Parks need film-friendly policy

A decision by the Department of Conservation and Land Management to disallow a car commercial shoot in Kalbarri last week has highlighted concerns within the advertising industry that WA is not a truly “film friendly” location.

Many of the popular filming locations in WA fall under the control of the Department of Conservation And Land Management, however both Kings Park and the Rottnest Island Board also have policies to deal with production issues.

All three have developed policies, but they require at least a fortnight lead time for an application to be processed and any fees or deals negotiated.

CALM director parks recreation planning and tourism Jim Sharp said CALM was concerned not only with the physical area being shot but also the projection of appropriate land use in any footage or shots.

“A number of years ago Pajero did a four wheel drive ad. They negotiated with the ranger, we set the conditions and then they went in and did the filming and did whatever they wanted to do,” Mr Sharp said.

ScreenWest, the State film and television funding body, provides details of local production managers and location managers who are familiar with government agencies and can help organise locations in WA.

“We’re actively developing policy to make WA film friendly, but in terms of organising a location we would point to a location manager for that,” a ScreenWest spokesperson said.

“We assist film makers who are filming in WA with a list of key contacts to get permits and access to different sites – Kings Park has a filming policy as does Rottnest Island, CALM and a lot of the councils.”

CALM jointly developed a filming policy with the film industry and the WA Tourism Commission for filming on CALM-managed land.

The policy clearly defines that all filming of CALM-managed lands, where possible, should promote community awareness, understanding and support for nature conservation and natural land management.

CALM has also set out a fee schedule for both film and stills photography and an hourly supervision fee if a CALM district manager is required to supervise a shoot on location.

“We waive fees if the proposal has got promotional value for WA and for this we use WATC as an arbitrator,” the spokesperson said.

In the next few months, the CALM application to carry out commercial filming/advertising photography will be available on the Internet.

This will allow national and international production com-panies to get their location approved even before they arrive in WA.

“We prefer to know four weeks in advance, but we will cater for someone as quickly as we can,” CALM public affairs officer John Hunt said.

“We do about 100 productions a year and all are pretty damn happy.”

The filming policy for Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens is being formalised so that all functions and activities in the park fit in with the Botanic Garden and Parks Act.

“There are regulations that have been set down that we have to enforce,” Kings Park and Botanic Garden manager customer services Jacqui Kennedy said.

“We’re a lot stricter on what happens on Fraser Avenue because it’s a high people visitations area, we can’t just let anything go on.”

The fees for park usage increase in relation to the level of disruption in the park.

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