Filming in New Hanover County

New Hanover County welcomes your interest in filming in our location. Our mission is to provide service and assistance to all film, television, music, commercial production and still photography businesses to promote industry expansion and economic prosperity.  New Hanover County offers a variety of locations.  Our online permitting process is convenient.  The temperate climate allows for filming year round. Those are just a few reasons to select New Hanover County, NC as the location for your next project.

The state of North Carolina offers a grant program that rebates productions up to 25% of qualified expenses/purchases.  Contact the NC Film Commission for details.


You will need a county permit while filming on property owned or maintained by New Hanover County, North Carolina.

You will NOT need a permit if:

  • If you are news media working on behalf of your news organization
  • Only one camera is used
  • If the project is produced entirely on private property

New Hanover County requires a minimum of three (3) business days advance notice to process applications not requiring complex activities. Different state, county or city agencies may have different advance notice requirements and multiple agencies may be involved. Approvals are based on impact to the property. Advanced notice is required to better determine the amount of monitors that may be assigned to the shoot.

New Hanover County has a number of scenic locations available for commercial filming and photography. Only property owned by or in direct control of New Hanover County government will be permitted by the county for use.

Permitting is not required by New Hanover County if production takes place entirely on privately owned property. Each jurisdiction within the county may have its own guidelines.

Although no other consent is required, company must notify adjacent property owners of its intent to use the premises, including hours of use. Company will not obstruct public access to Owner facilities, or interfere with scheduled access to the facilities.

Scouting of the proposed location with county representative(s) is highly recommended.






Roads, rural/urban


Each production company agrees to indemnify and hold the county and authorized representative(s) harmless against any and all liability for injury to or death of persons, and for damage to the Property (collectively “Liability”) occurring during the Company’s use of said Property, and caused by the Company, or any of its employees in the conduct of motion picture operations hereunder, except for Liability caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of Owner. To the extent permitted by law, Owner agrees to indemnify and hold the Company and authorized representative(s) harmless against any and all liability for injury to or death of persons, and for damage to the Property occurring during the Company’s use of said Property.

All production companies shall obtain at their own expense and maintain insurance with insurers licensed to do business in the State of North Carolina with an A.M. Best’s rating of no less than A VII unless specific approval has been granted by Owner and of the kinds and minimum amounts specified below.

Commercial General Liability. Company shall maintain Commercial General Liability coverage for premises, operations, independent contractors, products-completed operations, personal and advertising injury, and liability assumed under an insured contract (including the tort liability of another assumed in a business contract). The policy shall provide liability limits at least in the amount of $1,000,000
each occurrence/$2,000,000 general aggregate, applicable to claims due to bodily injury and/or property damage. The Certificate of Insurance shall name Owner as an additional insured by Insurance Services Office (ISO) endorsement CG 20 10 or its equivalent.

Business Automobile Liability. Covering liability arising out of any auto, including owned, non-owned and hired vehicles, providing liability limits at least in the amount of $1,000,000 each accident applicable to claims due to bodily injury and/or property damage.

Workers Compensation and Employer’s Liability. Company shall maintain Workers’ Compensation as required by the general statutes of the State of North Carolina and Employer’s Liability Insurance. The Employers’ Liability, and if necessary, Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance shall not be less than $500,000 each accident for bodily injury by accident, $500,000 each employee for bodily injury by disease, and $500,000 policy limit.

Company shall include all subcontractors as insureds under its policies or require all coverage for subcontractors be subject to all of the requirements stated herein. Company shall be responsible for assuring that all subcontractors are properly insured.

Company shall furnish Owner with a certificate(s) of insurance, executed by a duly authorized representative of each insurer, showing compliance with the insurance requirements prior to occupying county property.

New Hanover County does not charge location fees, except in the case of Airlie Gardens. The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has set fees for Airlie Gardens as follows:

  • $1,750/day of production
  • $250/day of pre or post production
  • $300/day Commercial Photography

Airlie Gardens requires all photo shoots to be scheduled during weekday business hours only. For those requesting a staff member, golf carts, special hours, props and private vehicles, an additional fee will be charged based on the nature of the request.

