Film, Video and Photo Permits

Please allow a minimum of 10 business days for review and processing of film and photo permit applications.

Many popular films have been shot in San Francisco park locations. Some of the most popular include: Bicentennial Man, Dirty Harry, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Princess Diaries, The Rock, The Wedding Planner and many others. Television shows, advertisements and other photo shoots choose our parks. We are dedicated to helping to make it happen. All film, video or photo production on Recreation and Park Department property requires a Film Permit if the production could be sold or the photographer or crew is paid. This includes non-profit productions.

Park in San Francisco
  1. Application Procedures
  2. Rules
  3. Fees

All commercial film, video or photo production (Film) on Recreation and Park Department property requires a Film Permit. Commercial film, production is defined as any activity that results in a film, video or photograph being sold, or any activity involving filming or photography for which crew and/or talent is paid. This includes "non-profit" productions. This also includes wedding pictures if the photographer is paid. It does not include photography or video for personal use, however tripods even for personal use are restricted in certain areas.

All Film Permits require the coordination of the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department’s Film Permit Office (415) 831-5500 x 4, with a minimum of ten business days notice prior to date of the shoot.


The Recreation and Park Department issues its own permits for interior work and work in revenue producing facilities (e.g. Kezar, Coit Tower etc.).

Filming is not encouraged on weekends, as this is the busiest time for parks, and staff supervision is limited. Filming is generally prohibited in Golden Gate Park and other densely populated parks on weekends. Additionally, filming is generally prohibited at Golden Gate Park on the first Tuesday of each month, as this is Free Day at museums and tends to be very busy.