Film shoots are just like life: anything can go wrong at any time. That’s why God created insurance. Never leave home (for a shoot) without it!

Shooting on Public vs. Private Property

The first thing to take into consideration when considering locations for your shoot is whether the property you want to shoot on is public or private. Public lands/properties are those owned by either the city/county, state, or federal government, and private lands/properties are those owned by individuals.

In most cases it is pretty easy to distinguish if the location is public or private. Almost all parks are public (though there are exceptions, like Hunakai Park in Kahala, which is privately owned), most streets and sidewalks are public, and in most cases buildings and properties housing government entities and government-run institutions are public, including public schools. Commercial buildings, residential buildings, private schools, and generally any place not owned by a government entity is considered private land. Where public land ends and private land begins is not always easy to decipher, but in most cases your shooting location will be clearly differentiable as public or private.

Please see the sections below for more information on what you need to do IN ADVANCE to be allowed to shoot at EACH of your locations.

Shooting on Private Property – Owner Permission + Certificate of Insurance

When shooting at a privately owned location, the first thing you MUST do is get permission from the OWNER (not the tenant) to shoot on their property. Once you have their permission, and have set your shoot dates at that location and cleared the dates with the owner (and tenant if applicable), then you will need to apply through the ACM Media Center Director for a Certificate of Insurance (COI), which states the various types of ACM insurance coverage that protect you, your crew, equipment, and the property owner.

It’s understandable in the world of filmmaking that things change at the last minute, but for the sake of your poor Media Center Director and the lovely people he deals with at the insurance company, please try to have your dates finalized and your location confirmed before requesting your Certificate of Insurance.

To request a Certification of Insurance for your shoot, the following information is needed at least one week in advance of your shoot, and should be emailed to the ACM Media Center Director at


Your Name

Name of your Production

Dates Shooting at This Location

Owner(s) of the Property

Address of the Property


Your Name: Hay Jubert

Name of your Production: Waimanalo Chainsaw Massacre

Dates Shooting at This Location: April 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 2017

Owner of the Property: Leatherface Suzuki

Address of the Property: 41-1537 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795

Shooting on Public Property – Apply for a Permit

When shooting on public land administered by the city/county, you will need to apply for a permit from the Honolulu Film Office. When shooting on public land administered by the state, you will need to apply for a permit from the Hawaii Film Office. When shooting on public land administered by the federal government, you will need lots of connections with very powerful people (ok, not always, but in many cases you will find federally administered lands inaccessible for film shoots).

Both the Honolulu Film Office and Hawaii Film Office offer two types of permits, and it’s very important to understand the difference between the two.