City of Burien announces Film Office, publishes new website for filmmakers

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Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 12.39.51 PM

Screenshot of the City of Burien’s new Film Office web page.

The City of Burien this week created a new Film Office, with its mission stated as “supporting and promoting Burien’s local film industry by connecting filmmakers with information and raising the profile of film in Burien.”

On the website, filmmakers can learn about some films shot in Burien, view clips and trailers, see what resources are available, and links to forms for permits required to film here.

The idea for the film office and website came out of conversations between local filmmakers (including BTB Editor Scott Schaefer), along with Economic Development Manager Dan Trimble, whose office created and launched it. Management Intern Andrew Desmond created the web page.

“Whether you have a steadfast plan or just an idea, we encourage you to reach out to the City,” a statement reads. “This office is committed to helping prospective filmmakers find the information they need to start filming at City locations.”

The website also has information on educational courses related to film, at the Puget Sound Skills Center and Highline College.

And on Wednesday night, April 1, the first-ever Burien Film Festival was held, with many filmmakers and city staff in attendance! Organizers are already preparing for the second iteration – stay tuned to the blog for details…

Permit information:

  • Permits in Burien are needed in 2 situations:
    • If the filming is expected to block the public right-of-way, a Right-of-Way (ROW) use permit will be required.  ROW use permits are administered by the Public Works Department and more information can be found at
    • If the filming will exceed a total of 2 days per calendar year, it may require a Temporary Use Permit.  Temporary Use Permits are administered by the Community Development Department and more information can be found at
    • If you have questions regarding these permits, please call Burien’s Community Development Department, (206) 248-5510.

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14 Responses to “City of Burien announces Film Office, publishes new website for filmmakers”
  1. Burien Bill says:

    How many of us in Burien will ever benefit from a city “film office”? This is being paid for with our taxes.

    Burien Economic Development Director Dan Trimble, whose office created and launched it doesn’t even live in Burien. He lives in Bellevue for now but has lived in several cities in the past and held high level city jobs.

    • Speaking as a filmmaker/artist, I think what Dan Trimble and the city did was AWESOME.

      While I don’t know the specific budget, from my experience it appears to have been a very LOW cost – basically all the city had to do was create one web page with photos, info, trailers, etc. and links to permits that already exist. It’s not like they’ve built a new wing to City Hall or even added any staff.

      The benefit can be seen (and felt) by the first 10 original films produced for the Burien Film Festival (thanks John White & Shelli Park!), where filmmakers were required to shoot in and around local businesses. Aside from the obvious benefit of the crew members spending money here, these short films can serve as free ads for our community, help boost local businesses and businesspeople, and give us all some tangible ART.

      Cities like Renton have had similar film festivals for years, where the requirements for entrants is to show the city off in various ways.

      This is a definite win-win if I’ve ever seen one…


    • jenny says:

      Yeah, like Burien has so many unique features and the city center is just breathtakingly beautiful. Look out for the stampede of film producers! The Burien coffer will be overflowing with all the taxes collected through Film Office.

    • Dan Trimble says:

      I think your question is valid and one I asked myself before pursuing this initiative. The primary benefit is to those seeking permits and information related to filming in Burien. We are always looking at innovative ways to improve the City’s ability to deliver services.

      Secondarily, I do think that an improved arts scene that includes film production will have a positive impact on Burien in general as do other arts programs.

      Finally, a couple of corrections. I am an Economic Development Manager, not Director, and I have never lived in Bellevue. Thank you for your question.

  2. Really? says:

    Hooray for Dan Trimble in looking forward by promoting Burien. Doesn’t have much down side and can only result in neutral to positive outcomes. Raspberries to “Buzzkill” Burien Bill in using lame excuses to spread negative attitudes.

  3. Greg Duff says:

    I think this is a great step for Burien that will not cost the taxpayers much money at all. Burien has some very good film makers that could be utilized locally. There is nothing wrong with advertising our city.
    One of my favorite local film makers is Gabe Medina. I hope he gets involved with our city.

  4. jenny says:

    And, does this mean, if I aim my camera out towards the puget sound for 2 days, post a video on you tube which goes viral, that i have to pay the City of Burien on any proceeds earned by you tube?

  5. Stephanie Spielberg says:

    NO, it does not mean that!

    Not sure why you’re jumping to that odd conclusion either, as nothing on the city’s Film Office page even implies royalties or residuals for productions filmed here. Far as I know, no city has done – or likely even can do – such a ridiculous notion.

    Did you even look at the page? Likely not, so here ya go:

  6. Warren Cleaver says:

    Maybe the City of Burien should open an office and website for all the illegal yard services, home handymen, house painters, scrap haulers and so forth. They need access to resources and information about permits too. And they are a far larger part of the local (underground) economy than film making will ever be.

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