Film Permit Costs and Fees

Costs incurred by the Lakeshore in conjunction with accommodating the permitted activity will be reimbursed by the permit holder. Administrative costs and estimated costs for activities on site will be calculated and must be paid when the permit is approved.

The permit holder is required to notify the Lakeshore of any delays or schedule changes at least 24 hours in advance, or as agreed to by the Superintendent.

  • Should the permit holder fail to provide advance notification, they will be responsible for paying all costs incurred by the Lakeshore during the application, permitting, or operational process, including those due to cancellation, moving, or rescheduling of the project.
  • Such payment will include but not be limited to a non-refundable charge for each staff person scheduled for the affected activity.
  • Such charge will, at a minimum, be the equivalent of two hours overtime for each employee assigned.

If any additional costs are incurred, the permittee will be billed at the conclusion of the permit.

All costs of evaluating the request will be billed to the applicant, whether a permit is issued or not.

Application fee
A $100.00 non-refundable application fee is required. This fee is based on an average time it takes to provide initial contact and consultation with applicants and initial review of the application/project.

Cost recovery fee
The cost recovery fee is the amount of money equal to the cost incurred by the park in final processing of the application. This includes telephone/e-mail conversations, site visits, permit development etc. Cost varies and is based on the complexity of the project.

Monitor fee
If applicable, a minimum $50.00 per hour/per monitor.

Location fee
As of May 16, 2006 the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee for all commercial filming and still photography permits. These fees are collected to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands and are based on the number of cast/crew per day. 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
11 - 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: September 23, 2016

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Empire, MI 49630

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