Seattle Film Industry and Community:
As we get deeper into August, the days are slowly getting shorter, but the temps are still high, and the golden hour still lasts over two hours. We’re hearing that a lot of you are staying pretty busy. Let’s take a look at Seattle film production in July as we head into our final summer months!
July 2019 Seattle Film Permits
Seattle’s busiest shoot day of 2019 (so far) was July 25th, where 11 film productions filmed at 24 public locations, hiring 97 local cast and crew. Thanks for being, and keeping us, busy, Seattle!
Here’s the July breakdown of local crew hired by production category, and most popular Seattle neighborhoods.
Production Type (59 permits in July 2019)
- 16 Commercial / Advertising – 331 local cast and crew
- 5 Corporate / Industrial – 39 local cast and crew
- 7 Documentary – 44 local cast and crew
- 6 Short Film – 66 local cast and crew
- 9 Still Photography – 47 local cast and crew
- 2 Student Film – 35 local cast and crew
- 1 VR/ Augmented Reality – 7 local cast and crew
- 2 TV / Other – 16 local cast and crew
- 3 TV / Series – 54 local cast and crew
- 8 Web Series – 90 local cast and crew
Neighborhood Council Districts(showing productions with multiple shoots July 2019)
- District 1 – 4 productions
- District 2 – 7 productions
- District 3 – 8 productions
- District 4 – 10 productions
- District 5 – 0 productions
- District 6 – 5 productions
- District 7 – 22 productions
Top 5 Filming Neighborhoods (July 2019)
- Downtown – 8 productions
- Queen Anne – 8 productions
- Magnolia – 7 productions
- Fremont – 5 productions
- Capitol Hill – 4 productions
While Seattle film permits only show a slice of the film production activity in the region, they are a window into local film production work. We use this data to help City leadership understand what type of filming is happening, and what positive jobs and economic impact it is creating.
Film Production in Seattle: Summer Look-ahead
Current #SeattleSqueeze right-of-way 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.
Pioneer Square large vehicle street parking restrictions. Did you know most of Pioneer Square building entrances are on the 2nd floor of the actual buildings? This is because after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 roadways were raised about 12’ between the buildings. To keep commerce going, the sidewalks were kept open while sidewalk “lids” were installed to the new higher entrances. Those hollow areas are called Areaways, and many of them exist today. In fact, many Areaways encroach into the traffic parking lanes, which is beginning to pose a structural problem. To ensure safety, while the City addresses structural stability, several sections of street parking are now restricted to oversized vehicle parking. The City is increasing the number of restricted parking spaces before the end of the year. The Film Office is working closely with SDOT and Alliance for Pioneer Square to accommodate large productions as best possible in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. More information on the restrictions here.
Green Lake and Wallingford Paving Project. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has started construction on N 50th St for the Green Lake and Wallingford Paving & Multi-Modal Improvements Project. The project is expected to be completed in 2021. More information here.
Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement. SDOT has began work on replacing the bridge at Fairview Ave N. The oldest portion of the current bridge was built more than 65 years ago and is the last timber-supported bridge on a major road in Seattle. While safe for travel today, the bridge is structurally unstable and vulnerable to earthquakes, including the newer portion made of steel and concrete, and needs to be replaced. Located on the southeast shore of Lake Union near the 1200 block of Fairview Ave N in Seattle, the bridge is next to the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building. More information here.
SR99 Viaduct demolition continues through Summer months. There is still about 10%, we’re told, to still tear down. Then there’s the surface street repairs! Impacts are expected to be greatest along the waterfront and the access streets leading to I-5 and SR99. More information here.
Arena redevelopment continues. Major demolition and digging is now underway at (Key) Arena, with hundreds of daily truck hauls from the Seattle Center to I-5 and SR99. If you get the opportunity to go up to the second floor at SIFF Film Center, you’ll get an amazing birds-eye view of the giant hole being dug under the Arena roof! More information here.
SR99 Tunnel Tolls expected to begin late summer. The exact timeline has not been shared, but we should expect a start date sometime in late summer. Once tolling begins, the general pattern for drivers is to return to surface streets to avoid the tolls. Stay tuned for more information as it’s shared by WSDOT. More information on SR99 Tunnel tolling here.
Need Help with a Location? Hire a Local Locations Professional!
Keeping your schedule is critical to the success of your production. Navigating multi-location shoots requires intent and expertise. When scouting and shooting, we always recommend hiring one of the region’s location professionals. They are the experts and can help you navigate the landscape and permitting processes in Seattle and the region:
- NWScouts.com: Seattle region location scouts and managers
- Reel Crew: Washington Filmworks crew database
- NWFilm.com: Northwest Production Index
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: firstname.lastname@example.org