Photography & Film Information

Thank you for chosing Calaveras Big Trees State park for your project! California State Parks requires an approved film permit for all commercial still photography, professional photographers offering services, student photo/film, and professional development projects on State Park property. The approval happens at the local park level as well as California Film Commission.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park Contact

Amber Sprock, Central Valley District Public Information Office/Marketing Director 


Phone: (209) 540-6857 

Basic Film Permit Steps

  1. To achieve a successful permit, applicant should endeavor to complete the application process well in advance of any desired filming event (at least 7-10 days prior). 
  2. Contact the local park to inquire about feasibility and availibility. Please 
  3.  Once you have a date, visit and apply for a Film Permit. 
  4.  Complete the require Film Application Supplemental form and return it to the local park contact. 
  5.  Provide all required documents to the California Film Commmision


Frequently Ased Questions 

What doesn’t require a film permit? 

1. Personal Photography that enhances the visitor experience but does not otherwise fall within a category requiring a permit. This still, motion picture or video is allowable under the following conditions:

  • Park rules and regulations must be adhered to.
  • Activities shall not interfere with other park visitors’ use and enjoyment of the park unit.
  • There is no use of professional props and/or sets, professional actor or models, or specialized or large motorized equipment.
  • Photography must take place during the normal or posted park unit hours and within areas open to the public.
  • Disturbance or rearrangement of any park facility or natural/cultural features is strictly prohibited.
  • No additional costs are caused to the Department.
  • No likelihood of resource damage
  •  The activity does not pose any health or safety risk to the public.

 2. NEWS agencies in the process of gathering breaking news for television broadcast or print media.

What requires a film permit?

Everything beyond what is listed above requires a permit from the California Film Commission and annyone engaged in commercial (profit and sale) photography on state property. 

Is insurance required?

Yes, the Califonria Film Commission collects insurance from applicants. 

What is the cost?

The cost is calculated based on the complexity and type of production.   

More Information on Filming on State Property