DATE: March 9, 2020

Revised Guidelines for Filming in Big Sur / on Bixby Bridge / Highway One in Monterey County with Intermittent Traffic Control
Filming in Big Sur/Bixby Bridge/Highway One in Monterey County
Rev. 03-05-20
Due to increased sensitivity to traffic delays caused by Intermittent Traffic Control (ITC) for those transiting Highway One in Big Sur, it is important to notify local residents and business groups in advance of film production activities that include ITC or other high- impact activities such helicopters and drones. The growing number of tourists along Highway One, in addition to requests to film in the Bixby Bridge area has heavily impacted residents and businesses. The following guidelines will help ensure continued access and better cooperation with the Big Sur Community.

Requests to film on Highway One with ITC will be considered on a case by case basis subject to the potential impact on the community,  with special consideration given to the size and duration of the production as well as the inclusion of other events happening in the area at the same time. The existing moratorium on film production requiring ITC between Memorial Day and Labor Day remains in effect.
  1. Intermittent Traffic Control (ITC) may not last longer than five (5) minutes.
  2. No helicopter filming is allowed below 1,000 feet.
  3. The use of a drone will require consultation with a biologist from the Ventana Wildlife Society and having a biologist on-site to monitor California Condors if deemed necessary.
  4. Proposed drone flights at low altitudes over water will also necessitate an advance waiver request from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). It could take up to 30 days as they analyze the feasibility of film shoots based on animal/sealife cycles in specific areas along Highway 1.
  5. Drones are not permitted over private property without permission from the landowner(s).
  6. Drones are not permitted over Caltrans rights-of-way (including turnouts) without a Caltrans encroachment permit and ITC enforced by CHP.
  7. Coast Road must not be used as a basecamp. A permit from Monterey County must be obtained to park essential production vehicles (only) at this location.
  8. Residents living off Coast Road must be allowed access to their properties, except during active ITC holds.
  9. No more than 50% of any turnout may be used.
  10. ITC is prohibited on weekends.
  11. No more than one (1) production with ITC will be allowed in any one week, and there must be at least seven (7) calendar days between all production activities.
  12. No more than two consecutive days of film activities will be allowed, including prep, strike and weather days.
  13. Productions must notify the Coast Unified School District to coordinate shoot times around school bus schedules.
  14. ITC must be suspended when necessary to make way for school buses and emergency vehicles.
  15. Productions must notify Monterey County Supervisor Mary Adams' office of impending film activity at least two days prior to the first prep or shoot date.
  16. Productions should also notify Monterey County Film Commissioner, Karen Nordstrand of impending film activity at least two days prior to the first prep or shoot date.
  17. Once you have submitted a film permit application to the California Film Commission, or with the county (for locations under their jurisdiction), please notify the entities below (at least two days prior to the first prep or shoot day) whenever activities include ITC, helicopters, drones or parking on Old Coast Road.
Notification Contacts:
Monterey County Supervisor Mary Adams' Office
Karen Nordstrand,
Monterey County Film Commissioner
Joe Burnett
Sr. Wildlife Biologist-Coordinator
California Condor Program
Ventana Wildlife Society
Sophie De Beukelaer
Permit Coordinator
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Coast Unified School District
Chief Cheryl Goetz
Mid Coast Fire Brigade (Bixby Bridge and north is in this sector of fire service)
831-601-5718 / 831-625-8175
Big Sur Kate Blog

Big Sur Chamber of Commerce

Some productions may choose to make a donation that would have a positive, direct impact on Big Sur residents. These local non-profits include: the volunteer Mid-Coast Fire Brigade (northern portion of Big Sur) and Big Sur Fire Brigade (southern portion of Big Sur).

Mid-Coast Fire Brigade (Chief Cheryl Goetz) 
c/o Mid Coast Fire Brigade
38000 Palo Colorado Road
Carmel, CA 93923

Big Sur Fire Brigade (Chief Matt Harris)
c/o Big Sur Fire
P.O. Box 520
Big Sur, CA 93920

For further questions, please contact:
Eric Klosterman
Permit Department Manager
California Film Commission

About  the  California Film Commission
The California Film Commission (CFC) enhances California's status as the leader in motion picture, television and commercial production.
A one-stop office for filmmakers, the Commission supports productions of all sizes and budgets. In addition to managing the Film & Television Tax Credit program, services include an extensive digital location library, free online permitting, low cost use of state properties as shooting locations, and production assistance.
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323.860.2960 │ 800.858.4749
(c) 2017 California Film Commission