Applying for a Filming Permit

Individuals or organizations interested in applying for a commercial film permit may first contact the permits office at 231-326-4741 to discuss their project.

To apply for a permit a commercial film and photography film application must be submitted with a non-refundable, $100.00 application fee.

If you submit your application by e-mail, do not include credit card information on the application

For still photography and smaller video/film project use the filming application short form.

For more complex video/film project use the filming application long form.

The preferred payment method is through

Payment may also be submitted by Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card or by personal check made payable to the National Park Service.

The information on the application will be used to evaluate the impact of the proposed activity on park resources and visitors.

Applicants are encouraged to attach maps, diagrams, or other information to assist in evaluating the application.

Allow at least 10 business days for processing.

Requests involving multiple locations, complex logistics or coordination with other visitor activities will take longer to process.


The cost to process and accommodate the permitted activity varies based on the complexity of the project.

The fees to be paid by the permit holder will be indicated on the draft permit and must be paid before the permit is approved.

If it is determined that a monitor (NPS employee) is to be assigned to your project, there will be a minimum fee of $50.00 per monitor per hour.

A location fee for the minimum anticipated days is due prior to the filming date. Any additional days will be billed at the end of the filming. These are NPS standards and are non-negotiable. The current NPS Location Fee Schedule is as follows:

Commercial Filming/Videos

1-2 people camera and tripod only $0/day
1-10 people $150/day
11-30 people $250/day
31-49 people $500/day
Over 50 people $750/day

Still Photography

1-10 people/$50/day
1-30 people $150/day
Over 30 people $250/day

*Wildlife photographers and videographers with crews consisting of 1-2 people will not be charged the location fee. Cost Recovery and monitoring fees will still be applicable when required. This exception is intended to address nature videographers who may spend over 200 days filming in a park.

Last updated: March 26, 2019

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Mailing Address:

9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630


(231) 326-4700

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