Commercial Filming & Photography

285-film-shoot
The Travel Channel's popular Road Trips series films near the fort's bastion.
The fort is a popular location for commercial film projects. 
NPS Photo

Commercial Filming
&
Still Photography Permits

Lands of the United States were set aside by Congress, Executive or otherwise acquired 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 first photo apparatus before lands became designated as national parks. Visitors to national parks continue to memorialize their visits through videos and photographs. The National Park Service permits commercial filming and still photography when it is consistent with the park’s mission and will not harm the resource or interfere with the visitor experience.

Definitions

Commercial filming: digital or film recording of a visual image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Under P.L. 106-206, all commercial filming requires a permit and is subject to a location fee and cost recovery charges.

Model: a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purposes of promoting sales or use of a product or service. Models include but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects such as vehicles, boats articles of clothing, and food and beverage products

.

Who Needs a Permit?

A commercial film permit is required for any individual, business, or organization (including nonprofit groups and educational institutions) filming for a market audience or receiving compensation associated with footage or recordings made in the park. The following lists outline specific situations that require permits:

Filming

  • Commercial advertisements, feature films, entertainment broadcasts, documentaries, promotional or educational films (including non-profit and student projects)
  • Filming for stock footage (regardless of equipment)
  • Time-lapse photography if the final sequence will be used in a motion picture format for commercial purposes
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff

Still Photography

  • Commercial still photography using models, props, sets, lighting, or other specialized equipment
  • Use of large or unusual equipment, even for non-commercial purposes if activities warrant oversight by park staff
  • Some wedding portrait photography (all other portrait photography requires a Commercial Use Authorization)

Still Photography Workshops & Tours

  • A commercial use authorization is required for photography workshops, tours, or portrait photographers not affiliated with a permitted wedding.

Exemptions

The following cases do not require a commercial film permit:

  • Visitors filming or taking pictures intended for their personal use and enjoyment. Special requests or use of large or unusual equipment may require permitting even if it is for personal use. Novice filmmakers should inquire with Film Office for more information (numbers listed below).
Credentialed news organizations documenting an event that cannot be covered at any other time or location. Please contact our Public Affairs Officer for more information.

Definitions

Commercial filming: digital or film recording of a visual image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. Under P.L. 106- 206, all commercial filming requires a permit and is subject to a location fee and cost recovery charges.

Model: a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purposes of promoting sales or use of a product or service. Models include but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects such as vehicles, boats articles of clothing, and food and beverage products.

Restrictions

  • Drone use is prohibited.

How to Apply

Filming and photography permits are considered in the order they are received. All applications must be completed in detail and returned with the permit application and a non-refundable application fee or receipt if paid by phone. A minimum of 2 to 4 weeks (depending on project type and volume of requests) is required to process an application and issue a permit.

Permit Application (134k PDF)

For more information, contact:
Eva Dodd
Commercial Film Permits Coordinator
360-816-6241
eva_dodd@nps.gov

What fees will I have to pay?

The National Park Service is authorized to collect two fees: cost recovery and a location fee. Cost recovery includes an application fee which must be submitted with your completed application and well as a charge to cover the expenses incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the size and complexity of your permit.

The National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of parklands.

Locations Fees:

Location fees do not apply to crews with 1-2 people using (cameral and tripod only). All other equipment and additional crew members will be subject to location fees.
Group Size Motion Film or video Still Photography
1–10 people $150/day $50/day
11–30 people $250/day $150/day
31–49 people $500/day $250/day
Over 50 people $750/day

Addendums

An addendum may be issued for the following types of filming: overnight, inside buildings, interviewing staff or increase in crew size. Please contact the Special Park Uses Permit Office about these types of filming, or any other special activities/requests that are not listed here.

NPS Monitors

Fort Vancouver NHS staff will be required to monitor certain filming, and photography. Crews are responsible for paying daily location fees and for monitors as well as any staff costs associated with the project (at $75/hour). This fee must be paid before the permit is issued.

Activities that require a monitor include (but are not limited to): filming or photography in sensitive area, buildings, and filming "talent" along roadways or in developed areas. Monitors are also required for large crews, projects with extensive equipment, and when there is potential for resource damage or impacts to visitor use.
Are there other permit requirements?

You will be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.

Last updated: February 17, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661

Phone:

(360) 816-6230

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