
There are different sources of money used to finance film production, and most films use a combination of each type.
Sources of finance
There is no direct course for finding a film investor. Equity can be accessed most easily by family, friends, or individuals interested in your cause. You can also research philanthropists or start-up investors in your area and try to break into those networks.
Crowdfunding has shown large success with small and larger budget films. There are many resources online, including the crowdfunding sites that help you achieve your fundraising goal. If it is too difficult to finance your entire budget with crowdfunding, consider raising a portion of the funds online in order to create a sizzle reel or hire an experienced casting director to secure talent. Securing experienced talent early in the process will help to create access to more capital from other sources.
The foreign distribution market is ever-changing and can be tricky for a beginner to navigate. Ideally, you would find a foreign sales agent who believes in your project. Consider researching foreign sales agents of films similar to your project (usually found on IMDB) to understand the brand identity of different agents and sales companies.
State or federal tax credits are generally not as hard to attain as other types of financing; however, they do require projects to be partially or fully financed. Tax credits and rebates are performance based and are typically paid after production is completed. Some banks or private lenders will lend against the anticipated rebate, but will charge interest in the process.
Debt Financing / Gap / Supergap Financing
Debt financing and commercial bank loans are generally the hardest to attain. The production will need to prove sufficient collateral to repay the loan, such as the reputation of the company or the talent attached. Hence, first-time filmmakers without commercial success would have a hard time attaining such a loan.
Other tips for financing
Build relationships with successful filmmakers
Try to build relationships with filmmakers in your community that are well known or have some commercial success. Other filmmakers can offer advice or exposure for you and your team. Use your community to get your production team noticed by entering film festivals, attending networking events, joining trade organizations, or working with a well-experienced crew on other projects.
Adhere to industry standards
Seek out non-biased advice from experienced filmmakers and be prepared to take any and all criticism, script notes, and tips. Take advantage of our Screenplay Review Program to receive free feedback on your script.
Find a director with experience
Hiring an experienced director can help get access to more talent and industry contacts, which in turn can help your fundraising efforts.
Working with talent agencies
Do research to determine which agents or agencies would be most interested in your type of work. What types of projects does the agent get involved with? Have they worked with anyone you know? Try reaching out to junior agents within an agency who are actively looking for more clients.
Financing a documentary
Documentary financing can have all the elements as feature film financing, but depending on your area of focus, you might find additional resources and grants. Try targeting philanthropists, aligning with non-profit organizations, corporations interested in a similar cause, or focus on fundraising in a community that might support your film’s topic. Also, documentaries are ongoing and can be filmed as funding arrives.
The following websites have a list of additional funding opportunities for documentary and non-fiction filmmakers:
The Colorado Film Location Directory is a database of filmable locations across Colorado that filmmakers can search by town, county, and type of location. Owners or managers of Colorado businesses, homes, or other properties can register their locations to help attract film productions to their communities.
There are also twelve Regional Film Commissions around the state that can help you identify appropriate locations for your shoot and give you information regarding local permitting.
The Colorado Film Crew and Support Services Directory helps our state's film industry workforce showcase their skills and services to producers who are considering filming here.
To qualify as an in-state resident, the person must live in Colorado for at least 90 days prior to getting hired on a production. Productions receiving the Colorado Film Incentive are required to verify Colorado residency for at least 50% of cast and crew. Companies seeking to be qualified as an in-state company must provide proof of Colorado residency and Proof of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
Featuring your home or business in film and television shows provides great promotional
opportunities. Location professionals and producers are almost always working on a very tight timeline so be prepared to respond quickly to their requests. Although you can entice productions by advertising a free location, it is standard for professional productions to pay a location fee, usually by the day.
The Colorado Film Location Directory is a database of filmable locations across Colorado that filmmakers can search by town, county, and type of location. Owners or managers of Colorado businesses, homes, or other properties can register their locations to help attract film productions to their communities. There is no cost to list your property.
Marketing a community
If you are marketing a community or larger area, be prepared to have several choices and high-quality images to share with the scout. It is important to be familiar with all rules and regulations that might affect filming.
