If you come to Germany for a TV/film or photo production, one of the first question that needs to be answered is if filming permits have to be obtained.
Germany has the reputation of being a bureaucratic country and this is reflected in the facts – for instance when it comes to filming permits on public grounds. Be aware that every city and municipality has its own procedure for obtaining shooting permits.
For shooting with larger crews (usually more than 5 people) and/or if a lot of equipment is used (normally more than a tripod), one filming permit is required in any case, sometimes even more for the very same location.
In some cities, filming permits on public grounds are not required for smaller, documentary shoots. Other cities require a general filming permit for small shoots, such as Frankfurt, or in the case of Berlin, a separate permit is required for each individual location in the city.
A good lead time for the processing of filming permits is on average 2-3 weeks. For less complex shoots, the permits are often quicker to get. The authorities need the applications in German – not English – so that they can be processed. It is advisable to work with a native speaker.
If you have any questions about this or about permits in other places in Germany, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to support you.
Here are a few links on the procedure for obtaining filming permits in the largest cities in Germany: