National Park Shooting at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 7th, 2006, 09:29 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: FL.
Posts: 71
National Park Shooting

I want to shoot some footage in National Parks but was wondering how much equipment (tripods, monopods, etc) I can take before I attract the attention of rangers? I want to avoid paying the shooting fee (which is upwards of $100) if at all possible.

Does the type of camera matter? HandyCam vs. JVC 110 (or similar).

If anyone's had any recent experiences I'd love to hear them.
Kevin Crockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
This has been discussed pretty thoroughly in the past... see the following:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=57547
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=66325
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2006, 01:14 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Torotnto, Canada
Posts: 139
Read some of the back board and there is a lot reason to not pay. I however pay fees in Africa. Depending on where you are staying, special campsite fees are $50 a night, and regular park entrence are 30-50$ Film permits are 100$ So basically the same, but minus the threat of being cuaght. In Tanzania film fees account for 6% of the parks revenue, and conservation budget.

If your doing a small production that does not have a broadcaster you may really be justified in not getting the permit. You may want to call and ask, they get many people inquiring, so they won't single you out.

BTW, in Tanzania, a film permit gets you no special permissions such as off-road. These are on a per permit basis.

Michael
__________________
www.digitalcrossing.ca www.4kafrica.com
documentary filmmaker/screen writer
Michael Dalton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
Posts: 1,385
In the US each National Park and parks operated by other federal agencies can decide how it wants to implement agency policy. For the most part, if it is not a high profile National Park or National Monument you can avoid film permit fees by being a one man crew. If approached and you have professional looking gear just plead ignorance and state your gear is just an expensive hobby. If they press you then ask for forgiveness and offer to pay the film permit fee. Its a lot cheaper than the citation that in my agency can be up to $5k.

Of course the right way is to go the the agency or park's website and glean some information about film permits and or give them a call to see if your project will require a permit.

Regards,
__________________
Mark
videos: http://vimeo.com/channels/3523
Mark Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 1,499
Heck, I've brought jibs into Glacier N.P., two camera systems, tripods, packs, you name it and the rangers would stop and say "Hey, there's a grizzly 1/2 mile from Apgar Village if you want to get some good footage." :)

Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permits
Lands of the United States were set aside by Congress, Executive or otherwise acquired in order to conserve and protect areas of untold beauty and grandeur, historical importance, and uniqueness for future generations. This tradition started with explorers who traveled with paint and canvas or primitive photo apparatus before the areas were designated as a national park. The National Park Service permits commercial filming and still photography when it is consistent with the parkís mission and will not harm the resource or interfere with the visitor experience.

When is a permit needed?

All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park system require a permit. Commercial filming includes capturing a moving image on film and video as well as sound recordings.

Still photographers require a permit when

1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or

2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the locationís natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or

3. Park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.
__________________
--==Kevin==--
http:filmmakingnaturally.com
Kevin Railsback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2006, 04:42 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 189
I have been approached numerous times in Shenandoah National Park, but it has been related to concerns as to whether one has firearms along or not. You will draw attention in the autumn if you are dressed in camouflage clothing as many of the visitors there are from an urban background and do not dress in this manner when afield. On the other hand, I have never been approached for wearing camouflage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park as many of the visitors there in autumn are from southern states with a strong deer hunting heritage, and although they come to the park just to view the deer, they still dress as they would when going in a hunting area.

I had either a Canon L2 or XL1-s with long lenses and tripod in most instances and it was never pursued beyond the "are you a professional" stage, with this explanation being accepted.

The problem is that in spite of all the writing on the subject, I cannot find an exception for amateur video, filming, etc., such as is written into the regulations for still photographers.

I am in the situation of many ,in that I am NOT a commercial videographer, yet one alway entertains the hopes of someday using the footage in some type of commercial project, which leaves one in a somewhat murky situation.

I hope this is addressed so that there is no room for error and videographers are afforded the same status that still photographers are.
__________________
Willard
http://pawildlifephotographer.blogspot.com/
Willard Hill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
Posts: 1,385
If you are not commercial then I wouldn't worry about it. At the federal lake I work at I sign off on about 20 permits a year. They are mostly all commercial projects (tv ads or magazine shoots) involving big crews where specific areas of public land or water must be set aside for the project. If its non-commercial but big enough to interupt normal park usage then a permit may also be issued but can range from no fee to $50.00 depending on circumstances. For projects that promote tourism, recreation or resource protection we can forego the fee. Most agency rules are really guidance to be used by rangers and are not set in stone. Of course I work at an urban lake where not much goes on without us knowing it. In remote wilderness areas I doubt if there is much monitoring or concern about small projects. I remember once stumbling upon an adult film shoot on one of the islands while on boat patrol several years ago. The lack of a permit became the key issue in this situation.

