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10 Great Tips for Shooting Video in Boston

The city of Boston is a culturally diverse community with plenty of history to occupy the historian in you for weeks. But if you’re visiting Boston, Massachusetts for a film shoot, chances are you’re on a strict time budget with only days or hours to spare. Make sure you get to enjoy the wonder of all Boston has to offer while you’re visiting for your film shoot. Follow these top 10 tips for shooting video in Boston. 

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Boston City Shot

#10. – Logan International Airport & Transit 

If you’re coming into Boston via the airport, plan a few hours to get through traffic when you leave. The Boston transit authority does their best to keep traffic controlled through the subways exiting the airport but there are usually delays. 

Boston Airport shot

#9. — Give Yourself Time 

Getting around Boston is not always as simple and cut and dry as Mapquest or other apps may make the travel appear. Always give yourself extra time to ensure you’re able to get to your location without worry. We recommend adding 30% to the estimated time that is provided in GPS to ensure you’ve allocated the time for traffic. 

#8. — Prepare for the Challenge 

Are you even going to attempt to drive and park a car in the city of Boston? If so, you best prepare for a challenge! Boston is one of the most difficult cities in the country in terms of parking. In fact, plan to struggle quite a bit in finding parking within the city. You’re better off parking somewhere outside city limits and taking the subway into town — but this too presents challenges for film crews carrying equipment and supplies. 

#7. — Shoot B-Roll 

If you’re intending to capture b-roll in the city it’s important to plan accordingly. It’s all about the timing. You’ll want to plan plenty of extra time for your crew to get to where you’re going. Be prepared to spend time waiting. Check the skyline via the harbor or consider shooting at Rowes Wharf alongside Quincy market. 

#6. — Film Permitting 

The Boston Film Bureau is responsible for film permitting in the city. Communicate with the Film Bureau in advance to ensure you know the proper rules regarding locations and film 

requirements. They can also help you work with the police department or other needs regarding traffic control. 

#5. –Shoot B-Roll from Boat 

The city of Boston offers several different opportunities to view the city itself from the water. Take a catamaran or barge out into the wharf and then capture b-roll footage from the water. You’ll love the way the city looks during golden hour. 

#4. — Production Coordinators Help 

Contact the Boston Film Bureau to work with production coordinators that can help you out with things like arranging your film location or working with local federal agencies. The production coordinators will become close allies of yours while you’re in town. 

#3. — Massachusetts Film Office 

The Massachusetts Film Office is your go to for support on regional organizations. Talk with them about filmmaker production groups such as the WIFV New England chapter and the Filmmakers Collaborative, both can help you and your crew while you’re in town. 

#2. — Public Film Permits 

If you’re shooting in Boston public you’ll need a permit. Pretty much any public location within the city requires a film permit. Don’t get caught filming without the proper permitting. 

#1. — Harvard Is Not a Likely Location for a Shoot 

If you’re visiting Boston for a film shoot and Harvard is top of your list, think again. It’s not likely that Harvard will provide you with the opportunity to film. They rarely give permission out to shoot and require explicit permission for you to even step foot on campus — sorry guys! 

Need to hire a film crew for your Boston shoot? Give Beverly Boy Productions a call!