Everything You Need to Know on Filming on Nantucket 
June 29, 2023

Nantucket is simply beautiful. It boasts magnificent beaches, incredible landscapes, adorable flora and fauna, historical buildings, and remarkable streets. Naturally, you would want to take out your camera and capture its beauty. While you are allowed to take pictures, videos, and films on the island, there are several restrictions and rules governing the use of your camera.

Taking pictures and videos for private purposes is permissible and free of charge. You may snap photos or take videos of the surroundings, yourself, your family, and your friends as you frolic around the island and have the time of your lives. You can also take pictures or films at private social events such as weddings.

Workers under a non-profit organization based in Nantucket, newspaper, news service, radio, or television broadcasting station are also exempt from filming restrictions.

However, the exemptions only apply if the photographed or filmed activities do not cause any adverse impacts on adjacent properties or obstruct public access. Also, they should be within the designated time frame, usually between 7 am and 10 pm. Otherwise, you will need to obtain a permit beforehand.

You will also require a permit to use your photographs, videos, or films for commercial or educational purposes.

Rules on Commercial Filming on Nantucket

Nantucket is quite popular with filmmakers and photography companies. Some of the most popular productions filmed on the island include Moby Dick, One Crazy Summer, Wings, The Russians are Coming, This Old House, and Whispers in the Dark, to mention a few.

Nantucket’s authorities fully support video and photography companies using the island for such projects as it helps place Nantucket on the map and boosts its economy. Nevertheless, various regulations are implemented to ensure these projects cause the least possible disruption to the community. There are also fees charged that go towards developing and maintaining the island.

The fees usually depend on the type and size of the project, duration, required locations, and the likely impact on vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic, and public property.

Students, non-profit organizations, and production companies must apply 60 days before the expected film date to obtain a permit. For small film shoots and student films, you may make an application 30 days before D-day.

Even though students and non-profits (based off the island) may not be charged any fee, applying is mandatory. Locally based non-profits do not need a permit.

The stipulated time frames allow the island’s authorities to analyze applications and make adequate arrangements, including providing parking privileges and police detail where necessary.

Permit Application Process

Nantucket authorities present you with three crucial documents when making an application. The first is the code of conduct film permit. It outlines the rules and regulations that must be followed before, during, and after filming on the island. You should make copies of this document for your team to ensure everyone is on board.

The second document is the Town of Nantucket Film Policy. It outlines the island’s film production policy and the process and requirements for application.

The last document is the Town of Nantucket Film Fees. It highlights how much you need to pay to obtain a permit, including application fees, daily license fees, commercial filming on public properties fees, not-for-profit filming on public property fees, et cetera.

Once you review the provided documents, ascertaining that you meet all the requirements, you may fill out a Filming Permit Application Form. You will need to provide details such as the type of equipment you will use, the number of cast and crew, filming locations, filming duration, and requests for still photography or b-roll shooting.

Upon receiving your application, the appropriate town staff will evaluate it to determine any concerns or special requirements. They will then approve it and list all required insurance and ancillary permits.

Besides the permit fees, you may be required to pay additional fees to use various properties and police services and compensate individual businesses whose business activities may be disrupted during filming.

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