Motion Picture Request

When a motion picture company submits a request to do a film on Smokejumping or firefighting, coordination needs to occur at the Region and Washington Office levels. Typically, the WO does not approve motion picture requests, but does review scripts to ensure technical accuracy when the agency is portrayed. Regions may review scripts and facilitate or coordinate any special-use permits required for filming on National Forest System lands.

The WO or RO may want to approve the use of a technical advisor/liaison to the motion picture company if there is a clear benefit to the government; in these instances formal agreements should be written.

In all cases, find out what time frame the company is working under. Some companies plan ahead and allow time for arrangements to be made and agreements to be written. Some do not. Companies that "show up" on incidents without prior notice must follow the incident command system protocol for working with media; often this is insufficient for a film company's needs.

The Regional PAO office will also inform the State Film Office for coordination and permits. This can take as long as two weeks to a month, so PLAN AHEAD!

When a film company enters into an agreement, the agreement should include if they will hire an employee(s) as a technical adviser. The agreement should be written between the Government Agency and the film company. This can be done by the units Administration Office under the authority of the "Granger-Thye Act". The film company MUST deposit money into the collection account that has been set up before the employee starts working for the company. It usually is in the best interest of the government to have an employee involved in the movie to better relay the agency position and to ensure safety practices on incidents are followed.