Regards,
__________________
Mark
videos: http://vimeo.com/channels/3523

Last edited by Mark Williams; December 7th, 2006 at 07:29 PM.
Mark Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2007, 10:21 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 192
My experience with the Park Service over the years is that to shoot legally, even if you are a one-man crew, you need a permit. The basic permit costs around $100 and can be good for as long as a month, as I recall. You will also need to show proof of liability insurance (an annual policy isn't horribly expensive).

The big fees come if the Park Service feels it has to assign employee(s) to tag along with you. What they want to prevent is someone damaging the park during their production. One story I heard was that a director had his crew paint a prominent rock with flat paint because he was getting too much glare from it. The permitting officer needs to be darn confident that you will respect the scenery or they will insist on sending someone with you. You will be on the hook to pay that person's salary for the time spent, so I suggest that you keep this in mind. From the start, have on hand a list of the equipment and personnel you will use and be prepared to explain why your project will not be a burden on the park.

The new rules don't strike me as all that different from the previous policy, except that now it is spelled out better. By the way, I've worked in a fair number of parks and gotten great cooperation and assistance from the National Park Service everywhere. All the people I met really care about the lands they protect.

Best wishes,
Peter
______________________
http://www.parkfilms.com
Peter Rhalter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 288
The controversy about and ambiguity of the rules have not yet been resolved. Congress had a hearing on new rules on December 12, 2007. I have been unable to find out what the end result was. It is not my intent to take sides here, but the following article has the best summary I could find of what was discussed at the hearing:

http://www.plentymag.com/features/20...onal_parks.php

Since then, a congressman from Alaska has introduced a bill that would change the rules so that a film crew of 5 or less would only be required to obtain one permit, for a fee of about $200 or $250, and this permit would be good for one year in any national park or forest or federally managed land. This bill has gone to committee (that is it's status as of today). It would have to pass in the house and senate and be signed by the president before the rules would be changed.

Pat

Last edited by Pat Reddy; March 12th, 2008 at 11:24 PM. Reason: typos
Pat Reddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
The policy appears to say that videographers are more likely to need a permit than photographers, which makes no sense as a general rule. I wonder what the rule-makers would say about a photograher running their digital camera in the movie mode...? :-)
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 1,499
I don't have the time right now but will go into more detail later today but I had to scrap a trip to Yellowstone and lost a lot of money because the park wanted me to pay $65 an hour to have a ranger follow me around on a photo tour I signed up for.
It would have cost over $4,000 in fees to have them make sure my tripod wasn't a trip hazard but the professional photographers who were with me on the trip could shoot on a tripod without a permit or paying any other fees.

We had congressman involved and went all the way up the ladder to Washington but it was no dice. So I had to scrap the trip while everyone else went, had a great time and got some awesome shots, which will be sold to magazines and calendar companies soon.
__________________
--==Kevin==--
http:filmmakingnaturally.com
Kevin Railsback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2008, 08:14 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 288
I think a backpacker or a hiker with a dog are often going to have more of an impact than a videographer with 10 or 15 pounds of equipment and a desire to be as discreet as possible in order not to interfere with the wildlife and natural sounds of the environment. There is nothing rational about extending this kind of oversight to a crew of one.

Pat
Pat Reddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 1,499
The problem was the original bill grouped all filmmakers together. So, I was lumped into the same category as a Peter Jackson production.
The author of the bill never intended it to apply to the small indie filmmaker.

Still photographers are exempt because they spoke up and language was added that eliminated the need for them to apply for permits.

I talked to Chris this morning about posting the bill that is currently in committee. He agreed to allow it to be posted even though it is a political topic because it effects filmmakers.

So, I'll put that in a new thread incase the discussion steps over the line and the mods delete the posts.
__________________
--==Kevin==--
http:filmmakingnaturally.com
Kevin Railsback is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:16 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network