Film Permit Application

General Information

Any production company undertaking filming activities within the town shall be required to secure a permit.  A Film Permit Application must be completed and submitted to the Town to be reviewed for approval by the Town Manager or his/her designee.  The application must be at least seven days in advance of any activities requiring issuance of a Film Permit.  A separate application must be completed for each film location (only one security deposit, if applicable, is required). Submit your completed application to Katie Ryan at

No permits will be issued to a production company during the weekend of the North Carolina Azalea Festival or on any weekend (Friday after 5:00 p.m., Saturday or Sunday) from May 1st of through September 30 unless specifically allowed in the permit issued by the Town Manager. And, no filming may be conducted in residential areas between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. unless specifically allowed in the permit issued by the Town Manager.

No changes to the approved permit are allowed without an amendment to the permit approved by the Town Manager.  Any request for a permit amendment must be submitted to the Town Manager at least 24 hours prior to the activity described in the amendment is to occur. 

At the discretion of the Town Manager or his/her designee, the production company may be required to submit a certificate of general liability insurance naming the Town as an additional insured. 

Payment of Security Deposit

Activities occurring on public property may require a security deposit of up to $7,500 as required by the Town Manager prior to issuance of a permit along with a Certificate of Insurance with policy amounts satisfactory to the town.  Additional requirements will be based on the overall impact production may have on public property.  The security deposit must be delivered at the time the Film Permit Application is submitted.

In the event the production company damages any public property while carrying out its activities, the Town may use the deposit for the purpose of repairing such damages.

Upon completion of the filming activities, the security deposit shall be returned to the production company provided there is no damage or loss resulting from the activities of the production company.  No refund of deposit will be made until appropriate clearance has been received from the Town Manager or his or her designee.

Use of Town Equipment or Personnel

The production company may request use of Town equipment and/or personnel at the time the application for a Film Permit is submitted.  The Town Manager has the sole discretion to determine whether equipment and personnel may be made available.  In the event equipment or personnel is available, the production company will be invoiced for the use of equipment and personnel according to the Town’s schedule of fees. Payment must be received prior to the release of the security deposit.  Town equipment may only be operated by authorized Town employees.

A production company must utilize Wrightsville Beach law enforcement officers together with appropriate equipment as determined by the Town Manager to assist in any circumstance where traffic is affected by the filming activities or where activities may cause crowd control problems.  The Town Manager will determine required number of law enforcement officers and necessary equipment.  In the event law enforcement officers and associated equipment are required, the production company will be required to pay the associated fees as listed in the Town’s schedule of fees.

Cancellation of equipment and/or personnel must be made at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled activity.  If cancelled less than 24 hours in advance, payment for equipment and/or personal is due and payable.

Street Closures

Any application that requires a street closure or closure of the beach strand must be approved by the Board of Aldermen. 

Use of Private Property

A filming permit does not include the use of private property.  If a production company intends to use private property, they must provide evidence of written permission given by the property owner.

Use of Explosives, Special Effects, and Similar Devices

No filming activity may be undertaken which involves the use of explosives, pyrotechnics, fire, smoke-making machines, or other special effects designed for simulation of fire or explosion unless specifically approved by the Fire Chief acting through the Town Manager.  The use of such equipment must be in accordance with any local, state, or federal ordinances, statutes, and regulations.  The permit application submitted in conjunction with any filming activities undertaking the use of such materials must include a specific description of the plans for the storage, handling and transfer of any explosive devices, pyrotechnics or other incendiary devices or any materials of a hazardous nature that may be used in connection with the filming.

Changes in Structures

Any alteration of a structure in connection with filming, either temporarily or permanently, shall be carried out in accordance with the North Carolina State Building Code and shall require any applicable permits from the Town's Building Inspection Division.

Damage to Berm; Discharge into Waterways

Any production company undertaking filming operations which might cause damage to the berm and dune system adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean or which might result in the discharge of any substances into the waterways surrounding the town will specifically outline in their application a plan for preventing such damage or discharge.

Notice to Adjacent Residents

All residents in any area where filming activities may cause an inconvenience, or an interruption of normal activities are required to be notified at least five days prior to the filming of the date and time filming is to be undertaken.  The notice to residents must include the name, local address and local telephone number of a person employed by the production company that may be contacted concerning filming.  The Town Manager, or his or her designee, may require signatures acknowledging receipt of the notification in the case of unusual filming circumstances or where the residents may be particularly sensitive to filming activities because of the location or configuration of the surrounding area.

Filming Activities – Permit Not Required

  • Filming activities for news purposes
  • Filming activities conducted for use in a criminal investigation or other governmental use
  • Filming activities conducted solely for private or family use
  • Filming activities by students for the purpose of fulfilling class work assignments; filming activities conducted by recognized public or private schools.
  • Filming performed by a business entity conducted at the place of business to promote sales events, announcements, or other lawful activities.
  • Non-commercial still photography

Click here for the complete Ordinance Chapter 116: Movie Industry

Click here for the Town of Wrightsville Beach Film Permit Application.