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10 Tips for Shooting Video in Paris

Posted by Montanna Mellion on August 25, 2015

La Ville Lumière… the City of Lights…Paris. Whether you are sipping on your café au lait at a sidewalk café or marveling at landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, or the exhibits at the Louvre, you are guaranteed to be amazed by all of the beauty in the iconic and classic city of Paris, France. All of its beauty and liveliness makes for one fantastic and ideal shooting location for people all around the world. So before you embark on a journey to Paris to film a shoot, prepare yourself by reading these tips for shooting on location:

10 – Permits can be tricky in Paris. Make sure that you follow all of the necessary procedures to assure that everything goes smoothly. First you must have two permits: one issued for the City of Paris by Paris Film Office and one issued by the Prefecture de Police, the city’s police authority. However, if you plan to film in the street and your film crew has less than 10 people, you do not need a permit from the Paris Film Office, but may still need one from the Police Headquarters. One thing to keep in mind is any park or garden or square or grounds of a public monument will require a permit. Permits are not centralized so a fixer or location manager is a good idea when there are a lot of them on the shot list.

9 – When anyone thinks about Paris, France, they usually picture the beautiful Eiffel Tower. It is a very popular shot and is a staple to any Paris shoot. However, the sparkling champagne lights that bubble up 10’ before the hour on the Eiffel Tower at night cannot be broadcast without paying for the rights. This is the only time The Eiffel tower is subject to image rights.

8 – Image rights are always important, so make sure you do plenty of research before you choose your locations and begin filming. Only buildings whose architect is living or who have died less than 70 years ago are subject to image rights.

7 – Getting to any location on time and finding a parking space to unload can be difficult. Traffic is unpredictable and can grind to a halt.  Mission Cinema- Paris Film provides a wonderful resource of areas to avoid while filming. It describes all current roadwork taking place in each district and also provides a list of all locations where parking is limited or restricted.

6 – If Paris is your European or French base, taking a train to the next location can often be a lot less stressful and time consuming than taking an airplane. The train systems are relatively easy to navigate and are quite stress-free.

5 – Depending on frequency and location (especially around the Eiffel Tower), radio mikes can be subject to a fair amount of interference. Be prepared for this problem before arriving at your shoot set.

4 – There are some costs you must consider before you begin your shoot. Permits are issued completely free of charges but there are some other costs to be factored in.

  • Fees for occupation of locations belonging to the City of Paris
  • Fees for requested technical operations
  • Parking Fees

3 – Paris: City of love or the dog poop capital of the world? For camera crews, midlevel spreaders stay a lot cleaner compared to on the ground spreaders. Crews Control represented videographer Steven Gruen says “Paris used to be the dog poop capital of the world, but it’s getting better.”

2 – Something important to know is that most shops in Paris close midday. The classic French shopping week runs Monday to Saturday; typical store hours are 9am to midday, then 2pm to 7pm. This is critical knowledge for breaks on a full-day shoot. Some urban shopping areas have instituted “la journee continue,” meaning they won’t close midday. Unless you know which shops are closed and which ones aren’t you may be out of luck for a place to eat when you break during shoot. Be sure to plan accordingly!

1 – Looking to add some production value to your shot? Steven Gruen also informs us that, “The city is timeless and gorgeous in black and white Also, in the summer time, a dark night sky doesn’t really fall before 11p.m. This makes for long days and slow sunsets.”

BONUS: Teleprompters are a frightfully expensive piece of equipment to rent in Paris. When shooting in Paris (or hiring a local crew) try not to rent a teleprompter if you don’t have to. If it’s something that’s unavoidable make sure it’s in the budget. The last thing you want is an unexpected expense to bust the budget on your location video shoot.

Paris is known for its fashion, class, beauty, food, art and culture, which makes it a very popular destination for filming. If you need a crew in Paris, Crews Control has only the best to help you out. Give us a call; let us know what you need through our easy quote form and we’ll match you with the perfect crew. Don’t forget, you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn!



  1. Thank you for the informative page.

    I have a question:
    I’m working with an American production company budgeting a potential concert shoot in Paris in May or June. We’re unsure if we will be filming the band then or where in Paris, or later in the summer at another location. This is depending on the bands availability and the budget.

    Some of our key people – director, producers (2), production manager – will be traveling in from America, other crew members will be coming in from London and others will be local hires. What might the non-local crew members need to work in Paris in terms of work Visas and the like? Everyone will be paid for their labor in their respective countries.

    It will be a one-day shoot.

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