Seattle Film Industry and Community:
It’s April! The days are getting longer and warmer, and we’re seeing more productions come out of the studio and onto Seattle streets, sidewalks, and parks. The viaduct is nearly half gone, and Metro’s buses have vacated the downtown tunnels. Let’s take a look at film production permitting numbers in Seattle and a look-ahead to summer:
March Seattle Film Permits
Keep ‘em coming! As productions head outdoors, film permits are increasing. Film permits were issued for 41 film productions who hired 465 local cast and crew and filmed in all 7 Seattle Council Districts:
Production Type (41 permits in March)
- 10 Commercial / Advertising
- 5 Corporate / Industrial
- 3 Documentary
- 1 Music Videos
- 11 Still Photography
- 5 Student Film
- 2 VR/ Augmented Reality
- 4 TV / Series
Local Cast and Crew Hired
Neighborhood Council District (showing productions with multiple shoots)
- District 1 – 5 productions
- District 2 – 5 productions
- District 3 – 12 productions
- District 4 – 5 productions
- District 5 – 3 productions
- District 6 – 8 productions
- District 7 – 12 productions
New and Improved Seattle Film Manual is Now Online!
The Seattle Film Manual has made the transition to a completely online format! This comprehensive guide features new and up to date information on everything you need to know about procedures for filming on public property in Seattle. We encourage all filmmakers to give it a read, and to please pass it along to any productions coming from out of town. The manual can be found online at seattle.gov/filmandmusic/film/film-manual.
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 other major construction haul routes and street closures are implemented during the #SeattleSqueeze, 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.
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. More information here.
SR99 Tunnel Tolls expected to begin late summer. Just as we’re getting used to using the SR99 Tunnel, tolls will begin. 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
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.