During my location managers job I’ve had a number of dealings with the Bristol Film office. The Film office has been an incredibly useful resource when getting permits and advice related to filming on location. They have a simple to use system that allows permits to be submitted online and they have a relatively quick turnaround of applications. As we were planning on using fake weapons they were also helpful in contacting the police on our behalf. Even though the initial application was refused, it was helpful that they were doing the leg work for us with relation to other departments.
The usefulness of the film office became apparent when I tried to gain permission to film in Wales. Newport doesn’t have a film office (although Cardiff does) and because of this I had to do everything more traditionally though the post to the streets department of the council. This was a laborious task and while it may work for bigger productions which are planned well in advance I don’t think it works when you have a short notice request of even a couple of weeks as with our production.