Seattle Film Industry and Community:
The last piles of February snow are finally melting, and we can now turn our focus to spring and summer film production season planning. The SR99 Viaduct has been closed for seven weeks, and the SR99 Tunnel has now been opened one month! Before we take a look at the next several months of the #SeattleSqueeze, let’s review February’s film production permitting numbers:
February Seattle Film Permits: Business as Usual
More good news. You will recall that no Seattle film permits were denied during the three-week SR99 dual viaduct/tunnel closure. Once again, in February the Office of Film + Music did not deny or relocate any filming requests due to #SeattleSqueeze restrictions. Film permits were issued for 28 film productions who hired 329 local cast and crew and filmed in all 7 Seattle Council Districts. Additionally, the Office of Film + Music was able to re-issue permits for three productions displaced by snow/ice.
Production Type (28 permits in February)
- 2 Commercial / Advertising
- 3 Corporate / Industrial
- 7 Documentary
- 2 Music Videos
- 5 Short Film
- 5 Still Photography
- 2 Student Film
- 1 VR/ Augmented Reality
- 1 TV / Other
Local Cast and Crew Hired
Districts Filmed (showing productions with multiple shoots)
- District 1 – 3 productions
- District 2 – 1 productions
- District 3 – 4 productions
- District 4 – 2 productions
- District 5 – 3 productions
- District 6 – 4 productions
- District 7 – 15 productions
Film Production in Seattle: Spring and Summer Look-ahead
Current permit restrictions: NONE. All downtown traffic control/street closure permit restrictions have been lifted. Film permit requests for all Seattle neighborhoods, including downtown, will continue to be accepted and assessed on a case by case basis. As Metro buses move to surface streets and major construction haul routes and street closures are implemented, the Office of Film + Music will continue our work with SDOT, SPD, Metro, and other relevant agencies to identify in advance any new or updated restrictions.
SR99 Viaduct demolition continues through June. Several crews are currently deconstructing the viaduct in three places. As the scope of the deconstruction increases, so will the number and frequency of trucks hauling concrete and rebar. Impacts are expected to be greatest along the waterfront and the access streets leading to I-5 and SR99. More information here.
March 23: Metro buses move out of tunnel and onto surface streets. The bus tunnel is making its transition to light-rail-only, which means over 800 bus trips each week day will move out of the tunnel and onto surface streets on March 23rd. Many of these trips will move to 3rd Ave, primarily a transit-only street downtown, but many will not. The entry and exit points into and out of downtown will also change, adding more impacts to surface streets. The Office of Film + Music is working closely with Metro and SDOT to observe mobility constraints during this transition. More information here.
Arena redevelopment begins this spring. Having prepared the work zone around the arena, the Seattle Center Arena redevelopment work will transition to major demolition and digging, bringing more truck hauls from the Seattle Center to I-5 and SR99. The haul routes and times are anticipated to be announced and begin by end of March. More information here.
Need Help with a Location? Hire a Local Locations Professional!
If mobility or restrictions impact your filming location options, call one of the region’s location professionals. They are the experts and can help you navigate the landscape and permitting processes:
- NWScouts.com: Seattle region location scouts and managers
- Reel Crew: Washington Filmworks crew database
- NWFilm.com: Northwest Production Index
The Office of Film + Music has partnered with Washington Filmworks to develop a multi-municipality network for back-up location options in cases where a requested downtown Seattle location is not available for filming. Contact the Office of Film + Music for more information.
Getting Around Town
Be sure to take advantage of SDOT’s mobility assistance information, and north/south tunnel portal entrance/exit scenarios, as you plan for production and crew moves and mobility:
- Video: Plan your SR99 Tunnel route now
- Blog: Updates on traffic and mobility in Seattle
- Webinar: Seattle Squeeze Film Industry Webinar
As always, please contact the Office of Film + Music any time if you have questions or input.