Film Production in New Hanover County
New Hanover County welcomes your production at county-owned property. Our goal is to provide a good customer experience and help facilitate the growth of the production industry in our community.
The state of North Carolina offers a grant program that rebates productions up to 25% of qualified expenses/purchases. Contact the NC Film Commission for details.
You will need a New Hanover County permit if your television, film, commercial video or commercial photography production will use any property owned or maintained by New Hanover County Government.
You will not need a permit if:
- Your project is produced entirely on private property
- You are news media working on behalf of your news organization
A production permit issued by New Hanover County may not satisfy all requirements for a particular property or use. Municipal, state, and federal requirements must be met and adhered to, when applicable, for a given location or use. New Hanover County can assist you in connecting with municipalities located within the county.
New Hanover County requires a minimum of three business days advance notice to process applications. Complex production requests should be made with as much advance notice as possible. Approvals are based on the impact to the property and the scheduling availability of the location.
Only property owned by, or in direct control of, New Hanover County Government will be permitted by the county for use. Permitting for other municipal, state, federal or private property is not within the purview of New Hanover County. New Hanover County does not have the authority to permit for the use of public roads.
Scouting of a proposed location with a New Hanover County representative is recommended and may be required depending on the nature of the use.
Although no other consent is required, production staff must notify adjacent private property owners of the intent to use county property, including hours of use and potential impacts. The production must not obstruct access to the adjacent private property.
New Hanover County does not charge location fees, except for the use of Airlie Gardens. New Hanover County does not charge location fees, except for the use of Airlie Gardens.
- $1,750 per day of production
- $250 per day of pre- or post-production
- $300 per day Commercial Photography
Airlie Gardens requires all photo shoots to be scheduled during weekday business hours only. For those requesting a staff member, golf carts, special hours, props, and private vehicles, an additional fee will be charged based on the nature of the request.
Reimbursement of Direct Expenses
While no location fees apply otherwise, the county will collect direct cost reimbursement of monitor fees when applicable. Please call us for information on current hourly rates and minimums. Monitor fees may be determined by and billed through the local jurisdictions.
Each production company agrees to indemnify and hold the county and authorized representative(s) harmless against any and all liability for injury to or death of persons, and for damage to the Property (collectively "Liability") occurring during the Company's use of said Property, and caused by the Company, or any of its employees in the conduct of motion picture operations hereunder, except for Liability caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of Owner. To the extent permitted by law, Owner agrees to indemnify and hold the Company and authorized representative(s) harmless against any and all liability for injury to or death of persons, and for damage to the Property occurring during the Company's use of said Property.
All production companies shall obtain at their own expense and maintain insurance with insurers licensed to do business in the State of North Carolina with an A.M. Best's rating of no less than A VII, unless specific approval has been granted by Owner and of the kinds and minimum amounts specified below.
Commercial General Liability
Company shall maintain Commercial General Liability coverage for premises, operations, independent contractors, products-completed operations, personal and advertising injury, and liability assumed under an insured contract (including the tort liability of another assumed in a business contract). The policy shall provide liability limits at least in the amount of $1,000,000 for each occurrence or $2,000,000 general aggregate, applicable to claims due to bodily injury and/or property damage. The Certificate of Insurance shall name Owner as an additional insured by Insurance Services Office (ISO) endorsement CG 20 10 or its equivalent.
Business Automobile Liability
Covering liability arising out of any auto, including owned, non-owned and hired vehicles, providing liability limits at least in the amount of $1,000,000 each accident applicable to claims due to bodily injury and/or property damage.
Workers Compensation & Employer's Liability
Company shall maintain Workers' Compensation as required by the general statutes of the State of North Carolina and Employer's Liability Insurance. The Employers' Liability, and if necessary, Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance shall not be less than $500,000 each accident for bodily injury by accident, $500,000 each employee for bodily injury by disease, and $500,000 policy limit.
Company shall include all subcontractors as insureds under its policies or require all coverage for subcontractors be subject to all of the requirements stated herein. Company shall be responsible for assuring that all subcontractors are properly insured.
Company shall furnish Owner with a certificate(s) of insurance, executed by a duly authorized representative of each insurer, showing compliance with the insurance requirements prior to occupying county property.
