West Virginia Department of Commerce Filming Guidelines

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Filming Guidelines



Production Insurance
All federal, state, county, and municipality properties require proof of liability insurance coverage (amount of coverage varies based on complexities of a production). Liability coverage for filming on private properties will vary and should be negotiated directly with the property owner.

Animal Welfare Agencies

American Humane Association
Film & Television Unit, Los Angeles, CA; 818-501-0123
Website: www.americanhumane.org
Designated by the Screen Actors Guild as the only animal welfare organization with on-set jurisdiction. Visit the AHA website for guidelines on the safe use of animals in filmed media.

WV Department of Agriculture
Animal Health Division, Charleston, WV; 304-558-2214
Website: www.wvagriculture.org/Division_Webpages/animal_health.html
The Animal Health Program enforces certain agriculture laws and regulations and is charged with preventing, suppressing, and controlling any communicable diseases of animals or poultry.

Permits
The West Virginia Film Office is not a permitting agency, but it provides assistance in securing location access. Nearly all state and federal properties require permits or location agreements. To maximize cooperation, all filming requests should be first submitted to the Film Office to ensure navigation of the appropriate channels of communication among governmental agencies and private property owners.

City and County Properties.
Requirements for filming vary greatly on city- and county-owned properties. Contact the Film Office to assist in navigation of appropriate channels of communication.

Special Effects and Explosives. If the production is a closed set and does not involve the public, no permit is required. For proximate audience and class D fireworks, one or more permits may be necessary. A license for the pyrotechnic operator may also be required. Permits are day/event specific. For regulation details, visit www.firemarshal.wv.gov or contact the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s office at 304-558-2191, ext. 219.

State Capitol Complex Grounds. A permit is required to film at the Capitol Complex. Generally, there is no location fee, although in certain circumstances, a fee may be assessed and cost recovery charges may be applied. Contact the Film Office at 304-558-2200 to obtain a "Request to Use Capitol Grounds", or call the Department of Administration at 304-558-4331 or 304-558-2317. A valid certificate of insurance must accompany the agreement.

State Property — Transportation. All projects are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and reasonable advance notice is required for use of state-owned roadways, railways, waterways, and public transit systems. A location agreement and liability insurance are also required. In certain circumstances, a location fee may be assessed and cost recovery charges may be applied. Contact the Film Office to ensure navigation of the appropriate channels of communication.

State Property — Parks, Forests, Wildlife Management Areas. All projects are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and reasonable advance notice is required. A location agreement and liability insurance are also required. In certain circumstances, a location fee may be assessed and cost recovery charges may be applied. Contact the Film Office to ensure navigation of the appropriate channels of communication.

Federal Property — National Parks. All "commercial filming" activities require a permit on federal lands. Advance notice (minimum of 30 days) is required, and cost recovery charges for all filming and still photography activities include the administrative/application cost recovery charge and any costs incurred by the National Park Services for monitoring the permit (amount will vary). Proof of liability insurance is required, and you may be asked to post a bond. Permit applications for National Parks in West Virginia are available @ http://home.nps.gov/applications/digest/permits.cfm?urlarea=permits or through each park's website.

[“Commercial filming” is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project. It does not include news coverage or visitor use.]

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail — Harpers Ferry (Jefferson County)
    Trail HQ: 304-535-6331, www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm
    Park HQ: 304-535-6278, www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm

  • Bluestone National Scenic River — Glen Jean (Fayette County)
    Website: www.nps.gov/blue/index.htm
    Film Permit Coordinator: 304-465-0508 (Sherri Clendenin)

  • Gauley River National Recreation Area — Glen Jean (Fayette County)
    Website: www.nps.gov/gari/index.htm
    Film Permit Coordinator: 304-465-0508 (Sherri Clendenin)

  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park — Harpers Ferry (Jefferson County)
    Website: www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm
    Film Permit Coordinator: 304-535-6748 (Marsha Wassel)

  • New River Gorge National River — Glen Jean (Fayette County)
    Website: www.nps.gov/neri/index.htm
    Film Permit Coordinator: 304-465-0508 (Sherri Clendenin)
    Canyon Rim Visitor Center: 304-574-2115
    Sandstone Visitor Center: 304-466-0417

Federal Property — National Forests. All "commercial filming" activities require a permit on federal lands and are subject to land use fees and may be subject to cost recovery charges. Advance notice is required (60 days is recommended), and cost recovery charges for all filming and still photography activities include the administrative/application cost recovery charge and any costs incurred by the USFS for monitoring the permit (amount will vary). Proof of liability insurance is required, and you may be asked to post a bond. Permit applications may be obtained through each forest district office.

