Shooting in Paris (Films, That Is): It’s Complicated!

Shooting in Paris (Films, That Is): It’s Complicated!
Back in February Parisians were startled to see hordes of zombies shuffling over the city’s cobblestone streets. They might understandably have concluded the undead were readying a gastronomic tour of Paris (and tasty Parisians). Actually it was the shooting of an episode of The Walking Dead, and blasé locals weren’t nearly as panicked as the New Jerseyites taken in by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast. Still, it was a striking example of how shooting movies in Paris can disrupt life, even while providing publicity, and revenue. Tournage à Paris du spin-off de #TheWalkingDead 📽️ @TVMAG @Le_Figaro — Laura Terrazas (@LoraTerrazas) February 8, 2023 In 2022, 102 films were shot in Paris — that doesn’t include short films or video clips. There were features by François Ozon, Maiwenn, Olivier Toledano — not to mention TV series like Lupin and Emily in Paris. Currently there are over a dozen movies and TV series being filmed in Paris. Among the works being shot in the capital are the features Cold Storage by Jonny Campbell, Sharks by Xavier Gens, Nous les Leroy by Florent Bernard, Planete B by Aude Léa Rapin, as well as a host of series: Tout Pour Agnès, La Fièvre, Dans l’Ombre, Mademoiselle Holmes, Fiasco, Theodosia and the Oasis of Magic. That doesn’t include productions in preparation, pre-production, and post-production.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston) Given the importance of Paris, there are not one but two authorities that have jurisdiction over film shoots: the municipality, and the Prefecture de Police, an arm of the national government. The principal go-to authority is Paris Film, an office of the municipal government, which will study and approve the producer’s application to film. The producers must prepare a detailed file about the prospective film shoot, with information about the budget, shooting dates, number of technicians involved, description of the equipment and vehicles to be used. They also have to provide the film’s title, the name of the director, an excerpt of the film script or synopsis, sometimes even a storyboard. The filmmakers must also provide proof of adequate insurance. Depending on the kind of film there are also specific elements to deal with: respect for biodiversity and the environment, the use of firearms, shots taken from the air. In addition to giving authorization, the authorities may also provide, at a fee of course, special services and equipment.

Lead photo credit : Photo by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash

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Dimitri Keramitas was born and raised in Connecticut, USA, and was educated at the University of Hartford, Sorbonne, and the University of London, and holds degrees in literature and law. He has lived in Paris for years, and directs a training company and translation agency. In addition, he has worked as a film critic for both print and on-line publications, including Bonjour Paris and France Today. He is a contributing editor to Movies in American History. In addition he is an award-winning writer of fiction, whose stories have been published in many literary journals. He is the director of the creative writing program at WICE, a Paris-based organization. He is also a director at the Paris Alumni Network, an organization linking together several hundred professionals, and is the editor of its newletter. The father of two children, Dimitri not only enjoys Paris living but returning to the US regularly and traveling in Europe and elsewhere.