Welcome to Production in Paterson, NJ

Since the 1900’s, the film industry in northern New Jersey, began. Thomas Edison had the Black Mariah and operated the first film viewings here including Great Train Robbery, which was filmed in Paterson. The Paterson Film & Entertainment Commission is an advocate for all kinds of productions, from major feature films and television series to commercials, music videos, documentaries, and student films. We assist you through the permit process and offer services to assist your project. We look forward to working with you. We have a reputation for finding a way to say yes.

How Shooting Works with the PFEC Permit

When your project is shooting at an exterior location that requires traffic control or has a scene with prop firearms, weapons, or actors in police uniforms, you must request that the Paterson Police Department Police Security Coordinator Rory Buchanan at rbuchanan@patersonpd.com, with Cc. to info@patersonfec.org. be assigned to your location.

All decisions about what is permitted are made by the Paterson Film & Entertainment Commission, working in close consultation with the City of Paterson. We have the experience and resources to facilitate your production requests.

*Filming in city parks or interiors within city buildings will require additional permissions from the controlling entities. Please contact our office to obtain specific contact information.*


In order for you or your organization to be eligible for a Motion Picture or Television Permit, Liability Insurance is required. A CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE must be provided to the Paterson Office of Special Events 48 hours in advance of your online permit application submission.  A copy must also be submitted to the Paterson Film & Entertainment Commission via email to info@patersonfec.org.


A pre-production meeting with the Paterson Film & Entertainment Commission is required for all feature films, television movies, series or specials, elaborate exterior commercial shoots and music videos shooting exteriors with celebrities, or multiple locations. It is recommended that this meeting be scheduled with our office three weeks before shooting, but must be scheduled no later than five business days before the actual shoot begins.

The purpose of this meeting is to review shooting plans and production schedules. Participants generally include the Production Manager and Location Manager, as well as representatives from our office and other relevant agencies. Immediately following this main pre-production meeting at our office, you are ready to apply for a permit detailing the location activities.

Permits can be issued within 48 Business hours of application. The deadline for permit applications is 2 Business days before your scheduled shoot.

More complex productions require special consideration by the Paterson Police Department, Police Security Coordinator Rory Buchanan at rbuchanan@patersonpd.com, with Cc. to info@patersonfec.org. Therefore applications must be submitted three to four days prior to the shoot date.

This agency is as flexible as possible when emergencies require a schedule change on the day before a shoot, but emergency changes should always be called into both the Office of Special Events, and the Paterson Police Department as the first priority.

Parking Features of the Permit

Our permit provides special parking privileges at locations for vehicles essential to your shoot. These vehicles include equipment trucks, lifts, cranes, campers and honeywagons. Crew or personal cars are not covered by the permit.

You must supply each vehicle’s plate number and state, description and size. A copy of the permit must be displayed on the dashboard of each vehicle.

Oversized Vehicle Permit Procedure

An oversized vehicle permit is required for any single vehicle exceeding 35’ length (bumper to bumper), 8’ width or 13’6” height and for tractor/trailer vehicles exceeding 55′ length, 8′ width or 13’6″. 

Special Permissions

Any child under the age of 18 years must, by New Jersey State law, have a permit to work in a film or television production. For further information, contact us or the New Jersey Film Commission.

Pyrotechnics, fire effects, and explosions, including simulated and other smoke effects, require a prior inspection, permit, and supervision by the Paterson Fire Department.

Exceptional requests (i.e. removing a lamppost, changing a street sign, etc.) may require additional permits. The Paterson Film & Entertainment Commission will provide the municipal contacts to expedite this.

Locations that require prior approval from other city agencies, private organizations, or conservancies must have that information (contact name, organization name, and phone number) indicated on the permit application request.

General Location Assistance

For any location sites not directly available through our permit, the Paterson Film & Entertainment Commission has extensive contacts and will support your requests. This includes county and county government buildings, parks, and landmarks under state or county jurisdiction, as well as many, key privately-owned locations. When you start pre-production, we will provide additional details, and we will work with you to anticipate and resolve any problems that may arise.