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1) Application - Individuals or Companies applying for approval of photography or film shoots should obtain an Application for Commercial Photography/Filming from the state park or historic site intended as the shooting location. At a minimum, page 1 of the application must be completed and submitted to the site manager for approval.
Depending on the scope of the photography/filming project, it may be necessary to complete the entire four-page application. This generally includes those shoots which impact site visitors by restricting access or closing public use areas or facilities; require access to restricted areas or facilities; require special hours; require site staff supervision or oversight; require restoration of site resources; involve the use of artifacts or historic structures (see note on historic sites below); have potential liability issues; or have the potential for profit or commercial gain. It is up to the discretion of the site manager if all four pages are to be completed.
The completed application is to be returned to the site manager for approval. Due to the time it may take to process, the application should be returned a minimum of one week prior to the requested shoot date. More involved projects, especially those involving a contract, should be returned at least six weeks prior to the requested shoot date.
2) Site Manager Approval - The site manager has the authority to approve certain types of requests after notification of the region manager and is responsible for notifying the applicant of the status. The site manager has the authority to shut down shoots that violate conditions of use.
3) Headquarters Approval and/or Preparation of Contract - Depending on the scope of the photography/film request, it may require approval from headquarters and/or a separate contract. For this reason, requests should be submitted well in advance of the shoot date.
4) Historic Sites, Artifacts or Structures Applications that involve historic artifacts or structures must approved by the division headquarters’ Resource Preservation & Interpretive Services Unit. Depending on the scope, other requirements may apply to photography or filming that involves historic sites, artifacts or structures.
5) Location/Shooting Fees - Commercial photography or film shoots often require fees to be paid to the department, based on certain guidelines. Fees, if charged, will fall into two categories: location fees and shooting fees, and must be collected by the site manager in advance. Shooting fees are assessed to recover expenses related to use of the site, such as any use requiring site staff supervision or oversight. It is up to the department’s discretion to waive fees based on promotional value to the department.