Q. What is the first step to filming in Westchester County? How do I find out if the project I want to do is possible?
A. Complete the online letter of intent, providing as many details as you currently have. We'll review it with the location in which you are interested and reply to you as quickly as possible.
Q. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected film permitting in Westchester County?
A. Subject to state rules and orders, resumption of production activity in "phase 4" is at the discretion of each municipality. The County is accepting permit applications for its property, but the availability of some locations may be limited because of safety, staffing, capacity or other concerns; call us at (914) 995-8501 to discuss your needs.
Q. If I get a permit, what are the health and safety rules I must follow, relating to COVID-19?
A. All productions must comply with New York State health and safety guidance for the industry. As stated there, you must also follow additional guidelines for specific functions on location ‒ such as construction, hair, makeup, and food service. Any of these may be updated from time to time, so check here for updates before you shoot.
Q. Where is the film office located; what are the hours and contacts?
A. Westchester County Film is located at 148 Martine Avenue, Suite 104, in White Plains. We're generally available from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, but please note that In-person office hours are currently BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Our primary contact is Barry Surman at email@example.com or (914) 995-8501.
Q. How much time is needed to get approval for filming?
A. Once we receive your letter of intent, approve and confirm approval of your filming and receive your proof of proper insurance, a location agreement/permit can be prepared and sent to you within 48 hours. We require the signed notarized agreement, proof of proper insurance and full payment before filming can commence. Note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, securing approvals for locations will likely take longer than usual,
Q. Do I need a permit from Westchester County if my location is not county-owned?
A. You do not need a county permit for non-county properties, but you may need a permit from the municipality in which you are filming. Determine the jurisdiction of your film location here.
Q. If we’re working on County property, do we need any other permits?
A. It depends where and what, exactly. Roads – and street parking – adjacent to County buildings generally fall under the jurisdiction of local municipalities. Major dams and reservoirs at County parks, notably Croton Gorge Park and Kensico Dam Plaza, are controlled by the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection. And if you’re hiring a third party to erect a tent on County property, there’s an additional form that vendor must sign and submit, with insurance documents, to the County. We’re here to help you navigate all this, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Q. How do I find contacts and information for filming in Westchester municipalities?
A. Find the contacts and permit information for municipal filming here. If filming on non-county property, please do keep us informed about your shoot via our letter of intent. Our office is dedicated to guiding you through the permit process and can provide technical assistance on filming in Westchester’s towns, villages, and cities.
Q. What's the best way to find a specific location if I am unfamiliar with Westchester County?
A. When you submit your letter of intent, attach a photograph, storyboard or sketch, and we will do our best to find and recommend a location for you. Browse our Westchester film location gallery here.
Q. May I film at Westchester County Airport?
A. Filming is permitted on a limited basis and, in public terminal areas, must generally be done during off hours, specifically after 11 p.m. on weekdays. Other arrangements can be made, often with private operators at the airport, so be sure to give as many details as possible in your letter of intent.
Q. Are there standard location fees for filming in Westchester?
A. No, each fee is determined based on the scale and scope of the project.
Q. Is it possible to film a student project in Westchester County?
A. Yes, it is, and we welcome student filming. Simply complete the online letter of intent.
Q. How do I get approval to take pictures of my wedding or other personal photographs at a county park?
A. Call (914) 231-4575, and they will provide information for getting a permit.
Q. May I film in a county nature center or preserve?
A. In limited circumstances, it may be possible. Submit a letter of intent and we'll see if we can make it work.
Q. How do I register my home or business as a film-friendly location?
A. To submit your property for consideration, please complete our Film Location Listing Request.
Q. How do I register my business or professional services as a resource for the film industry?
A. To submit your crew, business, or service, please complete our Film Resources Listing Request.
Q. What financial incentives exist for the film industry?
A. New York State’s $420 million film incentive program includes both production and post-production tax credits. Learn more and apply here.