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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald
Am I reading this right, that Dickinson expects a "public outcry" to demand that videomakers ante-up to cover some imagined nuisance they cause the other park users? If this is what she needs to move Congress in that direction, we have nothing to worry about. I'm wondering, is there some active and effective national body that advocates for photographers in legal issues like this?
After reading the referenced article, I can see what the fees are intended for. The legislation just needs to establish a sliding scale based on size of production and intended use. That way, the small individual shooting nature stuff doesn't get bagged with an enormouse fee such as might be imposed on a full film crew.

As a side note, this thread has been vicariously allowed to remain in place. Just remember that DVINFO does not allow political rants and discussions to take place because most people are polarized one way or the other and this leads to personal attacks and flaming in a lot of cases.

Tristan has brought the matter to eveyone's attention and you should all go read any referenced information and come to your own conclusion about how much or how little to react to this. Just keep your strong beliefs, viewpoints, and tirades to yourself.

regards,

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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald
Am I reading this right, that Dickinson expects a "public outcry" to demand that videomakers ante-up to cover some imagined nuisance they cause the other park users?
And what about those pesky tourists? Anybody who has done a significant amount of video, will atest to the fact that idiots are everywhere. If you have a camera, they will be walking in front of you, and making those silly apollogetic faces into the lens. If videographers have to pay to shoot, will the park remove these pests for the day?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #18
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Greg, sorry about my tirade. I figured I was pushing it a bit since I somewhat panicked when I found out about the fees. I hope I was merely over-reacting and the threat isn't too serious.

Anway, to anybody who's interested, I got a reply from the NPS that seems to confirm that there is less to worry about, but I'm not sure what regulations will be put in place in 2007.

National Park Service
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC

For Immediate Release, May 4, 2006
Contact: David Barna, 202/208-6843

National Park Service Statement Regarding
New Provision for Policy on Location Fees for Filming and Photography

"The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced, at the direction of
Congress, implementation of a Public Law that will allow collection of
location fees for commercial filming and still photography beginning on May
15, 2006.

The following provision has been added to the NPS policy to address the
needs of videographers and cinematographers who produce nature films that
highlight the wonders of national parks.

Commercial videographers, cinematographers or sound recording crews
of up to two people with only minimal equipment (i.e. a camera and a
tripod) working in areas open to the public are required to obtain a
commercial filming permit and are subject to appropriate permit terms and
conditions and cost recovery charges but are not subject to location fees.

This policy applies to all parks in the National Park System and will
remain in effect until the Departmental regulation on Commercial Filming
and Still Photography is adopted late in 2007."

- NPS -
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #19
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That's excellent news, Tristan. Perhaps there was enough public outcry for them to rethink their strategy after all. Now that the issue has been clarified, let's all get back to the creative side of life.

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Old May 6th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #20
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Nat'l Parks location fees

It's a sad state of affairs as I have filmed wildlife for many years and have had to gravitate to private lands, if possible, to accomplish projects. We all talk among ourselves about this new fee but we really need to bombard our elected officials and the news media on all levels with these thoughts, and do it over and over again. This issue will be covered in detail at the Wildlife Film Festival this month by a panel of our peers and news media. If you can attend, it will strengthen our voice.
As it stands right now, if you get permitted before May 15th, you 'only' pay a permit fee to film which is $200.00 and most parks are going to let the $150.00 daily location fee slide until May 15th, 2007 while they try and figure out an equitable daily location fee structure or even an annual location fee. This is what Yellowstone is doing and I would think most will do the same. Of course, even the permit fee must be paid for each park you want to film in. A national permit would be better, just like our parks pass.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:30 AM   #21
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Here is a response just in:

Mr. Mersereau:

When we developed the policy on location fees the nature videographer who
films 100s of days a year was a category which we neglected to consider.
After having that brought to our attention, we amended out policy to
exclude from location fees crews of 1 - 2 people using only a camera and a
tripod in areas normally open to the general public.

