Filming and Commercials
Humboldt Redwoods State Park offers spectacular scenery, making it a popular place to film still shoots, commercials, movies, and other videos. State Parks is an ideal setting for filming and still photography. A variety of filming locations are available throughout the park. A California State Parks Film Commission Permit is required. The California Film Commission (CFC) works in conjunction with Parks to permit these activities.
Parks charge reimbursement fees in order to accommodate filming and to offset personnel costs. These fees are collected and returned to Parks by the CFC. The CFC provides its services, the location and the permit at no cost.
To start the permitting process, the production company must call the State Park. The Park will then initiate a DPR245A and will have the company begin a permit on-line with the California Film Commission
The CFC’s website, has a State Permits tab that contains information about filming including insurance coverage, FAQ’s, basic Parks fees and the on-line filming permit system.
The application from the production company will then go to the CFC. The CFC refers them to the Park representative in charge of film permits and provides them a contact name, email address and phone number for this representative. Once the application is reviewed by the CFC, a copy is emailed to the Park. The application will be checked against the DPR245A. Parks then collects a signature on the DPR245A from the production company and provides a final copy to the CFC. Additionally, Parks determines which fees and reimbursements to charge and notifies the CFC with fee details.
The CFC finalizes the permit and creates an invoice based on the fees assigned by the Park. The CFC collects the fees and issues the final permit. A copy of both is forwarded to the Park and to the accounting office for Parks.
Filming with Drones:
No drone flights are allowed at any time within the Bull Creek Wilderness Area nor within a 1/4 mile of the same area. Please refer to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park map for outlined location of designated wilderness area.
Drone use in other areas of the park is limited by threatened and endangered species. Generally drone filming could start as early as September 16 and ends February 1.
There are additional hour restrictions for any drone filming, earliest start is 2 hours after sunrise, and must be completed for day 2 hours before sunset.
If you should decide to pursue drone filming in the park, the following are required to be submitted directly to California State Parks (very much the same documents submitted to CFC):
FAA Remote Pilot certificate / license
UAS Registration certificate
Copy of your CFC UAS Questionnaire
Flight plan (location/groves identified with map)
All Film permitees must also complete a State Parks COVID-19 plan/form for cast and crew, the required form will be provided with the DPR245A. Please note that even with a completed DPR245A, the CFC requires a minimum of 4 business days to process applications.
Filming along the Ave of the Giants:
Filming along the Avenue of the Giants will require both CalTrans/CHP approval as well as State Parks approval. Submit your application through the CFC to ensure proper routing for review and approval.
Filming on Mattole Road:
Filming on Mattole Road will require both Humboldt County approval as well as State Parks approval. Submit your application through the CFC to ensure proper routing for review and approval.
Be specific in your location requests listed in your CFC application. The park is over 53,000 acres and a variety of places have in the past been used for various film shoots. It would be easier for a local scout to visit and ascertain what qualities you are looking for in shots. There are many redwood groves. We recommend you pick your requested location/grove and 3 alternates when applying for your film permit.
For any filming in the forest groves, walking or setting up on/in redwood sorrel (the clover looking ground cover) you will be required to provide enough plywood sheets to adequately protect vegetation. If your talent and crew is walking and setting up exclusively on trails or “brown” areas of the park, plywood boards are not required. (e.g. camera tripod setup in redwood sorrel requires plywood for tripod and camera operator).
Please note: The film average approval process takes 3 weeks. Turn-around shorter than that incurs additional fees.
Contact (707) 946-1801 to reach Supervising Ranger Thomas Valterria