5. Get in and get out. Be sure to get what you need first. What are the essential shots you need to tell the story? Grab those first. Any expendable shots should be held off until the end and considered icing on the cake. If you’re not sure what shots to grab, you probably aren’t ready yet.
6. Be prepared with a contingency plan. Have a backup location should you not be allowed to shoot in your first choice. The last thing you want is to send everyone home. I’m sure juggling schedules to make the day happen was tough enough – so why go through the hassle again when everyone is there ready to go? Have a location A, B and even C if needed. Get that scheduled scene done no matter what.
7. You are a film student. People love them and support aspiring filmmakers. They understand even more that as a student you probably don’t have much money. I’ve experienced it first hand that people in NY are supportive and will leave you to your own devices if you just say: “I’m a film student.”
So for all intents and purpose, this article is meant for your simple reading pleasure. I am neither condoning such behavior nor admitting to having done so in the past.
This is more of what I would do in theory if I had to shoot in a spot without permission. A hypothetical. Yeah, that’s it. If anyone formally asks how I was able to shoot in a certain location, I’ll always respond that we actually filmed on a sound stage made to look exactly like New York City.
***Please note that this does not apply to all situations as some cities have different permit requirements or may not have them at all. Check with your local film commission for guidelines.***