This policy will stay in place until the Department of the Interior
finalizes a regulation that will apply to all DOI agencies. That proposed
regulation as well as a fee schedule will be published in the Federal
Register for public comment within the next few months. Once those comments
have been addressed the regulation will be finalizes, probably late in
2007.

I hope this answers your questions and concerns. If you have further
questions please let me know.


Lee Dickinson
Special Park Uses Program Manager
Visitor and Resource Protection
National Park Service
202/513-7092
202/371-1710 (fax)
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Old May 8th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #22
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Wow, thanks very much for sharing this with us Jacques. Great to see you at NAB,
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau
Here is a response just in:
we amended out policy to
exclude from location fees crews of 1 - 2 people using only a camera and a
tripod in areas normally open to the general public.
This probably helps to answer the question regarding tripods in national parks, too.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 04:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui
This probably helps to answer the question regarding tripods in national parks, too.
Yes, thank you all!
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Old May 9th, 2006, 07:10 AM   #25
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According to the last letter that was posted, from the Dept. of the Interior, there would still be a permit fee and "cost recovery charges" assessed, even for those who made videos with only two people and basic equipment. These fees would be separate from the location fees for larger commercial productions. It also was stated that this would be extended to include all areas under their administration. National wildlife refuges would be part of this, if it is put into effect. It still isn't clear from what has been said, how non-commercial videomakers would be affected by this.

There are many branches of government around the country that charge fees for video or film-making in public places.
In my own city a daily shooting fee of $150. was instituted a dozen or so years ago. The wording of the ordnance authorizing this is very vague and doesn't spell out a definition of what constitutes a professional or commercial production, as distinguished from amateur use. This seems to give the city the option of enforcing payment of the fee on an arbitrary and irregular basis. I wonder how many other cities have such policies and what experiences some of our members have had with them. I've never been told by anyone from the city that I needed a permit for using my video equipment in public places here. But, since some of gear is large and professional, I'm concerned that someday they might think I could be charged, although I do no shooting for profit.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #26
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I have mixed feelings on this topic.

1) For those shooting Toyota, GM or other HUGE client
commercials/movies with the accompanying HUGE budgets,
YES, a fee should be charged and collected from those making
the big bucks. $150 per day is peanuts to this user base because
they are using the scenery and not waiting for animals to appear
in the viewfinder.

2) Personally, I cannot afford to pay out $150 per day on the off chance
I might bring home some great footage, and THEN actually use
that footage in the final cut. "An Opsrey Homecoming" cost us a bundle
and we have not, and most likely will not, make any profit even
though it has been broadcast on PBS. We spent MONTHS and MONTHS
collecting the footage (180 hours) for AOHC. Had we had to pay a $150
per day . . . ?
NO WAY the movie would have been made.

I think we need to start a campaign to educate those who are actively
looking at implementing this new policy. As the letter states, there will
be a time period when 'public comment' will be taken and considered.
When that time comes, I would highly suggest this community make its
opinion known to our public officials. We should also alert other nature
film makers to this issue as there is strength in numbers.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #27
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Pretty soon the only ones that will be able to afford to do anything in a National Park or reserve will be oil companies.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #28
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From today's issue of USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition...trip12.art.htm

Quote:
Fees at 22 parks are going up this year. At Death Valley National Park in California, entrance fees per auto are doubling to $20. At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona, annual park passes will cost $30, up from $20.

“National parks are the soul of America, and we are neither taking care of them nor enabling the Park Service to fully inspire and teach visitors,” says Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks and Conservation Association, which lobbies for the parks.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #29
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I believe the current federal policy is to pay oil companies to drill.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 03:41 PM   #30
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Speaking of not being able to see the forest for the fees........Here is a spoof I whipped together last year, after getting railroaded and double charged for everything in a national forest I was visiting.
http://fritzrips.com/fees.wmv
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