You should be aware of:
- permits required to film in or around your area
- times of day/night when filming is permitted
- local weather patterns
- local/seasonal events that could impact production
- availability of local production resources
Be prepared to do some location scouting and know your area. To help get you started, ask the following questions:
- What is the specific description of the location being requested?
- When are they planning to film at the location and for how long?
- Will they film interiors, exteriors or both?
- Will they be filming during the day, night, or both?
- What kind of vegetation and terrain is acceptable?
- Is there a specific architectural style that is needed?
- Will the production company need to have control, or close, any roads?
- How long will the roads need to be closed? Are Intermittent Traffic Closures (ITC’s) possible?
- What are the parking requirements for production vehicles, cast, and crew?
- What are the housing requirements for the cast and crew? Differentiate between budget rooms needed and higher-end, if necessary, for cast, director, and producers
- How far are they willing to travel from the hotel(s) to the location?
- Will they need to have control or access to any other areas, buildings?
- What are the electricity needs? How many generators will be on set?
- Is the location supposed to be in Colorado or another region?
- Are there any special effects (fire or explosives) that are part of the shoot?
Marketing your home
If you are inviting filmmakers into your home, consider the following questions before committing:
- How many days will they shoot? Do they need rehearsal time?
- Will there be a lot of noise?
- How large is the crew and how will it impact my neighbors?
- Do I need permission from my HOA or landlord?
- Will you be shooting during the day, or overnight?
- Can I remain in the house during filming, or will I need to stay somewhere else?
- How many vehicles need to be accommodated? Do you need special parking permits for oversized vehicles?
- Do I need a ‘re-do clause’?
Though there are a lot of factors to consider, most of these can be addressed ahead of time. Here are a few other helpful tips to ensure your safety and protection:
- Ask for the producer or director's credits, or check websites such as IMDB for credibility.
- Work with a local location manager ahead of time to develop contracts for your property.
- Agree upon the exact number of days required for the shoot plus preparation and wrap time – a shoot day is typically 10 to 14 hours.
- Ask for proof of insurance.
- If changes are made to your property that were not discussed in negotiating your location release, ask the workers to stop. Ask the location manager or other responsible individual to contact you.
- To keep neighborhood disturbance at a minimum, it is best to be discrete about filming at your location in order to avoid attracting too many onlookers.
- Ask the assistant director where the best place is to observe the filming, and ask for permission to photograph members of the cast or crew.
- The company is responsible for cleaning up your property and the surrounding areas as a result of the production. Check with the location manager to be sure arrangements have been made for garbage removal.
- The production is responsible for restoring your property to its original condition.
- Be sure you have on file the company's telephone number(s) and address and the location manager's phone number(s) and home address.
- Consult an entertainment attorney.
- Consult a local location manager.
Experienced producers and directors adhere to professional standards and will follow all guidelines and contracts negotiated before filming. The Colorado communities and homeowners that have hosted experienced film crews have had wonderful experiences. If you are uncomfortable opening your property to student filmmakers or un-experienced location managers, just say no.
What to charge
All negotiations for filming use, rates, and so forth will be between the production company and the property owner. There are several factors that can determine what you can charge as location fees. You should consider the costs of utilities, extra staffing/security needed, and any lost business if you are a business owner.
Productions can range from low budget indie films, to popular Network TV series to a large studio feature. We recommend developing a sliding fee scale that takes into consideration varying crew sizes and production budgets.
The Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media Though has relationships with several statewide organizations. If you are new to Colorado or to the industry, we recommend getting involved with one or more of these organizations to network and learn more about regional opportunities.
AD Club Colorado
Black Actors Guild
Black Public Media
CASA Films Denver
Colorado Film and Video Association
Colorado Filmmaking Incubator
Colorado Innovators of New Entertainment Media & Arts (CINEMA)
Colorado Professional Videographers Association
Colorado Resource for Entertainment Workers (C.R.E.W.)
Denver Film Society
Denver Media Professionals
Film in Colorado
Film Industry Networking Denver (F.I.N.D.)
Latino Public Broadcasting
Motion Picture Association of America
National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications
Women in Film and Media Colorado