The National Park Service (NPS) allows filming and photography when it is consistent with the protection and public enjoyment of park resources, and it avoids conflict with the public's normal use and enjoyment of the park. There are restrictions associated with party size, generators, artificial lighting, commercial film equipment, props, sets, and audio devices.
The National Park Service cannot accommodate a project if:
- damage to natural, cultural, wilderness, and recreational resources which cannot be mitigated is expected;
- other activities are already planned or expected to occur at the same time and place, and filming or photography would be incompatible;
- the activity involves access to areas normally closed for reasons of resource protection or safety;
- the level of activity within the park is already so high that staff would be unavailable to work with the film crew;
- the project includes a portrayal of activities that are not permitted within a national park;
- the production company is unwilling or unable to obtain necessary insurance; or
- the production company is unwilling or unable to reimburse the National Park Service for costs or comply with National Park Service bond requirements.
A permit is required when the filming, videotaping, sound recording, or still photography involve the use of talent, professional crews, set dressings, or props; when they involve product or service advertisement; or when the activity could result in damage to park resources or disruption of visitor use. If you are uncertain whether your project requires a permit or not, contact the park for additional information.
Permit Application Procedures
Applicants should read the summary of filming guidelines to facilitate an understanding of the permit process. If site scouting is planned prior to the application period, contact the park permit coordinator for guidance and restrictions on specific locations.
Applications must be requested by phone, e-mail, or letter. Completed applications must be returned to the park with payment. There is a $50 non-refundable application review fee. We cannot accept credit cards at this time. Money orders, cash, or checks payable to the National Park Service are accepted.
Your request will be evaluated on the basis of the information in your application. If substantial staff resources are expended in the evaluation of the request, the applicant will be billed for the additional costs. Therefore you are encouraged to attach maps, diagrams, script pages, storyboards, vehicle and equipment lists, crew lists, call sheet, itineraries, shot lists, etc., with your application to assist park staff in evaluating your request. Most requests should be processed within 5 days if the application is complete and without alteration. Requests involving multiple locations, complex logistics, or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 14 days to process. Projects that require environmental or cultural resource evaluation must be submitted no less than 30 days before the start of proposed activities and may require additional time dependent upon project complexity. In compliance with the requirements of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, applicants must submit their social security number or Federal Tax ID number when filling out the application for permit. Park managers will not sign location releases supplied by applicants.
Please submit applications as far in advance as possible.
Cumberland Island National Seashore
101 Wheeler Street
St Marys, GA 31558
Attn: Chief Ranger
Documents can be faxed to 912-882-6284. For more information, contact the park Visitor Center at 912-882-4336-254 or via e-mail.