<< Documentary and Series Producer's Guide
Tips for success
Work with agencies to find a topic or an approach that works for both parties.
- We receive far more filming requests each year than we have staff time to support. Consequently, we encourage producers to work with us to dvelop treatments of interest to both agencies and television audiences.
Allow plenty of lead time before you plan to start filming.
- It takes time to negotiate with crews, line up permits and permissions, and find filming locations that meet production needs.
Similarly, realize that NIFC cannot guarantee access to crews and locations on a fire.
- The Incident Commander has the final authority for approving documentary and news filming on his or her fire. The Incident Commander's authority supersedes agreements with NIFC, individual crews and agencies. In spite of our best intentions, NIFC cannot assure that a production team will meet all its filming goals on a fire.
Be up-front with federal agencies as far as who you are talking to.
- Some documentary film producers have tried to surreptitiously work with more than one federal fire agency at the same time on the same project - without informing the agencies of this approach. This practice typically causes duplicative work and is usually grounds to terminate a project.
Do your research.
- The more knowledgeable producers are on the subject of wildland fire, the more effectively we can work together. Calling a pulaski a "chopper," and confusing a "team" and a "crew" on a fire usually means you have not taken the time to understand your subject.
Embrace the same commitment to safety as we do.
- Cutting corners when it comes to safety will quickly lead to a brick wall when working with firefighters and fire managers. This is especially true in the field of fire aviation.