Certificate of Insurance - Certificate Holder
New Hanover County
County Attorney - Risk Management
230 Government Center Drive, Suite 125A
Wilmington, NC 28403
Depending on the nature of the production, the county may charge for the direct reimbursement of personnel fees. Reimbursements vary depending on the length and nature of use and the number of personnel assigned by the county. Personnel may be assigned for monitoring, facility operation, housekeeping, inspections or public safety.
Depending on the nature of the production, law enforcement and/or fire personnel may be required to ensure the safety of the production and the public. It is the company's responsibility to discuss potential safety impacts with county staff a minimum of 48 hours prior to production to determine needs and ensure coverage.
New Hanover County Sheriff's Office (NHCSO)
Law enforcement officers are not automatically assigned and, if not requested in advance by the company, may prevent the production from taking place. Intermittent traffic control or security are examples of activities that may warrant NHCSO assignment. A separate contract with reimbursement fees will be assessed by NHCSO.
New Hanover County Fire Rescue
The County Fire Marshal oversees fire, special effects and life safety issues. Fire safety officers or advisors assigned from a local jurisdiction may be required for special effects, indoor production, projectile pyrotechnics, alterations of smoke detector or sprinkler systems, or production in fire-sensitive areas. Reimbursement fees may be assessed based on needs.
A production permit is required for production on any property maintained by New Hanover County, regardless of student status. As a student, insurance requirements may be satisfied by your affiliation with an educational institution. In order for the permit application to be considered for approval, you must submit an original letter, from an accredited U.S. educational institution, on that institution's letterhead, indicating that you are currently enrolled in that institution and that the production is a student project. The educational institution must indicate that they will either retain the rights to the project, or verify that the project will not be used for commercial purposes. The school must also assume any and all liability arising from the student project. The letter must be signed and dated by an instructor or other school official.
Code of Conduct While Using New Hanover County Owned / Operated Properties / Filmmakers’ Code of Professional Responsibility
To Our Citizens
New Hanover County works to create an environment where on-location production is conducted with professionalism and courtesy. Part of our job is to coordinate permits in a way that minimizes the impact of production on your neighborhood. Production companies are obligated to adhere to this Code of Professional Responsibility. If you find a production company is not complying with these provisions, please call Brett Cottrell at 910-798-7449.
To the Industry
You can count on New Hanover County to assist you with your on-location needs. Helping to maintain a positive working relationship with community members will help ensure continued access to a variety of locations. Please adhere to the provisions of this code as part of your permit:
- The production company must comply with the provisions of this permit at all times. This Code of Conduct and production permit must be shown to any member of the public that asks to see them.
- When filming in a neighborhood or business district, proper notification should be provided to each merchant or resident who is directly affected by the production (this includes parking, base camps, and meal areas). The notice should include:
- Name of company
- Name of production
- Company point of contact
- Type of production
- Type of activity, time and duration
- Production vehicles arriving on location should not enter the area before the time stipulated in the permit, should park one by one, and turn off engines as soon as possible. Cast and crew should observe designated speed limits and parking areas. Production vehicles must not block driveways without the express permission of the driveway owner.
- Do not trespass onto neighbors’ or merchants’ property. Please remain within the boundaries of the property that has been permitted.
- Moving or towing of the public’s vehicles is prohibited without the express permission of the municipal jurisdiction or the owner.
- Cast and crew meals should be confined to the area designated in the permit. All catering, craft service, construction, strike and personal trash must be removed from location upon completion.
- Cast and crew shall refrain from using lewd or offensive language within earshot of the general public.
- Crew members should not display signs, posters or pictures that do not reflect common sense and good taste.
- All members of the production company should wear clothing that conforms to common sense and good taste, and shoes and shirts must be worn at all times.
- Removing, trimming and/or cutting of vegetation or trees is prohibited unless approved by the property owner.
- All signs erected or removed for production purposes will be removed or replaced upon completion of the use of that location.
- Please keep all noise levels as low as possible.
- The use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited by county ordinance within 50 feet of county-owned property.
- The cast and crew should not bring guests or pets to the location, unless expressly authorized in advance by the county.
- All sets and props should be removed upon completion of their use.
- The use of alcohol or illegal substances is strictly prohibited. Violation may result in the termination of your permit.