Reimbursement of direct expenses
While no location fees apply otherwise, the county will collect direct cost reimbursement of monitor fees when applicable. Please call us for information on current hourly rates and minimums. Monitor fees may be determined by and billed through the local jurisdictions.

Filming activities may necessitate the assignment of housekeeping, inspection and/or law enforcement personnel. Reimbursements vary depending on the length of use and the number of personnel assigned by the county to monitor its property.

Law enforcement officers are not automatically assigned and, if not ordered in advance by the company, may prevent your filming from taking place. It is the film company’s responsibility to contact the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office (NHCSO) at (910) 798-7400, a minimum of 48 hours prior to filming to determine whether officers are needed and available, and to determine if local law enforcement should be involved.

The County Fire Marshal oversees fire, special effects and life safety issues throughout New Hanover County. Fire safety officers or advisors assigned from a local jurisdiction may be required following review by the Fire Marshal. Special effects, indoor filming, large crews, projectile pyrotechnics and filming during fire season or in fire-sensitive areas are examples of activities that may warrant fire safety officer assignment. The Fire Marshal may be reached directly at (910) 798-7420.

A film permit is required to film on any property maintained by New Hanover County. In order for the permit application to be approved, you must submit an original letter, from an accredited U.S. educational institution, on that institution’s letterhead, indicating that you are currently enrolled in that institution and that the film is a student project. The educational institution must indicate that they will either retain the rights to the project, or verify that the project will not be used for commercial purposes. The school must also assume any and all liability arising from the student project. The letter must be signed and dated by an instructor or other school official.


TO OUR CITIZENS: New Hanover County government works to create an environment where on-location filming is conducted with professionalism and courtesy. Part of our job is to coordinate permits for on-location filming in a way that minimizes the impact of film production on your neighborhood. Productions companies are obligated to adhere to this Code of Professional Responsibility. If you find a production company is not complying with these provisions, please contact (910) 798-7493.

TO THE INDUSTRY: You can count on New Hanover County to assist you in your on-location needs. Helping to maintain a positive working relationship with community members will help ensure continued access to a great variety of locations. Please remember, you are guests and should treat this location, as well as the public, with courtesy. Please adhere to the following provisions of this code which are a part of your permit:

  1. The production company must comply with the provisions of this permit at all times. This code of Professional Responsibility will be attached to every permit and both must be shown to any member of the public that asks to see them.
  2. When filming in a neighborhood or business district, proper notification should be provided to each merchant or resident who is directly affected by the company (this includes parking, base camps, and meal areas). The filming notice should include:
    • Name of company
    • Name of production
    • Company Contact
    • Kind of production
    • Type of activity & duration
  3. Production vehicles arriving on location in or near a residential neighborhood should not enter the area before the time stipulated in the permit, should park one by one, and turn off engines as soon as possible. Cast and crew should observe designated speed limits and parking areas. Production vehicles must not block driveways without the express permission of the driveway owner.
  4. Do not trespass onto neighbors’ or merchants’ property. Please remain within the boundaries of the property that has been permitted for filming.
  5. Moving or towing of the public’s vehicles is prohibited without the express permission of the municipal jurisdiction or the owner.
  6. Cast and crew meals should be confined to the area designated in the permit. All catering, craft service, construction, strike and personal trash must be removed from location.
  7. Cast and crew shall refrain from using lewd or offensive language within earshot of the general public.
  8. Crew members should not display signs, posters or pictures that do not reflect common sense and good taste.
  9. All members of the production company should wear clothing that conforms to good taste and common sense. Shoes and shirts must be worn at all times.
  10. Removing, trimming and/or cutting of vegetation or trees is prohibited unless approved by the property owner.
  11. All signs erected or removed for filming purposes will be removed or replaced upon completion of the use of that location unless otherwise stipulated in the permit.
  12. Please keep all noise levels as low as possible.
  13. The use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited by county ordinance within 50 feet of county-owned property.
  14. The cast and crew should not bring guests or pets to the location, unless expressly authorized in advance by the county.
  15. If production ID passes are issued by the production company, every crew member must wear the pass while on location.
  16. All sets and props should be removed upon completion of their use.
  17. The use of alcohol or illegal substances is strictly prohibited. Violation may result in the termination of your permit.
Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277