How to Get Permission to Film in a Museum After Hours
Seeking permission to film in a museum after hours is certainly a task that some filmmakers will approach. And it’s likely not going to be anything like A Night at the Museum. But perhaps there will be some adventure involved? Museums each have their own rules and local regulations regarding permits for filming on museum property. Depending on the museum you intend to film at, and the timing of your production, you might need to look into how to get permission to film in a museum after hours.
Museum Rules & Permitting
Permitting for filming inside a museum is generally handled by each individual museum on a case-by-case basis. Most museums will require a permit for any commercial filming. And they will have their own unique rules as to when or where you can to film.
But before you even consider figuring out how to get permission to film in a museum after hours? Consider the permitting options for the museum your first order of research.
Researching the permit requirements for the museum that you wish to film at will generally answer the majority of your questions about filming on the premises.
Many museums have strict policies against filming after hours. While others will note in their permit that such filming is permitted, with proper advance notice and the proper permit request.
So, your first order of business in figuring out how to get permission to film in a museum after hours is to check in with whatever museum you intend to film at to determine permitting requirements.
When is a Permit Needed?
Generally speaking, if you’re filming for any form of commercial use, you’ll need to get a film permit.
Most museums have very strict policies on commercial filming inside the museum. They require permits if you intend to shoot on the property.
The rules and requirements vary from location to location.
Generally speaking, if any of the following apply, then you should get a permit:
- You’re filming commercially.
- Your filming will disturb pedestrians or traffic.
- Your filming requires the use of a tripod, wires, or other equipment.
- You’re filming in a way that requires the public space or private space to be used in a way other than how it is intended.
Permitting by Museums
Figuring out how to get permission to film in a museum after hours, as you can see, is really all about permits and the museum policies. Many museums will have very strict guidance or policy on whether filming after hours can be done by permit.
Others will simply say “NO” this is our policy, we do not allow after hours filming. For example, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum specifically states that arrangements to film after hours will not be made.
Likewise, filming inside a museum that is owned by Kansas City Parks & Recreation would permit an after-hours shoot if you seek the proper permission from their permitting office.
As you can see, figuring out how to get permission to film in a museum after hours is all about seeking a permit for the desired timeframe in which you intend to film and speaking with the museum permitting office about their rules and requirements.
Some will allow permitted filming after hours, and others simply will not.