Victoria is internationally recognised as a world-class screen production destination with excellent crews, stunning locations, film friendly location providers and exceptional production facilities.
In turn, screen production has a profoundly positive impact on the state and its residents - economically, culturally and socially.
The City of Ballarat, in partnership with Film Victoria, has put together essential information for filmmakers seeking permits or approvals to film on public land within the jurisdiction of the City of Ballarat.
It covers the practical aspects of the approval process, from planning your production, to applying for permits from a variety of public agencies, to the many resources available to assist you.
It reflects the City of Ballarat's ongoing commitment to supporting film and television production.
The City of Ballarat looks forward to assisting you with your next production.
Victoria is committed to supporting a vibrant and professional film and television industry and Ballarat is proud to be supporting the screen industry and the opportunities it brings to our businesses and the broader community.
We have many years’ experience playing host to notable feature films, documentaries, television series and television commercials and are proud to facilitate a growing number of productions that choose Ballarat to locate their filming.
The City of Ballarat (Council) has established a Film Liaison Unit (FLU) that is able to provide advice and expertise on how to make the most of your time when dealing with Council, including information about specialised filming requirements and permits.
We look forward to assisting with your production needs.
The City of Ballarat is film friendly and the FLU is here to help make your next filming activity a success. Our objective is to ensure your experience working with us is a positive and productive one.
Fees and charges
Filming in Ballarat does not incur a fee. Please note there may be some cost recovery charges based on the nature and location of your filming.
City of Ballarat acknowledgment
The City of Ballarat supports filming. We would appreciate acknowledgement in the end credits of your production, or as mutually agreed.
This acknowledgment should read “Filmed in Ballarat” or “Thanks to the City of Ballarat”.
Acknowledging Ballarat’s Traditional Land Owners
The City of Ballarat respectfully acknowledges the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung people - traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.
Public agencies such as the City of Ballarat can approve filming on public land as a permit, licence, approval, location agreement, or as some other form of written permission.
A wide range of filming may require a permit, including student, commercial, community and not-for-profit productions, as well as still photography.
The City of Ballarat requires a film permit be issued for the recoding of images by film, video, digital or other technology intended to be broadcast or publicly exhibited for commercial purposes.
A film permit ensures public space is used safely and in accordance with all applicable legislation, local laws and regulations. At the same time, it ensures any disruption is minimal, public land and facilities are managed effectively and that anyone who may potentially be impacted is notified.
The role of the Film Liaison Unit
Assessing a film permit application often requires consultation with different teams within the City of Ballarat. The Film Liaison Unit is your single point of contact during the application process.
We understand that filming is a cost-sensitive and deadline-driven business and we are here to assist you so that you can get your permit or approval as quickly as possible and with minimum inconvenience.
If you do not already have one, we strongly advise you to appoint an experienced location manager. This person will be the key liaison between the production and the FLU. Having someone who understands the local environment and processes will help your production run more smoothly and efficiently.
It is crucial to allow sufficient time for planning your production, familiarising yourself with the practicalities of filming and determining what additional support you might need. Equally, engaging with the FLU early in the planning process will help streamline the application process and keep everyone informed.
If your planned activities are complex, please contact us as soon as possible and before submitting your application form, as some discussion and negotiation may be required.
At times it may also be useful to arrange a face-to-face consultation to discuss the production before any paperwork is submitted. We may be able to provide an idea of the viability of filming at your preferred locations, including specific dates and times. This is also the time to ‘flag’ issues or unusual filming requirements, like erecting structures, using firearms, or major disruption to traffic.
Submitting your application
Your film permit application should be submitted formally and in writing as soon as you have enough information. All supporting documentation should be submitted at the same time, as this is the most efficient way of processing your application. We understand that this can occasionally be difficult and if some information is presented at a later date it may still be possible to approve the application. Speak with the FLU to discuss this possibility.
Delays in providing supplementary documentation without speaking with the FLU may result in a delay in processing your application.
It is also important to consider the impact of the weather on your filming activity and to set up contingency plans to deal with unexpected changes. You should consider including ‘weather hold’ alternative dates, in your film application but please let us know if there are any other factors that may cause changes to your filming date or location.
Applications for filming that do not have any impact on the flow of traffic or significant pedestrian impact should be submitted 21 days before you intend to start filming.
Applications that do require traffic management planning or significant pedestrian management should be submitted8 weeks before you intend to start filming.
This allows enough time to contact any residents, businesses or public authorities in the immediate vicinity of the location and streamlines the communication process.
Low impact filming
In some cases, if filming is considered to be low impact, a permit can be approved in a short timeframe.
Low impact filming involves minimal equipment and crew, and causes little disruption to pedestrians, traffic and residents. An example of low impact filming is a two-person crew gathering ‘vox pops’ for a football commentary show.
This type of filming can generally be approved in five business days, since it does not require sign off from other stakeholders.