Definition of Commercial Filming Projects


Photography within State Parks falls generally into seven categories, five of which are defined as commercial, and generally subject to permitting requirements. Permits for these five categories are issued by the California Film Commission following submission of DPR 245A and approval by the park district where filming is to take place. These are:

1. Documentary photography.
Whether still, motion picture or video, documentary filming may be permitted through the use of the same forms and procedures used for commercial photography. Permit requirements for documentary photography may be waived at the discretion of the District Superintendent or his/her designated representative. An example of a situation justifying waiver is a film project done in conjunction with the Department or in which the Department realizes a direct marketing or other benefit. Insurance requirements must be met even when permit requirements are waived.

2. Public Service Announcements.
Permit requirements for the filming of television public service announcements on behalf of nonprofit organizations or other governmental agencies may be waived by the District Superintendent or his/her designated representative. Insurance requirements must be met even when permit requirements are waived.

3. Student photography.
Individual or group student photography is conducted for the purpose of educating or providing supervised experience to persons learning photography methods. Student photography may be permitted through the same forms and procedures used for commercial still motion picture or video photography. As with documentary photography, permit requirements for student photography may be waived by the District Superintendent or his/her designated representative. Insurance requirements must be met even when permit requirements are waived. Since individual students may find it difficult to obtain required insurance, it is recommended that the permit be issued to the school and the student. A letter certifying that the individual is a student of the school providing the insurance, and that the film is being done as part of the curriculum, is required.

4. Commercial Still Photography.
This category covers photography for sale or profit aside from filming for motion pictures or television. Such photography may be permitted after appropriate application and required insurance. Commercial still photography permits are handled in the same manner as commercial motion picture, video and television photography.

5. Commercial Motion Picture, Video and Television Photography.
This category covers all photography for sale or profit utilizing motion pictures, videotape, or other imaging media, including theatrical motion pictures, shorts, television programs, commercials, etc. It may be permitted after appropriate application and securing required insurance.