  • Monongahela National Forest — Elkins (Randolph County)
    Website: www.fs.fed.us/r9/mnf
    Special Use Manager: 304-636-1800, ext. 219
    Counties: Barbour, Grant, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, and Webster

  • George Washington National Forest — (HQ in Harrisonburg, Virginia)
    Website: www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj/northriver
    North River Ranger District: 540-432-0187 (main); 866-904-0240 (toll-free)
    Counties: Hampshire, Hardy, and Pendleton

  • Jefferson National Forest — (HQ in Blacksburg, Virginia)
    Website: www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj/nrv
    Eastern Divide Ranger District: 540-552-4641
    County: Monroe

State Agencies (partial contact list)

  • Official State Websitewww.wv.gov
  • Governor’s Office — 304-558-2000; www.wvgov.org
  • Department of Agriculture - 304-558-3200; www.wvagriculture.org
    Animal Health Division - 304-558-2214
    Agricultural Products/Commodities – 304-558-2210
  • Department of Commerce – 304-558-2234; www.wvcommerce.org
  • Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety – 304-558-2930; www.wvs.state.wv.us/dmaps
    Corrections – 304-558-2036; www.wvdoc.com
    Homeland Security and Emergency Management – 304-558-5380; www.wvdhsem.gov
    State Fire Marshal – 304-558-2191; www.firemarshal.wv.gov
    State Police – 304-746-2100; www.wvstatepolice.com
  • Department of Tax and Revenue – 304-558-3333; www.wvtax.gov
  • Department of Transportation - 304-558-0444; www.transportation.wv.gov
    Aeronautics Commission – 304- 558-3436
    Highways – 304-558-3505
    Motor Vehicles – 304-558-3900
    Parkways, Economic Development & Tourism Authority – 304-926-1900
    Public Port Authority – 304-558-0330
    Public Transit Division – 304-558-0428
    State Rail Authority – 304-538-2305
  • Division of Culture & History - 304-558-0220; www.wvculture.org
    Archives & History – 304-558-0230
    Commission on the Arts – 304-558-0240
    Historic Preservation – 304-558-0240

Federal Agencies (partial contact list)

Miscellaneous Business Support Organizations

  • County Commissioners’ Association of West Virginia
    Charleston, Kanawha County (headquarters); 304-345-4639; www.polsci.wvu.edu/ccawv
    (association promoting the interest and general welfare of local county governments through a variety of communication tools)
  • Huntington Regional Film Commission
    Huntington, Cabell County; 800-635-6329; www.huntingtonfilm.org
    (private sector organization promoting the tri-state region of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia within a 25-mile radius of Huntington as a location for film industry productions)
  • Mountainstate Association of Bed & Breakfasts
    www.wvbedandbreakfasts.com
    (sets standards to ensure quality facilities are provided for guests visiting a MABB member bed and breakfast)
  • West Virginia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus
    www.wvacvb.org
    (primary purpose is to enhance the professionalism, effectiveness, and image of CVBs to have a significant, positive impact on tourism throughout the state)
  • West Virginia Association of Counties
    Charleston, Kanawha County (headquarters); 304-346-0591; www.wvcounties.org
    (association promoting effective county governments)
  • West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
    Charleston, Kanawha County (headquarters); 304-342-1115; www.wvchamber.com
    (the business community’s voice in the halls of government for policies and laws that promote business enterprise)
  • West Virginia Economic Development Council
    Charleston, Kanawha County (headquarters); 304-342-2123; www.wvedc.org
    (association promoting activities that will retain and expand present business and industry and attract new business and industry)
  • West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association
    Charleston, Kanawha County (headquarters); 304-342-6511; www.wvhta.com
    (the official voice of the food service, lodging, convention and visitors bureaus, and travel industries in the state)
  • West Virginia Municipal League
    Charleston, Kanawha County (headquarters); 304-342-5564; www.wvml.org
    (association supporting WV’s cities, towns, and villages)