February 7, 2015

Due to Recent Attacks, Paris is Getting Tougher on Action Scene Permits

Paris Action Movie Ban
In response to growing concerns about terrorist attacks, French officials have restricted productions from filming action sequences in Paris.

Filming in Paris currently requires a dual-permit application process, one from City Hall and the other from the Prefecture de Paris. Although both institutions are traditionally film-friendly, the new restrictions will prevent the Prefecture de Paris from issuing permits to productions looking to film action sequences within the city.

"There’s a problem with these action-type scenes, as the actors in uniform could be targets for terrorists," says police commander Sylvie Barnaud. In light of recent terrorist violence against police officers, French officials want to prevent any coincidental violence against actors dressed as law enforcement. Officials are also concerned that large action sequences featuring fake weaponry and pyrotechnics could confuse the public, and perhaps make them believe that another attack is underway.

UPDATE: Although numerous sources confirm that these restrictions are legitimate and are already affecting a wide range of productions, there is some debate as to whether they are as severe as has been reported. According to a blog post from the French publication Le Monde, the Prefecture de Paris has not banned action sequences outright, but instead is permitting productions on a case by case basis. So far, only four of the five productions with either action or police story elements looking to shoot in the public spaces of Paris have been denied a permit. Based on that, it's unlikely that filmmakers will receive permissions for certain types of scenes shot in public, but it's not impossible.

However, don't expect to see any high-octane scenes — like the following sequence from Lucy featuring a Parisian backdrop any time in the near future.

Though French officials say that it is a temporary measure, it is unknown how long the restrictions will be in place. 

So what does this mean for filmmakers? Well for starters, it's likely going to drive away a small subset of big-budget action flicks looking to take advantage of the historic city's aesthetic and the government's tax incentives. For everyone else looking to shoot in the streets and other public areas of Paris, these restrictions could very well force script revisions to remove problematic sequences that include police or firearms. In essence, the permitting process will be significantly more difficult for certain productions looking to use public space.     

Header Photo: AFP-JIJI

Your Comment

13 Comments

What?!? I expected the rationale to be that the action scenes might confuse/traumatize civilians who see it and don't realize what's going on (You know... as if the production equipment and personnel everywhere wouldn't be a dead giveaway). But nope! They're... Worried that terrorists are going to target actors dressed as law enforcement? WTF? That's the most ridiculous justification for a silly government policy I've heard in... Well, at least a day or two.

February 8, 2015 at 2:38AM

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David West
Filmmaker
1312

I am not sure if you have kept up with French current events; Islamic extremists are inflicting the population with fear via shootings and bombings. They have turned once beautiful suburban into slums which even the homeless fear to go.
These regulations are necessary.

February 8, 2015 at 7:02AM

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Connor Day
Director of Photography
370

That's just ignorant. I'm FROM these "slums" as you say. It's complete BS.
What are you basing this on? Your FN voter card?

February 8, 2015 at 8:57AM

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JM
Writer/Producer
74

Why does every issue have to create political polarization? Can't you realize that these terrorists (whether Islamic or not) are degrading our ever-progressing society?
"I'm FROM these 'slums'," I am certain you are. What is the name of your municipality? I am certain you do not reside in the slums that I am speaking of.

March 6, 2015 at 1:19PM, Edited March 6, 1:19PM

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Connor Day
Director of Photography
370

Well... That's not true! If you can read french, read this : http://bigbrowser.blog.lemonde.fr/2015/02/05/non-la-ville-de-paris-na-pa...

(only one french TV film didn't get the authorization to shoot in streets of Paris)

February 8, 2015 at 3:43AM

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Laurent
74

Since November 2014 Russian arm and any camera attach outside a car are also forbidden

February 8, 2015 at 4:40AM

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Vincent Follézou
Motion Designer
88

No. Read Le Monde (France's equivalent of the NYT). The headline literally reads:

Non, la Ville de Paris n’a pas interdit les tournages de films d’action

Which translates to: "No, the City of Paris did not ban the filming of action films."

Please be careful with the fear-mongering articles. The same type of articles (ahem Fox) that claimed No-Go zones for non-muslims in Paris.

February 8, 2015 at 4:59AM

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JM
Writer/Producer
74

The article continues with a quote from the Police Chief who says "« Les séquences d'action ne sont pas interdites en soi, explique la commandante Barnaud. On continue à donner des autorisations au cas par cas. Cela n'a pas changé fondamentalement notre façon de travailler. »

"Action sequences are not banned in and of themselves, explains Chief Barnaud. We will continue to give authorizations on a case by case basis. This has not fundamentally changed the way we operate."

February 8, 2015 at 5:02AM

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JM
Writer/Producer
74

since very long time ago we are supposed to have permission from both City Hall and Prefecture de Paris..nothing changed.
I dont think this will happen for any long time..
Especially shooting action movies always requires closing the street, and since its too hard and expensice to close a street in Paris many filmmakers try to manipulate and shoot in some outside streets close to paris...
but is it end for action scenes? 100% NO. That is not possible without any doubt.
Police commander Sylvie Barnaud said that the Prefecture de Paris, for a temporary period at least, will not issue permits for action sequences.
Olivier-Rene Veillon, prexy of the Ile de France Film Commission, said that he was unperturbed by the ban and did not expect it to have any long-term effect.
Franck Priot, COO of Film France, also emphasized to Variety that Paris continues to be an extremely safe place to shoot and that the city’s agencies are fully committed to making miracles happen in terms of foreign productions.

February 8, 2015 at 5:02AM, Edited February 8, 5:02AM

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Ammar Quteineh
Director|Cinematographer |||France|||
684

the terrorists have won again

February 8, 2015 at 5:42AM

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Joe Sand
Actor, Writer, Director, Editor
352

The title of this article needs to be reworked, just did a few seconds of searching and found reputable sources that just say there is more scrutiny put to production teams filing for action scenes in the city but not all out ban. Maybe someone didnt get approved and wrote some BS about how no one is allowed to film but thats not the case.

February 8, 2015 at 8:52AM

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Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
923

So the terrorists win again. Thats exactly what they want. To make our life‘s more uncomfortable. And how is this preventing from armed, crazy men to storm in an office and shooting everybody? Weird.

February 8, 2015 at 10:22AM

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Good title change.

February 8, 2015 at 2:25PM

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Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
923